Even though the MLB season is over, this keen handicapper is alert for action impacting the betting odds. He focuses on these teams potentially interested in swinging deals or signing free agents.
Cole Hamels to the Chicago Cubs?
The Chicago Cubs, America’s lovable underachievers, are looking to shake that moniker in the upcoming season. It has been an annual tradition in the Windy City to exhale at the end of every season since 1908 the haunting phrase, “Wait ‘til next year.” Well boys and girls the Cubs are making moves. Three years ago they signed young wunderkind Theo Epstein away from the Red Sox and into the executive’s chair as President of Baseball Operations for the storied organization. And though the Cubs have been stuck in the cellar even with Epstein at the helm they have now taken the audacious step of hiring away Joe Madden from the Tampa Bay Rays and into a Cubs uniform so that he might steer this perennially sinking ship into the clear blue waters of postseason contention.
Now the latest news is that the Cubs are rumored to be eyeballing Phillies hurler Cole Hamels as a supremely talented addition to their starting rotation. Hamels comes relatively cheap, if $96 million over four years is your idea of a bargain yet compared to what Jon Lester and bona fide ace Max Scherzer will command on the open market, the former three-time All-Star and World Series MVP is money well spent. Especially when one considers that he will only be 31-years-old when the 2015 commences and is coming off a season in which he sported a 2.45 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
Currently the MLB odds on the Chicago Cubs are 11-1 to win the NL Pennant and 25-1 to claim the 2015 World Series. Cole Hamels will not single-handedly take the Cubbies to the Promised Land but plucking a few prospects from their lush minor league system in exchange for a top flight southpaw starter would be one helluva way to start.
CarGo to the Tigers?
Carlos Gonzalez, the Colorado Rockies two-time All-Star and former NL batting champ, may not be a Rockie much longer. According to reports the Rocks are open to deal him and fellow superstar Troy Tulowitzki if the price is right. The truth be told the Colorado brass may just be fishing with Tulo as the All-Star shortstop is likely going nowhere but back in a Rockies uniform. However, the potential to deal Gonzalez is much more real considering his health issues and the fact that featuring both superstars on their roster has earned them nothing but perennial cellar dweller status.
Detroit will be without aging veteran Tori Hunter, who is pursuing free agency, therefore there is a gap to fill in the outfield and oh how well would a slugger of Gonzalez’s enormous potential fill that hole?! With Hunter gone and Rajai Davis more suited to platooning than starting, Gonzalez would be an ideal fit. If the Tigers could lure switch-hitting Victor Martinez back in uniform they would have a Murderer’s Row in Motown with Gonzalez, Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez and of course Miguel Cabrera.
In return the Tigers would most likely have to part with heavy handed slugger and Eastern League MVP Steven Moya who is their farm system’s top prospect. In addition they would also have to include draft picks, pitching prospects or a combination thereof. As of this writing the Tigers are installed as a 5-1 entry in MLB odds to win the AL Pennant and MLB odds of 10-1 to win the World Series in 2015 from William Hill Sportsbook. If they were to acquire a healthy Gonzalez then those chalky odds could get even chalkier but would hardly preclude many from adding the Detroit Tigers to their 2015 MLB picks.