Season of giving presents for every team

December 23rd, 2016

'Tis the season for giving and getting, our appreciation for the season, for a higher power and for our fellow man illustrated in warm hugs and hearty laughs and good cheer but also in stuff. Here, the spirit of generosity is not actually an intangible. It's weighable, definable, right there in the plain ink of your credit card statement.

It is in that spirit that we take this trip around the league and hand out one gift for every team that can be taken into 2017. (The gift receipt's taped to the bottom, just in case.)

Teams are listed in order of their 2016 record.


What do you get the club that has everything? How about we just pre-order every member of the organization a copy of the book due in May? And to Joe Maddon, specifically, we'll toss in a framed picture of holding his $86 million contract, signed, "To Joe, thanks for everything (even Game 6). Love, Aroldis."


A really generous phone call from the White Sox. It's Rick Hahn, and he's saying, "Look, we thought we had a fair deal for , but now everybody in this prospect-romanticizing society of ours is trying to paint it as if we fleeced you. So what do you say we send you , gratis?"


At their best, the holidays are a time for reuniting with loved ones, renewing old ties, re-establishing those old, fuzzy feelings from times long ago. So here, Rangers. Enjoy your gift of a one-year pact with and a Minor League deal with .


A parrot cage. The Edwing is coming to Cleveland and will need a place to nap between at-bats.

Red Sox

Let's hold to that little tongue-in-cheek Instagram tease from after the trade and give Boston one more year of Big Papi. Dude had 87 extra-base hits and a 163 wRC+ this year. Sore feet? So what!


. Usually the Hot Stove trade ideas we float in this sort of space early in the offseason are just pie-in-the-sky fantasies, but Dozier-to-the-Dodgers continues to make too much sense not to happen. He's the lefty-mashing second sacker this lineup sorely needs.

Blue Jays

. The Blue Jays wanted him before 2016, and it didn't work out. Then Bruce had a bizarre year, rebuilding his trade value with the Reds only to freefall with the Mets. But we know the talent that is in that bat, and there is the whole appellative attraction of putting a guy named Jay on the Blue Jays. (Add in the pronunciation of 's name, and you've got this market correctly cornered.)


A contract. This guy hit 11 more homers in one season in Baltimore than he did over the course of 2014-15 combined. So we'd say it's been a fine working relationship. They've been around $20 million apart in contract talks, but, hey, what's $20 million between friends, especially at the holidays?


. Because this is the Giants we're talking about, the minute we question the left-field plan -- a and platoon ("Marrett Parkamson"?) -- those guys will probably combine for 28 homers and an .898 OPS. But here we'll gift the Giants the guy who has averaged those exact numbers the last three years. He fits the Giants' otherwise cumbersome payroll picture and his bat provides a boost … unless, of course, you really believe that stuff I said about Marrett Parkamson's 28-homer potential.


Energy drinks, orthopedic shoes or whatever it's going to take to ensure 's small-sample-size defensive metrics in center field last season can last for a full year.


A 2014 calendar. For . Let's convince him he's back in that borderline Cy season, before the Achilles injury of '15 and the sharp statistical decline of '16. A return to form from Waino would be a huge boost to the Cards' chances of catching the Cubs. (The good news: 2014 calendars are available on deep discount right now.)


. Or , if you prefer. Either way, Detroit, we're gifting you a cost-effective center fielder you have known and loved in the past in order to get you an upgrade over the current depth chart of , and .


A trade, any trade. Jerry Dipoto hasn't made one in about 15 minutes, so you know he's getting eager. Dipoto's tendency to act, which has already resulted in 32 swaps in 15 months on the job, has remade this roster quite a bit over the last year-plus, and he's currently dangling and searching for starting help.


