Best Hot Stove trade candidates this winter
Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from Ken Rosenthal’s Hot Stove guide. Read the complete piece here.
These guys could find themselves in Hot Stove trade packages this offseason.
Matt Harvey, Mets: The Mets shouldn’t break up their pitching unless they’re sick of Harvey, which they shouldn’t be. Besides, it’s difficult to imagine them getting the young impact middle infielder they would want for their ace, who is eligible for arbitration for the first time.
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals: The Nats entertained offers for him last offseason, but the circumstances are different now. Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister are about to leave the club as free agents, and the return for Strasburg as he enters his walk year probably could not justify a trade.
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies: If the Rockies can trade Tulo, why not CarGo? Gonzalez is coming off a career-high 40 homers. He’s fairly priced at $37 million over the next two seasons. And rest assured, other teams covet his left-handed power.
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers: Just how badly do the Dodgers want him gone, if at all? We’re about to find out. Puig’s value is at a low point, but he will play next season at 25 and is under club control for three more years. Another option for the Dodgers: Trade Andre Ethier and/or Carl Crawford and sign an elite defender such as Heyward or Alex Gordon.
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers: Played in only 103 games last season due to a broken left toe, and his offensive numbers took a hit. Still, his contract is incredibly attractive — $4 million next season plus a $5.25 million club option in ’17.
Aroldis Chapman/Jay Bruce, Reds: Don’t ask me what the Reds will do; ask owner Bob Castellini. Chapman and Bruce are entering their free-agent years — and also will have value in July if Castellini prefers to face reality then.
Starlin Castro, Cubs: Yielded to Addison Russell at short; now he must yield to Javier Baez at second. The good news for the Cubs: Castro rebuilt his value by hitting well and adapting to second base in the final two months.
Craig Kimbrel, Padres: Good luck. The early word on the Padres is that they will take the same approach that they did in July, listening on everyone, surveying the market for upgrades and remaining reluctant to rebuild.
Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox: New president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski needs to make Ramirez disappear and end the first-base experiment before it starts.
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox: Yes, Dombrowski exercised Buchholz’s $13 million club option, but does he actually trust him? Some rival executives think the answer is no.
Jurickson Profar, Rangers: Got off to a hot offensive start in the Arizona Fall League, but is serving only as a DH while recovering from a torn muscle in his right shoulder. The Rangers seemingly have no place for him in their middle infield; other teams want him.