I know you want to talk more about the fact that Eloy Jimenez is out for the next 5-6 months. So I figured I’d walk through some of the possible options floating out there. Even if you believe after one inning of play that Andrew Vaughn will be a defensive improvement in LF (I don’t), you’d still need to backfill his actual position. Let’s assume we don’t want Andrew Vaughn in LF every day, what are our current options?
Internal options include Billy Hamilton, Leury Garcia, Adam Engel (when he’s back), and a bunch of minor league players so good that Billy Hamilton was brought in. Free agent options are very thin, you’d be looking at Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Matt Kemp. All of which come with a ton of question marks. What about a trade? There are some interesting options here. It’s difficult to gauge what these players will cost in prospect capital since this is not the usual time you see a trade go down. Regardless, let’s walk through a few:
I’d be surprised to see the Sox go out and offer what will be required for Gallo, but this could be really nice. The strikeouts would probably make you go insane, but his ability to actually play the outfield combined with his ability to slug would be a welcome addition. Next year, his last arb year, he’d shift over to RF.
Is he injured constantly? Maybe. Did I just draft him in fantasy baseball thus cursing him? Yes. But stick with me. When he is healthy, he’s very good. Probably 20 something HR and a solid OBP. And much like Gallo, one arb year left and we’d play him in RF that year.
Rather than specifying a player here, I grabbed the whole team, because something happened this week that has caused a log jam for the Reds. Aristides Aquino was not granted an option and is therefore out of options heading into the 2021 season. This means he must be on the roster to remain with the team. They’ve already filled LF and CF with graduated prospects Jesse Winker and Nick Senzel. Not to mention they’re mid-thrust into a 4/64 deal with Nick Castellanos. This is not a bad problem to have with a team contending for a division title. But are they? I think they may believe they are which hurts our chances of getting Castellanos and filling RF after this year. If they have given up on Aquino, that would be fine with me as well.
He’s in the middle of a 6 year $108 million contract, so I kinda have to mention him. I would be surprised if the front office were willing to eat the remaining contract. But if you believe he can still hit and play the field, which he certainly did well last year, he’d be your RF in 2022 and 2023. It’s a much smaller outfield, so why not? I also assume the prospect capital needed here would be pretty low. So while not the youngest or cheapest (money) option, it could be one of the more possible. Strong beard game too.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum and certainly the other end of the OBP spectrum, Santander is 26 and has plenty of control. If you believed he could be your right fielder past this season and the price is right, it could be an excellent move made out of necessity. I am not sure how much the Orioles love him, so the price is really unknown. You also have to wonder if he can really get his shit together at the plate and be more than a low 300s OBP with 20 HR guy. Not that we’ve had better in RF, but if we’re sending prospects away, we should expect more.
Fine! I know this isn’t gonna happen. But doesn’t it make sense? The Cubs can move Bote to 3B and bring up Hoerner. And most importantly, the cash would come off the books for Ricketts after plunging all of his dad’s money into Baltic and Ralph avenue.
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