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Pros and cons of 6 potential acquisitions

MLB.com @RichardJustice

We've had an offseason in which huge, sweeping trades have been discussed. In that way, the Hot Stove has never been hotter. As for action, that's another story.

Despite all the talk, just three big names have been dealt since the Winter Meetings -- third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays to the Giants in December, right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates to the Astros on Saturday and outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates to the Giants on Monday.

We've had an offseason in which huge, sweeping trades have been discussed. In that way, the Hot Stove has never been hotter. As for action, that's another story.

Despite all the talk, just three big names have been dealt since the Winter Meetings -- third baseman Evan Longoria from the Rays to the Giants in December, right-hander Gerrit Cole from the Pirates to the Astros on Saturday and outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pirates to the Giants on Monday.

Those three trades could eventually trigger others. And all those other deals, the ones involving Manny Machado, Josh Donaldson and Christian Yelich, seem as far away as ever. Stay tuned.

There's still time, though, and as free agency plays out and teams consider their options, things could happen. With that in mind, let's look at seven possibilities.

D-backs

The acquisition: Orioles 3B Manny Machado (trade).

Pros: Machado would replace J.D. Martinez in the middle of the order to create something similar to the lineup that averaged five runs per game after the trade for Martinez in 2017. Machado's arrival would send a message to every D-backs player and fan that the club believes it is good enough to win in '18 and that the front office is doing its part. For the Orioles, it would begin the tough, necessary job of accumulating young talent.

Cons: The Orioles want two MLB-ready pitchers, even with Machado a year from free agency. That's a steep price at a time when young pitching is among the game's most coveted assets. On the other hand, Arizona is one of the few clubs that has that kind of pitching depth, with left-hander Anthony Banda and right-hander Jon Duplantier on the cusp of the big leagues.

Video: TOR@BOS: Donaldson crushes his 32nd homer of the year

Cardinals

The acquisition: Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson (trade).

Pros: The Cardinals would be nicely positioned to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Never mind that Donaldson will be a free agent after '18. The Cards see that as a discussion for another time. Donaldson's production and passion would make him an instant fan favorite. After finishing behind the Cubs in back-to-back seasons, the Cardinals aren't looking at anything else. For the Blue Jays, who have a strong farm system, the trade would bring at least a couple of elite young players.

Cons: There aren't many. The Blue Jays would want to pick through the St. Louis farm system, despite Donaldson being a possible one-year rental. For the Cardinals, that's a reasonable price to pay for a return to October. The Blue Jays believe they're good enough to get back to the playoffs. That probably changes without Donaldson.

Red Sox

The acquisition: OF J.D. Martinez (free agent).

Pros: Martinez hit 45 home runs in 2017 and would be a solid addition to a team that finished last in the American League in homers. Since turning his career around in '14, Martinez's .574 slugging percentage is the second highest in baseball, trailing only Mike Trout's .579.

Cons: Basically none. Martinez is 30 years old and probably worth a three- to five-year deal at $25 million or more per season. Agent Scott Boras apparently wants more than that, or the deal would have been done by now.

Video: Heyman on Martinez, Red Sox playing 'waiting game'

Mariners

The acquisition: RHP Jake Arrieta (free agent).

Pros: He might just be the final piece of the puzzle for Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto, who has relentlessly reshaped his team the past three offseasons. His 2.67 ERA over the past four seasons is the second best in baseball, trailing only Clayton Kershaw's 1.99. Arrieta will be 32 on Opening Day, but he is still under 1,200 career innings.

Cons: Signing workhorse pitchers to long-term contracts can be risky business. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a perfect acquisition. Arrieta seems worth the risk.

Video: Nats showing interest in trading for Realmuto

Nationals

The acquisition: Marlins C J.T. Realmuto (trade).

Pros: He's 26 years old and already one of the five or six best catchers in the game. He could share the position with veteran Matt Wieters for a year and would shore up the closest thing the Nationals have to a weak link in their lineup.

Cons: The Nats have been built on power pitching, and this deal almost certainly will not happen without GM Mike Rizzo giving up at least a couple of his best arms. Washington probably wins the NL East again with or without a change at catcher.

Brewers

The acquisition: Rays RHP Chris Archer (trade).

Pros: Archer is 29 years old and signed to a team-friendly contract ($34 million) for the next four years. He would give Milwaukee a true ace for the front of the rotation and close the gap on the Cubs in the NL Central. Once Jimmy Nelson returns from September shoulder surgery, Milwaukee's rotation would be playoff-worthy.

Cons: Archer would cost the Brewers some of the Minor League depth they've worked so hard to accumulate. If the deal costs them outfield prospect Lewis Brinson, who's ranked No. 13 in the baseball, GM David Stearns will have a tough time giving the OK. Considering Archer's age and contract, he's worth it.

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.