With the World Series in the rearview mirror, it is time to look ahead and think about moving major pieces around to try and win a championship. With all of the top free agents locked up for long-term deals, each team is in a completely different situation this off-season. Teams like the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics have had extremely disappointing off-seasons, with the Giants missing out on both Aaron Judge and Carlos Correa, and the Athletics simply refusing to spend any money on a big-name player. Other teams, like the New York Mets and New York Yankees, have had extremely positive off-seasons, committing just under one billion dollars to multiple big-name players, such as Judge and Justin Verlander. The Mets actually had a deal in place with Correa, which, similar to the Giants’ deal, fell through due to physical concerns, resulting in a third contract for Correa with the Verlander twins. The off-season has been tentative thus far, and many teams would like to spice things up by bringing in a new player to galvanize their group and lead them to a World Series. Here are three realistic trades that would benefit MLB teams heading into the 2023 season.
1. The Los Angeles Angels trade Shohei Ohtani to the San Francisco Giants for Joey Bart, alongside top prospects, Marco Luciano, Kyle Harrison, and Casey Schmitt.
Okay, I know this trade sounds ridiculous. I know Shohei Ohtani is currently one of the best players in the entire league, but look at his contract. He only has one more year left with the Angels, who, for his entire career, have been mired in the depths of the AL Central, having not made the playoffs since 2014. Ohtani is becoming impatient, and with only one year left on his contract, he is becoming somewhat expendable. The Angels’ formula is clearly not working, and it is time for them to accept that their roster is not championship material, which means trading away the stars for prospects. Joey Bart is a blooming (former top prospect) catcher, who perhaps needs a change of scenery to help unlock the vast reserves of potential he seems to be wasting in San Francisco. Luciano, Harrison, and Schmitt are current prospects number one, number two, and number six respectively in the Giants organization according to the MLB’s website. Since all of them are under the age of 23, they are considered to have high ceilings. This trade would benefit the Angels by getting the most out of Ohtani, who will likely not re-sign with them in the coming year, and benefit the Giants by giving them one year of Ohtani’s service. This, when coupled with the mastermind Gabe Kapler, could boost them into championship contention.
2. The Philadelphia Phillies trade JT Realmuto to the New York Yankees for Kyle Higashioka, Luis Severino, and number six Yankees prospect Trey Sweeney.
With the Yankees looking for a catcher, they should trade for the best one: JT Realmuto. The Yankees have incredible depth at shortstop, holding two of the highest touted prospects in ages, leaving their third-best shortstop prospect somewhat expendable for trade. While the Phillies just signed Trea Turner to a mega-deal, they lack a consistent second baseman. If Sweeney were to learn from Turner, switching Sweeney to second base would make a lot of sense. Kyle Higashioka fills the hole at catcher for the short term, allowing the Phillies to look for other options. They add great pitching depth with former Yankee ace Luis Severino, who throws in the high 90 range and has shown great signs coming off major injuries. For the Yankees, they add another major piece in their quest for championship number 28. Owner Hal Steinbrenner is known to be aggressive in off-seasons and the Yankees could cash in all their chips to truly push for the championship.
3. The Atlanta Braves trade Max Fried and Ronald Acuña Jr. to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Mookie Betts and Brusdar Graterol.
In this trade, two contenders swap top players. The Dodgers add pitching depth and a face of the franchise with Ronald Acuña Jr., who will replace Cody Bellinger to fill the Dodgers’ last major flaw in their starting nine. Max Fried bolsters their roster and gives them a reliable number-one lefthander in front of the aging Clayton Kershaw. The Braves get Mookie Betts, who is still playing some of the best baseball of his career, as well as flamethrower Brusdar Graterol, who should help their subpar bullpen immensely. The Dodgers add younger star players to extend their championship window, while the Braves add older, veteran stars to ideally push for their second title in three years.