A perfect offseason move for every team

November 23rd, 2020

It is unlikely that there will be any major MLB moves this week. It is, after all, Thanksgiving week, and even if people aren’t necessarily traveling long distances like they normally would, it’s still a week to take a little bit of a deep breath -- and a week to plan the next move.

So, this week, we look at one potential ideal move for each team. Some of these might be fanciful, some of them realistic, but it’s one man’s -- this man’s -- look at what might be the platonic ideal move. Maybe some of them will even take me up on this!

American League East

Blue Jays: Contract extension for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. -- The Jays have some money to spend, and this might be the perfect time to figure out how to lock up their budding star. He hasn’t quite busted out yet, but few think he won’t eventually. There could be room for a deal here.

Orioles: Sign Chris Archer -- This makes a certain amount of sense, doesn’t it? He needs a place to rebuild his value, the Orioles need innings and a little star power, and they’d certainly be buying low. And if he returns to being Chris Archer, the Orioles can flip him at the Trade Deadline.

Rays: Sign Wilson Ramos -- The Rays clearly need a catcher, and Ramos is coming off the worst year of his career. That might be the perfect time to pounce on a veteran with upside, who happened to perform quite well (115 OPS+) during his previous stint with the Rays in 2017-18.

Red Sox: Bring back Jon Lester -- This seems like such an obvious reunion that it seems a little surprising it hasn’t happened already.

Yankees: Re-sign DJ LeMahieu -- You can see both why he’s so sought after and why the Yankees didn’t extend him … but in many ways, he’s the engine that makes this whole lineup go. They wave goodbye to him at their peril.

AL Central

Indians: Trade Francisco Lindor -- It’s a shame, but it’s clear that Lindor isn’t going to re-sign at the end of the season, and for a franchise in constant flux like Cleveland, this is probably the last chance to maximize Lindor’s value. If anything, they’re running out of time.

Royals: Sign Jay Bruce -- The Royals need outfielders, and there aren’t a lot of teams who might feel comfortable putting Bruce out there for 130 games. But he’s a nice fit here, and if he has a big year, there could be Trade Deadline upside as well.

Tigers: Bring back Jonathan Schoop -- It went well for both sides last year, and you saw what happened to that offense after he got hurt. And they can flip him if they want to as well. But any bat helps, and he’s a good one.

Twins: Sign Enrique Hernández -- The Twins could very much use some sort of utility man, and who’s more of a utility man than the Dodgers’ swiss army knife? Just be careful giving him an arm bash after you homer, Twins.

White Sox: Bring back José Quintana -- The White Sox need starting pitching, and it sure would be something to see him as teammates with Eloy Jiménez, the guy the Cubs traded to get him in the first place.

American League West

Angels: Sign Kolten Wong -- Wong might be the best defensive second baseman in baseball, and there’s upside in his bat. Starting pitching is the most important area, of course, but Wong’s defense has a way of making starting pitchers look better.

Athletics: Sign Andrelton Simmons -- It seems sort of strange that he hasn’t been on the A’s already, right? He’d be a great bridge to the next generation of A’s shortstops, and I bet there’s still life in that bat.

Astros: Re-sign Michael Brantley -- He really fit in perfectly in Houston, and isn’t connected to the sign-stealing mess that came before him. He remains exactly what they need most.

Mariners: Sign Roberto Osuna -- Despite his past issues, someone’s likely to sign him, and a team with desperate bullpen troubles could get what it can out of him, for cheap, before moving on.

Rangers: Sign Eric Thames -- The Rangers need some pop, as well as a 1B/DH combo, and Thames is sure to be inexpensive and likely to provide all sorts of power. And when he gets on a run, look out.

National League East

Braves: Sign Adam Wainwright -- There is an emotional full-circle aspect to signing Wainwright, who began his career in the Braves’ Minor League system and is from the area. And he’s precisely the sort of guy they need: A bridge to future starters and a steadying influence on the young ones already there.

Marlins: Bring back Marcell Ozuna -- This would be great, right? What better way for the Marlins to show the old days are over by re-signing one of the outfielders they traded away? He happens to be exactly what they need, too.

Mets: Sign Trevor Bauer -- This is probably the most obvious fit on the board, particularly now that Bauer has shown he enjoys messing with the Yankees. The Mets look like they’re going big this offseason. You can’t go much bigger than this.

Nationals: Sign George Springer -- The Nationals need someone to keep them afloat offensively as the rest of the division powers up. Juan Soto will love hitting alongside Springer.

Phillies: Re-sign J.T. Realmuto -- The one thing the Phillies do not need to be doing is upsetting franchise centerpiece Bryce Harper. He wants Realmuto back. They need to make it happen.

NL Central

Brewers: Sign Carlos Santana -- The Brewers desperately need offense, and a first baseman: They can find both in Santana. This is a little bit like their stealth signing of Yasmani Grandal a couple of years ago.

Cardinals: Hang on to Yadier Molina -- Lots of things are changing in St. Louis right now, but hanging on to Yadi, letting him finish his career as a Cardinal, feels more vital than perhaps the team is realizing right now.

Cubs: Trade Kris Bryant -- This is most likely to be the first item on Jed Hoyer’s agenda, and, you know, lucky him. He will certainly not be lacking for suitors, but how do you properly value a guy who won an MVP Award four years ago and had a career-low .644 OPS in 2020?

Pirates: Trade Gregory Polanco -- It won’t be easy. But he has enough talent that it feels like someone will dream on him and help kickstart a Pittsburgh rebuild.

Reds: Trade for Francisco Lindor -- Might as well go all-in at this point, no? It’s particularly enticing if they fall short on keeping Trevor Bauer.

NL West

D-backs: Sign Joc Pederson -- He’s sort of a perfect fit for a team that needs offense, and he’d love sticking it to his old team.

Dodgers: Re-sign Justin Turner -- He'll be 36 on Opening Day, but one of the most important Dodgers of the last seven years deserves another go-round in L.A.

Giants: Sign Corey Kluber -- This is the sort of low-risk, high-reward signing that’s right up the Giants' alley right now.

Padres: Sign Nelson Cruz -- Assuming the NL keeps the DH, of course. But wow, what a blast it would be to see the young pups bouncing around with the old guy.

Rockies: Sign Trevor Story long-term -- Nolan Arenado's situation may not get the clarity the Rockies want. But Story can get secured, right now. He’s just as big a star.