MLB (Blue Jays/Giants): Giants acquire outfielder Kevin Pillar from Toronto Blue Jays – April 2nd, 2019
For over a month, the San Francisco Giants have expressed interest in acquiring Kevin Pillar from the Toronto but it wasn’t until 5 days into the season was a deal struck.
This offseason, the San Francisco Giants took multiple blows to their outfield losing Gorkys Hernandez and Hunter Pence to free agency, leaving major holes. The Giants were in play for outfielder Bryce Harper but he decided to sign with the Phillies over San Francisco. All this being said, the Giants are left with below average outfielders in Steven Duggar, Gerardo Parra, and Connor Joe. The addition of Pillar provides a huge improvement in center field and is a starting point in the team’s outfield rebuild. The Giants will have Kevin Pillar under team control for the next two seasons.
As for Toronto, the Blue Jays receive a handful depth players in infielder Allen Hansen and pitchers Derek Law and Juan De Paula. These additions are not impactful to the MLB club as the Blue Jays have other plans now with Pillar shipped off to San Francisco. The Toronto Blue Jays called Anthony Alford from AAA-Buffalo today which all signs point to him as the new starter in center for the season.
Authors Take: This is a win for the San Francisco Giants. This is a starting point in the team’s rebuild in their outfield and they get a solid defensive player in Pillar. Pillar will be the Giants everyday center fielder which could push Steven Duggar to left field, leaving Parra in right. The Giants could just hope that Pillar gets out of his 1-15 slump to start the 2019 season. As for Toronto, they did get some solid depth for their minor leagues in Hansen, Law and De Paula. They are not big factors in the MLB club but they could used as useful depth down the line.
MLB (Blue Jays/Dodgers): Dodgers acquire C Russell Martin from Toronto Blue Jays – January 11th, 2019
It’s a homecoming for Russell Martin. It has been over 8 years since Russell Martin was a Los Angeles Dodger and it did not end great. In 2011, Martin and the Dodgers had issues over money which led to the Dodgers non-tendering him and avoiding arbitration and having Martin saying the team no longer believed in him. Martin would later sign with the New York Yankees in 2011.
Fast forwarding 8-year later, the Los Angeles Dodgers have an open hole at catcher due to the team not aggressively pursuing longtime catcher Yasmani Grandal in free agency and with the trade market fully operational the Dodgers go back to their roots. The addition of Russell Martin gives a much improvement over Austin Barnes who provides a more better option defensively more so than a hitter. The Blue Jays will cover the remaining $20 million left on Martin’s contract.
Heading to Toronto in this trade are Ronny Birto and Andrew Sopko. Sopko is the Dodgers 2015 7th round selection who has been a development piece having played as high as Double-A. Ronny Birto, 19, has played in the Dominican Summer League and the Ogden Raptors for Los Angeles and is set to play for the Bluefield Blue Jays once he joins the team.
MLB (Diamondbacks/Cardinals): Cardinals acquire 1B Paul Goldschmidt from Arizona – December 5th, 2018
It’s an end of an era in Arizona. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in full rebuild mode as in a matter of 48 hours they lost Patrick Corbin, Paul Goldschmidt and, Chris Owings to new teams. Not to mention A.J. Pollock still remains a free agent as well.
The St. Louis Cardinals were expected to become buyers this offseason as they have been linked to big-name bats such as Josh Donaldson but he signed with Atlanta and Paul Goldschmidt in which they were able to strike a deal for. The addition of Goldschmidt fills the hole the team has been trying to fill in the middle of their lineup as well as a more reliable first baseman. Paul Goldschmidt was set to hit free agency at the end of 2019 and we won’t surprised if a contract extension with St. Louis takes place.
As for Arizona, as mentioned before, this team is in full rebuild mode. In exchange for Goldschmidt, the Diamondbacks receive pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, and infielder Andrew Young. The focus of the deal is mainly around Weaver and Kelly as the Diamondbacks are looking into both players as long-term options especially Carson Kelly. Carson Kelly is expected to share time behind the plate with Alex Avila as Luke Weaver will look to rebound in 2019 after an underperforming 2018 campaign. Weaver is under Diamondbacks control for the next five seasons.
With Goldy gone, the Diamondbacks will now need to find a new option at first base as Christian Walker is in line to start the season. Logan Morrison, Carlos Santana and, Matt Adams are all possible options in free agency.
P.S. we don’t expect Arizona to be done trading as Zack Greinke has also been mentioned in trade rumors as well.
NFL (Cowboys/Raiders): Dallas Cowboys acquire WR Amari Cooper from Oakland Raiders for 1st round pick – October 22nd, 2018
The Oakland Raiders are continuing their fire sale and this time it is Amari Cooper who is being traded away. The Raiders already have traded away key pieces on both sides of the ball as Khalil Mack was traded to the Bears and now Amari Cooper is on his way out of Oakland.
