Bowden: MLB teams that should be considering unpopular deals for star players this off-season

Being a general manager is not a popularity contest. Sometimes making an unwelcome decision is the right one to get a franchise.

for most Citizens Crowds, superb handling John Soto to me parents Deadline Trade was the most unpopular trade of the year, but no matter how much they hated the move, many understood the thought process behind it: the last-place team who couldn’t extend Soto and dominated it for only two years. Half seasons flipped it (and Josh Bell) for your top five potential clients (and Luke Voigt), instantly renew the farm system. Now the Nationals’ future is brighter, and starting in 2024 – what would have been Soto’s last season under contract – they should see meaningful progress at the big league level.

Soto’s trade has been unique and will take years to truly evaluate the deal, but there are many other teams that should consider trading big-name players this season and not wait until next year’s trade deadline. Many of the following suggestions will not be popular with your local fan base, but please understand that I am not trolling you. I really think these teams should weigh the circulation of these stars this winter. Although they are unpopular, for the right payoff, these types of deals can be smart games that offer long-term benefits, including the flexibility of future payroll to create better listings.

Here are five teams you should consider these unpopular off-season deals. Will this break the comments section?

1. Angels – Shohei Ohtani, RHP/DH


Shohei Ohtani (John E. Sokolovsky/USA Today)

Ohtani is the best player on the planet and a rhino. The sport has never seen better players (sorry Babe Ruth) and no one who can do more on the field than Ohtani. On the hill, he posted 2.43 ERAs in 25 starts with 196 attacks and 36 walks in 148 runs. On the board, he scored roughly 0.360 in the percentile base while scoring 0.536 (149 OPS+) and hit 27 doubles, six triples and 34 home runs. He’s been worth 8.7 WAR this season, according to the baseball reference. He’s won MVP, Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger honors and made two All-Star teams since 2018. But Ohtani, 28, will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and is unlikely to re-sign with Angels Because he wants to play for a competitor during his early years.

So, angels, whose owner Arte Moreno said He is exploring the sale of the team, they have no choice but to make Ohtani the headline address of the San Diego Winter Meetings. If traded, the payout is expected to exceed what the Citizens earned for Soto, even though Soto had been under the team’s control for more than two years at the time of the deal for what would be one year with Ohtani. This is because Ohtani is two players in one. Therefore, I would argue that one year of Ohtani equals two years (approximately) of Soto. Additionally, I believe the Angels should allow Otani’s trading team to extend it at the time of the deal, to maximize their potential return.

Free agent class this winter It will be uploaded with stars – From Aaron Judge to me Jacob Degrom to me Tria Turner – But Ohtani’s availability may complicate the market further. It will add a layer of intrigue. Teams competing with well-equipped farm systems, such as DodgersAnd the sailorsAnd the blue jaysAnd the giantsAnd the basicsAnd the Yankees And the OriolesHe could be in a strong position to pull off a game-changing business deal for Otani.

2. Brewers – Corbin Burnes, RHP


Corbin Burns (Benny Seo/USA Today)

Burns, 27, is one of baseball’s top novice shooters. He has posted 3.15 sub eras in each of the past three seasons, with 67 starts. He led the National League in the ERA (2.43) last year and won the Cy Young Award. He followed that up with a solid season, hitting 223 hits in 184 2/3 runs and making his team his second consecutive All-Star. Burns, who made $6.5 million in his first year of salary arbitration eligibility, was very cost-effective for the Brewers. However, they only dominated him for another two years after this season and it’s unrealistic to think that they could sign him in the long run; Buying his free agent years would take nearly $40 million out of $30 million per season.

The Brewers learned their lesson after dealing Josh Hader To the Padres on Deadline Trade: Trading star players when you’re in the middle of a pennant race comes with huge risks at the club and can split a team. Milwaukee It slipped in the rankings right after that trade, although it was a smart long-term move. With regards to Burns, if the brewers wait until the 2023-24 season to move him, the comeback will be much less because he will only have one year left of control. So if they were to trade it, the best time would be this winter.

