#GetLindorBettsMikeKris2LAD

With the radio and TV ways swirling of different trade scenarios between the Dodgers, Indians, and Red Sox, I couldn’t help but come up with some different trade packages. And with the help of Baseball Trade Values trade simulator, I put together four different scenarios that would help the Dodgers land the players to which they’ve been linked. First, a brief explanation of how the trade simulator works.

In determining a major leaguers trade value, BTV created a formula that includes a player’s WAR, injury risk, projection, years of control, and salary along with other aspects. For minor leaguers, they factor in several different scouting reports, position, the player’s stage in the minors (low-level, mid-level or high-level), injury, and roster risk.

Each player is given a number that’s used to match up the value of each trade. What the simulator doesn’t account for is team needs. That’s an important note because the scenarios presented might seem brash and undesirable, but there’s a good reason why they’ll benefit and meet most of the requisites of every team involved.

Before moving on, yes, the value of all trade scenarios nearly matched up with the slightest bit of favoring towards one or two teams without any bias. Also, these aren’t set in any particular order. They’re just four separate trade packages.

So, let’s begin.

SCENARIO 1

To LAD:
• 3B/OF Kris Bryant (1 or 2 arb yr. ~$18.5MM in ‘20) from CHC
• SP Mike Clevinger (3 arb yr. ~$4.5M in ‘20) from CLE

To CHC:
• SS Francisco Lindor (2 arb yr. ~$16.7M in ’20) from CLE
• $10 million in cash from LAD

To CLE:
• C Keibert Ruiz (MiLB prospect) from LAD
• SS Corey Seager (2 arb yr. ~$7.1M in ’20) from LAD
• SP Brailyn Marquez (MiLB Prospect/Mid-level) from CHC

-Dodgers add on around $19M to their luxury tax payroll in ’20 (estimated around $188M).

-Cubs subtract around $12M from their LTP in ’20 (estimated around $214M).

-Cleveland subtracts about $14M from their LTP in ’20 (estimated around $102M).

Both Clevinger and Bryant have been linked to the Dodgers, just not to be acquired at the same time. But why not Lindor instead of Bryant? Easy. The former has over twice the trade value as the latter and will reduce the return from Los Angeles. They lose a top catching prospect in Ruiz, but the team isn’t short of such types in their farm. Sacrificing Seager is tough, but his value is nearly replaced with who won the NL MVP instead in 2016 (too soon?). To top it off, they hold on to Lux and May, the Dodgers most prized prospects.

Chicago has reportedly made Bryant available. For Lindor plus $10 million, they’ll give up the third baseman and a mid-level, hard-throwing (mid to high 90’s fastball) lefty pitching prospect for the chance of having the best and most dynamic middle infield in baseball. Falling below the $208 million luxury tax threshold is another perk. They also know for sure that they get Lindor for two more seasons.

Cleveland receives two highly touted and valued prospects, which are both listed in the top 5 of their respective farm systems, according to MLB Pipeline. They virtually replace Lindor with an elite slugging shortstop in Corey Seager. They do this all while falling below $100 million in their luxury tax payroll. By doing so, they can replace Clevinger with 2019 NL Cy Young runner up and playoff vet Hyun-Jin Ryu (3.46 SIERA/79 FIP- in 8 postseason starts).

A couple of significant flaws with this scenario can be Kris Bryant’s unresolved service time gripe and Cleveland’s willingness or ability to sign Ryu, especially for his asking price.

SCENARIO 2

To LAD:
• SP Mike Clevinger (3 arb yr. ~$4.5M in ‘20)
• SS Francisco Lindor (2 arb yr. ~$16.7M in ’20)

To CLE:
• IF Gavin Lux (6 yr. team control. League minimum in ‘20)
• C Will Smith (6 yr. TC. League min. in ’20)
• RHP Ross Stripling (3 arb yr. ~$2.3M in ’20)

-Dodgers add on around $18M to LTP in ’20 (estimated around $188M) while Cleveland (estimated around $102M) subtracts as much.

When adding a lot of talent/value, the same or more must be given in return. The Dodgers will add arguably the most talented shortstop in baseball and a pitcher with the 12th highest fWAR since 2018. And both are under control for 2 and 3 more seasons near or at the peak of their careers.

The Indians will receive what they asked initially for Lindor in Gavin Lux. With Clevinger in the deal, Will Smith helps balance the value in return and provides more all-around production from Cleveland’s catcher position. Also, both Lux and Smith have six years of team control to go along with exceptional projections. What rounds out the trade is solid swingman and command type pitcher Ross Stripling who has three more seasons of arbitration eligibility. He helps fill some of the void from losing Clevinger. This trade puts Cleveland in the ideal small market payroll level and, like the previous scenario, can add Ryu, who was considered by most to be the 4th best free-agent starter at the beginning of this off-season behind Cole, Strasburg, and Wheeler.

Both parties benefit only if the Indians decide to sign or trade for a front end starting pitcher to help recover a hole in their rotation with Clevinger gone.

