With the all-star break officially over, the MLB are now looking to the second half of the 2017 season. The MLB season is more than half way over, and yes there is still the post season, but why not look ahead to the future. The off season is always a great time of the year seeing players move and try to win a World Series title. Looking ahead is one of the better parts of sports, because there are all these rumors that get taken out of proportion, and you never really know what the truth is or not.
The offseason sparks some rumors that you have not heard before. Some of the rumors are very unlikely to happen, and others are rumors that could happen if the deal is right for both sides. The Major League rumors start to swirl around the trade deadline, and they continue to swirl throughout the remainder of the season. Baseball players get paid the most in all the four major sports, and to see what player accepts what contract worth how much and for how many years is always interesting to see.
With some big names set to become free agents in the 2018 offseason, it makes it interesting to see where the big names will want to play. Their future is in their hands as they can choose where they want to play, and they can for the most part can get the money that they believe that they deserve. With that being said here is one player that every MLB team should target this off season.
30 Arizona Diamondbacks - Jonathan Lucroy
The Arizona Diamondbacks are on the come up as they have been on the up swing so far this season and will look to continue to improve. One player that the Diamondbacks should try to acquire in the 2018 offseason, is none other than Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy has been a great solid catcher during his eight year career in the MLB, and could be a big spark to that already good Arizona lineup. The Diamondbacks could use Lucroy's bat to help improve their chances of not only winning the NL West, but coming out of the National League as well.
Arizona currently is a potential playoff team, and if they can keep their core around in Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, Zack Grienke and company and add Lucroy to the fold the Diamondbacks could be contenders in the National League for the next few seasons.
29 Atlanta Braves - Alcides Escobar
The Atlanta Braves are still in the rebuilding phase, and one position that they could definitely use a veteran presence at is shortstop. One veteran short stop that the Braves should go after in the 2018 off season is none other than Alcides Escobar. The former ALCS MVP (2015), can help the young Dansby Swanson out with his at the plate skills. Swanson has not lived up to what the Braves thought he would be at this stage of his young career, but with some help from Escobar Swanson can take that next step to becoming one of the better shortstops in the game today.
Escobar has over 100 hits in every single season since the 2010 season, and could be a huge help to the Braves' lineup. Look for Atlanta to take the idea of adding another veteran hitter like Escobar to try and help them make the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
28 Baltimore Orioles - Eduardo Nunez
With the Baltimore Orioles transitioning Manny Machado between third base, and short stop it leaves a big hole at the other position that Machado is not playing. One player that could help fill that void is no other than Eduardo Nunez. Nunez has been an all-around good hitter in his eight year career so far, and could help improve the Orioles' lineup. With Machado looking to move more towards short stop, adding a guy like Nunez can let you do that as he can play third base, or he can also play short stop if Machado decides that he wants to play third base instead.
The Orioles are a good team, but they have not lived up to the expectations that they set for themselves in Spring Training. Adding a hitter like Nunez can help make the heart of their order one of the more dangerous ones in all of the MLB.
27 Boston Red Sox - Todd Frazier
The Boston Red Sox already have one of the better lineups in the MLB, but their is one position that they desperately need help in and that is third base. One player that they are linked to right now in trade rumors is Todd Frazier. If the Red Sox can't make the trade for Frazier by the trade deadline, they should go after his bat in free agency. Boston already has a good 1-2 punch in Mookie Betts, and Xander Boegarts, adding guys like Andrew Benintendi, Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez to that is already solid enough.
Adding a bat like Frazier makes it easier for the Red Sox sluggers to get some pitches that they wouldn't normally see. Frazier is a middle of the order type of hitter so having him go before or after the likes of Hanley Ramirez, and Xander Boegarts makes it hard to pitch to them. Look for the Red Sox to add Frazier's bat to their already great lineup, and to help give them one of the top five lineups in the MLB.
26 Chicago Cubs - Michael Pineda
The Chicago Cubs look to lose one, maybe two starting pitchers this off season, so they should look to add some depth to their rotation in the 2018 off season. One starting pitcher that they should go after is none other than Michael Pineda. Pineda is a cheap option for the Cubs to try and go after, and there is definitely better pitching available in the free agency class for 2018, but most of those starters are going to ask for money that the Cubs should not pay for.
