FanPost

4/7 Rosterbating wins = 1 World Series?

We've got one team decided for the World Series, and the Giants need a miracle to turn the tides in the NLCS, so it's time to do some World Series world class rosterbation. Let's start with a break down of each team:

American League
East
Baltimore - Adam Jones is really the only player the Braves would want to get their hands on, and he's basically been priced way beyond worth trading for. Mark Reynolds has an option, but he would be the only potential free agent Oriole that'd really fit into the Braves plans.
Boston - Jacoby Ellsbury is headed into his last year of arbitration and likely to command $15M+ for his 2013 season. If he could be signed to a long-term deal, he'd be worth pursuing. Cody Ross is an obvious free agent target for left field.
New York - The Yankees are reported to want to chop salary, so of course, the name Alex Rodriguez is as tantalizing as any 3B available in the 2013 offseason. The problem is the substantial salary due to A-Rod along with his dropping production and increased amount of injuries in recent years. Nick Swisher is a free agent, likely looking in the $12-15M per range for a contract. His clubhouse reputation scares me too much to pay that much for a corner guy that hasn't hit 30 homers since Chipper was in his early 30s and has a career BA under .260. We already have one guy like that in the lineup. Brett Gardner is up for arbitration and would fit nicely in center, though he would be a big drop off defensively from what the Braves had in the last two years. Guys like Andruw Jones or Eric Chavez would be nice on the bench, but they're not going to come cheap.
Tampa Bay - The Rays have begun to see the tremendous development they've put forth hit free agency. BJ Upton will hit the free agency market this year, and it will be a test of how the market values defense vs. offense to see whether he or Michael Bourn is the highest compensated free agent center fielder this postseason. Matt Joyce would also be an excellent find, though the Rays are known to ask the moon in trades, so it could be difficult to pry him away.
Toronto - Injuries decimated the Blue Jays in 2012, which makes people forget just how much promise is on this roster. There isn't a great fit on the roster with the major trade target and free agent to be on the Jays both ex-Braves that we've been down the road with before - Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar.

Central
Chicago - The White Sox entered the team in the process of a rebuild and took the division lead into mid-September on the strength of an aging lineup. Now some key cogs hit arbitration, like Alejandra De Aza, or have options to consider, like Kevin Youkilis, that would interest the Braves. The White Sox have a putrid farm system, so the Braves prospects could very well interest the ChiSox.
Cleveland - An often overlooked possible match for the Braves this offseason is the Cleveland Indians. OF Shin-Soo Choo is coming off a solid bounceback season entering his last season of arbitration. He's likely looking at a $8-11M arbitration number, though he could be open to an extended deal. Michael Brantley is seeming the centerpiece of the future outfield, meaning the Indians will likely let Grady Sizemore walk this offseason. He's a shell of his former self, but he could be worth a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal.
Detroit - While the best pure hitter and best pitcher in the game aren't leaving the Motor City, the Tigers do have some interesting prospective players the Braves could focus on. Delmon Young would be a total train wreck - do not want for myriad reasons. Jhonny Peralta has an option, but if Detroit doesn't want to pick it up, he's a very solid player offensively and defensively to move to 3B.
Kansas City - Everyone is in love with Wil Myers, and I would love to have him in Atlanta as much as the next guy, but he'd cost basically the entire Braves system. Someone like Lorenzo Cain would be a possibility in center, but he's a drastic drop from what has been in place in center the last couple of seasons and would require another major bat to compensate for his in the lineup.
Minnesota - The Twins are deep in outfield in their major and minor leagues, and they need pitching. It's hard to find a better trade match than the Twins for the Braves this offseason. Their most desirable trade chip from the Braves' standpoint would be Denard Span, a defensive ace with similar offensive profile to Michael Bourn. The Twins seem to have a strong desire to keep Ben Revere around, so Span is available. The Twins also have a deep system in outfielders, especially center fielders. The Twins and Braves could really pull off a blockbuster that'd suit both clubs for years to come, but even in just 2013, the two are very good trade partners.

