We’ll end with five other downmarket options who could catch the right set of eyes.
Arenado’s situation with the Colorado Rockies is also complicated. He’s owed more than 0 million over the next seven seasons, yet he has the ability to opt out after the 2021 season. League sources familiar with the Rockies’ thinking have indicated they’re doubtful an Arenado trade happens, but it only takes one team to fulfill Jeff Bridich’s desires and hash out a deal.
The Mets aren’t likely to trade Jeff McNeil (though that won’t stop teams from asking about him), but they do have J.D. Davis around for anyone willing to trade subpar defense for right-handed pop. Davis, like Urshela, was a nice find last season whose value has likely already peaked.
Now, to the lightning round. The Detroit Tigers no longer seem enamored with Jeimer Candelario. He’s only 26 and prior to last season he had a career 93 OPS+ in more than 700 plate appearances. The Pittsburgh Pirates are under new management, meaning there should be no obligation to keeping Colin Moran in town. He’s essentially a league-average hitter, but his defense is so bad as to wipe out his value. Then there’s Daniel Robertson, who some around the league expected to see moved ahead of the arbitration filing deadline. His quality 2018 and defensive versatility figure to land him a spot on someone’s bench, at minimum.
For a dollar and a dream (but mostly a dollar)
Should a general manager just have to have him a former Nationals prospect, then may we suggest Kelvin Gutierrez? The Kansas City Royals don’t seem to like Gutierrez much, as they signed Maikel Franco earlier this winter. Gutierrez has his downside — he’s older and badly needs to improve his attack angle if he’s going to maximize his bat speed and raw strength — but he’s a quality defender who has the innate characteristics of a solid hitter. That makes him worth keeping an eye on, and depending on the cost, perhaps worth taking a chance on. Earlier in Kyle Seager’s career, he was considered one of the game’s most underrated players. He’s lost some of that shine in recent years, thanks in part to a disappointing 2018, but he had a better 2019 than most people realize.
At the right cost
The Yankees have both Gio Urshela and Miguel Andujar to discuss. Urshela is the better defender of the two, but is unlikely to repeat last season’s offensive performance. Andujar, meanwhile, is coming off a lost season due to shoulder surgery. His defensive future was already in doubt before his operation, and before Urshela’s emergence as a viable big-leaguer.
Then there’s David Fletcher. He’s the platonic ideal of a Mike Scioscia era Angels batter, in that he runs well and makes a ton of contact. Alas, this is no longer the Scioscia era of Angels baseball. General manager Billy Eppler is said to be willing to listen to offers on Fletcher if the deal makes sense, as the Angels don’t have an everyday place for him in their lineup anymore.
The biggest names on the block are Kris Bryant and Nolan Arenado. Bryan’s situation with the Chicago Cubs is being held up in part due to his outstanding grievance relating to service-time manipulation. Bryant isn’t expected to win his case, therefore having his free agency pushed up to next winter, but it’s hard to deal a player whose team control could be halved. Once that grievance is resolved, the Cubs figure to get more serious about moving him. That’s been the case since the first half of the offseason.
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On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins reportedly agreed to terms with free-agent third baseman Josh Donaldson on a . Donaldson could earn up to 0 million if the Twins exercise a club option for a fifth season. With Donaldson off the market, the top remaining free-agent third baseman is the oft-injured Matt Duffy. Put another way, teams seeking a new third baseman — the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals, among others — will have to find their fix through trade.
Luckily, there are a number of compelling third basemen who appear to be on the trade market. We’ve highlighted 12 of them below, splitting them into various tiers. Do note that this is exercise, much like a psychic reading, is for entertainment purposes only.
The Oakland Athletics have Matt Chapman and Matt Olson at the corners, which probably makes Sheldon Neuse expendable. Neuse is a polarizing prospect; he’s essentially big-league ready, having hammered Triple-A pitching last season, but there’s legit risk with his hit tool. The A’s have toyed with playing Neuse elsewhere, including at second base, the infield position Oakland has the least certainty about entering the season. As such, he might remain in place. Teams seeking a younger or cheaper fit would be wise to check in with the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels.