Kevin Towers will be busy man next week. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Travel itinerary? Check. Debit card? Check. How to be a better General Manager Seminar? Just kidding. Kevin Towers, the GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks should be making final preparations for his trip to Orlando, Florida for the annual Winter Meetings. Unlike other teams, the D’backs have been very quiet on the free agent front and will be focusing on filling holes via trade, something that Towers mentioned numerous times during the offseason. Well, the big week is just about to get underway and I would imagine the following teams will be on the agenda for Mr. Towers.
Chicago Cubs: As I previously wrote, the D’backs are one of the three finalists to claim Cubs’ righty Jeff Samardzija. One would expect that with some extended face-to-face time with Theo Epstein, Towers will have some real serious conversations about what it will take to bring the 28 year old Samardzjia to Phoenix. Perhaps it could evolve into a Justin Upton-type blockbuster with six or seven players changing addresses.
Tampa Bay Rays: The biggest pitching fish whose name has come up in trade talks is David Price. The D’backs have the prospects to get a deal done; the question is do they want give up significant chunks of their farm system to a guy who most likely only stick around for two seasons? Towers and Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman already have done business this month with the trade of Heath Bell to Tampa for Single A pitcher Justin Choate. Price’s name had to have come up in casual passing and perhaps talks will pick up next week.
Oakland A’s: Billy Beane and Kevin Towers have gotten together for some trades over the years. As our Christian Moffett posted earlier this week, Oakland and Arizona discussed a deal involving Yoenis Cespedes coming to the desert with Tyler Skaggs and A.J. Pollock going to the Bay Area. That proposal was basically declared dead by both sides but that doesn’t mean the two men won’t hook up again at say, the Magic Kingdom.
Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays have a couple of bats that would certainly interest Towers and company. Jose Bautista is supposedly available and his contract is for another three years at a reasonable $14 million per year. However, he has been hit with injuries the last two seasons which could be nothing or could be a red flag. The other guy is Edwin Encarnacion who is three years younger than Joey Bats, has been more effective the last two seasons and has a cheaper deal. Hence, it would take more to get him. Still, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos should be on speed dial and a conversation needs to take place regarding his two sluggers.
New York Mets: The Mets need a shortstop. The D’backs have plenty to spare. Perhaps Towers should ring fellow GM Sandy Alderson to find out what it would take to grab one of New York’s top pitching prospects, Noah Syndergaard and/or Rafael Montero. Mets’ fans are restless at the moment, concerned the organization has done nothing. A trade for a Major League ready shortstop would quell their anger.