For Starters: Rays At Twins, Looking To Archer For Help

Khris DavisKhris DavisBen Margot/Associated Press

Houston Astros: Sign Clayton Kershaw

With Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton set to walk in free agency, some decisions will need to be made about the future of the starting rotation.

Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Lance McCullers Jr. are presumably locked into three spots, while young guys like Josh James, Framber Valdez and top prospect Forrest Whitley all look ready to make an impact at the MLB level. They could go young, but with the window to contend still wide-open, expect at least one of those spots to be filled by a known commodity.

Simply bringing back Morton or Keuchel is the most likely solution, but we're talking flashy moves, and it wouldn't get any flashier than signing Clayton Kershaw. The Texas native might welcome a chance to pitch closer to home, and if the Dodgers don't win a title this season, he could be ready for a change of scenery.

With no other glaring holes to fill and money to spend, it's not out of the realm of possibility, should Kershaw decide to test the open market in earnest.


Los Angeles Angels: Sign Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin has been a member of the Angels organization once before. They originally selected him in the second round of the 2009 draft before shipping him to the D-backs as part of the Dan Haren trade.

With a glaring need to bolster the starting rotation and Corbin looking like the best candidate for a long-term deal, a reunion could be forthcoming.

Mike Trout is only signed for two more years, so now is not the time for the Angels to sit on their hands. At the same time, it's unlikely they'll entertain any high-profile trades since their emerging farm system will be the key for life after Trout, should he choose to walk.

A splashy free-agent signing or two to address the rotation seems like the most likely outcome then, and Corbin should be atop their wish list.

The 29-year-old went 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 246 strikeouts in 200 innings. 


Oakland Athletics: Extend Khris Davis

Khris Davis has his shortcomings as a player.

He's now a full-time DH, which limits his value, and his consistent .247 batting average and sub-.330 on-base percentage leaves something to be desired from a player who generates all of his value with his bat.

However, he's also one of the most dangerous sluggers in baseball.

The 30-year-old has averaged 44 home runs and 112 RBI over the past three seasons, and he posted career highs in home runs (48), RBI (123), OPS+ (136) and WAR (2.9) this past season while helping the A's to a surprise postseason berth.

Davis is also a fan-favorite and a positive clubhouse presence, and while letting players walk in free agency has become the Oakland way in recent years, he's the kind of player who needs to be retained. He'll be a free agent after the 2019 season, so extending him now make sense.


Seattle Mariners: Trade for Zack Greinke

With a paper-thin farm system that ranked No. 30 in our final update, the Mariners will need to get creative if they want to make a splash on the trade market.

And if there's one thing we know about general manager Jerry Dipoto, it's that he has every intention of doing just that.

While they lack the chips to trade for a young, controllable arm, it might not take much in the way of prospects to pry Zack Greinke loose if they're willing to take on a sizeable portion of his remaining salary.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the D-backs would "love to move" Greinke, as a busy offseason of rebuilding could be in store in the desert. The 34-year-old went 15-11 with a 3.21 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 199 strikeouts in 207.2 innings, and he's owed $104.5 million over the next three years.

Felix Hernandez is owed $27.9 million in 2019 in the final year of his deal, There would be more to it than this, but if the D-backs are willing to pay the bulk of his 2019 salary, the Mariners might be willing to take on the bulk of his 2020 and 2021 commitment if the acquisition cost is low enough.


Texas Rangers: Trade Joey Gallo

The Rangers are expected to be sellers this offseason. Reliever Jose Leclerc and starter Mike Minor are among the most likely players to be dealt, while they could also entertain offers for second baseman Rougned Odor and his team-friendly contract. Shin-Soo Choo, Alex Claudio, Jurickson Profar, Delino DeShields and Robinson Chirinos also figure to hear their names on the rumor mill.

Trading any one of those guys wouldn't really qualify as a "flashy" move, though.

Trading slugger Joey Gallo would.

Gallo, 24, has smacked 81 home runs the past two seasons while posting a 113 OPS+ and 5.2 WAR. He's also hit a meager .208 and struck out at a 36.3 percent clip during that same span.

While he's already a valuable player with as much raw power as anyone in baseball, a change of scenery and the right hitting coach could make him a bona fide superstar. The right team might be willing to give up a couple of high-profile prospects for a chance to unlock that upside.

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