1. Red Sox trade 3B Will Middlebrooks, 2B/IF Mookie Betts, RHP Anthony Ranuado, and RHP Matt Barnes to Marlins for RF Giancarlo Stanton
As mentioned in a previous piece, the Red Sox need to trade for Giancarlo Stanton. Trading away four of their top prospects might have them a chance of doing so. Will Middlebrooks is currently on the DL and it seems as though his time as a member of the Red Sox is coming to a close. Mookie Betts is ranked as the top prospect in the Red Sox organization by many outlets, but as a second baseman, doesn’t have a future because of Dustin Pedroia, unless he switches positions. Pitchers Anthony Ranuado and Matt Barnes are (or are close to being) MLB-ready, but the Boston rotation has no room for them. All four of these prospects can be added to a Marlins organization that is in the process of rebuilding, and gives them four pieces to build towards a contending season for years to come. The Red Sox would get Stanton, who would step right in and be a part of what would be one of the best lineups in baseball, providing power and stability to the right field position. Imagine what his home run total would end up being playing at Fenway Park…
2. Cubs trade RHP Jeff Samardzija to Orioles for RHP Kevin Gausman, LHP Eduardo Rodriguez
The asking price for Jeff Samardzija is high— and for good reason. The 29-year old is 1-4 with a 1.68 ERA, which tells you a lot about how the Cubs have been hitting this season. The Orioles would have to include some top prospects in order for this deal to happen. With Baltimore’s top prospect Dylan Bundy rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, the Cubs will most likely stay away from him, instead demanding two out of the next three top prospects: Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez, both of which have the potential to be middle-to-frontline starters in the major leagues. With the Red Sox and Rays struggling mightily so far this season and sitting behind the Blue Jays in the AL East, this might be the year for the Orioles to make a push in the playoffs. Samardzija would certainly give them a boost in their pitching rotation and would be worth giving up two of their top four overall prospects.
3. Yankees trade RHP Dellin Betances, OF Zoilo Almonte to Phillies for LHP Cliff Lee
It’s no secret that the New York Yankees need pitching help, with 3/5 of their rotation currently on the DL. Cliff Lee (4-4, 3.18 ERA) has bounced from team-to-team throughout his career, but has proved that he can pitch at the highest level wherever he steps on the mound. Betances (3-0, 1.47 ERA) has been absolutely dominant this season, striking out 51 hitters in just 30.2 innings, but at 26-years old and with limited experience in the bullpen, it may make the trade easier for the Yankees to complete in terms of philosophy. The need for high-level pitching is so great, that it would be worth giving up a dominant piece in the bullpen. After all, you do need starters to deliver in order to get to delivers with a lead! Almonte, at 24-years old, doesn’t seem to have a future in the Yankees outfield, and might benefit from a change in scenery and should have some value as a fourth-outfielder.
4. Dodgers trade OF Joc Pederson, 2B Alexander Guerrero to Diamondbacks for 3B/UTIL Martin Prado, C Miguel Montero, SP Archie Bradley
Joc Pederson is known as a five-tooled player, but is currently playing in Triple-A due to an already-crowded Dodgers outfield. Alexander Guerrero might not have a future with the club, due to Dee Gordon’s outstanding season to date at the second base position. With Juan Uribe out with an injury and not the long-term answer at third base, Martin Prado would be a perfect fill-in and with A.J. Ellis landing on the D.L yet again, Miguel Montero would be a veteran who would be able to start every night if they needed him to. Archie Bradley would be hard to give up, as he is the Diamondbacks’ top prospect, but landing Pederson would potentially be franchise-changing, especially with a slew of starting pitchers returning from injury next season.
5. Mets trade SP Jon Niese to Blue Jays for 1B Adam Lind, P Daniel Norris
Jon Niese (3-3, 2.74) is off to a great start to this season and has been the best pitcher on the Mets staff. Adam Lind has only played in 28 of his team’s 54 games, registering 3 home runs and 13 RBI in those contests. However, he has shown that he can be a 20+ home run threat during his career, which is something the Mets desperately need. Pitcher Daniel Norris, a top 10 prospect in the Blue Jays organization who is currently playing in Double-A, would complete the deal for the Mets, who would be basically conceding the season with this pick, getting rid of their best starting pitcher, as they would look to rebuild with prospects. The Blue Jays would add stability in their starting rotation and look to continue their hot streak. This week, Toronto landed at the No. 1 spot on TSI’s MLB Power Rankings.