Monday, November 28, 2011

Latest Yonder Alonso Suitors/Rumors

The latest rumors I have heard swirling around Yonder Alonso have him possibly ending up on the southside of Chicago, or with the AL Champion Texas Rangers. The latter scenario is very intriguing to me. Let me preface the rest of the post with the disclaimer that once again, these are RUMORS, and also that I prefer James Shields.

I am certainly a fan of bringing American League pitchers to the National League because I feel that they seem to adjust better or something, but Chicago doesn't really seem to be the best fit for Alonso, nor the best trade option for the Reds. The two main pitchers they could or would probably offer in return would either be John Danks or Gavin Floyd. Of the two, I'd rather have Danks because he is younger, has had better seasons, and is left handed. In five seasons with the White Sox he is 54-56, with a 4.03 ERA, including ERA's of 3.32, 3.77, and 3.72 from 2008-2010. Floyd has eight years of experience in the majors going 58-55 with a 4.50 ERA. Danks may have a chance to do it, but I don't think Floyd will become the top end starter the Reds are looking for. Plus, the White Sox are set at first base and designated hitter with Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn (unless he continues to be awful) so Alonso would more than likely be headed to the outfield for them, and I doubt they want to make a trade where they give up a starter like Danks for a suspect left-fielder.

The Rangers intrigue me because they are one of those few teams that seems to have pitching depth if such a thing exists, and they have postseason experience. These are the names that would be floated around in any such rumor:
  • LHP Derek Holland - age 25, 27-22, 4.73 ERA in three seasons, including 16-5, 3.95 in 2011. He's the guy you remember pitching in the World Series with the 'stache. Under the tutelage of Sam LeCure that left handed 'stache could grow to epic proportions, while his pitching skills help him become a permanent fixture on the hill for the Reds. He hasn't been around long enough to prove he can be successful long term, but he looked pretty good last year.
  • LHP Matt Harrison - age 26, 30-19, 4.49 ERA in four seasons, including 14-9, 3.39 in 2011. He's a fourth year guy who seems to have turned the corner last year, perhaps a kind of parallel of how the Reds are waiting on Edinson Volquez or Homer Bailey. Plus, its always nice to have a lefty or two.
  • RHP Neftali Feliz - age 23, 7-6, 2.55 ERA in three seasons, no starts, 72 saves in last two years. If Feliz has a Reds counterpart, its Aroldis Chapman. The Rangers signed Joe Nathan to anchor their bullpen with plans to move Feliz to the rotation. He's not made a major league start, but it's obvious he has some nasty stuff. Would the Reds want to shy away from having two guys converted from reliever to starter or could they be intrigued at the idea of being able to make one the closer?
  • RHP Alexi Ogando - age 28, 17-9, 3.08 ERA in two seasons, including 13-8, 3.51 in 2011. He's the oldest of the bunch obviously, and last year was the first time he made major league starts. He's been successful in both roles so far in the big leagues though, and he can sure run the ball up there in dominating fashion.
Each one of these pitchers is still young and seem to be on the upturn at this stage in their careers, having their best seasons in the most recent years. I wouldn't mind to see any one of them as part of the Reds rotation and the Rangers could get Alonso and use him at first base, where incumbent Mitch Moreland has done okay, but has left a bit to be desired from that position. That's not to say I'd be for a straight up Alonso for Holland trade. There'd have to be more pieces involved I think for it to make sense.

Don't forget these are all rumors. We'd hate to see John Fay blow a gasket on twitter from questions from followers who seem to think any trade mentioned on a blog or message board is pure fact. There have been so many rumors, eventually every player in MLB will have been linked to a trade for Yonder Alonso. Hey, did you hear the Reds are going to trade Yonder Alonso back to his hometown of Miami for LeBron James?

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