Category Archives: Trade Talk Tuesday

My Plan for the Mets Offseason

May 2, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) reacts after swinging for a strike against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

I originally posted this article on Amazin’ Avenue as part of their AAOP (Amazin’ Avenue Offseason Plan) Contest. Check it out there!

“We enter this offseason in a far better position than I have ever experienced during my tenure as the Mets’ General Manager. We are coming off of a season in which we played in the World Series, for Pete’s sake! And that has had a huge impact on just about everything- heck, even the famed AAOP contest is starting about a month after schedule!

I had you fooled- all of you guys… You thought that I didn’t know what I was doing. But when I had a lineup containing Johnny Monell, Danny Muno, Eric Campbell, Darrell Ceciliani and John Mayberry in the middle of June, I knew what I had in store. I knew that Michael Conforto would be ready by the end of July. I was already planning to swing a couple of trades for impact bench bats, a couple nice relievers, and a superstar lineup-altering position player. Well, Kelly, Juan, Tyler, Addison, and Yoenis all came into Daddy’s arms, and they all helped bring my plan of success to fruition.

We missed the big-prize by three games (in reality, just about seven outs), but we are not done yet. When I said I was expecting 90 wins before the season, you guys laughed in my face. Welp, look how that turned out. Now all you need to do is trust me…

I will bring you to the promised land.”

-Richard Lynn “Sandy” Alderson (from this point forward, any “quotes” should be “attributed” to this great man himself)

 

Arbitration and Non-Tenders

Arb-Eligible Players

  • Matt Harvey- $4.7MM
  • Ruben Tejada- $2.5MM
  • Lucas Duda- $6.8MM
  • Addison Reed- $5.7MM
  • Jenrry Mejia- $2.0MM
  • Jeurys Familia- $3.3MM
  • Josh Edgin- $600K

Non-tender Eric Young Jr., Buddy Carlyle, Carlos Torres, Anthony Recker
“These guys have been a pain in my behind for far too long. EY is a nice burst of energy and has legs quicker than American Pharoah, but he doesn’t fit at any position and did nothing to warrant sticking around here after I traded to bring him back to NY this summer. Buddy far exceeded my expectations in 2014, but he suffered from injuries this year and couldn’t even get on the field, so we had to let him go. At this point, I’m much more comfortable having Alex Carlos Torres pinch-running than I am putting him on the bump with the game on the line. And Anthony, boy I just don’t understand that kid… He looks like he’s straight out of a Marvel comic, with super-strength, but the man can hardly even hit the ball out of the infield.”

 

One Big Trade

Send Lucas Duda, Jonathan Niese, Jayce Boyd and an international signing slot to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for Marcus Semien

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“Lucas and Jon have both been key parts of this team over the past few years and I appreciate all that they’ve given us. And Jayce has always been able to hit at every level in our organization, but we simply don’t have a fit for him on the current or future roster. That’s why I called up my broseph hermano brother from another mother mentor Billy Beane. I knew that he would have interest in all three of our guys…

…Lucas is a tremendous upgrade over Mark Canha at first, providing great value as both a hitter and a fielder. Jon has the stuff the be a key southpaw in the middle of a rotation, and the A’s literally do not have a lefty pitcher in their top-6 SP options. And I knew that Jayce would be an interesting guy for Billy, for two simple reasons: 1) he always hits for a high AVG and OBP; and 2) he’s been able to play formidably at all three OF positions as well as 1B, so he provides the key “utility factor” that Billy loves.

And on our side of the deal, Marcus fits like a charm. I’m not quite comfortable throwing Dilson into a full-time role at second base just yet… And so this deal allows me to move Wilmer to second- his natural position- and replace him at shortstop with a top-10 WAR shortstop who has a whole lotta potential.

Billy was willing to move Mr. Semien for a few reasons… First off, he was a bit frustrated by Marcus’s lack of defensive production, but this just doesn’t worry me because I think that his defense will improve drastically as he matures. Also, three of Billy’s top-8 prospects are shortstops (Barreto, Martin, Pinder), and they should all be ready in a timely fashion, so it only makes sense for him to clear out the SS position before there is a major logjam. And finally—what I think was the most important thing in swaying Billy towards this deal—was that I promised a dinner at Peter Luger’s Steakhouse on me next time the A’s come to town.”