. Well, look, as the many kids who asked Santa Claus for a $100 LEGO set will probably find out this weekend, you don't always get what you ask for at the holidays. The Astros would probably love to land or , but the post-Sale asking price on those guys is sky-high. In Santana, the Astros could land a durable veteran (Santana has made at least 30 starts in six of the last seven seasons, with the lone exception being his 2015 season, marred by suspension) coming off a solid year, adding a dose of respectability to a rotation that was ravaged by injury in '16.


extrapolation. Actually, let's rephrase that, because that makes it sound like we're doing something really uncomfortable to Gary Sanchez. What we mean to say is that nothing would please the Yanks quite so much as Sanchez's stunning rookie-year output -- 20 homers, a .657 SLG and 168 OPS+ in 53 games -- extrapolated over the full 162. He'd fall just shy of joining Roger Maris and Babe Ruth as the only Yankees to hit 60 dingers in a single season, but the Yanks would still take it.


A visit from the bullpen fairy. That's what it's going to take for the Royals to extend their window to win, and it's going to be pretty darn difficult with newly out of the picture and possibly gone for good. The Royals' scouts have been as good as or better than anybody at unearthing unexpected key contributors, and they'll have to work their magic again.


. Love the attempt to assemble a super bullpen, but how super can a bullpen be without a left-handed component? Wood limited fellow lefties to a .447 OPS last year, he could conceivably start in a pinch and -- bonus -- he'll even play some left field for you, if need be.


A Cutch comeback. Sure seems is sticking around at least a little while longer, and that's a function of the Pirates valuing him in the trade marketplace like the MVP Cutch while the rest of the industry has made offers more in line with 2016 Cutch. If McCutchen can shake off his disappointing season with a big bounceback, he'll either help propel the Pirates back into postseason contention or set himself up as a more attractive trade chip for July. Either way, that helps the Buccos.

White Sox

A 2016 highlights DVD. It's mostly just footage of Hahn at the news-conference podium at the Winter Meetings.


Quintana. If you're going to go for it, go for it. Quintana has the stuff to survive Coors Field, he's under reasonable contractual control for four years, and he'd add established legitimacy to a burgeoning young rotation -- and a Rox system fronted by Brendan Rodgers, , Riley Pint and is deep enough to come up with a proper package for the White Sox (as, unfortunately, our "gift" here isn't contractually binding).


A one-year reprieve from the contract. This doesn't even seem possible, but the Angels still owe Pujols $140 million over the next five years, and that remaining sum (to say nothing of the $26 million still owed to Hamilton in '17) greatly hamstrings the offseason efforts of a team that, thanks to some low-key moves by Billy Eppler, really does have potential if things break right. If the Angels had a little more depth, you'd feel better about their chances of seeing active in October.


A workable trade offer for . He's the last piece remaining from the original core, and whatever surplus value he provides the Brew Crew is waning as he enters just the second season of that monster extension he signed back in 2011. Plus, Braun attains five-and-10 status in May, so this is the Brewers' last chance to trade him to one of the six teams not on his no-trade list without his consent.


Framed photos of and . Keep your eyes on the prize(s), you financially flexible Phils. Your day is coming.


A new stadium site in Oakland. The A's are getting phased out of revenue sharing in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which only further hammers home the need for a new home and its inherent revenue streams. New team president David Kaval brings a fresh approach to the effort.


. Though they've landed , the D-backs still need more bullpen help in their bid to bounce back from an unexpectedly tough '16.


. The Braves' interest has been tepid, but that's the very word to describe Wieters' market, in general. The Georgia Tech alum could fall to the Braves at an extremely palatable price, deepening an improving lineup. Consider it a housewarming present for SunTrust Park.


. Here's another club that needs bullpen help. And while I don't know about putting the fly ball-prone Feliz in Great American Ball Park, beggars can't be choosers. Feliz Navidad!


Name tags. To help the baseball world, at large, get to know your guys. (I want you, dear reader, to name as many current Padres as possible in the next 60 seconds … and doesn't count. Go!)


on a one-year deal. could be a game-changer, but no sooner than May. Adding Bautista actually isn't totally unrealistic, as the Rays have a protected first-round Draft pick, and Joey Bats could conceivably fall to them on a short-term, value-building contract that's good for both sides.


A shiny new rotation. The Twins have had a winning record just once in the last six years (2015), and, in a related development, that was the only year in which their starting staff finished with an ERA below 4.64. Spiked eggnog? Good. Spiked ERAs? Bad.