West
Houston - Yes, they're here in 2013, so for 2012 offseason, they should be considered in this spot. Houston has had an excellent two years rebuilding their team, and honestly, I love what they're doing in franchise construction. We should be happy they've left the NL in the next 5-10 years. All that said, there's Jed Lowrie, who can't seem to stay on the field, as really the only logical trade chip, and he's likely going to require a load better than what was sent to acquire Bourn.
Los Angeles - The Angels finished just a touch short of the playoffs and even better than multiple playoff teams, record wise. They will likely be focused on keeping Zack Greinke in town, and that means some salary shed. The Angels have a glut of outfielders, and no, Mike Trout is not an option, but Mike Trumbo or Peter Bourjos could be acquired via trade while Torii Hunter could be an option in left as a free agent. Hunter will likely only be an option if he is ~$10M for 1-2 years, otherwise, the Braves should avoid him. Trumbo is a defensive butcher, can mash the ball, but could keep Atlanta 1-2 degrees cooler all summer with his frequent swings and misses. The biggest knock on Trumbo outside of his defense is that his lack of patience at the plate leads him to extreme prolonged slumps, as you saw for virtually the entire second half of 2012. Bourjos is an 8-hole hitter who is a defensive ace. Acquiring Bourjos, much like the Cain comment previous, would require a major bat to cover up his lack of offense.
Oakland - The Athletics were a feel good story in 2012, and their use of platoon guys at 1B and in the outfield could be a blueprint of how the Braves could afford to bring back Bourn in center and still get production in LF. Stephen Drew has an option and Wren has a Justin-based incentive to pursue him if Oakland declines, but I'm just not sure he'd be worth the money he'd require to play 3B here. They did just acquire Chris Young from the Diamondbacks, which could mean Coco Crisp would be available. Crisp plays solid defense and could bring a load of speed to the 8 spot in the lineup, but you wouldn't really want him hitting 1-2. Josh Reddick really is not available, and while Seth Smith may be available, he's a lefty platoon guy, so there'd need to be a RH counterpart to compliment him to make an acquisition make sense.
Seattle - The Mariners were surprisingly good last season, and they have a cavalry of pitching studs coming in their system in the next couple of years, so they may not fit as a trade partner. That said, their best "available" trade chip, Franklin Gutierrez was a stud defensively with good offense before injuries have wiped out the last two years, so for $7M, it's hard to say what you'd get. Anyone who is after Trumbo should also be a big fan of bringing in Michael Saunders as they are very similar players. Saunders' WAR looks worse in 2012 as he was mis-cast in CF, but he is an above average defender in left or right with similar offensive value (and streak tendencies) to Trumbo.
Texas - The Rangers have had a solid run, but now face some interesting decisions. Josh Hamilton will be a free agent, and he'll get paid big, but the required staff members a team has to hire to "babysit" Josh (his requirement) and his injury history makes paying the money to come to the table simply not feasible for the Braves' payroll. David Murphy is a similar player to Martin Prado at the plate and could be a nice acquisition who is in the midst of his arbitration years, though many Braves fans may cringe at the idea of any trade with the Rangers.

National League
East
Miami - The team is already purging their 2011-2012 spending spree. Now rumors of acquiring ARod. It's hard to understand where this team is going. The only real move that'd make any sense for the Braves would be Emilio Bonifacio, but his continued knee issues could completely negate his only real value - speed. The only way you may see the Braves and Marlins in a trade in the 2012 offseason is if there is a three way deal in the trade that sends away Josh Johnson or Ricky Nolasco from the Marlins to an AL team.
New York - The Mets fizzled after the All-Star break, but they showed flashes of what could be in New York soon. The major things for Braves fans to be watching in New York this offseason is the contract situation of David Wright. He has a 2013 option, but there doesn't seem to be a push to get him extended, meaning he could be a marquee free agent after 2013.
Philadelphia - They're old. However, once everyone was healthy in 2012, they were a very tough matchup the rest of the way and crept their way back into the playoff race. I do like Ty Wigginton as a possible RH Hinske replacement if the Phillies decline his option, but he'd have to sign for about half of his 2012 salary. Otherwise, nothing to see here.
Washington - Not only did they take the division title, they may take the Braves' All-Star CF in 2013. There's little to match up with for the Braves, barring a dramatic move like non-tendering someone like Tyler Clippard or Roger Bernadina.

