Tagged: Rick Ankiel

What will Rays do about Right Field and DH Holes

The Rays don’t have much money to spend this offseason. However, they have holes at designated hitter and in right field. The Rays declined Cliff Floyd’s option. Jonny Gomes and and Gabe Gross are both non-tender condidates. The team may have to look to trades. Either Edwin Jackson or Andy Sonnanstine have to be moved to open up a spot in the rotation for David Price. I did a player market for Jackson here. Rick Ankiel and Ryan Church are still reasonable targets to me. It is more likely that the Rays trade Jackson and keep Sonnanstine. I thing E-Jax has more value because of upside. I really don’t think Sonny will get any better, but Jackson still has a world of potential. Also, definatley watch for the Rick Ankiel trade if the Cards aquire Matt Holliday without giving up Ryan Ludwick. The Rays could attempt to trade for Holliday as well if they are willing to center a deal around co-top pitching prospect Wade Davis. They could go after Matt Murton through a trade with the A’s. He’s not needed in Oakland and should be easily had. The other possibility is cheap free agents. If the Rays promise Rocco Baldelli the starting DH job, they’ll probably get him to stay. I think that’s a very likely scenerio.  Eric Hinske could be resigned as well. Or, they could just use Gross and Gomes in a right field platoon. The Rays have many options to attempt a repeat to the world series.

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Rockies Likely to Trade Matt Holliday

The Rockies are motivated to trade Matt Holliday. There isn’t a perfect fit for Matt, but several teams should still have interest. I did a player market for Holliday here. The Rockies prefer proven starting pitching, but are open to anything. One team that has emerged as a legitimate possiblity is the Cardinals. Yes, I know people consider them to have a surplus of outfielders. However, this is the best spot to add a big bat since there aren’t many power middle infielders around let alone available. It is unlikely the Cards would include top prospect Colby Rasmus, and they don’t have much prospect wise after him. Bryan Anderson has a lot of value, but the Rox already have a good catcher in Chris Ianetta. They would probably need to get another team involved. How about this three team trade between the Yankees, Cardinals, and Rockies…

Cardinals get: Matt Holliday

Yankees get: Garret Atkins, Rick Ankiel, Bryan Anderson

Rockies get: Robinson Cano, Ian Kennedy, Alan Horne, Chris Perez

I like this deal a lot. The Cardinals are trading Rick Ankiel, Bryan Anderson, and Chris Perez for Matt Holliday. It’s a steep price, but they add a big slugger as well as get Albert Pujols the protection he needs. So it makes Pujols a better player also. The Yankees greatly help out their offense. They get to DH Jorge Posada now that Bryan Anderson is with the club. They also fill the first base and center field holes with Ankiel and Atkins. The team loses a good second baseman, but they can always just sign Orlando Hudson to take his place. The Rockies are getting a very good deal as well. They lose their top two sluggers, but fill their hole at second base with a player that could easily rebound. Especially in that park. Chris Perez gives them a great late inning option, replacing Brian Fuentes. Ian Kennedy and Alan Horne are two decent back-of-the-rotation options. I know this is unlikely, but I think it makes a lot of sense.

Player Market: Edwin Jackson

It is possible the Rays trade Edwin Jackson this offseason to open up a spot for David Price in the rotation. They’ll be aiming for a right fielder. Lets look at some teams that match up in a trade.

Rays (frontrunner)  They could just keep Jackson as the fourth starter and trade Andy Sonnanstine instead. That is the more likely scenerio, but don’t be surprised to see them pull the triger on the right deal.

Cardinals (frontrunners)  How about Rick Ankiel for E-Jax. Ankiel will be a free agent after next season and the Cardinals could trade an outfielder to open up a spot for top prospect Colby Rasmus. If they could nab Jackson, they might be pursuaded to trade Ankiel. I like this possible trade a lot for both teams.

Mets (possible)  They could offer Ryan Church. I know they need outfield help, but if they sign a free agent left fielder and are fine with letting Daniel Murphy play every day in right field, then they could make this trade. Church seems like the type of player the Rays would like to aquire. He’s underrated and has a good combination of batting average, speed, and power. This deal could work for both sides under the right sircumstances.

Braves (possible)  I have stated before that Jeff Francoeur for Edwin Jackson would make sense, and I still think the same as I did then. Although, I like it a little bit better for the Braves know.

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Offseason Plan: St. Louis Cardinals

The overachieving St. Louis Cardinals have faded from the playoff race recently, but could make a comback in 2009 with a succesful offseason. They need to add at least one starter with Kyle Lohse and Braden Looper hitting free agency. They also need a lefty reliever for the bullpen. A complete middle infield makeover is in order. It wouldn’t kill them to use Brendan Ryan at one of the positions, but the other must be sloved outside of the organazation. They will be in on all #3 or #4 type starters, as well as Will Ohman and Edgar Renteria. I picked them to sign both, as well as Mark Ellis in the offseason. It is going to be tough to compete in the NL Central, however. The Cubs are awesome, the Brewers are going to be very good even without CC Sabathia and maybe Ben Sheets, the Astros are likely to make some big splashes, and if certain Reds’ young players break out, the Cards could finish in fifth place. This team is going to have to move an outfielder in the offseason with Colby Rasmus likely to be called up from AAA. The one being shopped could be Rick Ankiel. With the bleak center field market, he could have a lot of interest. He is a free agent after 2009. It makes more sense to trade him instead of Skip Schumaker, who isn’t even arb. eligible untill after 2009. I think Ankiel should be traded for one of their needs. The Cardinals are a team that could continue to compete, but might also fall on their faces. However, a lot of people were saying they’d be awefull this year, and they were wrong. Don’t underestimate Tony LaRussa.

Trade Market

I am going to make a trade market post, where I put down all the meaningful players on the trade block. I will put this in order of how good the players are the same way I did it in the Free Agent Market series. There will be a link on the players I have done in my player market series. Any player already traded will be underlined. This will be a sidebar link.

 

Catcher

  • Bengie Molina
  • Jarrod Saltalamacchia
  • Gerald Laird
  • Kelly Shoppach (If the Indians keep Victor Martinez at catcher)
  • Ramon Hernandez

First Base

Second Base

  • Dan Uggla
  • Brian Roberts
  • Kelly Johnson (Only if Braves rebuild)

Shorstop

  • JJ Hardy
  • Jack Wilson

Third Baseman

Left Field

  • Matt Holliday
  • Rick Ankiel
  • Randy Winn
  • Josh Willingham
  • Juan Pierre

Center Field

  • David DeJesus
  • Rick Ankiel
  • Randy Winn
  • Juan Pierre

Right Field

  • Brian Giles (Only if the club option gets picked up)
  • Rick Ankiel
  • Randy Winn

Designated Hitter

Aubrey Huff

Starting Pitching

  • Roy Halladay (Only in the Blue Jays decide to rebuild)
  • Jake Peavy (Only if blown away)
  • Zack Greinke (Only if blown away)
  • Matt Cain (Only if blown away)
  • Nick Blackburn (Only for a good, young hitter)
  • Edwin Jackson (Only him or Sonnanstine)
  • Jonathan Sanchez (Only for a good, young, hitter)
  • Andy Sonnanstine (Only him or Jackson)
  • Scott Olsen

Relief Pitching

  • Huston Street
  • George Sherrill
  • Ron Mahay
  • Kevin Gregg
  • BJ Ryan

 

You can see there are not many so far. I will update this as I think of more.