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Salvador Perez Jersey
05-07-2019, 04:13 AM,
Post: #1
Salvador Perez Jersey
Michael Reaves/Getty ImagesThe 2018 MLB season is now in the books and the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions.With that comes the start of another busy MLB offseason , highlighted by a star-studded free-agent class that includes Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and potentially Clayton Kershaw if he decides to exercise his opt-out clause.That said, the trade market could be just as impactful, especially considering the shortage of impact starting pitching options available in free agency and the exorbitant price tag expected to be applied to the top available bats.With the rumor mill set to kick into high gear, we've taken a quick look at some of the latest trade buzz.The Yankees are receiving calls on Gary SanchezElsa/Getty ImagesIt was a tough 2018 season for New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.After posting a 126 OPS+ with 33 home runs and 90 RBI in 2017, the 25-year-old was expected to be a crucial part of the team's offense once again this season.Instead, he hit just .186/.291/.406 for an 86 OPS+ and a groin injury limited him to just 89 games.With team control through the 2022 season and an impressive track record of success already on his resume, Sanchez will be a prime candidate for a bounce-back season in 2019.It should come as no surprise, then, that a few opportunistic teams have already inquired about potentially acquiring him in a buy-low trade."We know what he's capable of doing," general manager Brian Cashman said on Michael Kay鈥檚 radio show (h/t Mike Axisa ofRiver Ave. Blues). "And I'm already getting phone calls to be honest from clubs trying to knock on our door to see if he's available. And he's not 鈥?He will be our catcher."While a trade is unlikely, and Cashman was rather cut-and-dry in his comments, teams wouldn't be reaching out if they didn't think there was at least some chance of acquiring him.If a catcher-needy team like the Atlanta Braves or Washington Nationals comes along with an offer they can't refuse, stranger things have happened.The Blue Jays could decline their team option on Justin SmoakTom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesJon Heyman of FanCred offered up the following note in his latest roundup: "The Jays aren't a certainty to pick up Justin Smoak's $7 million option."Smoak, 31, has been a revelation for the Blue Jays the past two seasons after signing a two-year, $8.5 million extension at the end of the 2016 season that included a 2019option:2017:131 OPS+ Mike Moustakas Jersey , 38 HR, 90 RBI, 3.2 WAR2018:122 OPS+, 25 HR, 77 RBI, 2.3 WARFor teams looking to add a reasonably priced power hitter without making a long-term commitment, acquiring Smoak as a one-year rental would appear to be an appealing option.It's a surprising to hear that his option is not a lock to be exercised.The Blue Jays are clearly rebuilding, and with the contracts of Josh Donaldson and Marco Estrada off the books, money shouldn't be a driving factor.Unless they've already canvassed the market and failed to get any promising nibbles, it's hard to envision a scenario where cutting ties with Smoak and paying his $250,000 buyout is the best option. The Starting Pitching MarketSonny GrayBrace Hemmelgarn/Getty ImagesThe starting pitching market in free agency features the likes of Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel, Nathan Eovaldi, Charlie Morton and J.A. Happ. They are allsolid options but perhaps better fits as middle-of-the-rotation starters than staff headliners.As a result, it could be a busy winter on the starting pitching trade market.Jeff Todd of MLBTradeRumors recently took a quick run through what the market might look like, breaking the pitchers into three categories:Top Targets:Madison Bumgarner (SF), Jacob deGrom (NYM) Salvador Perez Jersey , Noah Syndergaard (NYM), Zack Wheeler (NYM), Zack Greinke (ARI)Mid-Rotation Targets:Sonny Gray (NYY), Andrew Cashner (BAL), Ivan Nova (PIT), Tanner Roark (WAS), Marcus Stroman (TOR), Robbie Ray (ARI), Zack Godley (ARI), Dylan Bundy (BAL), Danny Duffy (KC)Contract Dumps:Ian Kennedy (KC), Tyler Chatwood (CHC), Jordan Zimmermann (DET), Alex Cobb (BAL), Jeff Samardzija (SF), Homer Bailey (CIN)Most of those names are speculative on Todd's part, though it does sound like Sonny Gray is a likely candidate to be dealt."We're entering the winter open-minded to relocation ," Yankees GM Brian Cashman told David Lennon ofNewsday in regards of Gray. "It's probably best to try somewhere else."If nothing else, the list should serve as a useful resource of pitchers that might be available this winter.All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted. Bob Levey/Getty ImagesThe Houston Astros will have a chance to defend their World Series title after clinching a playoff berth with an 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.Houston Astros astros#AstrosWin 11-3! Postseason spot CLINCHED! 8cEx5g4R9FAfter winning the franchise's first championship in 2017, the Astros have shown no signs of a hangover this season. At 96-57, they areon pace to post their second consecutive year with at least 100 wins, which would make them the first team since the 2004-05 St. Louis Cardinals to accomplish that feat.This team's formula for success has been different than last year's group. The lineup during their run to the World Series last year produced at a historic rate. Their 122 weighted runs created plus (a stat that measures a total offensive value based on runs) was the best by any team since 2000.While Houston's lineup is still strong in 2018 he teamranksfifthin MLB in runs scored and sixth in OPS itching has been the biggest reason the Astros are back in the postseason.Their pitcherslead MLB with a 3.15 ERA, 28.8 FanGraphs wins above replacement and 10.47 strikeouts per nine innings. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Charlie Morton all have ERAs at 3.15 or better and average at least 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings.That depth of starting pitching has allowed the Astros to navigate things while reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer all spent time on the disabled list.Alex Bregman has turned into an MVP candidate with a historic season:ESPN Stats amp; Info ESPNStatsInfoAfter doubling in the 5th inning today, Alex Bregman is now the first 3B in MLB history with 30 HR and 50 2B in a single season.......he is also the first player at any position to do so since Albert Pujols in 2012. FGU2j9bcBzAll the pieces are in place for the Astros to make another deep postseason run. They have been in playoff mode for weeks, trying to fight off the Oakland Athletics atop the American League West, and continue to play at a high level.Now that Houston is officially back in the postseason, it can become the first club to win consecutive World Series titles since the New York Yankees won three straight from 1998-2000.

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