Over in the NBA, the Houston Rockets and Washington Wizards swung a cool trade on Wednesday when they swapped superstar point guards: Russell Westbrook for John Wall. So we thought ... why should the NBA have all the fun?
Here are seven MLB trade proposals inspired by Westbrook-for-Wall.
These trade ideas are just for fun. The point is, we want a one-for-one, star-for-star trade of players who mirror each other or are in similar situations. MLB.com's analysts came up with their best ideas for a Westbrook-for-Wall-style trade in baseball. Even if there's no way they actually happen.
Check out these trade ideas and the stars involved -- and imagine what would happen in each "What if?" scenario.
Trade #1: Braves trade Ronald Acuña Jr. to Nationals for Juan Soto
Why it works: Acuña vs. Soto is the new Trout vs. Harper. These two young super-duper-star outfielders are going to be competing for the title of Best Player in Baseball throughout the 2020s. Acuña and Soto debuted within weeks of each other. Soto just turned 22, Acuña is about to turn 23 this month. They finished 1-2, respectively, for NL Rookie of the Year in 2018, and they're going to be finishing next to each other at the top of the MVP voting for seasons to come. Each has his own signature style on the field -- Acuña is the electric all-around spark plug; Soto might be the best pure hitter in the sport -- but that's even better for them as dueling faces of baseball for the next generation.
Impact: First of all, imagine Soto and Freddie Freeman hitting next to each other in the Braves' lineup. They might be the best two hitters in the league. Heck, they might be an even better 1-2 punch than the Soto-Anthony Rendon duo that won the Nats the 2019 World Series. And Acuña in Washington? How about him and Trea Turner flying around the basepaths and making magic happen? The two of them combined for 72 stolen bases in 2019 and finished 1-2 in the NL -- Acuña had 37 steals in his memorable quest for the 40-40 club and Turner had 35.
-- David Adler, researcher/reporter (@_dadler)
Trade #2: Indians trade Francisco Lindor to Dodgers for Corey Seager
Why it works: The expectations surrounding the 2021-22 Offseason of the Shortstop have already begun to grow, with both Lindor and Seager set to become free agents, along with Trevor Story, Carlos Correa and Javier Báez. While Lindor is considered the leader of the pack, Seager is not far behind -- and he just showed how dynamic he can be during the Dodgers’ postseason run, when he won both NLCS and World Series MVP honors. They’re both superstars with the ability to carry their teams. Of course, a trade doesn’t change the fact that both of these players are headed for the free-agent market after 2021, but it does shake up the landscape -- and could likely affect how those deals play out after '21.
Impact: While both players are productive and young superstar shortstops, they can still provide specific improvements that could help these teams. At his best and healthiest, Seager hits for more power than Lindor. In his career year in the shortened 2020 season, he slugged .585 with a 98th-percentile hard-hit rate and 99th-percentile expected batting average and slugging. The Indians' offense can certainly benefit from that level of power, and getting it from the shortstop position leaves the door open to further offensive improvements elsewhere, like in the outfield. To the Dodgers, Lindor would bring defensive prowess -- he had five Outs Above Average at shortstop last year, tied for second most at the position, while Seager was league-average defensively. And Lindor could slot into the Dodgers’ lineup batting third -- where he hit for most of 2020 for the Indians, and the spot that was occupied by now-free agent Justin Turner in L.A.