At this point in the offseason, it seems that big moves that might happen have more to do with trades than free agency signings. Teams currently involved in some interesting trade talks are the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Cincinnati Reds and the Seattle Mariners.
Not to each other, but all across the board.
For example, the Rays are involved in a number of trade talks. Quite a few teams are testing the waters regarding their terrific closer, Alex Colome. The soon to be 28-year old posted a 1.91 ERA last season, and is controllable for the next four seasons. Right now the Rays aren’t keen to move him, believing they have a team that might be good enough to contend in 2017. If they would move someone, it’ll probably be a starting pitcher. Colome isn’t going to cost much either next season, so it’s hard to see the Rays moving him unless there’s some incredible package heading their way.
One team that’s been looking at the starters the Rays have are the Seattle Mariners, with Drew Smyly, Alex Cobb and Erasmo Ramirez all looking like they’d be the more likely players to move, while Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi would be more difficult to pry away. The Mariners aren’t only talking to the Rays about starters. They have their sights set on a couple of players in Cincinnati, impressed with the progress of Anthony DeSclafani and Dan Straily. With both being controllable through the 2020 season and after career-best seasons, the price might be too much for Seattle.
Speaking of a price being too high, the Pirates recently rejected an offer from a mystery team, blocking a trade made for Andrew McCutchen. It’s no secret the Pirates are listening to offers for who not too long ago seemed like an untouchable franchise player. At least three or four prospects were going to land in Pittsburgh if the trade would have been agreed upon. Interest in McCutchen has cooled since a few outfield spots around the leagues have been filled.
The Cubs would like to see their bullpen improve, and have approached the Detroit Tigers regarding Justin Wilson. The 29-year old didn’t do all that well with the Tigers last season, posting a 4.14 ERA and 1.330 WHIP. However, he did post a career high of a 3.82 SO/BB ratio, and looked very good in 2013 and 2015, so it’s too soon to spot any serious decline, which suggests the Tigers aren’t delusional for expecting something for him.
The Nationals and Rangers is more of a would-be trade. Jurickson Profar remains on the trading block as the Rangers remain undecided about him. The 24 year-old remains an intriguing talent, playing his first major league game since 2013 last season, but he’s no longer capturing the dreams and hopes of Rangers decision-makers like before. In any case, after the Nationals traded for Adam Eaton, it looks like the Rangers will be trying someone else to work with regarding a Profar trade.