With just a couple weeks to go until the regular season, teams seem to be finalizing their rosters and depth charts. Not every team crossed every want off their list this offseason, but with a few moves we can help shore up weaknesses or further the rebuilding process. To that end, here are 10 trades teams should consider making as we head toward Opening Day. Some are more realistic than others, and some might have to wait for the trade deadline, but a few of these aggressive moves now could shape expectations for the new season.
The Giants’ active winter should have one more big move. After bringing in a couple older stars in Evan Longoria and Andrew McCutchen, the team should try to get younger by trading for the 25-year-old Santana. Hunter Pence’s contract ends after this season, and Santana — whose bat was 25 percent above average in his breakout 2017 season — would provide a meaningful upgrade now and into the future. The Giants could then sign Alex Cobb at an annual salary below Samardzija’s $18 million, helping them stay below the Competitive Balance Tax this season.
For Milwaukee, removing Santana leaves a still-loaded outfield consisting of Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun. Jeff Samardzija has three years and $54 million remaining on his contract, but the Brewers have been involved in the free-agent market for pitching and could absorb Samardzija’s salary. His Fielding Independent Pitching last year was 3.61 and his strikeout to walk rate was behind only Clayton Kershaw’s in the NL, so he should improve on last season’s 4.42 ERA.