28 players under 28 years old brings forth the Marlins and Twins-
Christian Yelich-1st Base- Marlins
Yelich is your ideal 1st baseman for the Major Leagues. He is 6-foot-4 lefty with a ton of power and sweet swing. He is the Marlins 3rd best prospect in baseball and ranked #184 overall last season. He is likely to see a huge jump in his prospect ranking after this season considering he is hitting .283 with a .351 OBP, 20 SB, 20 doubles, 8 homers, and 42 RBI in just 74 games. The fact that he is just 19 years old and producing that well in high A ball is pretty good.
The reason Yelich could be available is he has Gaby Sanchez blocking him at 1st. Yelich has played primarily outfield but is not doing well in there so he maybe shifted back to 1st base. The Cubs would want Yelich for many reasons but the main on is they do not have a prospect for 1st base in their system which he would fill. It would also allow the Cubs to sign a guy like Prince Fielder to a 5 year deal thus giving Yelich 5 year to develop in the minor leagues. While Yelich would not give the Cubs immediate impact his impact in the long run will be substantial. The only players you can see the Marlins targeting is young players in the Cubs system like a Brett Jackson, Trey McNutt, or even a Darwin Barney which the Cubs are unlikely to trade.
I see a deal for Yelich being around the 10% mark of happening.
Gaby Sanchez-1st Base- Marlins
Sanchez is the guy blocking Yelich and could be the Marlins new franchise player. Having said that his stock has never been higher and could move him before his stock falls like what they are seeing with Hanley Ramirez right now. Sanchez is 28 years old and has been selected to his first All-Star team because he is hitting .292 with 13 homers and 47 RBI.
Sanchez could be available because his stock is so high and the Marlins are known for trading everyone good they get. He would have immediate impact on the Cubs and solidify 1st base for many years to come. I look at Sanchez as a younger Derek Lee or a right handed hitting Sean Casey from 1999 to 2004. He would allow the Cubs to spend millions of dollar elsewhere which is also a huge benefit. Again the Marlins would want a huge return for Sanchez.
The Cubs and Marlins just don’t match up good trade wise so I don’t see this taking place but crazier things have happened.
Danny Valencia-3rd Base- Twins
Valencia is the Twins 3rd baseman of the future and he is showing why. Valencia is will amaze you with his raw power and glove but might struggle to hit for average at the ML level. He is currently hitting .237 with 10 homers in 82 games at the age of 26. It is rare you can find power and defense as good as Valencia has at the hot corner.
Danny would be an immediate replacement for Aramis Ramirez after he leaves and would have immediate impact on the Cubs. By trading for Danny you could shift Vitters to 1st base or trade him for other needs. The Twins were in more of a position to trade Valencia for guys like Carlos Pena or Aramis Ramirez a week ago but have fallen 7 games out of first so they may just hold onto Valencia.
A week ago I would put a potential trade at around 30% especially with the talk about the Twins wanting to add more power at the corners but now I see them selling off their older more expensive players thus putting a deal near 10% for me.
Francisco Liriano-SP- Twins
Rumors have been running wild for Liriano who could be a free agent after the 2013 season depending on service time. The Cubs have been linked to Liriano in the past and should still show interest at he deadline giving their lack of a dominate lefty in the rotation. Two years ago Liriano would command 4 top prospects now the Twins might be looking to save face and trade Liriano even though his stock has not been lower. Francisco is 5-7 with a 4.76 ERA this season and has been pitching more to contract than years past.
If the Cubs traded for Liriano then he would immediately make the rotation better and the Cubs will at least have him for 2 years. The transfer from AL to NL should benefit him about the same as it did for Lilly when he came to Chicago. With the Twins shopping Liriano for young players and the Cubs looking to strengthen the rotation I see this being a match for both teams. I can see the Twins looking at guys like Tyler Colvin, Josh Vitters, and of course young pitching.
A week ago I put this trade at around 15% chance of happening but since they are falling out of the playoff race I see an increase in a deal happening. I put the percentage around 25% because they Twins will look to rebuild their farm and don’t see Liriano as a building piece for the future.
That concludes this installment “28 players under 28 years old” look for the Royals and Red Sox next!