It’s offseason time, also known as ‘I am going speculate on roster moves because I am incredibly bored with no baseball on’ time. This is exactly that.
Here are five trades I would personally love to see this offseason, including one mega deal to keep your attention for the next six months.
Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story to the New York Mets
New York Mets get: 3B Nolan Arenado and SS Trevor Story
Colorado Rockies get: RHP Noah Syndergaard, SS Amed Rosario, OF Pete Crow-Armstrong and RHP Matthew Allan
Before you write this whole article off entirely, give me a chance on this one.
Why the Mets would do it: The Mets are under new ownership, after the wealthiest owner in baseball, Steve Cohen, completed the purchase of the team on Friday. He is conceivably looking to spend, considering he is worth over $14 billion. This would be a splash that would make Mets fans go crazy. You want to bring in shiny free agents this offseason? Attract them with two top-10 players in the league.
Arenado has been unsettled in Colorado for about a year now and has an opt-out after this season, so he could be on the move. Story has one year of control left as well. This would be a highly risky investment, but it would also give the Mets an opportunity to extend themselves during the year like the Dodgers did after trading for Mookie Betts. It also allows the players time to create a relationship with the team to then up their chances of being re-signed.
While the teams would be trading some really interesting pieces, none of them are sure things at this point.
Why the Rockies would do it: As I said before, Arenado has been upset with management for some time now and they only have so much time with Story left. This would probably enrage Rockies fans to no end, that is almost certain. However, this could be a great deal for them as well.
They need pitching, badly. Syndergaard gives them pitching now, with potential for the future, and Allan gives them a potential frontline starter down the line. He is a first-round talent that slipped to the third-round two seasons ago because of signability concerns.
Syndergaard has a year left of control, just like Story, so the same theory applies. It gives the Rockies, who are known as more of a mid-market team, time to woo Syndergaard into a long-term deal. It also gives them the chance to cut bait with him if it doesn’t work out. He is currently coming back from Tommy John surgery, so he likely won’t see the field until after opening day but there is hope for him to be back for then.
Rosario would plug immediately into Story’s spot at shortstop or could move over to third base if needed. In 10 career games at Coors Field, the 24-year-old has a .947 OPS, which is his third-best mark at any ballpark he has played more than five games at. He also rakes at Dodger stadium, so a move to the NL West could suit him. He has been significantly better away from Citi Field than at it in his career so far, with an abysmal .607 OPS at home to a very solid .791 OPS at away parks. It makes sense on paper.
The Rockies would also pick up a potentially top-40 MLB player in Pete Crow-Armstrong, who has a plus hit-tool and is considered the best defensive outfielder in his draft class. He was just drafted last June, but he reminds me heavily of the Boston Red Sox’ Andrew Benintendi — who we’ll get to later.
Francisco Lindor to the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies get: SS Francisco Lindor
Cleveland Indians get: SS Luis Garcia, OF Simon Muzziotti and OF Mickey Moniak
This is not an exciting trade by any stretch. I’m sorry to say, Indians fans, I have a feeling you will be as disappointed or even more so than Red Sox fans after they dealt Betts in February.
Why the Phillies would do it: They are losing their starting shortstop this offseason as Didi Gregorious is a free agent once again and this is a bargain-bin price for a top-20 MLB player. They have the money and they can figure out the prospects later. This is a move they should make.
They’re giving up a few mid-tier prospects, nothing crazy. Moniak has been an utter disappointment since going No. 1 overall in 2016 and they have enough bodies in their major league outfield to sustain a blow to their depth.
If they can trade for Lindor now, it’ll help soften the blow if J.T. Realmuto leaves in free agency and gives fans another player to cheer for aside from Bryce Harper.
Why the Indians would do it: They have no choice. It’s trade Lindor and his projected $19.5 million salary or go deeply in the red. They can grab a few promising prospects and hope they come out okay on the other side.
Andrew Benintendi to the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians get: Andrew Benintendi and $3.3 million
Boston Red Sox get: Cal Quantrill
Benintendi needs a change of scenery. He hasn’t hit well since about the first half of 2018. It’s time for the Red Sox to move on from him.
Why the Indians would do it: The Indians would be buying low on a potentially solid outfield piece. He has struggled the past couple of seasons and doesn’t hit free agency until after the 2022 season, so he has a couple more years of control.
Giving up Quantrill could be a tough ask, but the Indians have more than enough pitching at the current moment. They need outfielders and if Boston is willing to give up Benintendi and pick up half of his contract next year, then I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it.
Why the Red Sox would do it: It’s time to rebuild again in Boston. They essentially benched Benintendi to let him heal from his injury after he started the 2020 season 4-for-39 through 14 games. They might not be ready to spring the rebuild just yet with Cora re-hired, but I think this would be a beneficial move for them.
They haven’t had any problems developing position player talent in recent years, but they can’t seem to figure it out on the mound. The last good starter they developed was Jon Lester, who made his major league debut in 2007. They started 16 different pitchers last season, in 60 games. Yep, you read that right — one for every 3.75 games played.
Quantrill is 25 years old and has five years of control left, so honestly it could take more than Benintendi and cash to get this deal done. If they could get Quantrill, though, I don’t think Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom should blink before he says yes.