SCENARIO 3

To LAD:
• OF Mookie Betts (1 arb yr. ~$27.7M in ’20) from BOS.
• 3B/OF Kris Bryant (1 or 2 arb yr. ~$18.5MM in ‘20) from CHC

To BOS:
• OF Joc Pederson (1 arb yr. ~$8.5M in ’20) from LAD.
• SP Brailyn Marquez (MiLB Prospect/Mid-level) from CHC
• 1B Edwin Rios (5 yr. of TC. League min. in ’20) from LAD
• $10 million from LAD

To CHC:
• SS Corey Seager (2 arb yr. ~$7.1M in ’20) from LAD
• RHP Brandon Workman (1 arb yr. ~$3.4M in ’20) from BOS
• $2 million from LAD

-Cubs subtract around $10M from LTP in ’20 (estimated around $214M).

-Red Sox subtract around $33M from LTP in ‘20 (estimated around $237M).

-Dodgers add on around $42M to LTP in ’20 (estimated around $188M).

Los Angeles will receive the second-best outfielder in baseball (in terms of fWAR) since 2014 in Betts. They also get Bryant, who ranks 1st among all third baseman in fWAR since his 2015 debut. They don’t give up any prospects to land both but instead let go of Joc and Seager, two of the Dodgers top sluggers. Moving Rios doesn’t hurt the team much, and he deserves to be on an active roster. Losing those three does not outweigh the level of production that Bryant and Betts will provide.

The Red Sox meet three needs. They replace an outfielder (Betts) with another (Joc) that has the 12th most home runs among said position since 2015. Boston will also add power-hitting lefty adding Rios who can be platooned at first base and designated hitter and is under team control for five more seasons. Marquez is a hard-throwing lefty in the minors that sits in the Cubs MiLB top 5 (according to MLB pipeline). He’s a highly touted prospect and could end up being the steal of the trade. Most importantly, with the subtraction of Betts and Workman’s contract plus the $10 million from the Dodgers, Boston falls below the CBT threshold of $208 million.

Chicago slightly gains more value at the major league level, with Seager being a better all-round talent at the shortstop position. They also get a reliable reliever in Workman who’s coming off the best season of his career in ’19 as Boston’s closer. The Cubs as well do something that seems to be popular among major market teams, fall below the CBT threshold with the subtraction of Bryant’s contract and the $2 million from the Dodgers.

SCENARIO 4

To LAD:
• RP Matt Barnes (2 arb yr. ~$3M in ’20)
• OF Mookie Betts (1 arb yr. ~$27.7M in ’20)

To BOS:
• OF Joc Pederson (1 arb yr. ~$8.5M in ’20)
• SS Corey Seager (2 arb yr. ~$7.1M in ’20)
• 1B Edwin Rios (5 yr. of TC. League min. in ’20)

-Dodgers add on around $15.1M to LTP in ’20 (estimated around $188M) while Red Sox subtracts as much from theirs (estimated around $237M).

Along with adding one of the best outfielders in baseball (Betts), the Dodgers add a much-needed boost to their bullpen in Matt Barnes. The right-handed hurler holds a 37.5 strikeout rate in the last two seasons, which helped contribute to his 3.00 FIP. L.A. loses three sluggers, one of which is in his last season, another with two years left and the last with plenty of team control but will likely not see much major league time soon while on the Dodgers. Even with the addition of Betts, the Dodgers lose a bit of offensive production. Still, that loss redirects towards the bullpen, which, even with the addition of Treinen, needed bolstering. They also don’t surrender any of their top valued prospects.

Adding Seager might be a curious move for Boston since they have a shortstop in Xander Bogaerts. But putting Seager at SS, who’s put up much more appealing defensive numbers at the position than Bogaerts who can move to second base, would be a wiser move. Newly acquired Jose Peraza would now provide depth for the Red Sox middle infield. Joc helps replace most of the offensive production lost from the outfield position with Betts gone. Edwin Rios can provide a platoon matchup from the left-handed hitting side at first base. The Red Sox lose a crucial piece to their bullpen but makeup all the offensive production lost and much more from moving Betts.

This trade has its flaws as it doesn’t meet the Red Sox more pressing need of falling below the CBT threshold. It then subtracts too much offense from the Dodgers lineup along with leaving a hole at shortstop. But they match up as far as overall value while addressing more pressing needs.

I tried going through scenarios where David Price is included in a deal with Betts and couldn’t find a good enough match where both teams end with positive trade value. I even used Dan O’ Dowd’s proposal on MLB Network, and the deal came out in the negative for both teams. The trade value could potentially come out even for the Dodgers if Boston were to throw in $10 million. The problem is Price’s value falls way below an even amount that with Betts in a package, the result remains negative.

All these moves are disputable (duh, right?). But they’re based on a formulated module made to provide reasonable scenarios. Most times, our opinions are biased where they favor our team’s players more than any others, and that’s completely understandable since we know our teams better than any other. Anyhow, the trades are thought-provoking and, most importantly, plausible. If you want to give the simulator a try, click here and have at it.

Oskar is a contributor to Dodgers-LowDown. Follow him on Twitter @2rawsko94. Photo credit: Let’s Go Tribe (Clevinger), Cubs Insider (Bryant), Blog Red Machine (Lindor), and Boston Globe (Betts)