It has been said that the Rangers would consider trading Matt Cain for the right package. I think they match up well with the Texas Rangers on a possible deal. How about Cain for Elvis Andrus, Engel Beltre, and Michael Main. I know the price is steep, but that’s what it’s going to take to get a cheaply signed fringe ace, great #2. This also doesn’t break the bank so they can afford to resign Milton Bradley. They also still can trade one of their catcher for another starter to replace Main in the minors. They have Michael Young at shortstop, so Andrus is available, and Engel Beltre won’t be needed with Mlton Bradley resigned. Imagine a Ranger rotation of Cain, Naftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Eric Hurley, and Michael Bowden (the latter could be aquired in a Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade). That would be sick just like their offense. This team is primed to contend in 2010, especially if the Angels can’t lock up all of their young stars. The Giants get to fill their shortstop and right field holes, and get a good pitching prospect that could eventually replace Cain. Another possibility is to get Justin Smoak in the deal. He was the Giants backup plan to Buster Posey, but ended up falling all the way down to the Rangers. Maybe they substitute Smoak and another prospect like Blake Beaven and take out Main and Beltre. Both could work. Another possibility is for a three-way-trade where the Rangers trade a catcher somewhere and that team sends the prospect to the Giants. So a three team trade between the Giants, Rangers, and Red Sox.
Red Sox get: Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Rangers get: Matt Cain,
Giants get: Elvis Andrus, Jed Lowrie, and Engel Beltre
So the Red Sox trade Lowrie for Salty, the Rangers trade Andrus, Salty, and Beltre for Cain, and the Giants trade Cain for Andrus, Lowrie, adn Beltre. I like this deal for all teams. I think both could work. There are going to be many suitors for Cain, but I think the Rangers would be the most aggresive team if he is made available.
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I am thinking about it more and more, and it makes a lot of sense for the Red Sox to go after a top-of-the-rotation arm in the offseason. At first when I heard the idea, I didn’t like it. They already have too many starters (when they’re all healthy) and need bullpen help and a catcher more. If they want to compete with the Yankees, though, they might need to upgrade the rotation. The Yankees could possibly sign CC Sabathia so the Red Sox need to be in on him, if nothing else to drive up the price. If the Yanks sign CC, and I think they will because they are so desparate that they’ll outbid anyone, the Red Sox need to counter. Ben Sheets, anyone? This is a good fit. It would give the Red Sox and better rotation again because they would be 5 deep. How could any team beat a top 5 of Josh Beckett-Ben Sheets-Jon Lester-Daisuke Matsuzaka-Tim Wakefield. That’s unstopable. They have a lot of injury risks, but have super prospect Clay Buchholz ready to step in ahould there be an injury. If they miss out on Sheets, they could go after a guy like AJ Burnett, and would still probably have a better rotation than the Yankees. The other good thing about adding a starter is that it makes Michael Bowden 100% available. That could help them get a catcher like Jarrod Saltalamacchia. They also have enough money to sign a reliever. I noticed I had not picked the Red Sox for many signings in my Top 50 Free Agents, but then again, their the Red Sox, they’ll be in the center of the action right with the Yankees.
The terrible, then great, then terrible Texas Rangers will be looking for more consistancy in 2009. One thing they had, though, was consistancy bad starting pitching. This team has no starting rotation at all, yet have an outstanding offense. They are the classic Texas Rangers. This team need to resign Milton Bradley, their only key free agent. If they want to compete, they need to protect Josh Hamilton, and Bradley is a perfect cleanup hitter. The other thing they need to do is get pitching. This team does have many trade chips as well as three great power arms in the minors in Naftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Michael Main. They have a huge catcher surplus. The Rangers have four starting catchers, all big league ready. They need to decide which one or two of Gerald Laird, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, and Max Ramirez they should keep, and which ones they should move. Many people think Laird and another will be traded, probably Salty. I have said before that Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden would make sense. I still believe that. Gerald Laird to the Reds for Bronson Arroyo and cash makes a lot of sense as well if the Reds don’t sign Jason Varitek. Elvis Andrus and Engel Beltre could also be moved in the right deal. It is possible that the Blue Jays would make Roy Halladay avalable, or the Padres with Jake Peavy. If they are, I’m sure the Rangers would be at the top of the list. With all the young talent they have to trade and the need for an ace, it just makes a lot of sense. Also, I think they are an interesting dark horse for CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. It is very likely that the Rangers trade at least one catcher and aquire at least one pitcher in the offseason. This is a team that could be competing by ’09. If not, then by ’10. They have a very bright future.
