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Rosenthal: the Rangers, Diamondbacks, Indians and Rays are discussing a potential mega deal

Dec 5, 2012, 8:32 AM EDT

Justin Upton AP AP

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that a potential blockbuster is brewing. Specifically, a mutli-team, multi-player trade that could involve Arizona, Cleveland, Texas and Tampa Bay with Justin Upton, James Shields and Asdrubal Cabrera being the biggest names involved.

Rosenthal — while cautioning that a deal is not imminent or even particularly likely at the moment — reports that one iteration of the trade would have Justin Upton heading to Texas, Asdrubal Cabrera to Arizona and the Indians getting “a package of young talent,” which could include the Rangers’ Mike Olt.

On paper this makes sense in that the Rangers — who are still mulling signing Josh Hamilton — want a bat, the Diamondbacks want a shortstop for Upton and the Indians need prospects.  Versions of the trade Rosenthal is hearing that include the Rays have James Shields being shipped out in exchange for a bat. He also says that simple two-team trades could easily spin out of this. It’s all very fluid, it seems.

But even if a monster deal like this doesn’t happen — and Rosenthal cautions that the odds are against it due to its difficulty — the mere fact that such talks are going down is instructive. Indeed, its evidence that the ability of teams to simply go out and sign what they need has been greatly curtailed due to a much more sparse free agent market thanks to teams locking up their core players at younger and younger ages.  The Rangers can’t simply add a reasonably-priced bat. The Diamondbacks can’t simply sign a starting shortstop.  Creativity is required.

  1. contraryguy - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    The Indians need a serious reboot, ML lineup is poor and their farm system has been looted; any deal which brings in some legit prospects would be of benefit. Too bad the team that gets Cabrera will probably use him at short; he’s a much better fielder at 2B.

    • tashkalucy - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Under The Dolan’s, Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti, the Indians are a never-ending rebuild.

      They’re shopping Choo, Perez, Cabrara and Masterson. For the past 2 years those have been their “core” players. Now their core players are going to be Kipnis, Brantley, Santana, a few relief pitchers (they have no starters of note), and whoever they pick up when trading the 4 guys above. In 2 years they’ll have Kipnis, Brantley and Santana up for trade, and half the prospects they get in trade ths week will be back in the minors for the rest of their careers.

      While they are rightfully being recognized nationwide as the joke of MLB (as Shapiro and Antonetti go around in circles with no plan), the Indians do provide a servie to MLB to get their revenue sharing money – they develop players for other major league teams. The Indians are the AAAA champions!

      • throughthewickets - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:38 AM

        “They’re shopping Choo…”

        Wouldn’t that involve going to the choo store?

      • tashkalucy - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:57 AM


    • tashkalucy - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Their farm system has been “looted”? By whom?

      Are you discussing Shapiro and Antonetti trading their best 2 pitching prospects for Ubaldo Jiminez? Because there was no one else in that system to loot.

      So you’re suggest the Indians do a “serious reboot” – i.e. trade any decent players for prospects. Well, that’s what they’re doing. Recently they traded their best 2 prospects for a terrible veteran that they will be lucky to get a mid-level, Class A prospect back for today. Now they’re trading the few decent players they developed for more prospects… you understand why I say that Shapiro and Antonetti are going in circles, and have been for 12 years?

      Bob Dylan has his ‘Never Ending Tour”. Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti have their “Never Ending Rebuild”.

  2. grizzlystrike - Dec 5, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    God please don’t do this AZ. Cabrera is overrated

    • klj58 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      I agree, not what I would like to see. I think they would be better of going after Drew again but that probably won’t happen.

    • klj58 - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:25 PM

      Also, I think Upton has much more value than Cabrera so if that’s all they got I think that would be a terrible deal.

  3. proudlycanadian - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Looks interesting. Nice to see teams trying to be creative. I hope it works.

  4. billymc75 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Cleveland could use Olt

    • tashkalucy - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

      Cleveland has maybe 7-8 decent players on their roster.

      Cleveland could use at least 10 more players that can function at teh major league level…..their front office sure can’t.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    A Ranger, a snake, Chief Wahoo, and a fish walk into a bar…..

    • unlost1 - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      funny, but snakes & fishes can’t walk

      • ugglasforearms - Dec 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

        Right… like when one of my students commented on Animal Farm “This is stupid. Pigs can’t talk.”

      • Jeremy T - Dec 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Would it have been funnier if he said “A Ranger and Chief Wahoo walk into a bar, while a fish pitifully flops and a snake slithers”?

      • unlost1 - Dec 6, 2012 at 3:05 PM


    • madnova - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      It’s a beam of light now, not a fish.

  6. Lukehart80 - Dec 5, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    I’m ready to stop seeing rumors of a trade involving the Indians and see an actual deal instead…

  7. TurkeyJoeJones - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    The deal that makes the most sense for cleveland would be to trade AC and Choo to Tampa for Shields and a prospect.

    • madnova - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:23 PM

      Cabrera at 2nd at Zobrist in the OF?

  8. madnova - Dec 5, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    And one does not simply walk into Mordor.

  9. kappy32 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    The new market, with the dismal free agent classes, are really going to test how good GM’s really are & I’m excited about it. You don’t get to really know the true value of big-market GM’s, such as Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, etc., because it doesn’t take much talent to throw boatloads of money at a guy you want. GM’s need to get creative, bringing in a 3rd & sometimes 4th team to complete a deal; GM’s need to take big risks by trading big-time “prospects” in exchange for proven players to help their team win now. This is going to be super interesting to watch & see which GM’s rise to the top & which ones are shown to be frauds, hiding their deficiencies behind their owner’s deep pockets.

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