Thoughts on the Three Guys Most Likely to be Traded in the next 24 hours or so...
--With a possible Jhonny Peralta suspension* looming, the Tigers need a shortstop. I’ve already argued they need a shortstop who can field anyway, but if Peralta is going to be suspended, then they REALLY need a shortstop. Enter Alexei. He can field. The bat is done, but it won't kill you down in the order and since he can still field, he’s being paid fairly. It’s not a steal by any means, but it’s not a bad contract either. And if you’re asking me why I’m trying to help the Tigers... I don’t know.
*My two cents on the Biogenesis stuff: MLB is way out of line and needs to slow their roll. I’m not saying I support PEDs in baseball, but unless these guys have tested positive, I’m not a fan of what they’re doing, which is the baseball equivalent of McCarthyism.
--It’ll be interesting to see if the Sox trade Rios and if so for what. I’m all over the place in trying to figure out his value: a decent bat and a good fielder. The good is that Rios has value, the bad, it’s not value that’s usually highly regarded. And on top of that, he’s owed a good chunk of money next year with a team option in 2015. That said, I looked at a bunch of past deals involving All-Star/near All-Star outfielders:
-  The Milwaukee Brewers traded Nelson Cruz and Carlos Lee to the Texas Rangers for Julian Cordero (minors), Francisco Cordero, Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix.
-  The New York Yankees traded C.J. Henry (minors), Jesus Sanchez (minors), Carlos Monasterios and Matt Smith to the Philadelphia Phillies* for Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle.
-  The St. Louis Cardinals traded Clayton Mortensen, Shane Peterson and Brett Wallace to the Oakland Athletics for Matt Holliday.
-  The New York Mets traded Carlos Beltran and cash to the San Francisco Giants for Zack Wheeler*.
-  The Houston Astros traded Hunter Pence and cash to the Philadelphia Phillies for a player to be named later, Jonathan Singleton (minors), Josh Zeid (minors) and Jarred Cosart. The Philadelphia Phillies sent Domingo Santana (minors) (August 15, 2011) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.
-  The Philadelphia Phillies traded Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants for Seth Rosin (minors), Tommy Joseph (minors) and Nate Schierholtz. (2012)
Lee, Abreu, and Beltran are all better hitters, and thus are bad comparisons even if they couldn’t field at Rios’ level. Holliday could, but was also a much better hitter. Those trades were also all when those guys were in the last year of their deals.
The first Hunter Pence trade (2011) he was hitting better than Rios, but isn’t the same fielder and was having a fluky season to begin with. However, if the Sox are able to get a package similar to that of the Astros got, I’d be very happy. But it’s probably unreasonable that the Sox could turn Rios into two top 100 prospects—which the Astros did. However, once you factor in age (Rios now is four years older than Pence then) and the contract the value of Rios is probably a top 100 prospect, especially if the Sox send/take on money in the deal. A top guy in the top 75 seems like a fair deal, especially when you consider that Rios isn’t a rental nor is his contract dead money.
*The Phillies did horrible in this deal; I still can’t believe the Giants gave up Wheeler for two months of Beltran.
--While I have no clue what the market for Rios will end up being and if they'll trade him, it appears nearly certain that Peavy is going to be traded. His market if much easier to figure out since the Cubs just traded Garza, who is essentially the same pitcher but whose contract ends at the end of the years. Peavy is signed for next season at a reasonable/bargain price if he stays healthy. I thought the Cubs did well, but not great, in their deal for Garza, and it’s reasonable for the Sox fans to think the South Siders can do better.
A few other deals with guys similar to that of Peavy:
-  The Detroit Tigers traded Brian Flynn (minors), Rob Brantly, Jacob Turner and 2013 compensation draft pick round B to the Miami Marlins for Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez and 2013 compensation draft pick round A.
-  The Arizona Diamondbacks traded Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a player to be named later, Patrick Corbin, Rafael Rodriguez and Joe Saunders. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim sent Tyler Skaggs (August 7, 2010) to the Arizona Diamondbacks to complete the trade.
The Tigers got Sanchez and Infante and in return gave up a top 40 prospect (Turner). Peavy isn’t as young as Sanchez, but their numbers are similar and Sanchez was in a walk year. Meanwhile, Peavy’s older than Haren was when he was traded nor is Peavy as good, but their contract situation are more alike. Skaggs and Corbin was a very nice return for the D-Backs.
Basically, the Sox should get a prospect back who is in the top 50, but really probably in the 30-45 range depending on if anyone else is involved in the deal. Personally, I think the Sox should go for quality over quantity. They’ve got a bunch of C/C+ guys in the system. What they lack is top end talent. Adding two or three guys in the top 100 of all of baseball would be huge and set this team up for 2015 and beyond.
Oh and it’d make the rest of this season and next year a lot more fun to watch too.