5 Blockbuster MLB Trades Involving All-Stars, Including Shohei Ohtani Leaving the Angels

5 Blockbuster MLB Trades Involving All-Stars, Including Shohei Ohtani Leaving the Angels

It is safe to say that MLB teams didn’t leave their holiday shopping until the last minute this season. With theCubsSigning of Dansby Swanson Saturday saw the removal of the last major free agent. There was still more than a week before Christmas Day. The top 15 players in our Free-agent rankings 27 of the top 30 have signed new contracts. This is a stark contrast with the past offseasons when marquee players were often left without teams as the winter ice melted across the country.

However, this doesn’t mean that the hot stove has cooled down. Every contender has a weakness, and teams will need to be active in trade markets to address those needs.

Use Baseball Trade Values Trade simulatorI have created five deals that could help both the teams involved or all three in one case. I tried to include most big leaguers as I’m not a prospect expert. It’s just more fun for me to imagine players we already know swapping jerseys.

Closing the deal on the Pinstripes

Yankees acquire RHP Liam Hendriks
White Sox acquire 2B Gleyber Tores

TheYankeesThey were short of arms in last year’s playoffs, and it cost them dearly. Their overmatched bullpen lost leads in Game 1 as well as Game 4 of their ALCS sweep by the Astros. After the bizarre end of the team’s season, they could use another late-inning shutdown option. Aroldis Chapman era.

Hendriks is a great target. After appearing at the three previous All-Star Games, Hendriks has established himself as one the best closers in MLB. He also has two top-10 Cy Young finishes in the past three years. The 33-year old Australian should not have any problems handling the New York media pressure. TheWhite SoxOn the other hand, he could allow Kendall Graveman to take over the closer role in Hendriks’s absence.

Torres rebounded last season after a subpar 2021 campaign. However, his first two majors years (’18 and ’19) were his most productive. He would be a massive improvement for the White Sox’ current second base configuration–Chicago ranked 29th in 2B fWAR (0.0) last year–and I think whatever the Yankees lose in going from Torres to DJ LeMahieu at second base will be made up for by the presence of Hendriks jogging in from the bullpen and cursing up a Bronx storm on the mound.

Torres is arbitration-eligible for the next two seasons. Roster Resource estimates that Torres will earn $9.8million in 2023. Hendriks will earn $14 million next season with a $15m club option for ’24. So the Yankees’ salary hike in paying Hendriks would not be too big, despite the luxury taxes that would come with it.

Gleyber Torres, second baseman for the New York Yankees, swings at a ball

In 526 at-bats, Torres had 24 home runs and 75 RBIs during the 2022 season.

Shohei is Shohei’s last word, Halos

Rangers acquire RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani
Angels acquire RHP Jack Leiter, 3B Josh Jung, C/DH Mitch Garver

TheRangersThey are clearly going after it in 2023. After 2023, you don’t sign the best baseball pitcher. Signing Two The previous offseason saw elite shortstopsYou can fire your long-serving general manager during a disappointing season. Retire a Hall of Fame manager. It is not worth wasting a year in the middle. Texas still needs at minimum one more starter. Currently, Brad Miller is projected to be the DH. Ohtani would be the multi-bird-killing rock.

Even with all the free-agency spending, the Rangers still have approximately $50 million in payroll space, which is enough to pay Ohtani’s $30,000,000 salary, especially if they reach the luxury tax threshold.AngelsGarver’s $5million salary. Based on his spending habits over the past year, Ray Davis, Rangers owner, seems willing to pay Ohtani any amount to keep him off the open market. Can you imagine all the whiffs? Jacob deGrom Ohtani and Ohtani to be the Rangers’ top rotation for the next half-decade? Eat your heart out, Nolan Ryan.

The Angels would have to let Ohtani go, as his time with the team will be remembered bittersweetly by fans. They won’t trade Ohtani to a division rival if they believe he can sign an extension that will haunt the Halos for many years to come. Ohtani will likely be leaving next offseason. It would be a smart move, even though it may be painful, to capitalize on his value while you can. The Rangers may be motivated, however, to make the best offer. Jung and Leiter are their top prospects and could be future All-Stars as well as key components of the Halos next playoff team. Garver, a short-term throw in, could replace Ohtani as DH in 2023. He also gives the Angels more coverage at catcher, behind Logan O’Hoppe, after last year’s struggles.

Jays send a catcher for floundering Fish

Marlins acquire C Alejandro Kirk
Blue Jays acquire RHP Pablo Lopez, OF Jesus Sanchez

Pablo Lopez, Miami Marlins' starting pitcher, throws with a baseball in his hand

Lopez, 26, threw a record 180 innings last season but he faltered down the stretch with a 4.97 ERA across 14 games in the second half.

These two teams teamed up to make a trade in August, which sent relievers Zach Pop and Anthony Bass to the other team.TorontoJordan Groshans, an infielder, landed inMiamiHowever, the moving parts in this one are a lot more important.

Lopez was the subject of trade rumors before the deadline. The Yankees were reportedly close to agreeing to a deal for him. The Blue Jays could make use of their catching surplus (Danny Jansen had a 140 wRC over 248 plate appearances, and was the team’s No. Gabriel Moreno is the No. 1 prospect and will be joining the team to complete what could become the strongest MLB rotation if everyone pitches well. Lopez could be the No. Lopez may be the No. 5 starter after Alek Moah, Kevin Gausman and Jose Berrios. This is absurd considering that he ranked in top 30 of pitching FanGraphs WAR last year and could technically be considered some teams’ No. 1 starter. Sanchez adds to Toronto’s righty-heavy roster a solid bat and fourth outfielder to what is currently a very thin bench.

