The Hot Stove season has cooled off as many of the high profile free agents have signed. Clubs that missed out in free agency can look to the trade market to make changes. This post will outlay a hypothetical 3-team trade that in my opinion would be beneficial for all parties involved.
The White Sox would like to move Adam Dunn’s massive $15 million dollar salary to save money. Dunn’s OBP in 3 seasons with the White Sox .292, .333, and .320 is too close to his weight 285 lbs. Dunn just hasn’t been able to make the adjustment to being a full-time DH. The White Sox signed Jose Abreu to a 6-year $68 million dollar deal this offseason to play 1B. Paul Konerko was brought back on a 1-year deal worth $2.5 million dollars for a farewell tour. The White Sox are a club in transition that needs to move on from veterans and rebuild with youth. Jake Peavy, Matt Thornton, and Alex Rios were sent packing last summer for prospects and salary relief. Moving Dunn for salary relief and possibly a low-level prospect at this stage of his career would be a positive development. Dunn isn’t worth a package of blue-chip prospects at this point.
Clearing up the DH spot would allow the White Sox to move Dayan Viciedo to DH. “The Tank” has graded out as a below average left fielder in his young career. Viciedo has a -2.4 defensive win share for his career. The advanced fielding stats for last season aren’t pretty. The Range Factor per game (1.46 with the league average of 2.23 per game) and Fielding percentage (.970 with a league average of .987) don’t help the pitchers.
The Brewers have Rickie Weeks $11.5 million dollar salary on the books for 2014. There’s a club option that can be voided if Weeks doesn’t have 600 plate appearances in 2014 or 1,200 combined in 2013-14. Scooter Gennett batted .324 with a .356 OBP last season with the Brewers. Gennett has earned the 2B job going into spring training. Weeks is essentially the elephant in the room at this stage of his career. A change of scenery may be the best course of action for Weeks. GM Doug Melvin has failed to land a 1B as Corey Hart signed with the Mariners and Logan Morrison was traded to the Mariners. The Brewers have also been linked to the Mets Ike Davis. Hunter Morris is the top 1B prospect in the organization, but struggled in Triple-A last season. The 24 HR was good but, the .310 OBP leaves something to be desired.
The Brewers and White Sox both could benefit from a Weeks-Dunn swap. The White Sox would save $3.5 million dollars on the deal. Last season the Brewers 1B were the least productive in all of baseball with a .629 OPS. Dunn’s career .934 OPS at Miller Park in 288 plate appearances may be worth the risk. Acquiring Weeks could trigger another domino.
The White Sox may also best be suited to explore options for 2B Gordon Beckham as well. The 8th overall pick in the 2008 draft hasn’t cut the mustard in his time with the White Sox. 2014 is his first year of arbitration eligibility and free agency comes in 2016. With an offensive win share of 1.1, 1.4, and 1.1 the last 3 seasons, the White Sox should be considering options to move on from Beckham. Marcus Semien and Micah Johnson are in the pipeline and could be ready to play in the majors in the near future. The White Sox have position players in their farm system, but lack quality pitching prospects.
The Blue Jays have shown interest in Beckham in the past and have a depth of arms in their farm system. The Blue Jays probably won’t move Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, or Marcus Stroman for anything outside of a top flight player. Lefties Daniel Norris and Sean Nolin could possibly be had for the right price. Upgrading 2B should be a priority for the Blue Jays as they ranked last in all of baseball with a .556 OPS at the position in 2013. Beckham would be a cost effective upgrade over Maicer Izturis and Ryan Goins.
All parties involved would improve with this 3-team deal as the White Sox can shed salary and add prospects. The Brewers and Blue Jays would acquire players at positions of weakness to help them try to win this season. Feel free to post any comments.