The Hot Stove season is upon us again and here is my annual attempt at guessing where a handful of these guys will end up. For a a lot of baseball fans the Hot Stove season gives up a chance to dream about the upcoming season and to forgot about the past season’s failures. I enjoy doing these predictions as much as I enjoy reading them. Here I go…
JD Martinez (Red Sox)
As much as I think Martinez would like to stay in Arizona and the Diamondbacks would love to keep him, I don’t believe they have the payroll to do so. The Cardinals could be a real suitor but they are focusing on a trade for Giancarlo Stanton. That leaves the Red Sox and the Giants, both teams are in need of a middle of the order bat. I give the edge to the Red Sox as they are still desperate to replace the bat of David Ortiz.
Jake Arrieta (Dodgers)
I don’t see Arrieta staying with the Cubs unless he can’t find a match and it gets late in the off-season, then maybe he stays in Chicago. He had a couple down years compared to his 2015 Cy Young season. He is still one of the top starters on the free agent market this off-season. Many teams could use him in their rotation: Cardinals, Nationals, Phillies, Angels, Braves and that’s just a few teams. I don’t see a front runner so I will go with the Dodgers. They will need replace Darvish and they could use a right handed pitcher.
Mike Moustakas (Angels)
The Royals won’t be able to bring back Hosmer, Moustakas and Cain. I think of the three Hosmer stands the best chance of staying in KC. Last off-season I had Justin Turner going to the Angels because he’s have So Cal and they were in need of a third baseman. Well the Angels are still in need of a third baseman and Moustakas is from So Cal so it seems like a perfect fit.
Lance Lynn (Cubs)
My first thought was the Mariners but not sure they’re willing to give up a draft pick since Lynn got a QO from the Cardinals. Lynn missed the 2016 season (TJ surgery) but that shouldn’t hurt him as he made 33 starts this past season. Lynn is in the second tier of starting pitchers this off-season so he’ll be cheaper than Darvish or Arrieta. Most teams are in need of starters. I believe what’s best for him is to stay in the National League so I’ll go with the Cubs since they will need to replace Arrieta.
Greg Holland (Astros)
This seems like a no-brainer to me. The Astros lost confidence in Ken Giles in the postseason and I would imagine they will be looking for a closer this off-season. Their top options are Wade Davis or Holland unless they make a trade for a closer. I believe the Cubs will try to keep Davis so that puts Holland in Houston.
Zack Cozart (Padres)
It seems like the Padres have been looking for a SS for years. Is this the off-season they finally find one? Cozart had two DL stints last season. He has always been a plus defender but this year he had his best offensive season of his short career. I think it will be late in the off-season but I do believe he lands in San Diego.
Jay Bruce (Rangers)
The Blue Jays have tried to trade for Bruce the last two trade deadline’s and haven’t been able to land him. This off-season they miss out on him again. He is better fitted for the American League so that’s where he should land. I think the Rangers will come in late to get Bruce and ultimately will give him the extra year on the contract. Couldn’t tell you where Bruce will play in Texas.
CC Sabathia (Orioles)
Orioles are in need of starting pitchers and are rumored to be looking to sign 2-3 starting pitchers this off-season. Not sure if Sabathia wants to stay in the AL East if its not with the Yankees. He would be huge for the Orioles if he can continue to turn around his career. It also will only take a two year deal at most.