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MLB Trade Ideas, Week 16: Jason Vargas, Zack Cozart

In HardballScoop.com’s weekly installment of our MLB Trade Ideas weekly column, Carmine DiPalma will be offering trade proposals that make sense for both teams based off of recent rumors and speculation.

Here are some ideas I have based on what is being talked about right now around the Hot Stove. This week I will focus on a starter and a shortstop who have been playing better than their career paths would usually dictate. These two players will be among two off the most sought after players this trade season. The first will be a starter who has been incredibly impressive for a struggling ballclub that could look to move him while the interest is high. For the second, a middle infielder in the midst of a career year for a rebuilding team.

Here are some trade proposals will be based off of rumors and speculation around the league in that given week and are not locks to happen nor have they necessarily been discussed imminently or at all.

Jason Vargas to Cleveland Indians

Kansas City Royals receive: 3B Nolan Jones, OF Will Benson

Cleveland Indians receive: LHP Jason Vargas

 

The Cleveland Indians are in the market for a starting pitcher come trade season and Jason Vargas is their perfect fit. The Indians boast a rotation full of hard throwing righties and could use a soft throwing lefty to keep teams on their toes.

The Indians have had problems past their strong 1-2 punch with Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco. Danny Salazar was demoted briefly until he landed on the disabled list.

Vargas is 8-3 with a 2.18 ERA through 12 games. He has been absolutely incredible thus far this season. These stats along with the fact that he's an impending free agent will make him a very sought after pitcher come July.

The Indians can offer up third baseman Nolan Jones and outfielder Will Benson who are their 6th and 7th best prospects respectively. Jones is best known for his great bat speed partnered with a fluid left handed swing at the young age of 19. He also has an above average arm at the hot corner. Benson the younger of the two at 18, is a standout athlete with good speed and arm strength along with above average raw power.

The Royals could use this deal to take advantage of the premium set on pitching these days and retool with two young position players with promise. The Indians could use Vargas to add some consistency to their rotation.

 

Zack Cozart to Baltimore Orioles

Cincinnati Reds receive: LHP Garett Cleavinger

Baltimore Orioles receive: SS Zack Cozart

 

The Orioles are chasing the Yankees and Red Sox in the stacked AL East and their shortstop situation is weighing them down. JJ Hardy has been awful this season batting .201 entering Sunday's game against the Yankees. 

Luckily for the Orioles Zack Cozart is having a career season batting .337 with 9 home runs and 33 RBI's and happens to be available via trade as the Reds are in a rebuilding phase and the 31 year old shortstop may be past his prime when the Reds are ready to compete.

With Cozart set to become a free agent at the season’s end and the lack of teams in the market for a shortstop, the Orioles should be able to acquire Cozart without giving up the farm. They can offer up Garrett Cleavinger. Cleavinger is a Double-A lefty reliever who is only 23 years old. His fastball sits around 92 with the high at 96 with an above average changeup. Cleavinger could be a good guy to keep in their bullpen as the Reds look to contend in the near future.


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