Top Trade Options On The Market
Free agency is already in full swing, which means many of the top names have already found new homes. Though there has been quite a bit of movement on the trade market already, with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers heading to San Diego, Josh Donaldson going to Toronto and a few other notable moves, there are a few players that could wind up getting moved prior to the season kicking off.
Much like a majority of the Philadelphia Phillies roster, Hamels has to be seen as available to other teams just based on the fact that the team should (hypothetically) be in a rebuilding phase. General Manager Ruben Amaro has defied logic in the past, but he would be crazy to not at least listen to what teams would offer for his ace.
Hamels is the cream of the crop as far as the trade market goes, as he’s a proven ace who is under team control for at least the next four seasons with a contract that is right in line with his value (along with a $20 million team option for the fifth season).
While he has not experienced Kershaw-level dominance, he is still just about as reliable of a pitcher that you’re going to find, and potentially a better option than the top two free agent pitchers that are left unsigned, James Shields and Max Scherzer.
As we have seen in the past, Amaro has a tendency to expect a bit too much of a return in any transactions, so the price for Hamels might be higher than if he were on any other team. It’s going to take a top prospect or two to pry him away from Philly, but the return could end up being more than worth it if he goes to the right team.
If this were a case of comparing talent with no external factors, Tulowitzki would have undoubtedly topped this list. When he’s healthy, he’s undoubtedly the best shortstop (and one of the best players overall) in all of baseball.
He has won two Gold Gloves in his career and just as many Silver Sluggers, sports a .371 OBP for his career and has a 20 stolen base season on his resume. He is the prototype of what you would want out of a shortstop, but there’s one major problem for any team acquiring him; he can’t stay healthy.
After playing 151 games in the 2009 season, Tulo has went on to miss 281 games over the past five years, including 71 just last season. It hasn’t been a series of nagging injuries, but rather some major ones that include hip surgery, groin surgery, a broken wrist and a strained quad that caused him to miss nearly 50 games.
He’s under team control for the next 6 years, which would be a dream with his production, but could end up being a nightmare with his injury history. The cost of acquiring him from the Colorado Rockies will be steep, which will only increase the risk of trading for him.
Unlike the other options that have been listed, Zimmermann does not offer the security of sticking with a team beyond this coming season, as 2015 is the last year on his contract. He’ll be making $16.5 million this year, but that could skyrocket if/when he hits free agency.
Regardless of his contractual situation, however, Zimmermann has quickly asserted himself as one of the top right-handed arms in the game and he’s managed to stand out in a rotation that also features Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister.
Over the past three seasons, Zimmermann is 45-22 with a 2.96 ERA (3.18 FIP) and a superb 4.43 K/BB ratio that was even higher this past season at an astounding 6.28, which was good for 6th in all of baseball. He’s only 28 years old and he seems to be improving with each season, so we may not have even seen his top form at this point.
Giving up a substantial package for what could be a one-year rental is always a nerve-wracking proposition, but the talent that Zimmermann brings to the table should outweigh any of those concerns. For a team that is in need of a pitcher to put them over the top, they should have no qualms about making a move with the Washington Nationals.
What other trade options are out there that you find appealing? What would you be willing to give up for any of the players listed?