Major League Baseball's winter meetings may only be happening in a virtual capacity this year, but there will surely still be a few trades during the proceedings.
Let's predict, shall we?
We've imagined one trade that each of MLB's 30 teams might pursue during next week's annual "gathering" of front-office executives. Though actual rumors were helpful in some cases, we generally speculated on which players might be traded by sellers and acquired by buyers.
There are some repeats along the way, in which case we justified the trade from each team's perspective. For cases in which we predicted multiple players from one team will move, we prioritized breaking down the biggest trade for the team in question.
We'll proceed in alphabetical order by city.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Of Eduardo Escobar
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in cost-cutting mode and have been for a while now.
They traded Starling Marte in August reportedly because they were spooked by his looming option for 2021. More recently, they declined '21 options for Mike Leake, Hector Rondon and Junior Guerra.
For their next cost-cutting move, the Snakes probably can't trade Madison Bumgarner and the $79 million he's owed through 2024. David Peralta ($15 million through 2022), Kole Calhoun ($8 million in 2021, $9 million club option or $2 million buyout for 2022) and Eduardo Escobar ($7.7 million in 2021) might have takers out there, however.
Of the three, Escobar is the most likely goner. Though he slugged 35 home runs in 2019, Arizona might see moving him as addition by subtraction after he slipped to a .605 OPS and four homers in 2020.
Atlanta: Of Ender Inciarte
As noted by Mike Rosenbaum of MLB.com, Atlanta is set up well for a blockbuster trade by way of its deep collection of young talent.
The front office has been protective of its prospects in recent years, however, and the club needs blue-chip right-hander Ian Anderson and outfielders Cristian Pache and Drew Waters.
After rounding out its starting pitching depth with one-year deals for Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly, Atlanta might prefer to fill its remaining needs (i.e., a middle-of-the-order slugger and bullpen depth) on the free-agent market. To this end, it wouldn't hurt to free up some money.
The easiest way Atlanta can do that is with a trade of Ender Inciarte, whose $8.7 million salary for 2021 is a bit much for a guy who's just keeping left field warm for Waters.
Baltimore Orioles: Of Alex Cobb
The most likely scenario for the Baltimore Orioles next week doesn't involve a trade.
During their rebuild, they have already jettisoned most of their trade chips, beginning with Manny Machado in July 2018 and (for now) ending with Jose Iglesias on Wednesday. If a player is still with the Orioles, he is a long-term building block or a veteran with questionable trade value.
But if we must choose one player from the latter group, we'll go with Alex Cobb.
Granted, Baltimore probably can't move him unless it agrees to eat a chunk of his $15 million salary for 2021. But if said chunk is big enough, some clubs could be drawn to Cobb as a back-end innings eater.