Winter Meetings Done: AL East Team Goals
With the winter meetings coming over with, teams still have moves to make and with an always competitive division, the AL East team goals should look as follows:
Yankees: What to do with Sonny Gray, rest of rotation
The Yankees added James Paxton via trade with the Seattle Mariners, but are still interested in adding another arm to the rotation. And although there has been rumors linking the Yankees to resigning J.A. Happ, Cashman could still be on on the market and working the phone lines for the right offer. With Sonny Gray still on the roster, could the Yankees be seeking what other potential trade partners with pitchers on their radar (Indians, Mets, Giants, Marlins) want in a deal and seek those prospects in potential Gray swap. Gray could be the key to the Yankees getting their ace, or he could be held onto, to start the season with a chip on his shoulder as he’s set to hit free agency after the season and will be looking to regain his 2017 form where he had a 3.55 ERA between the Oakland A’s and Yankees.
Redsox: Bullpen reinforcement
Losing Joe Kelly to free agency, and potentially losing Craig Kimbrell who has been in search of a six-year deal, that reaches six digits. The reigning World Series Champs should be eyeing the relief market with plenty of options available aside from Kimbrell. David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, Zach Britton and former Red Sox pitcher Andrew Miller all but Ottavino has AL East experience along with closing duties in the past. Rather than give in to handing Kimbrel the largest contract given to a reliever, the Red Sox should shy away and revert to the other options who are expected to receive smaller deals- both in terms of years and money. How about David Robertson or Zach Britton, two pitchers seeking to close and a stab at their division rivals- the New York Yankees.
Orioles: Trade Cobb, eat money for better prospects
The Orioles inexplicably gave in and handed Alex Cobb a 4 year, $57 million deal after the righty posted a 3.66 ERA in 179.1 innings, but a 4.16 FIP, 1.22 WHIP, and 8.8 H/9 suggesting regression from the now 31-year old. But in a 2018-19 offseason with limited pitching options and seeing the oft-injured Nathan Eovaldi receive a 4 year, $67.5 million deal and the pitching market on the trade front stagnant, a team looking for a middle of the rotation guy, with a need for a change of scenery, the Baltimore Orioles should be offering Cobb to the highest bidder and even if that means eating some of his contract in order to receive a better prospect.
Rays: Power Sign Nelson Cruz
With the Rays finishing the 2018 season 27th in the league with just 150 home runs, and losing their power hitters (C.J. Cron- 30HR and Wilson Ramos- 14HR), the team is need of sluggers and have the payroll flexibility to do so. Although signing Bryce Harper or Manny Machado to large deals may be a headlining move, signing Nelson Cruz and selling him off at the trade deadline for prospects seems for like “Rays” move. Cruz, 39, won’t net more than a 2-year pact and has hit at least 35 home runs in each of the last 5 seasons, and could be a potential power bat on the move at the deadline for a team looking for a source of offense, flipped for a shiny prospect.
Blue Jays: Crash SP trade market
With teams looking for arms attached to every big name; Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Madison Bumgarner, and Noah Syndergaard, the Toronto Blue Jays should crash the market and see what starters Marcus Stroman, 27, and Aaron Sanchez, 26, could fetch. Both righties endured struggling 2018 seasons, but are young, and cost-controlled as they’re not set to hit free agency until 2021. Although the Blue Jays may want to hold onto their righties, they’re not ready to contend and can accelerate their rebuild with a coup of prospects if their hit with the right offer for either Stroman or Sanchez.
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