With the promotion yesterday of Wil Myers (and Odorizzi) to AAA, it seems as though it will be sooner rather than later that we see Wil at the K, whether its in the outfield or at third base. In order for him to get everyday playing time, someone has to be the odd man out. Assuming he is kept, Myers will take the spot of one of Jeff Francouer, Alex Gordon, or Mike Moustakas. Hosmer or Butler could be dealt, and positions of the other 5 could be shifted to make it work.
The Candidates, in order of trade value:
1. Eric Hosmer, 22, club controlled through 2017, positions: 1B, DH. Synopsis - Even though he has been in a severe offensive funk for the first 6 weeks of the season, he is still very highly regarded around the league as a future star. He is a 5 tool First Baseman, but plays at a position that is historically deep.
2. Alex Gordon, 28, club controlled through 2015, positions: Corner OF, 3B, 1B. Synopsis - I think trade value wise he is very close to Hosmer. He is a proven Major Leaguer (well, at least since 2011), plays Gold Glove defense in LF, and can hit for a decent average with respectable power. He is in the prime years of his career, and offers an acquiring team control at a reasonable price through 2015.
3. Mike Moustakas, 23, club controlled through 2017, positions: 3B. Synopsis - Moose has become a fan favorite at the K over the course of about 2/3 of a Major League season spanning 2011-12. He has shown a very solid bat, and some excellent defense in that time, save for his first 6 weeks up last year. He would be an attractive chip to say the least to clubs in need of help at the hot corner.
4. Wil Myers, 21, club controlled through 2018, positions: Outfield, 3B. Synopsis - Wil will be getting his first taste of AAA baseball, and has dazzled in the minors, with a few hiccups due to injury. He is capable of playing all 3 OF positions, though projects as a corner OF. The organization has recently shifted him to 3B, perhaps to increase his trade value.
5. Billy Butler, 26, club controlled through 2015, positions: DH, 1B. Synopsis - A doubles machine, he leads MLB in two baggers over the course of the last 3.5 seasons. He has a great bat, but is defensively challenged, hurting his trade value and realistically limiting him to the American League (though a trade to an NL team for a stretch run this year could work).
6. Jeff Francouer, 28, club controlled through 2013, positions: Corner OF. Synopsis - Ah Frenchy. Both fan favorite/bain of existence, he plays smart defense in right field with one of the best arms in the league. He has problems living up to his abilities at the plate, etc. He is the least attractive trade chip of the 6, but also makes the most sense as the one to be moved.
So who should be traded? My suggestion is Alex Gordon. While his salary isn't high, he was recently signed to a 4 year $37.5 million extension, and moving his contract would save the club between $6-6.5 million annually through 2015. He can be replaced by Myers in LF. Most importantly, he can net a nice return, hopefully a second tier Major League starter (Matt Garza, James Shields, etc?). I'd really hate to see Gordon go, but again it will come down to a numbers game. I think its safe to say that of the 6, Francouer would be the player that we'd all like to see go, but A) he wouldn’t get us the starting pitcher we so badly need, and B) come on, Dayton doesn’t have any intentions of doing that.
Should be interesting to see how this plays out.