Posted: Thursday November 17, 2005 11:54AM; Updated: Thursday November 17, 2005 12:43PM
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Lyle Overbay Another first baseman with an up-and-comer on his heels, the Brewers' Overbay is a slightly different story. First of all, he's younger than Delgado or Thome (Overbay turns 29 in January). He's also been healthy for the past two years. But, then again, he doesn't have nearly the power that those other guys have, with only 19 homers and 72 RBIs in 158 games last season. The best thing about Overbay -- who is being pushed off of first base by Prince Fielder -- is his contract. Overbay made only $446,000 last year and, even after salary arbitration in '06, he'll probably cost about $2 million a year. Anyone who needs a first baseman and has some young arms to trade should be calling GM Doug Melvin. PREDICTION: He has to go, for everybody's sake.
Milton Bradley He's had issues in the past with fans, the media, the law, his teammates, other players, front offices, his family, the dog across the street, the guy at the corner burger joint and just about everyone else he's ever met. He's also coming off knee surgery. But, hey, the guy is still young and he has plenty of talent (.290, 13 homers in 75 games) and he can play any outfield position. Any team that trades for him -- and he's been linked to anyone that needs an outfielder, including the Cubs, Pirates (who hired former L.A. manager Jim Tracy), Tigers, Nationals, Cubs and Yankees -- can probably get him for practically nothing. But then they'll have to offer him a contract for '06 and, most likely, go through salary arbitration. If a trade isn't pulled off, the Dodgers aren't expected to offer him a contract, which will make him a free agent. PREDICTION: He won't be traded, the Dodgers won't offer him a contract and he'll become a free agent in December.
Juan Pierre The last of our center fielders for swap, Pierre is a hard-working leadoff guy with a lot of speed (57 steals in '05) coming off the worst season of his young career. His .326 on-base percentage was among the worst of any leadoff man, though he still ranked in the top 10 in runs scored. He did play much better in the second half, too, after slowly recovering from a calf injury he suffered in spring training. The Marlins are looking to dump some of their payroll, and Pierre is liable to make some $5 million through salary arbitration. The Cubs are a possible trade partner, and maybe the Yankees, or any of those other team who need a center fielder. PREDICTION: The Marlins need him, too. He stays.
Alfonso Soriano With impending free agency around the corner and probably a $10 million salary or more through arbitration for '06, Soriano will not be easy to deal. But a team in need of offense could do a lot worse. In the past five years, Soriano has averaged nearly 32 homers and more than 92 RBIs a season. Yes, he boots too many balls, his 21 errors last season were the most among AL second basemen and he's fighting any move to the outfield. But power like that from a middle infielder is hard to find. The Twins would love to have him, though they can't take on that salary as is. PREDICTION: He stays.
Troy Glaus In his first season with the Diamondbacks, a healthy Glaus hit 37 homers and drove in 97 runs. Lots of teams, including the Twins, Red Sox and Dodgers, could use a third baseman with pop like that. The problem is finding a team that also will take on the nearly $34 million that Glaus is owed over the next three seasons. The way salaries are going, in three years that may seem like a pittance. PREDICTION: He'll go.
Adam Dunn Seemingly always in trade talks, Dunn is a big (6-foot-6) left-handed swinger who hit 40 homers and drove in 101 runs for the Reds last season. He's part of a glut of outfielders in Cincinnati, and he's about to become really expensive -- he'll probably pull down somewhere around $9 million in arbitration in '06. He strikes out too much for a lot of people's liking, but he's still a huge on-base guy (.388 for the past two years). And 86 homers in the past two years, for a 26-year-old? Come on. No one would blame Cincinnati for hanging on to Dunn, but if the Reds want to deal, they'll have other teams lining up for him. PREDICTION: The Reds need pitching, and this winter they'll finally figure that out. He goes.