This is going to be an offseason Major League Baseball fans look back on with a smile. With the exception of a few teams, virtually every franchise seems to believe that contention in 2015 is possible. It’s why trades and signings have been happening more rapidly than we are used to. 

Despite all of the action that’s occurred up to this point, there are no signs that things will slow down. There may not be as many deals involving top-tier stars because there are only so many of those players to go around. But a lot of valuable role players will find new homes. 

The trade winds have been blowing for the last few weeks. There are going to be one or two big gusts left, so don’t be surprised by anything that happens anymore. As for what’s on the hot stove right now, here’s what’s cooking. 


Rockies Have One Suitor for Troy Tulowitzki

Despite his popularity and ability when he’s healthy, trading Troy Tulowitzki is the best thing that could happen to the Colorado Rockies this offseason. That franchise is wasting money on a player who has a rare ability but has demonstrated throughout his career an inability to stay on the field. 

Plus, the Rockies are in such a terrible state right now with their pitching staff that Tulowitzki’s salary sticks out like a sore thumb. 

While there doesn’t appear to be a big market for Tulo, Jon Heyman of is reporting one team is still engaged in conversations for the All-Star shortstop:

The Mets and Rockies have been quietly discussing a potential Troy Tulowitzki blockbuster for weeks, though it isn’t known yet whether New York will have a decent chance to complete such a deal.

New York and Colorado have been stealthily talking names for weeks, and while there’s said to be some progress, it still feels like they are almost in the early stages with several hurdles to go, including ultimately whether the Rockies-owning Monfort brothers would sign off on such a deal for their beloved superstar shortstop.

There’s no doubt the Mets need to upgrade their shortstop situation. That group hit a collective .236/.317/.312 last year, per

By comparison, Tulowitzki hit .340/.432/.603 in 91 games last season. He had 13 more home runs (21) than New York’s shortstops in 71 fewer games. The Mets’ 629 runs scored were tied with Houston for 21st in the league.

The Mets added Michael Cuddyer to their lineup earlier this offseason, but he’s hardly a difference-maker given his age (35), bad outfield defense and inability to stay healthy.

While one could argue the Mets would be better with Tulowitzki, is he really worth the cost? Heyman says in his report the talks have centered on star pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard going back to Colorado. 

In addition to possibly losing their best prospect in the deal, the Mets would also be on the hook for a contract that pays Tulowitzki $114 million through 2020 with a $15 million team option or $4 million buyout in 2021, per

That’s a lot of money to pay a shortstop through his age-35 season, especially when you consider Tulowitzki has only played 140 games three times in his career and less than 100 twice in the last three years. 

Unless the Rockies are willing to chip in a lot of the money owed to Tulowitzki, it’s hard to justify a scenario where the Mets pull the trigger on this deal. 


Braves Might Keep One Player

This has been an offseason of great change for the Atlanta Braves, though their fans are not likely to be thrilled about it. The only regular left from last year’s outfield is B.J. Upton, whose .208/.287/.333 slash line in 141 games pretty much makes him immovable. 

It’s clear the Braves have their eye on the future, but they also need someone to generate offense in 2014. Freddie Freeman is the only returning player who had an on-base percentage over .350 and slugging percentage over .450. 

The addition of Nick Markakis might add a few points to the on-base percentage at the top of the order but does nothing to help in the power department. 

One player the Braves know well who does have power is Evan Gattis. According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Atlanta’s plan is to keep the 28-year-old and hit him behind Freeman:

The Braves have a fascination with Gattis that doesn’t make much sense. He’s a nice story as a guy who was out of baseball in college and worked his way back, breaking into the big leagues at 26 and providing nice power with 43 home runs over the last two years. 

There are limitations to Gattis’ game, however. He has a career on-base percentage of .304 and has 43 walks in 723 at-bats. His defense in the outfield is atrocious, costing the Braves 10 runs in just 342.1 innings last year, per

That’s why it’s not particularly surprising to see the Braves are underwhelmed by offers for Gattis. As precious as right-handed power is in the game, he’s one year away from a salary increase when arbitration kicks in. 


Is Seth Smith the Odd Man out in San Diego?

It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the San Diego Padres, which isn’t something that has been said lately. But all the roster shuffling does mean that other moves will likely have to be made. 

After all, when you stockpile outfielders in trades, it’s hard to justify keeping the ones that were already on the roster. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, the Padres may be inclined to move Seth Smith, and a potential landing spot has emerged:

Since the Mariners have missed out on acquiring the one big outfield bat—Nelson Cruz should only be used as a designated hitter—they need to get more creative. They already acquired Justin Ruggiano from the Cubs earlier in the week.

Ruggiano is a right-handed hitter who has hit left-handed pitching well throughout his career (.836 OPS). Smith is the counter to that, being a left-handed hitter who has an .839 OPS against right-handed pitching in his career. 

Bob Nightengale of USA Today speculated that one downside to all of San Diego’s moves is it makes the lineup overloaded with right-handed bats, adding to Smith’s value for the Padres:

Smith’s name keeps coming up in trade talks because he’s the most attractive chip the Padres have to offer. Cameron Maybin and Will Venable can’t hit, while Carlos Quentin can never stay healthy long enough to show he’s still capable of hitting. 

Eventually, the Padres will have to move someone just to have the roster space to keep players other than outfielders on their bench. Smith may be hard to move because of his value as a left-handed hitter, but he is also the most likely player to net something of value in return.


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