The Cardinals filled their shortstop need over the weekend, signing Jhonny Peralta to a four year deal worth $53 million, which was a bit longer than i expected he would get, but I guess the Cardinals were really tired of zero offensive production fro the shortstop position.
In his analysis piece on the Peralta signing, ESPN's Keith Law mentioned the following, which came as a real surprise:
Drew's problem at the moment is that there aren't many teams with big budgets looking for help at short; the Mets, as one reader of mine quipped, are expressing interest in lots of players they won't sign, and Drew may be out of their price range. One team I wouldn't necessarily count out on Drew, or any shortstop, is Washington, as I've heard they may make Ian Desmond available in trade, which would leave only Danny Espinosa as an in-house alternative.
Desmond is coming off his second consecutive 20 home run, 20 stolen base season in 2013, and is arbitration eligible for the second time, and will become a free agent after the 2015 season. His salary was $3.8 million in 2013, and after putting up his second straight 5.0 WAR season, he is due a big raise.
Knowing that the Nationals have a few other guys named Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper that they may want to extend at some point in the next year or two, they could look to deal Desmond for a starting pitcher, in an effort to free up some salary.
So, which teams are looking for a shortstop this offseason? Well, the Cardinals just signed one to a four year deal, so they are out. Here is a look at a few teams who might be looking for an upgrade at shortstop this offseason:
Hanley Ramirez is their current shortstop, but he might be better suited to play third base going forward, just to keep him on the field a bit more than in 2013. Shortstop is a demanding position, and Hanley isn't getting any younger. He turns 30 years old two days before Christmas, and the Dodgers are already thinking about extending him this offseason, so moving him to a position that is a little less demanding might be a smart move. Desmond would be a nice replacement, and the Dodgers have plenty of arms in their farm system to deal for Desmond.
The Reds may want to upgrade at shortstop over Zack Cozart, who is more of a glove only shortstop. Plus, everywhere I read that the Reds WILL trade Brandon Phillips this offseason, so why not deal Phillips for Desmond in a package deal? This deal would work for both teams, as the trade would allow the Natonals to move Anthony Rendon to his natural position at third base, and move Ryan Zimmerman, who has become a very bad defender at the hot corner, across the diamond to first base,
The Pirates have one of the best farm systems in the game, and could have up to 7-8 prospects in the Top 100 lists you will see published once the calendar turns to 2014. Packaging some of their outfield prospects for Desmond could get a deal done. The Pirates are building something special and upgrading shortstop seems like a very obvious move to me.
Are the Tigers going to sit tight with Jose Iglesias at shortstop, or could they decide to move him back to third base, now that Prince Fielder has been traded and Miguel Cabrera taking over at first base. The Nationals have been rumored to be interested in Tigers starter Max Scherzer, and a Desmond for Scherzer deal could happen, assuming the Nationals toss in another player, like Drew Storen to shore up their bullpen now that Joaquin Benoit and Jose Veras have left for free agency. if current rumors are true, the Tigers are close to signing free agent Brian Wilson to close in Detroit, and Storen could fit in right behind him in the set up role.
What teams did I miss? Let's hear your voice in the poll and comments below.
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