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MLB Trade Rumors: The Rumor Mill Beneficiaries

I know everyone likes to hear the latest trade or free agent rumor, or where Jake Peavy or Matt Holliday are getting traded to. But, for me, I want to know who the beneficiaries are if either of these two players get traded. By beneficiaries, I mean, whose value shoots up come draft day should Peavy or Holliday get traded.

If Holliday gets traded, we should see Ryan Spilborghs and Seth Smith's value increase, especially if Willy Taveras gets traded as he is rumored. Most mixed leaguers probably haven't heard of Ryan Spilborghs or Seth Smith, so let's see what they did in 2008.

Ryan Spilborghs-in 233 ABs, Spilborghs hit .313-6-38-36-7, with a .407 OBP and a .468 SLG. He also had a 41/38 K/BB ratio-not bad for a part-time player. In 2007, in 264 ABs, he hit .299-11-40-51-4, with a .363 OBP and a .485 SLG. Should Holliday and Rockies CFer Willy Taveras get traded this offseason, Spilborghs will probably take over in LF and hit leadoff for the Rockies. He doesn't have the speed that Taveras provides, but he gets on base more and has some pop. If you give him 500-550 ABs, he could be a solid 20-20 hitter hiding under the radar in most drafts.

Seth Smith- in 108 ABs, Smith hit .259-4-13-15-1, with a .350 OBP and a .435 SLG. He also had a 23/15 K/BB ratio. In 248 ABs at AAA Colorado Springs, Smith hit .323-10-55-53-11 and a .429 OBP with a 46/46 K/BB ratio. Should Smith continue to hit in the majors like he did in AAA, he could also be a 20-20 hitter.

Apparently, Rockies beat writer Tracy Ringolsby, from the Rocky Mountain News, agrees with me. He had this to say in a recent article:

Holliday and Atkins have balked at multiyear deals offered by the Rockies. Holliday wants a deal that goes past 2013; Atkins wants a significantly richer deal than was offered.

Taveras, slowed by leg problems during his two years with the Rockies, projects to earn at least $4 million in salary arbitration.

The emergence of third baseman Ian Stewart in the second half of 2008 makes it easier to part with Atkins. The Rockies also are ready to give everyday opportunities to Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs in the outfield and expect to re-sign free agent Scott Podsednik to provide protection.

Newday's Ken Davidoff reported that Matt Holliday made an appearance at the GM meetings yesterday. Quite rare that a player attends the GM meetings, so maybe the Rockies are close to trading Holliday.

Should the Padres trade Jake Peavy to the Braves for a combination of major league SS Yunel Escobar, minor league OFer Jordan Schafer and SP Charlie Morton., all three players would play everyday, assuming Khalil Greene is traded to allow Escobar to play SS. Schafer would probably be given every chance to win the starting CF job in spring training.

Jordan Schafer-Schafer is most known for being named in the Mitchell report, and getting suspended for 50 games as a result. After a slow start at AA Mississippi, Schafer ended the season going .269-10-46-51-12, a .373 OBP, and a 88/49 K/BB ratio.

Charlie Morton-Morton started 15 games for the Braves in 2008, going 4-8 with a 6.15 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP. Morton started 12 games for AAA Mississippi, going 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA and a .99 WHIP.

In other MLB Trade Rumor news today, ESPN's Peter Gammons reports that the Dodgers may look to either trade catcher Russell Martin or move him to third base. As a Dodgers fan, I would be shocked if they trade him, as he is still one of top 3 hitting catchers in the majors, even though 2008 was a bit of a disappointment for roto/fantasy owners. Should he be moved to 3B, his value would drop somewhat, as 3B is more of a power position, and Martin is not a 25-30 HR type of hitter. But he could go 20-25 playing 3B everyday.

This is not the first time we have heard that LA may look to deal Martin this offseason, as LA was disappointed in the dropoff in his defensive skills behind the plate in 2008. There are also whispers that Martin likes the nightlife, and doesn't take care of himself, so there may be more to this trade rumor than meets the eye.

What you haven't heard or read about, this could be a contract negotiation ploy by LA management looking to de-value their star catcher as he is up for salary arbitration after the 2009 season. Ned Colletti attempted to sign Martin long-term last offseason, but Martin didn't want to talk longterm contract yet. If he is moved to 3B, LA can compare him to other young 3Bman in the arbitration case (assuming it would go to arbitration), namely David Wright, and have an argument that Martin isn't as good a hitter as Wright in the power numbers.