It’s a tough decision, but if The Brewers want to be perpetually competitive and avoid rebuilding, they may have to consider trading their best pitcher early in their career. This year’s Free Agent category will include Aces like deGrom and Justin Verlander, but they are 34 and 39 years old, respectively. The rival teams would like to land Burns, a legitimate player and rookie in Game 1, as he enters his 28-year season. If he succeeds in making it to the commercial market, the return will be great. Remember, there is no team in MLB He doesn’t want Burns at or near the top of his spin. Yes, it won’t be popular in Milwaukee, but after watching the Hader deal unfold, and without negotiations with Burns over a long-term contract, a deal should be considered after this season, especially if the Brewers don’t make the playoffs. .

3. Rice – Wonder Franco, SS


Wonder Franco (Mike Waters/USA Today)

The rays Franco signed for Club friend’s 11-year contract worth $182 million last november. Tampa Bay has been praised for its financial commitment to securing a high-ceilinged player of Franco’s caliber over the long term. So why trade a player who turns into a future champion after just 140 games in the major tournaments? Well, to improve the roster of big leagues in many positions over the long term and to take future financial risks off the table for one of the lowest-income teams in the sport. Badris mode with Fernando Tates Jr. It is a reminder of that danger. Tates signed a 14-year, $340 million extension in 2021 and has since suffered injuries to his wrist and shoulder, as well as testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs and subsequent suspension. Or, on a much smaller scale, how about twins And the Byron Buxton, who suffered another injury this season in his first year of seven, a $100 million extension was signed last winter. Franco’s talent is obvious, and if you’re a big market team, the risk of around $200 million is well worth it. However, seeing Franco injure his wrist and lose two months this season, in the first year of the deal, is a reminder of the health risks that accompany all players, and which can be even more detrimental to a small market franchise like Tampa Bay.

It is clear that the value of Franco’s trade is high. He’s a 21-year-old superstar, and you don’t have to worry about being hired or years of being out of control. Big market teams like the Yankees, red socksAnd the PhyllisDodgers, navigators, and cardinals can load the truck with attractive expectation packages. And all six of these teams need a long-term answer at Shortstop and want a talent like Franco to sign an older short-term contract in the free agent market. Ask Rays if they’d take the same package the Citizens got for Soto if they traded Franco now, and the answer would be a resounding “yes.” Unloved? You better believe it. Smart to look? That’s true too!

4. Diamondbacks – Ketel Marte, 2B


Ketel Marte (Charles LeClaire / USA Today)

The Diamondbacks Signed Marte in March for a five-year, $76 million deal with the club’s option for 2028. It’s a club-friendly deal at a long-term value to Arizona. However, Diamondbacks don’t have a lot of trading assets. Their farm system has finally produced a strong core led by novice players Corbin Carol And the Alec Thomasas well as defensive players dalton farshaw And the Jake McCarthyAll of them are aged 26 or younger. Diamondbacks can dangle substitution-hitting Marte, whose ability to play second base and on the field enhances his commercial value.

Marte, 28, had his best season of ‘live ball’ year of 2019, when he scored 329 points with 32 home runs. He was limited to 90 games last season due to injuries and hit .318/.377/.532 with 14 homers. This season, he’s had a descending year at the plate, scoring just 244 with 11 home players in 129 games. (He has scored 39 doubles in his career.) Marty is in his prime and should bounce back. But his swap for young players ineligible to referee fits the Diamondbacks’ schedule of competition better than keeping Marte in his thirties. If they don’t move him this season, they should think about it again at next year’s trade deadline, especially if the first half is strong. His affordable contract and years of control should boost the potential return.

5. Marlins – Pablo Lopez, RHP


Pablo Lopez (Troy Taormina / USA Today)

The Marlins He shopped at López on the trade deadline and set a high price for the teams that were chasing after him, such as the Cardinals and the Yankees. In fact, according to Reports From the athleteKen Rosenthal, at one point the Marlins asked the Yankees the best short prospect Oswald Peraza And the second rule Jaleber Torres Lopez and veteran player Miguel Rojas, but New York said no. I think this is an outrageous request, but if the Marilyn family lowered their price to Peraza just for López and the Yankees said yes, Miami should close the deal and call a press conference without hesitation.

Lopez, 26, had a strong start to his career, scoring 4.02 ERAs and 1,203 WHIPs in 91 starts and averaging 8.6 strokes per nine runs. He’s under team control for another two years. The Marlins is full of throwing but lacks the position players need to compete. They tread the waters this season with a win percentage of 0.412 that basically matches last year’s mark. López’s trade-off for a prospect like Peraza makes perfect sense.

(Top photo by Shohei Ohtani: Alex Gallardo/Associated Press)

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