Before I get started, I just want to thank everyone who participated in the fantasy baseball chat I held on Wednesday afternoon. It was a spur of the moment decision, so I didn't expect a great turnout. Usually with these chats, the more you hold them, the more people end up participating, so I will try to have them once a week or every two weeks going forward.
We learned last night that the Rockies have shown interest in Braves outfielder Martin Prado, which makes plenty of sense. Prado had a bit of a down year in 2011, hitting .260-.302-.381 with 13 HRs, 57 RBI, 66 runs and 4 stolen bases in 129 games. His triple slash line was the lowest of his career, mainly due to bad luck, as his BABIP of .266 was also the lowest of his career. I think Prado could have an excellent bounce back season in 2012 if he is traded to the Rockies. In return for giving up Prado, it is rumored that the Braves could get Rockies outfielder Seth Smith, who would probably play left field for the Braves. Prado would play second base for the Rockies. This rumored deal couldn't be more perfect for both teams.
Looking at the Rockies outfield without Smith, it appears Charlie Blackmon could get the left field job in 2012. But, I also would not rule out outfield prospect Tim Wheeler. Wheeler hit .287-.365-.535 with 33 HRs, 86 RBI, 105 runs scored and 21 stolen bases in 138 games at AA Tulsa in 2011.
More trade rumor thoughts after the jump:
If you are a top free agent this offseason, more than likely you are being courted by the Miami Marlins of all teams. The Marlins are moving into a new stadium in 2012, and they want to make sure the stadium is full on most nights. The Marlins have been tied to shortstop Jose Reyes, starter Mark Buerhle, outfielder Carlos Beltran, third baseman Aramis Ramirez and possibly Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.
Marlins president David Samson stated in an interview on Wednesday that Reyes is "one of their top priorities". This statement assumes they will be signing more than one big free agent this offseason. Reyes makes sense for the Marlins as long as current shortstop Hanley Ramirez moves over to third base. Reyes would certainly fill the new Marlins new stadium.
What doesn't make sense to me is why the Marlins would be interested in signing Carlos Beltran. They already have Logan Morrison in left field and Mike Stanton in right field. Beltran in center field? Not happening. I remember reading that some thought he was having trouble playing right field this season, so there is no way he plays center for the Marlins. But, should Morrison get dealt, Beltran could be a fit in left field for the Marlins. Morrison has been linked to the Rays and a Morrison for James Shields deal would make plenty of sense if Morrison is trade bait.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp wants to stay in LA and the Dodgers, obviously, want to sign him long term this offseason. Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart stated yesterday that he has had productive talks with Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and is optimistic that Kemp will sign an extension with the Dodgers this offseason. Whew!!
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick polled 28 front office executives and asked who would provide more value over the life of their contract: Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. Fielder received 20 of the 28 votes. Here is an excerpt from Crasnick's piece:
The age gap between the two stars swayed most respondents toward Fielder. Pujols, who turns 32 in January, is four years and four months older than Fielder. Although Pujols steadfastly maintains that there are no surprises on his birth certificate, he's had to deal with questions about his age since he took St. Louis and baseball by storm a decade ago. Several respondents raised the issue without prompting in the ESPN.com survey.
Keith Law stated the same in a recent chat. You know the saying "where there's smoke, there is fire."
More from Crasnick on a who would you rather have question:
7. Which young pitching phenom would you rather have: Yu Darvish, Stephen Strasburg or Matt Moore?
Responses: Moore 13, Strasburg 12. The other three respondents called it a coin flip between Moore and Strasburg.
I think I mentioned something similar after Moore's outstanding playoff performance this season.
It was reported last evening that Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos was kidnapped from his home in Venezuela by 4 gunmen. Not much else is known at this time, but to follow this story, head on over to Federal Baseball, SB Naton's Nationals site.
One more thing, the Reds have shut down Aroldis Chapman from pitching in the Arizona Fall League with shoulder soreness. I have my doubts that he can handle the rigors of starting, and wonder if the Reds should just make him their closer in spring training.