You smell that? For some, it’s the scent of spring. But for others, it’s the aroma of urgency. With Grapefruit and Cactus League camps just over two weeks away, there’s some unfinished business to tackle on the trade market.
It isn’t necessarily panic time for every contender with a void – not with some talented free agents still available. And sellers simply can wait for a need to develop (see: spring training injury) or hold their chips until the nonwaiver deadline draws nearer.
But there are some loose ends to address. Chief among them:
USA TODAY SportsBrad Penner
Nationals acquire a closer
When Greg Holland agreed to a deal with the Rockies on Wednesday, the Nationals whiffed on yet another free-agent option for the ninth inning. It’s time to turn to the trade market, with the White Sox’s David Robertson and the Rays’ Alex Colome the top targets.
USA TODAY SportsDavid Richard
Mets move an outfielder
From the moment Yoenis Cespedes re-upped with New York, it appeared Jay Bruce’s time in Queens would be short-lived. However, the Mets reportedly are planning to enter spring training with Bruce as their starting right fielder – with Curtis Granderson/Juan Lagares in center and Michael Conforto/Brandon Nimmo on the bench. Meanwhile, the Giants really need an experienced left fielder.
Rays swap another starting pitcher
Tampa Bay already sent lefty Drew Smyly to Seattle, but then it went and acquired more rotation depth (Jose De Leon) in the deal with the Dodgers. Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi remain prime trade bait, with would-be contenders like the Yankees, Astros, Marlins and Pirates in need of a reliable arm.
Twins deal Brian Dozier
The long-rumored deal with the Dodgers never materialized, but the Cardinals and Braves also were linked to the second baseman. Minnesota wants to maximize his value after a 42-homer season, but it’s in no rush to give away Dozier – as evidenced by LA's decision to instead pursue Logan Forsythe.
White Sox finish the sale
Chris Sale and Adam Eaton already have been shipped out, but plenty of valuable veterans remain as the rebuild continues in earnest. In addition to the aforementioned David Robertson, Jose Quintana, Melky Cabrera, Todd Frazier, Jose Abreu and Brett Lawrie are still available.