Central
Chicago - While their on-field performance was rough, the Cubs have made some very solid moves for their future. This offseason will likely lead to a Matt Garza deal that Garza's DL stint did not allow to happen in 2012. If the Cubs would eat a significant portion of his 2 years/$38M left on his contract, Alfonso Soriano could become an option in LF for the Braves, but I just don't see them eating enough of that salary to make it worth the trade without giving up a very good prospect in exchange.
Cincinnati - The Reds may not match up well with the Braves due to their depth in pitching in their organization, but they do have some potential free agent/non tender players to watch, like Ryan Ludwick (if his option is declined) and Chris Heisey (if he's non-tendered), who could both be great RH platoon options with a guy like Seth Smith if the Braves chose to go that way.
Milwaukee - The Brewers saw the emergence of a number of young pitchers fuel their re-emergence after the Greinke trade, and that could fuel them to use their significant offseason funds in pursuing a big bat or two to play alongside Ryan Braun (and not steal his potato chips). There is discussion that both Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez could be non-tendered this offseason. I don't want any reliable position offered to Morgan, but Gomez could be interesting as his 2012 is exactly the player everyone once thought he could be when he was the centerpiece to acquire Johan Santana from the Twins. Gomez has no patience and is a free swinger, but his combination of power and speed is rare, and he plays very solid defense. If he could be set at the 6/7 spot in the lineup, he could be a very nice acquisition.
Pittsburgh - Once again, another fade, falling just short of their first .500 season basically since Sid slid. The Pirates are another team sitting on a glut of outfielders, though they also have some depth in pitching in their farm system, so their matchup as a trade partner is unsure. The big problem in a trade is that their outfielders that could be available - Jose Tabata, Alex Presley, Garrett Jones, Starling Marte, etc - are primarily LH hitters or subpar defenders. I'm not sure there's a great trade matchup, but a Pirates trade could be a plan C for Wren this offseason.
St. Louis - Two years in a row the Cardinals are the ones who took the Braves place in the NLDS after a loss on the last day of the season. They have seen success recently in drafting and developing guys with the tag "have bat, will travel". David Freese, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter, and Matt Adams are guys that aren't going to help defensively anywhere they are on the field, but they hit. The matchup for the Braves really isn't there as the Cards, unless they suddenly develop a major hankering for one Dan Uggla (who would fit seemingly with the above guys).

West
Arizona - The Diamondbacks have significant depth at outfield, but their needs aren't at pitching, so the trade matchup may not be there. Justin Upton is almost certainly on the way out, but he will likely bring in a substantial trade package, and he may just not be worth it. Here's an interesting tidbit: in comparing Upton to 3 often-mentioned Braves targets for the offseason (Angel Pagan, Denard Span, and Dexter Fowler), Upton's 2012 would rank 4th in fWAR. Gerardo Parra would bring the stellar defense that the Braves have been accustomed to, but he's likely going to need a big bat next to him.
Colorado - The Rockies are in a full rebuild mode with two superstars, not an often occurrence. They are looking for guys to contribute quickly, and that could make the Braves attractive with MLB-ready arms to spend. Dexter Fowler is really the only guy of their available outfielders that fits Braves needs. He could require a decent package with his youth and arbitration status, but he plays solid defense and gets on base.
Los Angeles - The Dodgers seemingly have a wide open checkbook with their new ownership. They won't even pursue Shane Victorino, and hopefully the Braves follow suit. The aforementioned platoon option could be a place to bring in Juan Rivera as the RH piece of such a platoon.
San Diego - The Padres made a late-season push toward .500, and they have a very, very good minor league system coming. That said, they're not exactly a fit for the Braves' needs, except for one out of the box possibility. With Brian McCann possibly missing some time in 2013, John Baker could be a solid under-the-radar trade as he's a 3rd catcher for San Diego with the emergence of Yasmani Grandal.
San Francisco - The Giants at the time of this writing are attempting to claw back in the NLCS, and if they pulled it off, it would be quite impressive with an offense that seems to only be Buster Posey. The Giants have some intriguing free agents/arby eligible players if the Braves were interested. Angel Pagan has been talked about often, but many don't realize that Pagan in 2012 had more extra base hits than Adam Dunn, BJ Upton, Carlos Beltran, and even our own Martin Prado. Melky Cabrera...no, just no. Marco Scutaro if Matt Holliday's dirty slide hasn't hurt him horribly would be a solid 3B if the Braves chose to keep Prado in left field. Hunter Pence is also arbitration eligible and a candidate for being non-tendered. He could be an interesting possibility for left field at the right price if he is available.

That isn't a comprehensive list by any means, but I believe it's a very good starting point. Yes, TL;DR, but I hope it provides good info for everyone.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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