The Hot Stove season is upon us once again. This year’s free agent class is very weak compared to the last couple years, especially starting pitchers. Lots of offense is available and some top notch closers will make some record money but if your team is looking for starting pitchers they will have to look to the trade market, which I believe will be very active this offseason.
Edwin Encarnacion (Rangers)
All signs point to Edwin taking his parrot to Beantown but that seems way too obvious to me. The Rangers will need a first baseman if they lose Mitch Moreland. Encarnacion could fill that spot and play some DH and we know how the Rangers love big bats.
Justin Turner (Angels)
As a Dodgers fan I would love to see Turner stay in LA, on a three year deal. I don’t see him signing just a three year deal and I wouldn’t either if I were him. He’s 32 and this will be his last chance for a big contract. He’s from So Cal so this would be the next best spot if he wants to stay in California. Giants will probably make a move on him also.
Ian Desmond (Nationals)
Why not go back to where he played his entire career before last year. He won’t have trouble finding a team this offseason. He showed that he can handle all three outfield positions.
Dexter Fowler (Cardinals)
Last year I had Fowler going to the Mets but he ended up staying in Chicago on a one year deal. Same as Desmond he improved his free agent stock this season and he shouldn’t have a problem finding a multiyear deal this time around. I can only imagine that the Cardinals would love to take Fowler from the Cubs and they have a need for a CF.
Matt Wieters (Braves)
Wieters went to college in Georgia and Braves will look to bring him back to be the catcher at the new stadium. Wieters turned down the Orioles qualifying offer but he could still return to Baltimore.
Mark Melancon (Giants)
The Giants biggest weakness all year long was their bullpen and they will bring in one of the top three closers on the market. Chapman and Jansen may be a little to spendy for the Giants and Melancon isn’t a bad alternative.
Mike Napoli (Mariners)
I’m not sure I believe this one myself. The Mariners need another right handed bat and a first baseman. He fits into both categories. On top of that he has made the postseason in 8 of his 11 MLB seasons. A veteran who leads his team into the playoffs is another thing the Mariners need badly. As much as I see a fit for the Mariners, I’m not sure Napoli will leave Cleveland.
Jason Hammel (Astros)
The Astros need to upgrade their starting rotation. Hammel may not be an ace type pitcher but he would be perfect to slot in behind a healthier Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers. Hammel is 34 years old, so a two or three year deal would be ideal for him and the Astros.