Four days ago, both Ely and I proposed a list of players to be acquired as Free Agents. The reading pieces came out within 22 minutes difference, rest assured it was pure coincidence. After feeling the pressure, Kim Ng and friends presented their brand new signing, so I couldn't hold myself to write about the trading block side of the offseason.
The focus will turn into some players to be acquired via trade. The catch this time is not to debate some obvious targets: Reynolds, Mullins, Thomas, Grisham, McCarthy, Kepler, Carlson and Taylor (KC) have been extensively discussed, so no further analysis is needed. The situation at CF has yet to be solved, period.
Instead, low key - high potential reward trades are about to be presented here. After all those names drawn for handling CF, the team needs to address other areas, mostly the bullpen. Here, this wannabe General Manager is still on the learning curve of player trade values, so BTV will be used. Again, I found logical to sufice needs for both ends of a deal, in order to have a chance of happening. Since someone hinted too many players were proposed in the Free Agent version, this time only seven trades are presented, in no particular order:
7. Gilberto Celestino (Baseball Trade Value 1.8): Celestino fits the 4th OF profile with good contact skills, hits for doubles and has a very good glove in any position on the grass, especially CF. At only 23 years old, he has the ceiling of becoming a solid starter, although not an All-Star. With a bit more of one year of service, he can stay for some years at a low cost. Any bullpen prospect (Simpson, Villalobos) to the Twins should do the trick.
6. Seth Martínez (BTV 1.9): Houston has such a good bullpen that they can afford let Martínez go for the right player. At 28, Martínez has 5 years of control remaining and last year managed a sparkling 2.09 ERA in 38.2 innings. He has a 5-pitch mix, with better results using the slider. Houston can use a veteran utility LH bat like Wendle (BTV 3.1).
5. Gio Urshela (BTV 0.4): Not the first time I mention him and one of my favourites trade targets, "the most happy fella" has been already traded this offseason to the Angels for minor leaguer RHP Alejandro Hidalgo. I am completely sure the Marlins can top that offer. He turned 31 during the postseason games and projects around $9M salary for his last year of arbitration. Yes, there are plenty of INF already in the roster, but none as consistent and reliable as Gio. Since becoming a regular during the 2019 season, he has posted OPS+ of 133, 137, 96 and 121 during each season aftwerwards while providing above average defense. He is a .270 / .320 / .430 player who will hit 15 HRs and 30 2Bs, that will make this team better. I heard Anaheim is looking for a SS...
4. Nate Pearson (BTV 0.0): Remember him? Two years ago he had the same kind of hype as Sixto. Well, they have many similarities: 100 MPH fastball, great secondary pitch (SL) and a ton of injuries. At least Pearson played AAA this season and played 12 games (12 IP) for Tigres del Licey (Dominican Winter League) without allowing an earned run and SO 16 batters; that is much more encouraging than Sixto's situation. He throws gas and it is the perfect moment to buy low on him. Toronto will probably be reluctant to trade him, but a good offer sending a back of the rotation starter (Castano) or a near-ready (McCambley) plus a bullpen piece (Brazoban) can lure them.
3. Jordan Hicks (BTV 0.4): Another flamethrower who hasn't lived to expectations, partially because of injuries. The Cards tried to convert him to a starter this season, but didn't work out. He can throw a 103 MPH sinker paired with a good slider, but walks batters at above average. The birds already have a solid bullpen with a lights-out closer, making Hicks a trade target for rotation help. Hicks, paired with one of the multiple young OFs STL has, can be a good deal for Pablo.
2. Kyle Finnegan (BTV 2.5): After Tanner Rainey went to TJS, Finnegan assumed the closer role for the Nats converting 11 out of 15 save opportunities, with solid %K and %BB rates. Kyle is 31, enters 1st year of arbitration and operates with a sinker and a slider. WSH is rebuilding and can delegate the closing role to Thompson or Hunter Harvey, while getting a player like Burdick or LeBlanc.
1. Logan Gillaspie (BTV 1.7): Loyal to one of my favourite teams for trades, last year the Orioles had an outstanding bullpen featuring 7 players with ERA under 3.50. Not enough, they brought Mychal Givens this offseason. With possible no room for him on the 26-man roster, the rookie Gillaspie works over a 4-pitch arsenal, relying mostly on FB (95 MPH avg)-CH-SL combo. While none of his offerings jump off the charts, neither any of them qualify as below average. I am sure Mel can help Logan to become a valuable bullpen arm. Can happen as additional player in a potential Mullins/Cowser-for-López trade, the O's weakest link is SP, something the Fish have a surplus.
There are no flashy names here, but I am sure some of those names will improve the current team. With the new staff, some new faces and a good plan, this team can accomplish more than what most people think. Which players would you trade for from this list?