This entry for “28 under 28” we take a look at the Dodgers, Mariners, and Orioles.
James Loney-1b- Dodgers
Loney was once the most sought after prospect in the Dodgers system and now the Dodgers are considering non-tendering him before next season. Loney maybe your classic “needs a change of scenery” guy and at the age of 28 he maybe worth taking a gamble on. Loney is still somewhat serviceable putting together a .268 average with 4 homers and 3 SB this season but the Cubs would hope the change of scenery would cause him to put up numbers he did from 2006 to 2009 when he posted a .293 average with a .352 OBP and averaged about 14 homers. The Cubs could likely get Loney for a midlevel prospect or two. Definitely worth the gamble to me.
Trade happening- 15%
I am a big Smoak fan and thought the Cubs should have traded for him before the Rangers sent him to Texas. Smoak is only 25 years old and still needs some work but I think this kid will be special in the very near future. Smoak is hitting .229 with a .327 OBP and 12 homers in 84 games for the M’s. The Mariners could do a Carlos Pena for Justin Smoak swap to add more power to the corners. They could also be really interested Aramis Ramirez as well. Adding Smoak does not mean the Cubs would not go for Prince or Pujols but it does mean they will give him a chance to prove the Cubs don’t need them.
Trade happening- 10%
Josh Bell is only 24 years old but has spent 7 seasons in the minors where he has posted a .283 average with a .350 OBP. He was labeled as the 34 best prospect in baseball but has fallen down the list in 2011. The switch hitting 3rd baseman could be made available for upgrades to the rotation and outfield. Not to mention the O’s have a great stocked farm system filled with infielders. They could look at Tyler Colvin, Reggie Golden, or Jae-Hoon Ha. The Cubs could continue to develop Bell in the minors until he is ready or have him start in 2012 at 3rd and go through some growing pains. Josh Bell is a lot more available than you would think.
Trade happening- 15%
Look for the next addition of “28 under 28” to include the Giants, Nationals, and A’s.