 

Free Agents Galore!

“I’m happy as heck that Fred and Jeff are giving me some more leeway to increase the payroll this offseason! I look forward to showing up to the Winter Meetings without being emasculated by my fellow-executives, telling me ‘your team is from New York, and you spend money like you’re from Middle-of-Nowhere, Missouri…’ That really hurt my feelings. I cried. A lot.”

Sign Chris Davis to a Six-Year, $132 million deal, with a player opt-out clause after four years (AAV of $22mil).

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“Chris Davis is an absolute no-brainer for me. Especially once I traded Lucas, I knew I was going to make this move. Chris will be our impact bat this offseason. I was originally planning to re-sign Yoenis, and then I decided I was going to offer a long-term deal to Jason Heyward. But then I realized that we have a Gold Glove winner in CF, one who we are paying $2.5mil per year. If we’re adding a big-time bat, it had to be at first base. A dominant first baseman is the key to a great lineup, and while Duda was superb at times, he just didn’t fill that role.”

Sign Joakim Soria to a Three-Year, $22.5 million deal (AAV of $7.5mil).

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“We saw it during the World Series- we need a top-of-the-line setup man to bridge the gap to Familia. In August, my plan was to re-sign Tyler Clippard to fill this role, but he was totally ineffective in the playoffs and the end of the regular season, so he was out of the question for me. Joakim can absolutely be that guy.

I was originally between Soria and Darren O’Day, but I decided to go with Joakim for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Darren is going to command a bit more money than Joakim, for very similar production. Also, Darren is notably a submarine pitcher, and I don’t know how comfortable I feel about that. Sidearm guys have tended to either have their production fall off early, or they’ve been susceptible to significant injuries. Soria is an experienced, two-time All Star who is coming off of a good season. We’re damn excited to have a back end of the rotation consisting of Addison- Jo (that’s my new nickname for Soria, you like it?)- Jeurys.”

Sign Gerardo Parra to a Three-Year, $25.5 million deal (AAV of $8.5mil).

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“Well, we really needed a lefty platoon-mate for Juan out in center field, and Gerardo absolutely got the job done. We were quite interested in him at the trade deadline, but Milwaukee’s asking price was way too high, so we passed him up and ended up going with Yoenis. But now that Gerardo is out on the open market and we’ve moved on from Cespedes, he really fits the bill for our club. He’s coming off of the best offensive season of his career (with a OFF of 7.5) and what was tied for the best base-running season of his career (posting a 2.0 BsR). And he’s got some great righty splits, hitting for a .303 AVG, 11 HRs, and 134 hits against righties this year. Having a dynamic duo of Juan and Gerardo in CF, each boasting different skillsets, suits our team well for success.”

Sign Jerry Blevins and Juan Uribe to One-Year, $1.5 million deals.

Flushing, NY - August 12: New York Mets vs Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. New York Mets left fielder Michael Cuddyer #23 hits an RBI single driving home New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe #2 during the 4th inning. New York Mets third baseman Juan Uribe #2 is greeted in the dugout after he scores on the play. Wednesday, August 12, 2015. (Photo by Anthony Causi)

“These are two guys who we loved having last year. Both provide a veteran presence and are extremely valuable in their particular niche areas.

Jerry is a great LOOGY who, in combination with either Edgin or Gilmartin, should make our bullpen very lefty-proof. In his career, lefty hitters have hit at a .200 pace against Blevins, which provides some proof for just how good of a lefty specialist he can be for us. In his 2015 campaign with us, albeit small sample size (only 4.2 innings), he really did his job, not surrendering a hit, a walk, or a run in any of his outings. Now all we need is for him to watch out for those curbs and sidewalks…

And Mr. UriBAE provides so much for this team. He can absolutely play at 3B and SS, and could also potentially play 1B or 2B if we were in an absolute pinch. It is key to have a good backup 3B like Juan, to have good insurance in case Wright goes down for a period of time. Juan has an inherent clutch factor that can come up huge in our “meaningful September games” (wait, so is that phrase retired or…)! Welcoming Juan back has been our plan all along, and we know that he provides the versatility, skill, and clutch-factor that we so need off of our bench.”

