Alderson: We’re certainly canvassing the market. We’ve already talked to one club about somebody who is under contract for next year, but at the same time, we have to measure that contribution against what we have to give up, and right now the prices are a little high.
The above was what Sandy Alderson stated on WFAN on Wednesday July 24th in response to a statement Mike Francesca made about possibly bringing in an impact position player this year.. ..Since then a flurry of online commenting has gone on about WHO this person might be. A player who is under contract through 2014. Assuming this player is an OF, below is a list of players who fit this description minus any guys who are over the age of 35 as players older than that probably are not going to be impact players in Sandy's Plan, any teams in the NL East and the Yankees since they are not inclined to help rivals, Nyger Morgan since he's in Japan, Ryan Ludwick since he is injured, and guys would are on teams slated to be buyers rather than sellers. That leaves us with just the 7 guys below in blue.
Nate Schierholtz, 29 (Cubs) 15 games out of 1st NL Central
Alex Rios, 32 (White Sox) 14 game out of 1st AL Central
Melky Cabrera, 28 (Blue Jays) 11.5 games out of 1st AL East
Chris Denorfia, 32 (Padres) 8.5 games out of 1st NL West
Colby Rasmus, 26 (Blue Jays) 11.5 games out of 1st AL East
Norichika Aoki, 31 (Brewers) 19.5 games out of 1st NL Central
Michael Cuddyer, 34 (Rockies) 4 games out of 1st NL West
2013 Salary: $2.25MM
2014 Salary: Arbitration Eligible
Stats: .269, 11 HR, 34 RBI, 5 SB (71%), 19 BB, 43 K
Nate Schierholtz is in the middle of a career year with the Chicago Cubs and the team is reportedly shopping but "not in a rush to deal him" since he is under team control for another year. Regardless, Schierholtz is not quite an "impact" bat as he is more of a role player. The low salary is appetizing though and if the price tag is right maybe the Mets bring him in. I don't see it though.
2013 Salary: $12.5MM
2014 Salary: $12.5MM
2015 Salary: $13.5MM club option or $1MM buyout.
Stats: .270, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 19 SB (76%), 29 BB, 66 K
Rios has been a prime target and is widely regarded as the main candidate to match these comments made by Alderson. Rios is in the midst of a slump right now and the team could buy low and have the White Sox cover half the salary for a few mid-level prospects like Logan Verrett, Cory Mazzoni, or Aderlin Rodriguez. The White Sox's asking price has been reportedly high though and if the team really wants to do this move they may want to wait till the deadline to make the Sox sweat it out and drop their price. If he returns to his production from last year, $12.5MM/year is a steal. However there are concerns since he will be 33 next season. Last time they signed a 30+ year old OF (Jason Bay) it didn't turn out so great.
2013 Salary: $8MM
2014 Salary: $8MM
Stats: .278, 3 HR, 29 RBI, 2 SB (50%), 21 BB, 43 K
Post PED Melky Cabrera? No thanks I'll Pass. On a more serious note. How do we even know if the Blue Jays are going to throw in the towel on this season? Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos built this team to compete for multiple titles and while they may be 13.5 games out of 1st place, the team has the kind of players that could go on a long win streak and be right back in it. Plus if I want anyone from the Blue Jays its this next guy....
2013 Salary: $4.675MM
2014 Salary: Arbitration Eligible
Stats: .262 AVG, 16 HR, 48 RBI, 0 SB (0%), 30 BB, 108 K
Rasmus is the youngest player in this group and like Schierholtz is arbitration eligible next season and shouldn't receive a much larger payout than he is getting now. The major issue here is that he strikes out way too much with his K rate currently at 30.2% of his plate appearances. We already have 2 cost controlled OF'ers that possess power, great defense, but strike out too much in Kirk Nieuwenheis and Matt Den Dekker.
2013 Salary: $2MM
2014 Salary: $2.25MM
Stats: .270 AVG, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 7 SB (100%), 24 BB, 49 K
Denorfia may be the best value of the bunch as he has a low salary locked in for both this year and next year. He puts the ball in play, should get a small bump in power going from PETCO to CITI, and plays average defense at all 3 OF positions. The possible snag in this one happens to be his contract as well. The Padres are widely known for trying to keep a low team payroll and may view Denorfia as a cost effective piece for next year as well and may not be inclined to trade him unless they get a nice overpriced return. Still of the guys so far, He would be my target.
2013 Salary: $1.25MM
2014 Salary: $1.5MM club option + $1.0875MM in possible bonuses or $0.25MM buyout
Stats: .292 AVG, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 10 SB (50%), 32 BB, 21 K
OK I take back what I just said; Aoki may in fact be the best value of this bunch. He also fits the "Moneyball" mold perfectly as he doesn't strike out and in fact BB's more than he K's. He also possesses an added element of speed to his game. He stole 30 bases last year but only has 10 this year but it's not from a lack of trying as he has also been thrown out 10 times. Such a cost effective contract will come with a steep price though as the Brewers look to re-tool there team as with the Ryan Braun PED scandal, Corey Hart lost for most of the season, and Prince Fielder gone they are a mere shell of what the team used to be.
2013 Salary: $10.5MM
2014 Salary: $10.5MM
Stats: .329 AVG, 16 HR, 56 RBI, 6 SB (86%), 30 BB, 59 K
Last but not least is probably the most interesting of guys on this list. Cuddyer is the oldest of the group but actually possesses the best stats of them too. Not only that but David Wright specifically hand picked him over many other more defined sluggers in the National League to partake in the Home Run Derby in which he performed pretty well. Was it and the All-Star Game actually a secret scouting opportunity for the Mets? The contract isn't too hefty, the stats look good, but could it be the Coors effect? Will moving to Citi Field damage his production back to his career norms? Also the Rockies are still in the thick of the National League West race. Why would they be inclined to trade one of their top hitters?
There's all the facts ladies and gentleman. If your Sandy Alderson, who are you targeting and what would you trade to get him?