The Dallas Cowboys have been dealing with issues in the passing game all season long as they don’t have that standout receiver on their roster since Dez Bryant left. Amari Cooper fills that void in for the Cowboys who’s best receiver at this point of the season is Cole Beasley. This season, Amari Cooper has been a non-existent factor in the Raiders offense and it was absurd to hear that the Raiders asking price was a first rounder for a guy who has not performed at an elite level to draw a 1st round pick in a trade. This show’s you just how desperate the Cowboys need a receiver.
As for the Oakland Raiders, this team’s season is over before it got started. They currently sit at 1-5 on the season, Jon Gruden is public enemy #1 across the football world but the team is locked and loaded for the 2019 NFL Draft. The Raiders are building for the future and have acquired two first round picks in 2019 in the Mack and Cooper trades which brings their total to three 1st round picks in 2019. If the Raiders draft smart in 2019, the could possibly end up with top prospects like Nick Bosa, Ed Oliver, A.J. Brown and Damien Harris.
Trade Winner: In a tough one, I would say it’s the Raiders. They got what desired for Cooper and now it equips the team to have a successful 2019 NFL Draft. Amari Cooper is a solid addition for the Cowboys but for how long? Amari Cooper is under contract until 2019 in which he can walk in free agency. The Raiders get a long-term answer with that first round draft pick.
NFL: (Saints/Jets): Saints acquire QB Teddy Bridgewater – August 29th, 2018
One of the hottest names of the preseason is now on the move, Teddy Bridgewater was officially traded from the New York Jets to the New Orleans Saints for a third-round pick.
Over the years the Saints have brought in “backups” in Chase Daniel and Garrett Grayson but Daniel is an aging lifetime backup and Grayson is certainly not the heir to the Saints throne. Teddy Bridgewater lands in a situation where he has that chance to become the successor to Drew Brees in New Orleans. Drew Brees, 38, does not have many years left and the with the addition of Bridgewater it certainly gives the team a young veteran quarterback for their future.
As for the New York Jets, the team will move on with the original plan with Sam Darnold as the starter with Josh McCown backing him up. The Jets were asking for a solid return and they did just that and found a third-round pick for a guy who is on a one-year tryout deal at the time.
NFL: (Seahawks/Packers): Seahawks acquire QB Brett Hundley – August 29th, 2018
Looking to add an upgrade at quarterback, the Seahawks did that by acquiring Brett Hundley from the Green Bay Packers. The full details is that the Seahawks acquired a 6th round pick in exchange for the 4th year quarterback.
All preseason long, Brett Hundley was battling for his backup job with newly acquired quarterback DeShone Kizer, who was acquired in a trade with the Browns. The Packers found Hundley as potential trade bait and cashed in on him at a reasonable price.
Brett Hundley joins Seattle and will be their immediate backup as the final preseason game will determine the #3 quarterback between Austin Davis and rookie Alex McGough. Hundley was horrendous last season in Green Bay but was able to bounce back this preseason with decent performances. Hundley is under contract for one more season before hitting free agency next year.
MLB: (Padres/Indians): Indians acquire CP Brad Hand for C Francisco Mejia – July 19th, 2018
As earlier reported on our MLB Rumors page, the Brad Hand sweepstakes were back on and now a deal has finally be set as the Padres traded the closer to the Indians for top prospect Francisco Mejia.
Brad Hand: Hand, 28, has had a big market and the Indians had the best offer. This season, Brad Hand has converted 24 of 29 saves this season. Brad Hand lands in a situation where he will likely be splitting saves with current closer Cody Allen while Andrew Miller will be working the later innings once he comes back from his DL stint. Brad Hand is currently under contract for the next two seasons with also a club option for 2022. Hand is the Indians long-term solution at closer should Allen and Miller both walk in free agency.
Francisco Mejia: Francisco Mejia, 22, is one of the Indians top prospects in their farm system. Mejia has experience playing both in the outfield but has prominently been playing catcher throughout his time with the Indians. Shortly after being acquired by the Padres, the Padres said they will keep Mejia at catcher. Mejia will likely be sent straight to AAA for San Diego while he will wait for his time to be called. Austin Hedges and A.J. Ellis will remain the starter and backup in the meantime.
Final Thoughts: This is a great deal for both teams. The Cleveland Indians have been struggling mightily in their pen this season and Brad Hand is solid addition to provide depth there. Hand is also under Indians control for the next few seasons as well. As for the Padres, they found their future at the catcher position. Mejia could push Austin Hedges out of the starting role in the future as Mejia is a solid hitter as where Hedges does have slumps. It will not shock us if Mejia pushes Hedges over for the starting role in 2019.