Trade speculation roundtable

Looking to avoid developing and writing my own piece and looking to co-opt the thoughts and quips of my peers, I decided to get the staff of The Catbird Seat to sit down and chat about trade deadline possibilities. It's still mostly theory at this point, but that's half the fun of it. Nick Schaefer, Collin Whitchurch and Matt Adams all pitched in.

James: I’m not even sure what we’re talking about. There is a Chris Sale rumor today and I’m not even sure it deserves our official recognition.

The most substantive stuff came in the form of Dayan Viciedo rumors about the Mariners and Giants over the weekend, which brings us to the logical quandary of this whole thing.  I wrote an ESPN trade preview where I considered logical candidates (Alexei Ramirez, Adam Dunn), and there’s silence on them and movement on someone I think to be…hard to love beyond theory. Once the advance scouts show up and see Viciedo hackeysack it out there in the field, thing have to die down, right?

Collin: All it takes is one dumb GM to get rid of someone like Viciedo (Hi, Jack Z!)

James: They admittedly have a lot of motivation. They need a lefty-masher.

Matt: A 25-year old Dayan Viciedo is only dumb to those of us that watch him everyday.

James: Seems telling, no?

Collin: Am I alone in wondering if there’s an actual market for John Danks? The White Sox would be fools to not jump all over that, right?

Matt: I’ve seen some things, I think from beat writers, that say the Sox wouldn’t be interested in moving Danks. That seems like a silly statement to me. It also seems like a stretch that anybody would give much up for him, which might be why they don’t care to bother moving him.

Collin: I feel like I saw something a while back about the Yankees potentially having interest in Danks, but I imagine that’s dead now that they got McCarthy (who, coincidentally, was once traded for Danks).

Matt: Morosi has garbled some things about the Blue Jays having interest in Gordon Beckham, and that’s a guy I think the Sox jump at the opportunity to move.

Collin: CONOR just hit another HR. Can we trade him, too? /ducks away from James.

James: The Sox both like to work with the Jays and would like some of the starting pitching they have buried. I just don’t know if Beckham can lure much. Surely they would need...something more.

Doesn’t Davidson’s season in the woods kind of putting Gillaspie plans in a freeze for a bit? DOESN’T IT?

Does Avisail’s arm being attached again make it easier to bail on Viciedo? I don’t know why, but the guy was already on his way out of the rotation at the beginning of the year. If Garcia playing is already on the horizon, it’s not like you lack something meaningful you’re developing.

Nick: They could trade away Gillaspie and Beckham and still have plenty of infield options floating around at AAA to at least hold things down for a while. Semien has been ghastly in AAA, but we’ve seen that he can...well, survive in the majors. Tyler Saladino, Micah Johnson, and Carlos Sanchez are all getting closer to ready as well so Davidson isn’t the only variable at play there. I would have to imagine Saladino would come up first as he is the oldest, most polished, and would suffer the least developmentally. I would be very scared of putting Micah Johnson at 3B, certainly, as he is Captain Errors.

Collin: The White Sox don’t have anyone they’re making available who is going to net anything particularly meaningful in return, but that doesn’t mean you hang onto them. At the same time, you don’t trade guys JUST BECAUSE they’re not in your future plans.

Nick: Adam Dunn just seems like a no-brainer to me. The Mariners are for real and need exactly what he does.

Collin: Dunn is probably the exception to what I just said.

Nick: Re: Beckham to Toronto - it makes sense, and I believe has been rumored in past years, as 2B has been a persistent problem for them. James mentioned he’s a bit underwhelming in terms of getting something good in return - so what if you do Beckham + Minor Leaguer for Much Better Minor Leaguer?

James: And with Beckham, it shall be a problem for them again!

Nick: Better Than Izturis: The Gordon Beckham Story.

Collin: Which good minor leaguer are we giving up in this scenario? I went to a Triple-A game the other day and sat next to the scouts so I’m now a professional scout.

James: Why that Erik Johnson kid was a top-100 prospect this year, don’t ya know.

Nick: Everyone seems to like Chris Beck more than I do so maybe Anthopoulos is one of those people.

Collin: What do y’all think about getting Brandon Maurer in return in a potential deal with Seattle? Starter potential, and I think worst-case scenario is he’s a solid arm out of the ‘pen.

Nick: I’m 99% sure he’s a reliever. Probably a pretty good one, but they messed up his development pretty bad jerking him around in the past few years. If that’s the best they can do for Dunn, then that’s the market value for him - which makes sense, there aren’t a ton of buyers for him. I won’t be upset, though, because that’s better than the nothing they get for him if they don’t trade him.

Matt: Which is the biggest concern about this trade season: nothing happens.

Collin: I just want to see Maurer vs. Mauer at some point in the future. (Maybe it’s happened, I don’t know).

Nick: If Mauer is playing that means he’s healthy and therefore my money is on Mauer.

Collin: Will you quit responding to my pointless statements with logic?

Matt: Mauer has never faced Maurer, to answer your other question/pondering

Nick: One reason why there is such a real threat that nothing happens is that part of their offseason strategy was to sign guys like Scott Downs (and last year, Matt Lindstrom) because if they perform well they would be nice rentals to flip for low probability lotto tickets in low A or something, but we all know what happened with those guys.