Michael Pineda has been a solid starter and would make a great fourth starter for the Cubs rotation who already acquired Jose Quintana this season from the White Sox. Look for the Cubs to take advantage of a cheap Pineda deal to help add to their rotation for the 2018 season.
25 Chicago White Sox - Zack Cozart
The Chicago White Sox definitely could use an upgrade for their rotation, but one position they really need help with is shortstop. The one short stop that the White Sox should go after in the off season is none other than National League All-Star Zack Cozart. Cozart was the National League All-Star starting short stop this season, and will look to cash in on his all-star season. One team that could pay him the type of money that he could look for is the White Sox.
This seems like a perfect fit for both sides, and Cozart can help a young team by bringing a veteran presence to go along with Jose Abreu, and company. If they can get a solid number two hitter in the lineup like Cozart will help Chicago's rebuilding phase take a little less time than some people think it will take them.
24 Cincinnati Reds - Tyson Ross
The Cincinnati Reds need some help with their rotation, and they need a veteran starting pitcher that won't cost them a lot. One starting pitcher that they should look to acquire via free agency is none other than Tyson Ross. Ross has struggled for the most part of his major league career due to injury, and if he could stay healthy he could help a team like Cincinnati out. Adding a guy like Ross to their rotation can help some of their younger pitchers out, because they can learn from the veteran like Tyson Ross.
Yes, he has never had a winning record in a single season during his major league career, but he can be a solid starter for a team if he can stay healthy. If Ross can help a young team like Cincinnati make some noise in the NL Central that would help them potentially contend in the National League.
23 Cleveland Indians - Marco Estrada
The Cleveland Indians have not been what most of us thought they were going to be this year so far, and that is because of their rotation not looking the way that it did in 2016. So needless to say they should grab a starting pitcher in the off season and one starting pitcher that they should look at is Marco Estrada. Estrada has been a solid number three starter in the MLB today, and could help the Indians rotation out tremendously.
The Indians have one of the better lineups in the game today, and the addition to some quality starting pitching can go a long way for Cleveland. Estrada having a solid offense hitting to give him run support can help his style of pitching out big time. Look for the Indians to look to add some depth starting pitcher this upcoming off season, and Marco Estrada will be the best one for them to add.
22 Colorado Rockies - Melky Cabrera
The Colorado Rockies are very close to being a playoff team, but they need to add an outfielder to the mix. One free agent outfielder that the Rockies should go after is Melky Cabrera. Melky has bounced around throughout his career playing for the Yankees, Braves, Royals, Giants, Blue Jays, and the White Sox. With Cabrera not being able to find a home, Colorado should be the place that he looks to establish himself finally. The 13 year veteran should be a big time help for the Rockies outfield who already have Charlie Blackmon.
The Rockies can obviously use some pitching for their rotation, but the thought of getting another great bat like Melky Cabrera is a chance that they can't pass up. Look for Melky to be a member of the Rockies come spring training this upcoming season.
21 Detroit Tigers - Pat Neshek
The Detroit Tigers could definitely use some help in the bullpen going into the 2018 season. The Tigers should look no further than veteran relief pitcher Pat Neshek. Neshek is another player that has bounced around during his 11 year career. He has played for the Minnesota Twins, San Diego Padres, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, and the Philadelphia Phillies. The submarine style relief pitcher has been a great eight inning guy for many teams, and could help the Detroit Tigers out when it comes down the stretch of the game.
Looking ahead to the 2018 off season, the Tigers definitely need to upgrade their bullpen and Neshek would be the best option both financially and skill wise. Neshek can help the Tigers hold their leads in close games, and could help them find their way back into the playoffs.
20 Houston Astros - Jayson Werth
The Houston Astros are one of the best teams in baseball at this very moment so what would they need to upgrade. Houston could use a solid hitting left fielder, and they should look to acquire Jayson Werth via free agency in the off season. Werth is on his last legs, but he could help the Astros fill a void in left field that they need to fill. It would not be a long term plan to have Werth be their starting left fielder as he is almost 40 years old, but the 15 year veteran can help the Astros in their attempt to win now.
Houston has a solid young core in Jose Altuve, Carlos Correra, and company and have a realistic shot of winning a World Series in the next three seasons. Having a veteran bat like Jayson Werth can help the Astros achieve that goal of winning a World Series sooner rather than later.
