Over the last 10 days, we’ve seen three top-10 prospects dealt in three different multi-player deals. First it was Wil Myers and three other prospects that were traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for right-handers James Shields and Wade Davis. A few days later, Trevor Bauer was traded to the Cleveland Indians as part of a three-team, nine-player deal. More recently, baseball’s top catching prospect, Travis d’Arnaud, was dealt by the Toronto Blue Jays to the New York Mets in exchange for last year’s N.L. Cy Young award winner, R.A. Dickey.
Here's a look at three prospects who will likely remain on the trading block for the remainder of the offseason.
Mike Olt, 3B
It seems as though Olt’s name has come up in every Texas Rangers trade rumor this offseason. It’s not because he’s unprojectable or damaged goods or anything like that; the 24-year-old third baseman appears to be the odd-man-out due to the team’s overcrowded infield.
Olt offers above-average defense and raw power, and is essentially big-league ready and poised to contribute at the moment. It may take him a little longer than expected to adjust in the major leagues, but when he does, the right-handed hitter should be a big-time run producer for years to come.
Taijuan Walker, RHP
In the same sense that the Rangers have missed out on too many trade opportunities this offseason, the same can be said about the Seattle Mariners. During the winter meetings, they were reportedly trying to work out a trade for Justin Upton, and were one of the few remaining teams in the mix for this year’s top free agent, Josh Hamilton.
Although they could still conceivably sign Michael Bourn, the free-agent market has thinned out substantially as of late. Rather than paying an obscene amount for the center fielder, now might be the time to part with a few of their top prospects.
Their best chip, 6’4” right-hander Taijuan Walker, pitched the entire 2012 season as a 19-year-old at Double-A Jackson. He’s a highly athletic and projectable young arm and is more than enough to get a conversation started.
Martin Perez, LHP
What do you know? Another Rangers prospect.
Well, after striking out on free-agent signings and potential trades this offseason, I’m not the only person who believes that Rangers GM Jon Daniels is on the verge of overcompensating with a blockbuster trade—finally.
Outside of shortstop Jurickson Profar, baseball’s No. 1 overall prospect, it seems as though every Rangers prospect is in play.
Still only 21 years old, Martin Perez was arguably rushed to the major leagues over the last two seasons, as he’s struggled since reaching the upper-echelons on the team’s system. The 6'0" left-hander was up and down between Triple-A and the major leagues in 2012, so don’t read too far into his 5.45 ERA and .297 BAA in 38 innings.
While it’s increasingly likely that Perez will be moved as part of a larger package that includes Olt, he also has enough upside as a mid-rotation starter to conceivably be traded for a major-league hitter—straight-up.