The baseball hot stove is heating up. Right now, you could see anything happen. There are plenty of teams that want pitching and hitting, but they will need to trade away good prospects. The main question that is on every GM’s mind is “Who goes where?” Johan Santana is one of the few pitchers that can dominate in the American League. Every team is going to want him, but who is going to get him? The leading teams right now are the Yankees and Red Sox. Both of these teams are hesitant to trade any prospects, but the Red Sox seem more hesitant then the Yankees. The Twins are asking for Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellisbury, who many are calling the next Johnny Damon. The Red Sox have refused to trade Ellisbury, and they are insisting that the Twins take Coco Crisp and Jon Lester instead. The Twins are refusing to budge. Unless they get what they want, the Twins will never trade Johan. The Yankees are ahead in the Santana trade talks because they are willing to trade Phil Hughes. Now don’t get me wrong, the Yankees are still hesitant to trade their young prospects, but they need an experienced pitcher right now to have any chance of winning. Johan is that experienced pitcher, but are the Yankees going to trade too much? The offer from the Yanks is basically Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, and a young minor league prospect. All teams need pitching, so Hughes being traded would be understandable. What I don’t get, is why the Yankees would trade Melky Cabrera. I understand that Johan Santana is a great pitcher, but Melky is the future of the Yankees outfield! That would be a bad move to trade Cabrera to the Twins, even if it is for Johan Santana.
The Marlins won the 2003 World Series with a group of young players and prospects. One of the prospects was Miguel Cabrera, a young player with the type of power that could send the baseball into space. Who would want to trade a prospect like that? The answer to that question is simple, The Marlins! The Marlins are reportedly in talks with the Angels to trade the superstar slugger for some prospects including Ervin Santana. This would be a spectacular move for the Angles because they need a power hitting third basemen, but then again so does everybody! The bad thing about this deal is that the Marlins, who were actually a good team a couple of years ago will be going through a rebuilding stage. They will be trading a lot of their veteran players, such as Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins will be a bad team for a while if they trade Cabrera. It looks like Florida baseball won’t be winning for a long time. Lastly, the Angels should improve a lot if they acquire Miguel because they will have another bat to protect Vladimir Guerrero!
Are the Mets crazy? They traded away Lastings Milledge to another National League east team. I’d understand if the Mets traded Milledge to an American League team, but a team in there own division! First I’ll start off by saying that this was a great deal for the Nationals. Lastings Milledge is a future all star and getting him for two mediocre players was a steal. The Mets on the other hand got nothing out of the deal. Brain Schneider is a catcher who can not hit. I’ll admit that he is good at defensive, but he can’t hit the ball. Ryan Church was the other player the Mets acquired for Milledge. Ryan Church is an outfielder with some power, but he will probably never hit more then 25 homeruns in a season. As I’ve said before, Milledge will be an all star some day, and you should never trade an all star for a mediocre catcher and outfielder.
Those are the big trades and trade possibilities so far in the off season. The other side of the off season is the Free Agency market. There are plenty of players to go around but the major players are one in a billion. Torii Hunter is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game and he has signed with the Angels. He can make the Angels lineup very dangerous with Vladimir Guerrero and possibly Miguel Cabrera. In Free Agency, you also have Andrew Jones whose place in baseball may be questioned because of his poor season. When you only hit under .230, you aren’t going to be a number one priority on anyone’s list. Finally, there are some minor moves that should be out in the open. Troy Percival signed a two-year with the Tampa Bay Rays. That should increase the strength of their bullpen. For the Astros, they have signed Kaz Matsui. This will be a big task for Kaz because he is replacing a legend in Craig Biggio.
In baseball, you have winners and losers. In the off season the winners will be the teams who can get the players and use them to win. Even if you get the good players, you could still be a loser because the main goal is to win. For all the teams involved in trade talks, good luck. You’re going to need it!