19 Kansas City Royals - Jed Lowrie
The Kansas City Royals definitely need help in the center of the infield looking forward. One player that the Royals should try to go after in the off season is Jed Lowrie. The Kansas City Royals have fallen off so to speak since their first ever World Series victory in 2015. They are not the same team that they were, and adding a guy like Lowrie into the lineup can help the team out in the long run. Looking to win now is not the mentality that the Royals should be looking at due to the fact that some of their big bats are set to become free agents after the 2017 season.
Kansas City has to realize that they need to keep those guys in order to add guys to be successful in the stacked American League. Look for the Royals to change their whole dynamic of how they are going to approach their current situation and add a veteran middle infielder like Jed Lowrie.
18 Los Angeles Angels Of Anaheim - Brandon Phillips
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim need to add some firepower to help out superstar Mike Trout. One position that they could definitely use an upgrade in is second base, and in the offseason they should go after 16 year veteran Brandon Phillips. Phillips is a three-time all-star, and a four-time gold glove winner, and he could come in and help the Angels lineup out significantly.
The addition to a seasoned veteran like Phillips to go along with Mike Trout, and Albert Pujols is creating a great two-three-four part of a lineup that will be tough to pitch against. It might not be for more than a year or two, but adding Brandon Phillips to help out the lineup is huge for the Angels. Their top priority this offseason should be to add another solid bat to the lineup, and the bat they should focus on is Phillips'.
17 Los Angeles Dodgers - Lorenzo Cain
The Los Angeles Dodgers look to be able to contend year in and year out, but they are in desperate need of a center fielder. One center fielder that they should definitely go after in the 2018 free agency period is none other than Lorenzo Cain. Lorenzo Cain has spent seven out of his eight years in Kansas City and has been a key part of their success when they went to two straight World Series, and won the franchise's first one in 2015. The Royals seem to be breaking up and the Dodgers should capitalize on that.
The Dodgers having a guy like Lorenzo Cain hitting at the two hole will be key for a team that already has a good lineup so to speak. With an addition like Cain to an already solid lineup, the Dodgers will be real threats in the National League for years to come.
16 Miami Marlins - Jake Arrieta
The Miami Marlins need to add an ace since the loss of Jose Fernandez, who died in a boat crash last year. One ace that Miami should go all in for to say the least is Jake Arrieta. Arrieta is a former CY Young winner (2015), and was a part of the 2016 World Series Champions Chicago Cubs. The Marlins are looking to be a playoff team for the first time since they won the World Series in 2003. Marlin fans have been waiting to go back into the playoffs since they are 6-0 in playoff series in franchise history.
If they can add an arm like Arrieta they can have a realistic shot of going back into the playoffs, and if history is the way that it looks to be could bring home another World Series. Arrieta would love to get paid the money he deserves and he definitely could in Miami.
15 Milwaukee Brewers - Neil Walker
The Milwaukee Brewers are a young team that is looking to turn things around. They are currently fighting for a playoff spot and are trying to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011. One position that they could definitely use an upgrade at is second base, and one second baseman that would be a good fit for them is Neil Walker. A guy who can hit in the top part, or the bottom part of the lineup is a good addition for the Milwaukee Brewers. They need a hitter who can bounce around, and can be successful at any spot in the lineup and Walker can do just that.
Walker is a former Silver Slugger Award winner and would be a huge upgrade at second base for the Brewers. Look for Milwaukee to pay Walker a good amount of money to be their starting second baseman for the start of the 2018 season.
14 Minnesota Twins - Addison Reed
The Minnesota Twins have surprised people with their hot start, and even though they have cooled off as of late, they are still fighting for a playoff spot. The Twins could use a good solid right handed pitcher out of the bullpen, and one player that they should go after this upcoming off season is Addison Reed. Reed has yet to find a consistent home, but he could do so in Minnesota. He started his career with the White Sox, then went to the Diamond Backs, and then ended up on the New York Mets.
Addison Reed can be a good setup guy for their bullpen, or he could even be the closer for the Twins. Reed can pitch in either spots, and has shown how good a closer he can be so far during his time in the big leagues. Look for the Twins to bounce on the first opportunity that they get to sign Addison Reed next offseason.
