The first part of this series of potential blockbuster MLB trades saw the likes of Nicholas Castellanos, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke moved to different teams to spice up the offseason. This article is the continuation and final installation in the series, as two more potential deals are listed below. But first, let’s start with the big trade that already happened.
The topic of former Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto being traded was bandied around the league since spring training of 2017, as practically every team has been linked to having had some sort of conversation with the franchise over Realmuto’s availability.
The Texas Rangers, who seem content with rolling out veteran backstop Jeff Mathis to man their pitching staff for 2019, could have used an upgrade at catcher. Even though they did finish last in the American League West with a 67-95 disaster of a record, the team has the payroll space to attract free agents as well as make moves through trades to improve their franchise.
Realmuto is only in the third level of arbitration in 2020, so he is what so many teams look for, a controllable talent. The return for him will be quite large, as Realmuto is one of the best catchers in the entire league.
If the Rangers were serious about acquiring him, they would have had to send the big guns to Miami, as top prospect and outfielder Leody Taveras would have needed to be included, at a starting point. Any of the Rangers top three prospects would have needed to be on the table, but not all three.
An interesting addition in this deal would have been former prized prospect Joey Gallo, who has struggled mightily since reaching the majors in 2015. His offensive prowess is not there, barely keeping his head above the Mendoza line for batting average, but has big power numbers would have interested the Marlins.
Of course, Realmuto was eventually dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jorge Alfaro, Sixto Sanchez, Will Stewart, and an international signing slot worth $250K.
Through digging through social media and specifically Twitter, others have discovered that Stroman has somewhat nonchalantly been hinting at wanting out of the Six for a while, something that should interest the Milwaukee Brewers.
Keep in mind, this deal is only happening if the previously-mentioned trade with the Arizona Diamondback for Zack Greinke does not, so all players already listed are options here too. Previously mentioned, Chase Anderson and Eric Thames were included in a deal to bring Greinke back to where he played in 2010 and 2011.
Starting pitching has been and should continue to be a point of emphasis and improvement for this franchise going into 2019, so they do not need to rely so heavily on their bullpen to cover 5+ innings game in and game out. Stroman would be an intriguing addition to this franchise, who would not necessarily be their ace but would definitely be the team’s best starter.
In order to get Stroman, the Brewers would need to attach their already-depleted farm system and interest the Blue Jays in a few of their under-the-radar players. Coming off a year in which Stroman limped to a 3-9 record across 19 starts and 102.1 innings, the Brewers would be smart to attack this buy-low opportunity.
The Blue Jays would want at least one arm in return, which could be in the form of a starting pitcher like Anderson, or they could want a proven first baseman to help soften the blow of losing Paul Goldschmidt like Thames. Regardless, this trade would need to include a prospect or two.
#28 prospect Carlos Herrera, acquired along with Freddy Peralta in the Adam Lind deal with the Seattle Mariners, could be a nice addition for the future for Toronto, as he is not projected to impact the majors until 2021 at the earliest. Throwing in another prospect like second baseman Nate Orf could wrap up the package and be enough for the Blue Jays to bite.
Another member of the Giants who could see himself changing teams during the offseason, catcher Buster Posey could be on his way out as well. The issue with any deal involving Posey would be his full no-trade clause protection that he had included in his eight-year, $159 million deal from 2013.
Posey has three guaranteed years left on his deal and a $22 million club option in 2022 available too, and while the likelihood of Posey agreeing to any deal is low, there is a possibility that if Bumgarner would be moved too, he could be inclined to move as well.
Even with the Mariners cutting salary and moving Robinson Cano and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz in the deal, the team could look to pair the 2012 MVP with King Felix in Hernandez’s final season with Seattle, potentially convincing him to re-sign.
Posey would be a good coup for general manager Jerry DiPoto, who is infamous for sticking his nose into any potential deal just to get anything out of it. If DiPoto were to move ahead with acquiring Posey, the return would need to be decently substantial.
Newly-acquired second base prospect Shed Long, who slots in as the team’s eighth-best prospect for Seattle, could be an integral piece in this deal and yet again be on the move. By combining Long with the Mariners #5 prospect, first baseman Evan White, and a filler Triple-A fringe prospect, that could be enough to get Posey.
This may resemble an overpay to most, but even with Posey’s injury history, the catcher would only be 34 at the end of his contract, 35 if the club option were to be picked up.
While all of these deals are quite hypothetical, all it takes is for one to break the ice that has plagued the league this offseason and get the ball rolling for more trades to come down the pipeline. Deals like the ones that the Dodgers and Reds made in swapping bigger salaries is something that this league could see more of too, so do not be surprised if those are the types of deals that dominate the ticker come spring training.