Sign Mat Latos to a One-Year, $1 million deal.

Latos

“With Jon Niese now in Oakland, we were missing a 5th starter who can hold down the fort until Zack Wheeler returns mid-season from his TJ Surgery. We were first thinking of retaining big sexy the greatest player ever fan-favorite, Bartolo Colon, but because he wanted to start all year ‘round, and will likely command at least $6 million on the open market, we decided to look elsewhere. And then Mr. Latos fell into our lap. He’s coming off of a brutal year (hence the extremely low price), but let’s not forget who this guy is. He’s a 27-year-old who went 14-7 with a 3.16 ERA just two years ago. Latos is the ultimate reclamation project for Dan Warthen, and I do believe that he’ll be successful. Latos has huge potential and can be a very good #5 pitcher, and ultimately, a lethal option out of the ‘pen after Zack returns.”

 

So now, let’s check out what we have in store…

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“This team accomplished my financial goals, as well as filled every area of need that I laid out from the outset. My pre-determined budget was $120 million, and this time comes out far below that, at $115.85 million. And with that money, we’ve created a dominant back-end of the bullpen, a great platoon in center field that can be extremely productive, added a superstar power bat to our lineup, and solidified the middle infield.

This is the team. This is the team that will get the job done.”

Trade Talk Tuesday: Nothing New Here…

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On this day, there’s really no other trade proposals that I can make… I’ve already posted about Starlin, Javy Baez, Tulo, and Alexei. And while I think that Ben Zobrist would be a nice addition, I think his age, the fact that he only has one year left under contract, and his lack of history at the shortstop position all lead me to believe that Sandy won’t make a play for him.

I have just one thing to say…

SANDY, GO GET TULO!

Trade Talk Tuesday: Troy Tulowitzki

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As we’ve heard since mid-July, the Mets have been speaking to the Rockies about Troy Tulowitzki for quite some time now. And every time another rumor about these talks pops up, it seems like no more than a mean tease to us Mets fans. But, through the frequency of these talks, it seems likely that it’s more than that…

“Tulo” has been a premier shortstop in the MLB since entering the league in 2006. He has blossomed even further, becoming one of the best hitters in the National League, arguably third behind only Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton.

There are only two concerns with Tulowitzki- his proneness to injury and his large contract. He’s guaranteed $129 million over the next 7 years, and he’ll be 37 years old when the contract expires. In terms of injuries, so far in his career, “Tulo” has had: torn quadriceps tendon, cut right palm, fractured wrist, left groin surgery, fractured right rib, injured left hip leading to labral repair surgery.

However, regardless of his downfalls, Tulowitzki is still one of the premier players in the MLB, and his addition would push the Mets over the edge and make them a potential World Series contender.

Here’s my proposal:

Mets get: Troy Tulowitzki, Rex Brothers, cash considerations
Rockies get: Noah Syndergaard, Dillon Gee, Dilson Herrera, Kevin Plawecki

This trade makes sense for both sides…

The Mets are in need of a shortstop and are clearly interested in Tulowitzki, so it goes without saying that he’d be a tremendous addition. Rex Brothers would also be a nice addition, as the Mets have been looking for a lefty bullpen arm to accompany Josh Edgin. Also, the additional cash considerations could cover a portion of Tulo’s contract.

Now, this trade also makes the Rockies more adept for future contention. They get the ace they’ve been longing for in Noah Syndergaard… Dillon Gee, who they showed tremendous interest in at the Winter Meetings, would also serve as their #2 or #3 pitcher. Dilson Herrera, a top second base prospect who has a great bat and is also a great fielder, would assume the role as the team’s starting second baseman. And Kevin Plawecki, a top catching prospect who has a nice bat, would become the team’s catcher of the future, as Wilin Rosario hasn’t been reliable enough to assume this role.

