MLB trade market: Four questions including Bryan Reynolds availability and Red Sox plans for Rafael Devers

Major League Baseball’s holiday season has been going on for nearly two months now, but the commercial market didn’t warm up until Monday afternoon. That’s when the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers and Oakland Athletics agreed to a three-team, nine-player team that included catchers Shaun Murphy and William Contreras. (You can read CBS Sports’ full analysis of this trade here.)

Given the number of teams involved in Murphy’s talks, it stands to reason that a decision on that front could create movement elsewhere in the market. Add in how the first half of the season played out in terms of free agency, and we felt it was as good a time as any to ask some of the questions we’ll be asking the trade market over the coming weeks.

With that established, here are four questions we’re considering.

1. Will the Pirates honor Reynolds’ request?

Earlier this month, outfielder Brian Reynolds Submit a rare trade request. The Pirates are under no obligation to give up and trade Reynolds, who will remain under the team’s control through the 2025 season, but they will certainly continue to place calls to gauge his availability and Pittsburgh’s asking price.

You can understand why other teams are interested in Reynolds. He’s a 27-year-old switchback who’s scored 127 OPS+ in nearly 500 big-league games while primarily playing center field. (He’ll likely slide into a corner for his next employer.) Overall, Reynolds has compiled roughly 14 wins above replacement in parts of four seasons, or more than three per season (and that’s not adjusting for the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign).

So, will the Buccaneers transfer Reynolds this winter? For now, the answer appears to be no. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal quoted an executive recently as saying the Buccaneers are seeking a “Soto-type package” for Reynolds. The Nationals, for those with short memories, brought in five young players (plus Luke Foyt) in exchange for Juan Soto (and Josh Bell) at the trade deadline. The Pirates are unlikely to get a similar return for a number of reasons – among them: Soto is a superior player, for one, and there’s no Bill attached.

If and when the Pirates lower their order, be it in the off-season or after, expect Reynolds to resume his status as a traveling business rumor.

2. Can the Blue Jays Benefit from the Eye-catching Market?

It’s always hard to find a good hunter, and we’re in the winter where that’s next to impossible. Wilson Contreras Cardinal. gritty murphy And Christian Vasquez is a twin. That leaves a few worthwhile supporting pauses, whether it be in the free agent or commercial market.

Enter the Toronto Blue Jays, who are in the enviable position of a team with an abundance of catchers. They are currently using Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno, and each of them could start in several other teams. Predictably, the Blue Jays have indicated they are willing to deal from a position of strength if they can find a deal that will make their roster better.

Janssen seems like the most obvious candidate to go. He’s the oldest of the bunch at 27, two seasons out of free agency. He had the best effort of his career as well, hitting 141 OPS+ in 72 games. Teams may wonder if Jansen can keep up with his numbers if he’s asked to handle a 120-plus-game workload, but let’s face it: Even if he can’t, he’s likely to produce somehow more than Austin Hedges and other under-par agents.

The Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, and Boston Red Sox are among those who may be in the market for a new backup. Whether any of them can or will make a compelling pitch for the Blue Jays remains to be seen. One way or another, it looks like the Blue Jays will trade a catcher before the deadline.

3. Will the Red Sox avoid another Bogaerts-like error?

The Red Sox entered last spring knowing that longtime shortstop Xander Bogaerts was likely to walk out of his contract at the end of the season. They didn’t trade him when they had a chance, either before or during the season, when it was obvious they wouldn’t realistically compete for a playoff spot. Instead, they gave him a non-significant offer in the spring and then another in the winter, just to watch him sign a long-term deal with the San Diego Padres.

The Red Sox are now staring into the same situation with third baseman Rafael Devers, who will qualify for free agency at the end of the year. Will Haim Bloom and his cohorts be able to prevent history from repeating itself? Maybe not.

Team boss Sam Kennedy was asked about Devers’ situation on Tuesday. “We will continue to do what I said we would do,” he told reporters. Including Chris Cotello“who makes the right decisions.”

What, precisely, is the “right decision” here is anyone’s guess. Normally, you might think that means hitting the stretch with an important piece of the franchise, but Bogaerts (and Mookie Betts before him) has proven that the Red Sox won’t just bend over to please their fan base. To wit, the Red Sox were reported as “a long way off” from meeting Devers’ price back in April. It is unclear if anything has changed in this regard, but it is clear that no agreement was reached.

As such, it’s likely incumbent upon the Red Sox to hear what the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cubs, San Francisco Giants, and others would be willing to give up in order to get a full season out of Devers. That doesn’t mean they will, of course – they’ve indicated they intend to compete for a post-season spot next year – but it would be nice to see them take a hands-on approach to team building outside of contract negotiations with top players.

4. Should the team take advantage of the promotions market?

We’ll end with a more philosophical question of whether the team will provide a rookie pitcher to offer an alternative to the free agent market.

So far this winter it is deprived of attractive trade options. The Cleveland Guardians don’t seem to have moved on Shane Bieber (although he could get some other starters), and the Milwaukee Brewers don’t seem interested in parting with Corbin Burnes or Brandon Woodruff. The Miami Marlins were expected to transfer Pablo Lopez, but nothing happened on that front either.

This seems to set the stage for some of the team to step up and take advantage of by landing a slew of prospects from a team that wants to upgrade their rotation without handing a huge contract to a rookie agent. Perhaps not surprisingly then, Which was suggested by’s Jim Callis on Tuesday that he’d heard Atlanta Braves measure interest in left fielder Max Fried. (Others have since rebuked the Callis report.) Even if the Braves aren’t fried shopping, it provides a useful example of the point we’re trying to make here, which is that it can be worthwhile if you’re aware of any and all arbitrage possibilities.

#MLB #trade #market #questions #including #Bryan #Reynolds #availability #Red #Sox #plans #Rafael #Devers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *