MLB execs expect at least one superstar to be traded during winter
A number of MLB superstars have been mentioned as possible trade targets this offseason, and apparently executives are anticipating that at least one big move will be made on that front before the start of the 2020 season.
Multiple MLB team executives told Jon Morosi of MLB.com that they expect at least one of Mookie Betts, Kris Bryant or Francisco Lindor to be moved this winter.
At least one player among the Mookie Betts/Francisco Lindor/Kris Bryant group will be traded this offseason, in the opinion of multiple @MLB team execs I’ve checked with over the last 24 hours. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 11, 2019
Franchises typically build around players like Betts, Bryant and Lindor, all of who were All-Stars last season. However, the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs are looking to trim payroll this winter, and Betts and Bryant are projected to command massive salaries in arbitration. Betts has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining while Bryant has two. The Red Sox have already admitted that keeping Betts and slugger JD Martinez in 2020 and beyond would be difficult, and Martinez chose not to opt out of his contract.
The Cubs could explore other possibilities for trades to retool under new manager David Ross, and Betts seems more likely to be traded than Bryant.
Cleveland is in a slightly different position. While the Red Sox and Cubs want to trim payroll to remain under the luxury tax, the Indians play in a much smaller market and have never had the payroll of teams like Boston and Chicago. Lindor is not set to hit free agency until after the 2021 season, but owner Paul Dolan already hinted that the team will not be able to keep him for long. We have heard of one team that could pursue Lindor if the Indians decide to move on from the star shortstop.