DJ LeMahieu, the team’s current second baseman, would shift to shortstop, a position that he played until midway through his college experience.

To make this deal even more enticing for Colorado, all three of the prospects that they receive are 23 or younger, and they all are expected to be fully MLB-ready by mid-season. Also, Dillon Gee is only 28 years old and won’t hit free agency until 2017.

Check out what the Mets potential lineup would be if this trade went through:

C: Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Lucas Duda
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Juan Lagares
RF: Michael Cuddyer

Now that… That’s a playoff team!

Let me know what you think about this potential trade in the COMMENT section! Would the Rockies do it? Should the Mets do it? Does this make the Mets a playoff team?

Trade Talk Tuesday: Xander Bogaerts

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The Red Sox recently signed star shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and while he says that he’s willing to play anywhere, and analysts no longer view him as a shortstop, and he’s now expected to play left field, things can always change. Han-Ram has been viewed as a shortstop his whole career, and a pretty darn good one at that. If they get an offer that they like, it seems likely that the Sox would be willing to trade Xander Bogaerts and play Hanley at the position he’s most comfortable with. While trading Bogaerts isn’t a priority for them, it is expected that Boston will listen to offers for the star prospect shortstop. It’s likely that they’d have to acquire at least one pitcher that would slot near the front or middle of their starting rotation.

The Mets need for a shortstop and their surplus of pitching has been cited in nearly all of our previous “Trade Talk Tuesdays”. The basic overview is no different in this case. Bogaert’s would be a great fit to start at short in Flushing, and the Mets are looking to trade at least one of their starting pitchers.

With the Sox potential willingness to move Bogaerts, and the Mets possession of plenty of talent at starting pitcher, it seems as though these two teams would be more than able to get a deal done.

However, due to Bogaerts high prospect ranking, and the Red Sox apparently wanting to trade Yoenis Cespedes, a third team may have to come into play. The Cincinnati Reds would be a perfect team to fit that role, what with their weak left field position and strong starting rotation.

Here’s my proposal:

Mets get: Sean Marshall, Xander Bogaerts
Reds get:
Yoenis Cespedes, cash from New York
Red Sox get: 
Jon Niese, Mat Latos

This blockbuster trade seems as though it’d make sense for all involved parties…

The Reds benefit by letting go of two contracts that are set to expire within the next two years (one for Marshall, two for Latos). While these are both very good pitchers, they can become expendable with the right price. Letting go of Latos clears up a rotational spot for their top prospect, starting pitcher Robert Stephenson. Also, moving on from Marshall frees up a lot of cap space. Losing Marshall doesn’t affect the bullpen that much, as the Reds’ “pen” is quite deep.

Addition-wise, the Reds adding Yoenis Cespedes in left field is huge. Cespedes, Billy Hamilton, and Jay Bruce could form a lethal outfield trio for years to come. Cespedes is a terrific hitter and fielder, so he would be a tremendous upgrade over Skip Schumacher at this position, on both sides of the ball. He would be a game-changer, and could potentially push the Reds into the playoff discussion.

The Red Sox acquire two front-of-the-line starting pitchers for the price of two semi-expendable players. Yes, Cespedes and Bogaerts are good, but with the increasing depth of this lineup, their placements have come under question. Latos and Niese would slot as their first and third starting pitchers, respectively, giving the pitching staff an immediate boost. If they were then able to sign Jon Lester, this pitching rotation would go from pretty terrible to really good in a matter of weeks, if not days.

Finally, the Mets adding Sean Marshall and Xander Bogaerts would be tremendous, as they would fill their two biggest needs at the moment. The Mets are in need of a viable left-handed relief pitcher, and Marshall fits that bill perfectly. And of course, the Mets need a shortstop, and Bogaerts is just the right guy.

