The MLB seems to be adopting the NBA style of tanking. You are either all in, or all out. The middle ground is evaporating, and the contenders are turning into Super Teams. If you want to contend with the Cubs and the Red Sox, you better be committed to really going for it. Just this week, we saw the Nats shed the #3 prospect in baseball for Adam Eaton, the Red Sox trade the #1 prospect for Chris Sale, and the Cubs trade 4 years of Jorge Soler’s potential for 70 innings of Wade Davis. The message is clear, you aren’t sneaking your way into a pennant. So lets make some moves for 5 teams that would really push them all in. The Nats, Cubs and Red Sox need some competition

  1. Cleveland Indians

Sign Edwin Encarnacion to a 3 year/60 million dollar deal with an opt-out after year 1. (What Yoenis Cespedes signed last year, just less money)

There is no question the Indians have the pitching to compete. The Staring 5 is the best in the league, and their bullpen proved just how filthy they were all October. There offense is competent behind MVP Candidate Francisco Lindor and the hopeful return of Michael Brantley, but if they want to compete with the “Superteams” they could really use one more thumper at DH. Enter the most impactful hitter on the market, Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion’s market has completely collapsed this off-season, and many are speculating he might have to take an interesting deal with an opt out after year 1 in order to strike the pay day he wants. Enter in the Indians, who just had a deep post-season run and theoretically have the extra cash to spend. The additions of Encarnacion and Brantley to the lineup could be precisely what the Indians need to get over the hump.

2017 Indians Lineup

  1. Carlos Santana, 1B
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  5. Michael Brantley, LF
  6. Jose Ramirez, 3B
  7. Chisenhall/Guyer, RF
  8. Tyler Naquin, CF
  9. Yan Gomes, C

Kluber-Salazar-Carrasco-Bauer-Tomlin w/ Miller and Allen still left.

Thats your new AL favorite if healthy

2. Colorado Rockies

Trade Brendan Rodgers, Ramiel Tapia, Kyle Freeland for Chris Archer

Trade Charlie Blackmon, Ryan McMahon for Steven Matz

Sign Mark Trumbo

Trevor Story is the Rockies long term SS so they swallow the fact Rodgers is going to be and absolute stud and move him for the most impactful starter on the market in Archer, who quickly becomes their ace for now and the future. This move made sense even before the winter meetings. Then Ian Desmond happened. The Rockies looked to be in prime position to compete for the next 5-10 years. Then they went out and signed Ian Desmond and confused everyone. I refuse to believe they are planning on actually putting him at 1B, its just to stupid a move. So we know Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez is getting moved for pitching. Blackmon has way more trade value, and so I decide to move him for more dramatic an effect. The Mets need a CF, and need a long term answer at 3B, and they get those from Colorado in Blackmon and McMahon. The Rockies get a solid middle of the rotation guy in Matz who joins the Rockies long term rotation of Hoffman, Gray, Anderson and Archer. Suddenly the Rockies can really pitch. The only hole left is 1B, so they splurge and lock up Mark Trumbo like they’ve been rumored to be interested too. Your 2017 Rockies put out a lineup of.

  1. DJ Lemahieu, 2B
  2. David Dahl, LF
  3. Nolan Arenado, 3B
  4. Trevor Story, SS
  5. Mark Trumbo, 1B
  6. Carlos Gonzalez, RF
  7. Ian Desmond, CF
  8. Tom Murphy, C

Archer, Gray, Matz, Anderson, Hoffman

Yeah, that should work. #dingers (seriously though, 3-6 might all hit 40 HR’s)

3. New York Mets

Trade Michael Conforto for Billy Hamilton

Trade Jay Bruce to the Orioles for a couple Cuban Cigars for Yo. 

The Mets are essentially running out their 2015 team with Yo back in the fold, except Matt Harvey is a bit worse and the staff is even less certain. So if they really want to contend with the 2017 super teams, they need to make another big move. I know Charlie Blackmon came to Flushing in an earlier deal, but I am writing each team’s blurb independently. The Mets didn’t make that hypothetical trade in their personal go for it hypothetical. Just wanted to clear that up. The Mets do still need a real CF though, and it comes in the form of Billy Hamilton. The Mets swap 5 years of Conforto for 3 years of Hamilton, as Terry Collins’ refusal to trust Conforto makes him weirdly expendable. The Mets window is the 4 years left with Yo, DeGrom, Thor, Matz and co. so a 1 year rental at CF won’t work. After the Hamilton trade the Mets finally have a CF, but still have 3 corner outfielders, so they send Jay Bruce down to Baltimore for nothing, because he is basically worthless with his current contract. Suddenly the Mets are supplementing their dominant staff with

  1. Hamilton, CF
  2. Granderson, RF
  3. Cespedes, LF
  4. Duda, 1B
  5. Walker, 2B
  6. Reyes, 3B
  7. D’Arnaud, C
  8. Cabrera, SS

Thor, DeGrom, Harvey, Matz and Lugo with Familia in the 9th

That has a chance to beat the Cubs

4. Seattle Mariners

Trade James Paxton, Tyler O’Neil, Drew Jackson for Andrew McCutchen

Trade Leonys Martin for a bullpen arm

Sign Ivan Nova

The Mariners make the move for Cutch. There was hot rumor on twitter the pirates asked for Edwin Diaz, Paxton and O’Neil for Cutch. The M’s need Diaz at closer next year, so instead we make the Pirates settle for Drew Jackson. Cutch’s market has dried up anyways. Mariners won’t need Martin anymore so he’s get shipped for a bullpen arm, and they sign Ivan Nova to fill Paxton’s spot and pray he is what he was in Pittsburgh.

  1. Jean Segura, SS
  2. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  3. Robinson Cano, 2B
  4. Nelson Cruz, DH
  5. Kyle Seager, 3B
  6. Danny Valencia, LF
  7. Dan Vogelbach, 1B
  8. Seth Smith, RF
  9. Mike Zunino, C

Felix, Iwakuma, Nova, Heston and Nate Karns is the rotation. Diaz still locking it down in the 9th.

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

Trade Jose DeLeon and Alex Verdugo for Brian Dozier

Sign Kenley Jansen

Trade Jordan Sheffield, Gavin Lux for Todd Frazier

Trade Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig for Ryan Braun + Cash

Trade Scott Kazmir to the Orioles for an oxford pullover for Kershaw

Saved the best for last. Here is your NL runner up from last year really pushing their chips in. First they move 2 top prospects for Dozier and his 40 HR power, sign Jansen back, move their 2 highest picks last year for Frazier and even more #dingers, unload Puig and Alex Wood for Braun (Brewers chip in on his contract a bit) and get rid of Kazmir’s deal to finance Braun. Your possible new NL front-runners

  1. Andrew Toles, LF
  2. Brian Dozier, 2B
  3. Corey Seager, SS
  4. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  5. Ryan Braun, RF
  6. Todd Fraizer, 3B
  7. Joc Pederson, CF
  8. Yasmani Grandal, C

Kershaw, Hill, Maeda, Urias and McCarthy/Ryu on the bump with Jansen still left for the 9th


So there you have it. If you wanna see some real powerhouse duke it out and not just the Red Sox and Cubs coasting until their showdown, root for these deals.