By Bob Owens
For my third installment, i tackled the N.L Central, and fully expect to incur the wrath of Brautigan and Kerry (Cardinal fans) and John (Brewers fan)
Chicago Cubs – Matt Garza (RHP)
A lot of what they do will be based on what Bud Selig gives to Boston, for the Cubs signing Theo Epstein. However, a number of teams have inquired about Garza, and Theo and new GM Jed Hoyer have made it clear that nobody is untouchable; they will clearly eat some salary to insure a better return, as evidenced by their recent trade of Carlos Zambrano.
Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto (1B) This could be the biggest name traded this season, as the Reds are concerned he will take his talents to the American League when his contract expires after 2013. Trading him this year will give a new team plenty of time to sign him to a contract extension, ala Adrian Gonzalez. Off course if the Reds are in the thick of things, they will not entertain this thought until November. Which will still give said club plenty of time to negoiate with Votto.
Houston Astros – Wandy Rodriguez (LHP),
And yes their other options are less enthralling.
Milwaukee – John Axford (RHP)
The Brewers, a playoff team last year, have lost Prtince Fielder for 162 games, and possibly Ryan Braun for 50. This means that they will probably lose more games this year, making a closer a moot point. Also, as a proven closer, Axford should have a decent amount of value. A lot of what this team does will be based on the results of the Braun hearing. (I know, pointing out the obvious.)
St. Louis Cardinals – Kyle McClellan (RHP)
I honestly was going to pick a pitcher as we have known the Cards are in the Roy Oswalt hunt, and need to clear a spot. The headlines made it easier when I read the Cards are trying to trade McClellan with Baltimore as a possible fit.
Pittsburgh Pirates – Andrew McCutchen (CF)
I do not think the Pirates should trade Andrew McCutchen, even though I read he is a possibility if he does not sign an extension. I also doubt they part with Pedro Alvarez, as no team will give up what the Pirates want for the former 1st round pick. I suppose Brad Lincoln or Nate McCouth might fetch something, although I’m not convinced of it.
Up next: The AL West