Let’s take a closer look at young Xander Bogaerts: he has good power, great speed, a fluid swing, can hit for a nice average, and is quite a good fielder. He’s also only 22 year old. All of those skills are what the Mets would be looking for out of an everyday shortstop, and he’s got all of them.

Check out what the Mets positional lineup would look like:

C: Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Lucas Duda

2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
SS: Xander Bogaerts
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Juan Lagares
RF: Michael Cuddyer

That is, without a doubt, a massive improvement over the lineup that we have today, and if all of these guys pan out, the Mets would be looking at October baseball.

Let me know what you think about this potential trade in the COMMENT section! Would the Red Sox do it? Would the Reds? Should the Mets do it? Does this make the Mets a playoff team?

Trade Talk Tuesday: Offseason Blueprint Edition

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Usually, Trade Talk Tuesday consists of me laying out a potential trade and explaining the logic behind it.

However, due to the offseason moving along swiftly, the model for this weekly post will be modified. Every so often, I will post an Offseason Blueprint Edition of Trade Talk Tuesday…

Here’s a blueprint for the Mets Offseason:

Sign Yoan Moncada
Yoan Moncada is another Cuban teenage sensation, who has recently been declared an MLB free agent. Moncada is a switch-hitter who possesses great speed and power, and can also hit for a very good average. He has even drawn comparisons to LA Dodgers’ superstar, Yasiel Puig. The 19 year old phenom can play anywhere in the infield, including at shortstop, which is of course a major area of need for the Mets. Rather than trading a lot of young talent away for a star shortstop like Starlin Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, or Alexei Ramirez, the Mets can acquire Moncada without giving up any assets. Adding him to the lineup at shortstop would greatly benefit the Mets, and likely make them a bona fide playoff contender.

Sign Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller was a shutdown reliever with the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles last offseason. As a free agent, he’s expected to receive the biggest contract for a relief pitcher with no closing experience in MLB history. He’s also a southpaw, and the Mets are in serious need of a left-handed reliever, otherwise they’d end up overworking Josh Edgin tremendously. With Miller added, the Mets bullpen would be one of the best in the league, with 4 very good relief pitchers (Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, Bobby Parnell, Andrew Miller). While he is fielding interest from many teams, the Mets should use their resource and location to beat out the competition and lure Miller to Citi Field.

Sign Jonny Gomes
The Mets are in need of a backup corner outfielder, and Gomes fits the bill, The 12-year veteran would solidify the Mets bench. He is a very good leader, and has a playoff (and World Series) experience. He’s also known as one of the best hustle players in the MLB. Gomes could fill in for Michael Cuddyer in the outfield when Cuddyer fills in for Lucas Duda at first base against left-handed pitching. Due to his intangibles and his level of play, Gomes would be a perfect fit for the Mets final bench position.

What do YOU think about the plan that I laid out? Did I miss anything? Do you disagree with anything?

Share your RESPONSES in the COMMENT section!

Trade Talk Tuesday: Starlin Castro

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The Cubs have a surplus of young infield talent with Addison Russell (20), Javier Baez (21), Starlin Castro (24), Kris Bryant (22), Arismendy Alcantara (23), Anthony Rizzo (25), and now Tommy La Stella (25). While all of these guys have shown clear talent and potential, the Cubs just don’t have enough lineup spots to keep them all. And with Castro as the only proven entity at shortstop, as well as the only one with an extremely large contract, it seems most likely that he’d be the odd man out. While they’re pretty loaded with infield and outfield talent, the Cubbies have shown interest in acquiring both a catcher and young pitching.

As you read in my previous Trade Talk Tuesday post, the Mets, with the addition of Michael Cuddyer in the outfield, have just one glaring weakness- and that’s at shortstop. There have been several rumors about the Mets interest in Starlin Castro, and he’d be a perfect fit. The Mets have a multitude of young pitching and catching to offer up.

The strengths and weaknesses of the Mets and Cubs match up quite well, and it appears as though they’re the perfect trade partners.