13 New York Mets - John Lackey
The New York Mets rotation is a good rotation when it is healthy, but when it is not it looks like a disaster. They should try and find a starting pitcher that can help add depth to their starting rotation. One player that they should go after is 15 year veteran right hander John Lackey. John Lackey has been the best pitcher, but he can help you win games in both the regular season, and the post season. If the Mets can get a healthy rotation last a whole season, and adding Lackey to that they can be considered contenders in the National League.
Lackey has played for the Angels, Red Sox, Cardinals, and Cubs throughout his illustrious career and was known as an ace throughout the prime of his career. Now that Lackey is on the down swing he is labeled more as a fourth or fifth starter for teams around the league. Look for the Mets to take a chance on the veteran to help their rotation out starting in 2018.
12 New York Yankees - Eric Hosmer
The New York Yankees have a good young team, but they are in need of a bat to go with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez to create a great 3-4-5 punch. One position that they could definitely use an upgrade in is first base. The first baseman that they should shell out the money for is none other than Eric Hosmer. The three-time gold glover showed that he has the potential to be a 25/30-100 guy (home runs/runs batted in) and would absolutely strive playing at Yankee Stadium for half of the season.
As a left handed hitting first baseman he hits the ball to right field the majority of the time, which is really short for the average distance in right field for most Major League fields. If the Yankees get a big bat like Eric Hosmer they will be contenders in the American League, and will have a realistic chance of adding another World Series to an already impressive franchise resume.
11 Oakland Athletics - Mike Moustakas
The Oakland Athletics are a team rebuilding, and one position that they definitely need an upgrade in is third base. The third baseman that the A's should go after in the 2018 off season is Mike Moustakas. Moustakas would be a huge upgrade for the Athletics at third base, and would be a good left-handed bat that would cause a huge problem for most right handed pitchers pitching to the A's.
Looking at Moustakas and how great he has been in Kansas City, imagining him as the three/four/five hitter for a Oakland Athletics team he should have more success in Oakland. He is a big time left-handed hitter that can help improve the A's lineup. Look for Oakland to take a chance and sign the big time lefty third baseman that can help improve the A's lineup.
10 Philadelphia Phillies - Brandon Kintzler
The Philadelphia Phillies are a young not established team that is definitely in need for some big time changes. One position that they definitely need help in is the bullpen, especially a right handed reliever. One player that they should go after next off season is Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler has been the closer for the Twins for the past two seasons, and has been a solid addition for the Twins.
If the Phillies can get a good closing pitcher, then they can add to their offense and then they can be a better team. Kintzler is an eight year veteran who looks to have his career going in the right direction, and to be one of the better closers in the game. Look for the Phillies to add Kintzler in the offseason to add to their bullpen.
9 Pittsburgh Pirates - Danny Valencia
The Pittsburgh Pirates got screwed by the loss of Jung Ho Kang who got a DUI for the third time in his life. Pittsburgh definitely needs a third baseman that is not David Freese, and the player they should look to add in the 2018 off season is none other than Danny Valencia. Valencia has bounced around since his major league debut in 2010, he has played for the Twins, Red Sox, Orioles, Royals, Blue Jays, Athletics, and the Mariners. The right-handed third baseman would be a great fit for the Pirates, because he won't ask for a lot and he can contribute to the lineup.
Valencia can also play first base if they are in need to give someone a night off. Look for Pittsburgh to take a chance on Valencia and lock him up for a long-term deal this off season.
8 San Diego Padres - Matt Garza
The San Diego Padres are in desperate need for starting pitching for their rotation. One player that the Padres should look at trying to acquire in free agency is none other than Matt Garza. The 12 year veteran has bounced around in his career starting off in Minnesota, before making stops at Tampa Bay, Chicago Cubs, Texas, and Milwaukee. Garza still got some solid years left in him, and the Padres should use that to try and get him to pitch for them in 2018.
San Diego is looking for an upgrade in the worst way, as they have yet to make the playoffs since 2006. Garza is an addition that would help you out now and not down the line, as that young Padres lineup needs some veteran pitching to pitch for them. Look for the Padres to pay Garza well to come in and be a two or three year solution.
7 San Francisco Giants - Carlos Gonzalez
The San Francisco Giants are looking at the possibility of upgrading in the outfield. They are already pretty solid all-around, but if they could add another big bat they could be realistic contenders for the World Series. The outfielder with the big bat that they should go after is none other than Carlos Gonzalez. "Cargo" is a three-time all-star, three-time gold glove winner, and a two-time silver slugger award winner.
