It looks like Wade Davis is getting traded to the Chicago Cubs. The only thing stopping it now are some concerns about his health. If all is clear and the Cubs are satisfied with the way Davis turns his head and coughs, the defending champions are about to get a topnotch closer only weeks after winning it all with Aroldis Chapman as the ninth inning man.
Re-signing Chapman seemed unlikely from the start. Trading for Davis, though, never really was a possibility. Many believed the Cubs would go cheap in the closer spot. If they do get Davis, those beliefs will be crushed.
At this point it appears the package the Kansas City Royals will get for Davis will include Jorge Soler along with possibility two other prospects. The one guy I’m guessing the deal must include is Ian Happ.
Ian Happ is one prospect that must be included in the possible Wade Davis trade to the Chicago Cubs.
Happ is a second base prospect for the Cubs who if you look at the MLB roster has no place to play for at least a few more years. With Ben Zobrist and Javier Baez ahead of him on the depth chart as second base options, Happ is as expendable as any. He is also a top 100 prospect and a first round draft pick from 2015 who has already reached Double-A.
Another bonus, Happ plays a position the Royals are in the market for: second base. While Happ has gained some experience in the outfield during his two years in the minor leagues, his poor fielding last year beyond the infield dirt probably has solidified his place back at second base permanently. This is especially true if dealt to the Royals.
Offensively, there’s a lot to really like about Happ. He hit with decent power last year, knocking 30 doubles and 15 home runs. More importantly for a young kid like him, he has been getting onbase. Thus far Happ owns a .362 OBP which showcases his superior plate discipline. Happ has developed very quickly as a professional and if included in this possible trade for Davis, might see time in the MLB with the Royals as soon as mid-2017.
From one end of Missouri to the other, the St. Louis Cardinals are currently in pursuit of two important members of the Kansas City Royals. The men they’re after are center fielder Lorenzo Cain and closer Wade Davis. The proposed trade would include Kolten Wong along with a couple of prospects. Actually, if the Royals really will trade Cain and Davis, it’ll take more than just a “couple” of young minor league pieces. The Cardinals are going to need to pay a much steeper price to get a guy who finished third in the MVP voting in 2015 and a top three relief pitcher in baseball.
Clearly, the Royals are ready to move on from Cain and Davis. This doesn’t mean they will sell either short. Last year the asking price for Davis was an incredibly high one with the best example being the rumor that the Royals demanded Lucas Giolito from the Washington Nationals in return. The deal never did happen as the Nationals could get Mark Melancon from the Pittsburgh Pirates for far less than the game’s best pitching prospect. I’d imagine Cain would cost quite a bit too, but perhaps not as much.
What will it take for the St. Louis Cardinals to acquire Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis?
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As for the Royals acquiring Wong, I’m not so sure this gives us much of a glimpse into the full package. Wong is a guy in need of a change. I can't imagine him being more than a guy with MLB experience still with upside. The Royals will likely see which pitchers they can pry away from St. Louis as the Cardinals have an abundance of arms already in the big leagues and even on the way up to the big leagues. Alex Reyes might be a reach, but Luke Weaver is far more realistic. I would think at least one of them would need to be included in this deal based on last summer's Giolito for Davis rumor.
It's hard to imagine the Cardinals getting Cain and Davis in one deal. It's quite a bit to ask for in a single transaction. The Cardinals' farm system isn't quite deep enough either. The Royals also don't need to make any deals this offseason as they can possibly get a lot more next summer at the trade deadline instead. The Cardinals, thankfully, have other center field options in free agency. As for closer choices outside the organization, it's going to cost them a lot of dollars or prospects to get a lockdown ninth-inning man.
Oh my goodness the Pittsburgh Pirates have got to be insane. They've placed Josh Harrison on the trade block. However, the rest of the team is practically there with him too. The utility man may not have the talent they believed he did prior to signing an extension a few years back. Nevertheless, Harrison is a desirable trade chip I think these three teams should specifically target.
Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels need more than a new second baseman. They also need a spunky guy with wheels that can fill in other positions as well. This is exactly what Harrison is. The greatest benefit, Harrison allows the Angels more flexibility. Although he can start at second base this season, we may always see him shift to third base next depending on the future of Yunel Escobar. A possible fill-in at the outfield spots as well, there’s a lot teams can do with Harrison on the roster.
Which teams might have interest in trading for Josh Harrison?
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Los Angeles Dodgers
I'm sick of listing the Los Angeles Dodgers as a trade destination. Really, I am! But for Harrison, it's too perfect. Once they trade for him they can decide if their next move is second base or third base depending on where he plays. Harrison is a great fit for the Dodgers in a very similar way that Enrique Hernandez is. The major difference is Harrison can hit pretty well. The Dodgers need someone like this on their roster next year if only to save themselves from getting further into debt by filling each individual position with one player.
This last one is a little more adventurous and not in alphabetical order. The Baltimore Orioles have a somewhat lengthy list of chores this offseason. One could be to add a utility man. Harrison doesn't exactly have a starting spot although he could see significant time in the corner outfield spots. Harrison could keep the starters fresher and even give Baltimore an alternative to Adam Jones as the team’s leadoff hitter. If the Orioles do decide to move Manny Machado to shortstop permanently sooner rather than later, Harrison would immediately become a suitable option at third base full-time.