Sox fans: I predict a blockbuster three team off-season trade between Rockies, White Sox, and Cardinals. Here is how this will go down and the logic behind why this works for all three teams.
Rockies receive: Jose Abreu and Welington Castillo from Sox and Jedd Gyorko and Carson Kelly from Cards.
Sox receive: Jack Flaherty and Jose Martinez from Cards
Cards receive: Nolan Arenado from Rox and Jace Fry from Sox
The logic from Rox’s perspective:
- Let’s face it, the Rox aren’t going to re-sign Arenado after the 2019 contract. The Rox are too small of a market to afford him long term for the huge money that he will get. They need to get more than a sandwich compensation pick for him. The Rox view their #2 prospect, 3B Colton Welker, as a young Arenado in the making.
- The Rockies need a significant upgrade at 1B and Abreu provides them with an All Star replacement to Arenado in 2019 (where the Rox expect to make another playoff run). Ian Desmond is better suited in LF.
- The Rox also need to upgrade behind the plate. Castillo is known for his good handling of pitchers and will fit in well with the Rockies young, talented rotation. Kelly gives them some youth/depth as both Chris Iannetta and Castillo are nearing the late innings of their careers.
- Jedd Gyorko provides a very serviceable stop gap solution if Brendan Rodgers isn’t ready yet and/or struggles in his rookie campaign.
Logic from Cards perspective:
- They have been vocal about wanting an upgrade at 3B, even exploring a Manny Machado trade at 2018 deadline.
- Manny Machado’s stock is down as the result of his lack of hustle in the postseason and will be seen as a big gamble given the decade long commitment for huge bucks. Arenado is a risk too but Cards chances to ink him to a long term extension increases significantly as he experiences the fans/culture that every player seems to love after they play in STL.
- Cards need help from left side out in the bullpen. Jace Fry gives them a nice young lefty arm who is more than just a lefty specialist. He proved himself in 2018 to be valuable against both rights and lefties.
- Jose Martinez is a defensive liability in both RF and 1B. The Cards have a log jam in RF with Dexter Fowler coming back and they need to get more at-bats to youngsters Adolis Garcia and Tyler O’Neill. Matt Carpenter is a fan favorite who’s locked in at 1B.
- The Cards have a ton of starting pitching depth. Adam Wainwright was just brought back. Michael Wacha and Alex Reyes are returning from injury. Youngsters John Gant and Dakota Hudson may be on the outside looking in for innings. Tons of depth and talent remaining after trading Flaherty.
- Carson Kelly has proved everything that he can after a few years in AAA. He’s blocked by the ageless Yadier Molina. And the Cards have the luxury of C prospect Andrew Knizner knocking on the door too.
Logic from the Sox perspective:
- Jack Flaherty gives the Sox another young, controllable starter (through 2023) with #1 starter upside potential. The Sox bring in a one year rental starter in 2019 to round out the rotation with Rodon, Lopez, Flaherty, Giolito. A starting five starting in 2020 of Rodon, Lopez, Flaherty, Kopech, and Cease is championship caliber, with Giolito possibly being trade bait or a bullpen candidate depending on how he bounces back in 2019.
- Jose Martinez gives the Sox a .300 hitter which has been badly missing in their lineup. His power numbers of 17 HR and 83 RBI were on par with Abreu’s 2018 season. He’s controllable through 2022 and gives the Sox a solid DH to pen into the lineup for year’s to come. He’s better suited to the AL given his defensive weaknesses.
- Sox sell high on Jace Fry. Sox have a ton of young lefties and are dealing from a position of depth: Caleb Frare, Aaron Bummer, Manny Banuelos, Kodi Medeiros, Bennett Sousa, Ian Clarkin, etc.
- Daniel Palka and Matt Davidson can hold down the fort at 1B for 2019. Paul Goldschmidt and Jose Abreu are free agent options in 2020.
- Welington Castillo seems to have gotten a bit sideways with Sox brass due to his drug suspension. The Sox have to figure out what they have in Seby Zavala and Zack Collins. Seby gets backup duties in Chicago in 2019 and Collins gets a full season in Charlotte with 2020 in Chicago in his sights.
Makes too much sense all the way around. So, that means it probably won’t happen. But, let’s get the rumor going and perhaps it will hit the right ears.