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Good morning baseball fans. Today is Friday the 13th, so hopefully everybody stays safe and doesn't run into any misfortune. The big story from yesterday was the trade that saw Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons shipped off to the Angels in exchanged for Erick Aybar and two pitching prospect, including Angels top prospect Sean Newcomb.
The other major news coming out of yesterday is a bit historic, with outfielder Colby Rasmus being the first player to accept a qualifying offer in the four years that the system has been in place. He will return to the Astros in 2016, on a one-year, $15.8 million deal.
There was also news coming out of Canada yesterday.
Nothing finalized, but lots of buzz #Bluejays, Estrada nearing 2-yr deal in $24M-$29M range. Would mean not taking $15.8M qualifying offer— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) November 13, 2015
And Peter Gammons is hearing that Aroldis Chapman could be moved by the end of the weekend.
That's four people insisting this morning that Aroldys Chapman will be moved by the end of the weekend.— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) November 12, 2015
One of the teams interested in Chapman, the Red Sox, is performing 'background work' on a potential deal.
There are other options available for the Sox and their bullpen -- free agents like Darren O'Day, Joakim Soria, and Ryan Madson -- but Chapman is the best of the bunch. The issue is that he's also the only one who will cost the team prospects, and Boston will get just one year of Chapman for the trouble.
Now, depending no who the prospect or prospects are, that can be all fine and good for the Sox even as it makes the Reds happy. Obviously, there are some prospects that, if they're going to be moved, it should be for more than a one-year reliever, no matter how great they might be.
Boston also has Jackie Bradley Jr, who is drawing interest from the Mariners, Cubs and Royals.
Fortunately for the interested teams, Bradley has experience playing all three outfield positions, and is above average in each case. In 2015 he played 122.1 innings in left; 224 in center; and 262 in right. He also has a fantastic arm, as he showed last year when he threw a ball from home plate over the center field wall in Fenway.
Jeff Samardzija could return to the the Cubs.
Even after moving Simmons, the Braves don't appear to be done trading. They are looking to move their aging, costly outfielders.
Coming to the Braves with Bourn was 34-year-old Nick Swisher, who made his first foray into the National League with Atlanta, hitting .195/.349/.339 with four home runs in 118 at bats. His production fell off a cliff after 2013, as he posted an OPS of .608 in 2014 and .631 in 2015 after having an OPS above .740 in each of his first 10 major league seasons. He did post a .688 OPS for the Braves in his 46 games with them and can play first base, but it is unlikely either of those factors will entice Atlanta to pay him $10 million next season.
The Mariners acquired Joaquin Benoit from the Padres.
David Price, Zack Greinke, Daniel Murphy and Chase Utley are just a couple of the names linked to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Price, who could be worth $200 million or more this off-season, has already been linked to the Chicago Cubs, as well as the San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals. While letting Greinke slip away is by no means ideal, the Dodgers could receive a compensatory draft pick as they did make a qualifying offer to their free agent pitcher. Signing Price while earning a draft pick isn't a terrible trade-off for losing Greinke.
Today in Baseball History: For the first time in history, two players share an MVP Award. In 1979 the co-winners were Pirates' Willie Stargell and Cardinals Keith Hernandez.