The Clevland Indians are the hottest team in the MLB. They don’t have that many holes. They need to get a closer, shortstop/third baseman, second baseman, and starter in the offseason. They have a decent amount of money to spend, and have all the core players they had when they were one game away from the world series except CC Sabathia. But Cliff Lee has been just as good if not better than CC this year. They need to add a high OBP player to put at the top of their lineup so they can move Grady Sizemore down to the #3 hole. Orlando Hudson is a perfect fit here. He can bat leadoff and is a second baseman. The Tribe has enough money to afford O-Dawg and I think they will sign him. If they get him, they still need to add a closer. Brandon Lyon makes a lot of sense. They will be big players for Brian Fuentes, but I think he signs with the more successfull and west coast team Angels. Brandon Lyon is affordable and will help their bullpen a lot. For the shortstop or third baseman signing, I think Nomar Garciaparra makes sense. They can switch off Garciaparra and Jhonny Peralta at shorstop and third base. They also need to add a starting pitcher for depth. Cliff Lee and Fausto Carmona form arguably the best 1-2 punch in the AL, but after that there isn’t much. They have Aaron Laffey, Jeremy Sowers, and Anthony Reyes as there 3-4-5. They could aquire this in a trade. It is likely that they move DLed catcher Victor Martinez to first base with Kelly Shoppach as the catcher. They could do that or they could sign a guy like Jason Giambi to play first base and keep Victor Martinez at catcher. That would open up Shoppach as a trade chip. They could trade Shoppach back to his former team, the Red Sox. I’m sure they would have interest in him. Maybe Shoppach for Michael Bowden, if things don’t work out for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. This is just another option. They could spend the money they would’ve spent on Giambi and use it on a starter. One of the three young guys have to step up for the Tribe to compete, at least as long as it takes for Jake Westbrook to return from injury. The Indians have a lot of wild cards like will Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez return well from injury? Will one of the young players in the rotation step up to be the #3? Will Adam Miller fianlly stay healthy? If he does, can he and Matt LaPorta be key contibuters? Can Rafeal Bentancourt return to form? All of these questions must be answered. The amount of right answers will tell whether the Indians make it to the ALCS again or have a repeat performance of 2008.
The Boson Red Sox are a very good team with few holes and a lot of money to spend. According to our Offseason Needs post, the Red Sox have only 2 holes: relief pitching and catcher. They could also consider adding a big time free agent starter like CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets. Especially since the Yankees will be amoung the top contenders for both. Becausue this team has so much money to burn after swaping out Manny Ramirez’s 20 million for next year with Jason Bay’s 7 million. They save 13 million. If they sign a guy like CC or Sheets they couod trade a starter like, say, Michael Bowden to the Rangers for a catcher like Jarrod Saltalamacchia. I think theyn are definate to sign a big-money reliever like Chad Durbin, Will Ohman, or Russ Springer. Maybe they’ll overpay to get Brian Fuentes or Brandon Lyon to get them to not take a closer’s job elsewhere. For a catcher, they could trade for one of the Rangers catchers, possibly Bengie Molina if the Giants make him avalable. If those options don’t work, they’ll try to resign Jason Varitek. I think Scott Boras is going to end up screwing Varitek. I think the Red Sox will offer something like 1 year, 8 million. But Boras will ask for Jorge Posada’s 4 year, 52 million deal. The Red Sox will then trade for Jarrod Saltalamacchia to fill the catcher hole. Then, after holding out untill February, he will sign a 1 year, 6 million deal witht the Reds. He gets less money on a worse team, because of Scott Boras. So, the Red Sox plan is to spend big on a reliever, and get a catcher at least as good as Jason Varitek.
I thought of a trade between the Rangers and Red Sox. Jarrod Saltalamacchia for Michael Bowden. The Rangers are in dire need of pitching help with a negative VORP. They are almost definatley going to trade a catcher this offseason, maybe two. They have four quality catchers in Salty, Max Ramirez, Gerald Laird, and Taylor Teagarden. It is in the order of value. The Rangers would like to add a pitcher, but most of the teams looking for a catcher don’t have a pitching prospect they can spare better than Bowden. If the Marlins offered Ryan Tucker, that would be close to chose from. If the Reds offered Homer Baily it would be done in a second. The Rangers would probably want a major league ready pitcher, because in the lower minors they have three stud pitching prospects in Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, and Blake Beavan. Them, combinded with Eric Hurley are the Rangers future. The Rangers could make a trade like this, or they could combine Salty with others to land a proven pitcher via trade. The only problem is, that pitcher isn’t out there unless the Blue Jays decide to shop Roy Halladay, which isn’t likely. All in all, I think it would be smart for the Rangers to trade one catcher for a pitching prospect like Bowden, then next offseason make there big splash when the stud trio of prospects will be ready.