Here’s my proposal:

Mets get: Starlin Castro
Cubs get: Jon Niese, Rafael Montero, Kevin Plawecki

This trade seems to make sense for both sides of the deal…

The Mets get the final piece of the puzzle in Castro, pushing them clearly into the playoff discussion, and maybe even the World Series discussion. Based on the below graphic, a tracker of all of his home runs from 2014 with an overlay of Citi Field, Castro’s power should clearly translate to the pitcher-friendly Citi Field, especially after the walls were moved in for the second time in just about three years. Castro brings more than just power to this team… He already has three All-Star appearances, and he’s only 24 years old. Not to mention, he’s locked up until 2020! Castro hit for a .292 average, 14 home runs, and 65 RBIs- and that RBI total would’ve been much higher if he were in a thriving offense, unlike that of the 2014 Cubs.

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This trade makes sense for the Cubs, as well. Jon Niese is a proven starter the MLB. He’s only 28. He’s a southpaw. And at his peak, and when fully healthy, he’s pretty fricken’ good… To add to Niese, who would be their ace or #2 pitcher, they get Rafael Montero, who was one of the top prospects not just in the Mets organization, but in baseball, for several years. He had some early speed bumps in his few starts in the MLB, but he had a few great outings. And while the numbers aren’t necessarily there yet (remember: small sample size), anybody who took the time to watch Montero pitch could vouch for his future. Montero makes the Cubs starting rotation from day one. And finally, the Cubs acquire Kevin Plawecki- the Mets #2 prospect, and the #59 in all of baseball. He’s a young catcher who has- in the minors- shown that he’s both a very good hitter AND fielder. And he’s projected to be in the majors this upcoming season.

While the Cubs aren’t acquiring Syndergaard, or deGrom, or Wheeler, or any of the “top dogs”, Niese and Montero still bolster their rotation tremendously. And then imagine that they end up with Jon Lester- who they’re pushing really hard for- then that rotation is pretty stacked. You have Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Jon Niese, Rafael Montero, and one of Travis Wood, Tsuyoshi Wada, or Kyle Hendricks. That’s a really good rotation right there…

Anyway, check out what the Mets positional lineup would look like:

C: Travis d’Arnaud
1B: Lucas Duda
2B: Daniel Murphy
3B: David Wright
SS: Starlin Castro
LF: Curtis Granderson
CF: Juan Lagares
RF: Michael Cuddyer

That looks like a playoff team to me!

Let me know what you think about this potential trade in the COMMENT section! Would the Cubs do it? Should the Mets do it? Does this make the Mets a playoff team?

Trade Talk Tuesday: Alexei Ramirez

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The Chicago White Sox were, as a whole, a pretty woeful bunch last season. There were three exceptions to this lack of success- Jose Abreu, Chris Sale, and Alexei Ramirez. Abreu won Rookie of the Year, Sale is a finalist for Cy Young, and Ramirez earned a Silver Slugger award. Aside from Chris Sale, the team’s starting rotation is lackluster, and definitely won’t do the job in the coming years. The White Sox clearly have tremendous needs all over the diamond, however mainly with the pitching staff, and as a result, it seems as though they’re open to trading Alexei Ramirez.

Trade Talk Tuesday: Brandon Moss

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The Oakland Athletics looked like the best team in baseball for a large portion of last season. And then they got Jeff Samardzija… And then Jon Lester… Yet, when the postseason rolled along, they fell flat, losing to the Kansas City Royals in the Wild Card Game. Billy Beane abandoned his philosophy of keeping cheap, young, impactful players on the roster when he traded top prospects for Samardzija and Lester, in hopes that this would push them even closer to the championship. Obviously, this didn’t pan out, and now, it seems as though everybody on the roster has become trade bait. Beane has to fix his mistakes from last season.

Trade Talk Tuesday: Yoenis Cespedes

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The Boston Red Sox have made it clear that Yoenis Cespedes, their high-profile trade deadline acquisition, will be on the trade block. They acquired him as the centerpiece of a deal that sent star pitcher, Jon Lester, to the Oakland A’s. Cespedes is an extremely fun player to watch, and has a good amount of star-power. Not to mention, his level of power is up there with some of the best home run hitters in the league.