Although Miami’s pitchers have been reduced somewhat by injuries (Sixto Sanchez and Max Meyer), trades and some prospects falling short of expectations, Miami still has the ability to trade one of its most valuable trade pieces to improve its offense with Kirk, who is under team control through 2026. He would take over for Jacob Stallings behind the plate. Stallings had a disappointing first season in Miami and ranked 28th in fWAR among 29 catchers who made at least 300 plate appearances. Kirk is a better defender than Stallings, and he could be used to bat at DH if Stallings’s defensive abilities are valued by the Marlins or if they can’t find a suitable replacement for the former Pirate.

Dodgers find center-field solution

Dodgers acquire OF Bryan Reynolds
Pirates acquire IF Michael Busch, OF Andy Pages, RHP Ryan Pepiot

ThePiratesThey reportedly hoped for a “Juan Soto” haul on Reynolds, who issued an earlier trade demand. This is a ridiculous request by Pittsburgh, and a reasonable one by Reynolds, but it would be possible to get this return. The deal would net the Buccos three of their best players.Dodgers‘ top six prospects, per MLB.com. Los Angeles would retain its top three prospects and acquire the best center fielder on the block.

The Dodgers have more lineup holes than ever after losing Trea Turner and Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Cody Bellinger, Joey Gallo, and Cody Bellinger, while adding J.D. Martinez and … Jason Heyward? They need a center fielder to replace Bellinger. They could also benefit from another big bat in order to counter the talent exodus that has occurred so far this offseason.PadresAndGiantsIn the NL West. Reynolds will be 28 years old in January. He is still under team control for three seasons. He was a step back from his breakout 2021 campaign when he slashed.302/.390/.522 with 24 runs and started the All-Star Game. However, he still managed to hit a record 27 home runs. He has been one of the most productive and long-lasting players in baseball since Reynolds’ debut in ’19. He is one of six hitters who has played in 130 or more games and posted an OPS of at minimum 125 (meaning that he was at least 25% above the league average) in each of his three full seasons. The five other players? Pete Alonso and Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and Freddie Freeman are the other five players.

Bryan Reynolds, Pirates outfielder, points to the sky

After suffering three fifth-place finishes in four seasons with the Pirates he would be delighted to see a trade to the Dodgers. The only exception was 2022’s 100-loss campaign.

Three future major leaguers could be part of the Pirates’ next playoff team. This is even though it’s still years away. Pages, who is 22 years old, will be joining the team next season. The other two are 25-year-olds and should be ready to go. Pepiot’s pitch changeup was praised by MLB.com as “the best in minors” ahead of last season. While he had some command issues in his first stints in the majors 2022 (27 walks in 36 1/3 inning), he also displayed the swing-and miss stuff that could make him a top-end pitcher. MLB.com describes Busch’s profile as similar to Max Muncy’s. He’s played at first base, second base, and left field, and he showed a promising mix in power and patience from the left side (32 homers and 74 walks in 142 games across Double A, Triple A) last season. Pages has hit 57 homers at Advanced A, Double A, and Triple A in the past two seasons. He also has a cannon arm that is suitable for either of the outfield corners. This makes him a good fit to a Pirates team lacking impact outfielders.

Braves and Giants trade veterans in three-team deal

Braves purchase SS Brandon Crawford, RHP Germany Marquez, and cash
Giants acquire C Travis d’Arnaud, RHP Dinelson Lamet
Rockies acquire C Joey Bart, RHP Mike Soroka, OF Eddie Rosario

Alex Anthopoulos could have another? three-teamer Have you got something to your sleeve?AtlantaIn recent times, San Francisco shortstop Crawford and catcher d’Arnaud had their starting jobs taken by Sean Murphy and Carlos Correa. Swing-for-the fence moves Their teams. They may be able to get more plate appearances at different positions (d’Arnaud at DH and Crawford at third base), but it is possible that they could still be more valuable together.

After the departure of Dansby Swinson, the Braves may need a temporary shortstop. Vaughn Grissom, who impressed at second base last season for the Ozzie Albies, is expected to start there. However,Mark Bowman, MLB.com’s Braves correspondent, thinks It’s unlikely that Grissom will be trusted with the job in 2023. His 41 MLB games last season represent his only experience above Double A, and he lost playing time to Orlando Arcia down to the stretch. Despite working with Ron Washington, the infield coach, this offseason to learn more about the position. Crawford could be a good short-term solution.

The Giants would move on from Bart, who is still struggling to find his feet in the majors, and get a more experienced catcher in d’Arnaud. They would also be able to get a reclamation project for Lamet, who placed fourth in NL Cy Young voting 2020 and could provide a nice second act as a reliever having suffered arm problems over the past two seasons.

TheRockiesTo make some money, they would grab two former first-round picks with potential breakout potential in Soroka and Bart. They’ll still come out ahead on the books after shipping Marquez and his $15 million salary (with a $16 million club option for 2024) to Atlanta, who could use a more dependable fifth starter than the oft-injured Soroka and sophomore-slump-stricken Ian Anderson. The Giants would send a few million dollars to the Braves, who currently have about $3 million less luxury tax threshold. However, they would be expected to pay approximately $15 million more in player salaries in this deal before tax costs. The Braves ownership said it would pay the luxury tax but it has not done so. This offseason, the Braves let Swanson walk and asked for cash from Detroit. Joe Jimenez was acquired to keep below the tax threshold. This deal would allow the Braves to put their money where it’s needed.

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