James: Belisario too. It’s amazing how much we loved all of their buy-low pitching choices and how none of them worked. Not one.

Nick: Guerra has been good, but he’s not even arb eligible yet. So he could bring something back, but you don’t have a huge incentive to deal him either. Nice guy to have around.

Collin: I still love the Mitchell Boggs signing. But maybe that’s just me.

James: Mitchell, too.

Guerra was a late-Spring waiver claim and I group him separately in order to fit my narrative.

Nick: I see de Aza has followed his really great June with an atrocious July. At this point you’d probably be selling low on him, but other GMs can probably see what he is at this point, despite his rough first half.

Matt: The thing about guys like De Aza and Beckham is that teams know what those guys are and why would they give anything of value up for them when they can just pick them up after they’re DFA’d in 3 months unless they’re absolutely crucial to their current operation? (they’re not).

Nick: I dunno - I don’t think it’s crazy to think that adding a league average 2B to the Blue Jays could be the difference between a game or two in the AL East.

Matt: If that’s the case, the Sox jump all over it, but then we’re probably back to what they’re willing to offer and if it includes that pitching James spoke of.

Collin: Belisario just threw 1.1 scoreless against Boston. TRADE HIM NOW. (Seriously, Boston’s offense is terrible).

James: I don’t know if they’re terrible so much as sopping wet with misery. Talented dudes! Little will to live.

Let’s get to Alexei. He’s probably the best trade chit (I still can’t believe it’s not “chip”) and I see minimal indication they’re going to use him.

Matt: I know it’s an ill-advised thought process, but I do wonder how keen the Sox are on the idea of selling off all of the Cubans after presumably using it as a bargaining chip for Abreu. Yes I know they paid the most money.

Collin: Maybe I’m just blanking, but I’m struggling to think of a contender with a glaring hole at shortstop (except maybe Derek Jeter’s team, but I digress). Could the Giants use him? I don’t know much about Brandon Crawford but I know he’s a defensive ace.

Nick: I didn’t realize how terrible Jean Segura has been, but I can’t imagine the Brewers give up on him yet.

Collin: There’s always Detroit! I guess they like this Suarez kid, but would they trust him in the playoffs? Could you stomach dealing Alexei to Detroit? I could for the right price.

Nick: I have always been a fan of trading within the division if you think it closes their window faster and opens yours sooner.

Matt: I’m with Nick. The goal of a trade is to do the best thing for your situation. Other team shouldn’t matter. And the Sox have shown that willingness with both the Peavy/Avisail and the Escobar/Liriano.

Collin: For the record, I’m fine with it, too. It’d also be pretty funny in that it’d rile up the meatheads.

James: 1. The Mariners ALSO have a terrible shortstop. They’re a franchise made from our dreams.

2. I don’t know if trading Eduardo Escobar in the division is great proof of fearlessness. Also, last year it was pretty clear the Sox were multiple years away from the competitive window. Now, maybe not. Could be more hesitance.

3. That would be quite the turn of events for the meatheads to stop hating Alexei.

Collin: Let’s just give them Alexei, Dunn AND Viciedo. And get a pile of lotto tickets in return.

James: Literally. That’s actually what “cash considerations” are.

Nick: I’m worried about the Mariners as a trade partner, because they are one of those organizations that puts in a concerted effort to trade access to prospect writers in exchange for hype, which means a lot of prospects that aren’t as good as we in the public think they are. I presume that Hahn is smart enough not to get snookered by that, but I’m not really thrilled with their system.

Matt: Yeah I’d like to think that Hahn isn’t operating off of the same site memberships that we are. At least not exclusively.

Nick: It was a rambly way to say that I don’t love what the Mariners have. It’s a great fit in terms of Mariners needing Alexei, Viciedo, and Dunn.

Matt: What’s not to like about Daniel Hultzen and Dustin Ackley and...oh, I see what you mean.

Collin: I like the Mariners as trade partners in that I think Jackie Z isn’t the brightest of GMs and is also desperate to keep his job.

Nick: The desperation is somewhat diminished by how well they’re doing this year, but I agree that Jack Z is a desirable trading partner. I do like James Paxton a lot.

James: Nah, forget it, that joke wasn’t any good. You guys saw me start to type it but the readers will never know.

Collin: I missed it! Stupid work.

James: I was gonna say the prospect evaluators weren’t high on Hultzen, he must be undervalued…….

...See? boring, not even worth saying.


Nick: As we write this, Viciedo drew a walk and de Aza tripled! #tradevalue

James: After two awful Tyler Flowers hacks, DJ says “I’ve been where Tyler Flowers is right now…” Does he mean on his way out of the league?

Nick: The organization still doesn’t appear to have a starting catcher for next year anywhere in the system if they intend on competing for next year.

Oh wow - Beckham is down to .243?

Matt: Terrible week plus. Maybe two weeks. I dunno

My favorite thing about trade season is the widespread belief that players can “trick” other organizations into wanting them with a few good games or at-bats.

Nick: You know who could really use Alexei is the Reds.

Matt: Cozart? That was a consideration last season too, right?

Nick: I’m trying to think of realistic possibilities here.
James: Can’t they trade him to like, the Navy or something? That's a common option for reforming wayward youths.


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