After last year’s offseason found new teams — and record contracts — for superstars like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, this offseason could be something different. With many impressive prospects working their way through the system, this offseason’s trades may not have as immediate of an impact.
This offseason, almost 50 starting pitchers will become free agents, which could really change the trade market. This year’s class is led by all-stars such as Gerrit Cole, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and former first overall draft pick Stephen Strasburg, who can opt-out of the last 4 years of his contract. Many other stars will also become free agents. These players include Anthony Rizzo, Mike Moustakas, Anthony Rendon, and Edwin Encarnacion.
Many other players will switch teams by way of trades. Last year, we saw some major ones that included the Marlins sending catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies for 3 players and international bonus slot money.
Here are two that we might see this year:
1. Mets send Noah Syndergaard and cash considerations to the Yankees.
Many baseball fans were highly expecting the Yankees to trade for a pitcher before the trade deadline. They didn’t make that move and this remains one of their major weaknesses. This would be a way to build up their pitching with another stud.
The return to the Mets might mean they gave up left-hander J.A. Happ, who is under contract through next season. Jordan Montgomery, who is expected to return from Tommy John surgery soon, may also be a reasonable piece. Happ is a 36-year-old starter who the Yankees acquired at last year’s trade deadline. He is currently 11-8 and pitching with a 5.57 earned run average in 26 games. If he can improve slightly, Happ can become a good trade target this offseason. Montgomery, a younger pitcher, was 11-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 35 starts in 2017 and 2018, which were his first two years in the big leagues. After he made a great rehab start in Class-A Advanced Tampa on August 25th, Montgomery might be returning this season.
If Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman are willing to sacrifice two starters, this could be a good deal for the Mets as well. Syndergaard is under contract until 2021, making 6 million a year. Montgomery and Happ could help fill the Mets’ starting rotation.
2. Astros send Abraham Toro and cash considerations to the Red Sox
If the Red Sox traded away Bobby Dalbec, one of their top infield prospects, they could have some more DH depth. With Michael Chavis and Rafael Devers at 3rd base for the Red Sox, they don’t have much room to call up Dalbec. As he is the No. 2 overall prospect in the Sox’s organization, Dalbec could draw some big attention in the future. On the Astros, Dalbec could back up Yuli Guriel at first base.
Meanwhile, Toro is the No. 6 overall prospect in the Astros organization. The Sox would love a good hitter like Toro to backup JD Martinez at DH. This season, Toro hit .424 with the Astros Triple-A organization and .211 in the Majors. Once this 22-year-old prospect becomes more comfortable in the Majors, he could be a valuable player.
While teams often surprise fans with their offseason trades, these are two that might happen.