The addition of a big bat like Carlos Gonzalez makes sense for what the Giants need in order to succeed. San Francisco should be buyers this off season in order to repeat, as if they can acquire a guy like Carlos Gonzalez not only will it create a dangerous duo in Buster Posey, and himself, but it will add some serious home run power to a team that could use a big bat in the heart of their lineup.
6 Seattle Mariners - Logan Morrison
The Seattle Mariners are one hitter away from being considered a big time threat in the American League. One position that they really need an upgrade is first base, and one first base man that has been on the rise this season that they should acquire this off season is Logan Morrison. Morrison had his stint with the Mariners, and a reunion would be good for both sides. Morrison would help create a dangerous 3/4/5/6 part of the lineup that would be tough to pitch to. Adding him to go along with Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz, and Robinson Cano sounds deadly.
With Morrison poised to have his big breakout season this year, he will get paid very well in the off season. Seattle should be all over the idea of having a dangerous 3 through 6 part of the order that will make it almost impossible to pitch to on a nightly basis.
5 St. Louis Cardinals - Carlos Gomez
St. Louis could use an outfielder to add to the depth of their team. One player that would be a great fit for them, and could eventually steal a starting outfield spot is none other than Carlos Gomez. Gomez has bounced around during his 11 year career as he started off with the New York Mets, before making stops in Minnesota, Milwaukee, Houston, and Texas. He has the bat that could help the Cardinals produce either at the top of the lineup, or the bottom of the lineup.
Carlos Gomez can hit anywhere in the order and be a successful hitter for any team.Look for St. Louis to grab Gomez this off season with a friendly contract that will help their depth in the outfield, but can help stay a consistent team like they have been.
4 Tampa Bay Rays - Lucas Duda
The Tampa Bay Rays should look for a big bat that can fill a void in the middle of the lineup for them. One player that would fit that void for them is none other than Lucas Duda. The eight year veteran has spent his entire career with the New York Mets, and if he plays in the American League he has a realistic chance of becoming a DH, which could be beneficial for him. With Duda only hitting, and not playing the field makes you think that there is potential that he could stay healthy for the Rays.
Tampa Bay should take a chance to add the big left-handed hitter, who can hit around 20/25 home runs to go along with 85/90 runs batted in. Look for Duda to get a friendly deal from the Rays to be able to become the first baseman/designated hitter for them.
3 Texas Rangers - Alex Avila
The Texas Rangers need a defensive minded catcher to help them out on the field. One catcher that will be available this off season that Texas should take a chance on is none other than Alex Avila. Avila has spent the majority of his career with the Tigers, and one year with the White Sox, and has been a good solid defensive catcher. He can be a ten home run and fifty runs batted in guy for the Rangers, but they would be signing him for his defensive ability not his bat.
The Rangers are looking to become serious contenders, and adding a guy who can call a great game behind the plate like Alex Avila would be huge for them. Look for the Rangers to add him this offseason to help make the Rangers a contender again.
2 Toronto Blue Jays - Yu Darvish
The Toronto Blue Jays are in desperate need in an ace on their staff. With Marcus Stroman not leading the way that they would have liked the Blue Jays will go all in on a ace during the 2018 off season. One ace that would be a perfect fit for the Blue Jays is none other than Yu Darvish. The four-time allstar would benefit from having a lineup like Toronto has to back him up. The five year veteran has been a solid starting pitcher for the Rangers, and he should look to take his talents up north to Toronto.
Having guys like Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, and company hitting for you is a big boost for a pitcher. With that being said Darvish is going to get paid this winter, and one team that will shell out the money that he is looking for is none other than the Toronto Blue Jays.
1 Washington Nationals - J.D. Martinez
The Washington Nationals need another big bat in their lineup, and it has to be in the outfield. With that being said one player that they should try and target this offseason is none other than J.D. Martinez. Martinez started his career off in Houston, before taking his talents to Detroit, and he has been a solid heart of the order guy for the Tigers. He can be a 30/100 guy for any team in the MLB, and the Nationals should do everything in their power to get him.
With the rumors swirling of Bryce Harper potentially leaving when he hits free agency, if they can acquire a big bat like Martinez might want to make him want to stay even more. Look for the Nationals to add the former all-star to the fold, as they look to win their first playoff series as the Nationals, and their first World Series in franchise history as well.
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