This one won't be as long as yesterday's, but I just wanted to outline what we're trying to do here. Starting with this post, each Tuesday morning you'll be able to find analysis and commentary about both trades that have happened and trades that might happen over here at Beyond the Box Score. We don't know exactly how this is going to look even a few months from now, but the idea is to take a look at all kinds of trades, as well as some good ol' fashioned rumors. Hopefully things will start to get more interesting once we really start to dig into the offseason, but until trades really start to get going we're going to look at some potential trades as well as other trade-related stuff in the news. Thanks!
Some Intriguing Shortstops That Could Be Dealt
This certainly shouldn't be taken as some sort of list of obvious trade candidates- we don't even know exactly who's going to be shopping who yet. But given what we already know, there are still a few guys out there that play shortstop and could conceivably be dealt to teams in need of help at the position, so we'll try to cover some of the more interesting ones here this morning.
- Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro, Boston
The shortstop situation in Boston should definitely be one to watch going forward. The Red Sox already have two solid options for shortstop in Lowrie and Scutaro, and that's before even touching on Jose Iglesias, arguably the top shortstop prospect in the minors right now. Both Lowrie and Scutaro could appeal to teams beyond simply those looking for shortstops, given that they each have experience playing at second and third base as well. Boston would probably rather deal Scutaro given his inferior offensive numbers, age and salary, but he wouldn't bring back nearly as much in a trade. There's also the possibility that they could retain both, and take advantage of the depth that they would provide.
- Christopher Nelson, Colorado
I touched on Nelson's strong prospects back in early August, and his situation hasn't really changed. He's obviously not going to get a shot at shortstop with Troy Tulowitzki around, but he should be able to compete with Eric Young Jr. and Jonathan Herrera for the 2011 second base job assuming that Clint Barmes isn't brought back. If he doesn't land the job and ends up back in Triple-A, or if the Rockies give out signals that he's not really in competition, he's really a guy that other teams should target. He's already 25 and he put up very strong numbers in 85 Triple-A games this season (.313/.376/.492); he should get a shot somewhere in 2011, whether that's in Colorado or somewhere else.
- Ivan DeJesus Jr. and Chin Lung Hu, Los Angeles (NL)
The Dodgers would probably prefer to trade the older Hu, but it's worth wondering what they'd be willing to do with DeJesus. Neither one has much offensive upside unless DeJesus can find his patience at the plate again (BB% dropped from 13.6% in 2008 to 5.5% in 2010, missed 2009 due to injury). But both guys are capable of playing shortstop, with Hu bringing some serious value to the table that way, so they're definitely intriguing guys given their youth and relatively solid offensive numbers in the upper minors. The Dodgers already have Rafael Furcal for 2011 and his $12M club option for 2012 becomes guaranteed with 600+ plate appearances next season, and presumably the Dodgers view Dee Gordon as the long-term replacement for Raffy at the position. So while there's a chance that DeJesus could end up as LA's second baseman next year, don't be surprised if some teams ask LA about these guys in the somewhat near future.
- Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood, Los Angeles (AL)
The Izturis portion is total speculation on my part, but neither of these guys looks like they'll play everyday in 2011 if they're still in LA. The Angels already have Howie Kendrick, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar locked up to play second base, third base and shortstop, respectively. Neither Izturis or Wood has played shortstop regularly recently given the presence of Aybar, but both have played the position regularly in the past and haven't firmly moved off the position yet. Izturis is the only one that's been effective in the majors, batting .283/.348/.400 in 1769 PA over the past five years, but he didn't play nearly as well in 2010 and he's owed $6.9M through 2012, which might have some teams backing off. Additionally, the Angels seem to like having Izturis around as a utility infielder, so they might expect to be bowled over in order to make a deal. The 25-year-old Wood would obviously be a project, and it's hard to understate how bad he was in 2010, but it's hard to write off a guy at his age with his pedigree and minor league numbers. Plus, he'd probably come pretty cheap.
Some other trade notes...
- I have to touch on the Ozzie-for-Stanton rumor, even for a moment.
I know, I know... the idea of the Marlins trading Mike Stanton in order to land a manager seems utterly ludicrous. But this was actually reported on this week by the Chicago Tribune, so on some level we have to presume that the teams wondered about what kind of compensation the Sox could get if the Marlins snatched Guillen from them. Obviously landing Stanton would be a potentially franchise-changing moment, but either way this is fun to wonder about. Luckily, the Braves didn't have to give Jason Heyward to Florida in order to add Fredi Gonzalez as manager.
- San Francisco doesn't plan to shop Barry Zito
As reported by Bill Shaikin of the LA Times yesterday, Giants GM Brian Sabean told the reporter that he doesn't plan on trading left-handed starter Barry Zito this offseason. It's not surprising given that the lefty will make $64.5M (!!!) over the next three years, although some wondered if the Giants wanted to rid themselves of him after keeping him off their playoff roster. It seems likely that he'll be the club's fifth starter next season, behind the quartet of Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez and Bumgarner.
- White Sox Want Colby Rasmus
And I want a pony, but we don't always get what we want. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the White Sox plan to aggressively pursue the Cardinals center fielder this winter after an apparent rift with manager Tony La Russa during the 2010 season, but at the same time St. Louis GM John Mozeliak already announced that the club didn't plan to deal Rasmus. That doesn't mean they won't listen to offers, but the talk of Carlos Quentin as a centerpiece is just flat-out silly- even if they include Quentin, it's hard to see the White Sox having enough to land Rasmus using only their farm system.