MLB handy holiday gift shopping guide for each team

ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, in a car driven by Braves cheerleaders, waves to first base coach Brandon Hyde
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 19: A man dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, in a car driven by Braves cheerleaders, waves to first base coach Brandon Hyde /
3 of 7

AL Central

Cleveland Indians—The ToddFather

If Cleveland follows through on their plan to move Jose Ramirez from third base to second base and put Jason Kipnis in the outfield mix, they should find a better third base option than Giovany Urshela or Yandy Diaz.

Mike Moustakas would be nice, but he’s likely a bit costly for Cleveland. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to sign a five-year, $85 million contract as a free agent.

Todd Frazier, on the other hand, is projected for a three-year, $33 million contract.

The ToddFather would probably prefer to stay with the Yankees in New York, which is close to where he grew up in New Jersey, but perhaps he could be persuaded to sign with another elite team in the American League. Cleveland could be that team.

Chicago White Sox—Patience

The White Sox won’t be any good this year. They’re projected to lose 99 games by the FanGraphs depth charts. They should have a bright future, though, with Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez at the big league level and some of the best prospects in baseball on their way.

These prospects include outfielders Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Blake Rutherford, and pitchers Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease and Alec Hansen. There won’t be many wins this year, but all the White Sox needs is just a little patience.

Detroit Tigers—Bartolo Bolon and Ichiro Suzuki

The Tigers are looking at a 70-win season with a costly payroll that includes $72 million going to three players—Miguel Cabrera, Jordan Zimmermann, and Victor Martinez—who are projected to be worth 3.6 WAR total.

They will also be paying the retired Prince Fielder six million and the now-Houston Astro Justin Verlander eight million.

With the outlook being both bleak and expensive, the Tigers might as well have some fun. They should throw a few million at 45-year-old Bartolo Colon and 44-year-old Ichiro Suzuki.

At least they would be fun to watch. Can you imagine them playing in a national league park and Bartolo Colon somehow getting on base then Ichiro coming up and lining one into the right field corner? The race to home would be epic.

Kansas City Royals—Hoz

The story of the Kansas City Royals and Eric Hosmer is a familiar one. Hoz was drafted with the third overall pick in the first round of the 2008 MLB draft and came up through the minors as a highly-regarded young prospect.

His future was bright, like Luke Skywalker in “A New Hope” (the very first Star Wars movie that was released, which is episode IV).

Despite the early promise of young players like Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, it took some time for the team to gel.

It all came together in 2014, when the Royals took the Giants all the way to Game 7 of the 2014 World Series, only to lose to the San Francisco Madison Bumgarners.

They finally got to the promised land in 2015, when they won the World Series against the Mets and Hosmer was their spiritual leader. This episode of the Kansas City Royals ends with a glorious scene of the team celebrating their World Series victory.

Their parade was the equivalent of Princess Leia giving medals for heroism to Luke and Han on Yavin IV.

But the Empire struck back in 2016. The Royals dropped to .500 and missed the playoffs and Hosmer wasn’t close to the player he’d been during their title run.

The 2017 season wasn’t any better for the Royals, who finished 80-82. Hosmer, though, had the best season of his career, with a .318/.385/.498 batting line.

That strong season took him into free agency, where he is represented by Scott Boras, aka the Darth Vader of baseball. Darth Boras is pushing Hosmer as a $200 million player, and his Hosmer binder includes a “tangible measurement of something impossible to measure tangibly,” according to the Kansas City Star.

At $200 million, Hosmer would be out of the Royals’ price range. Darth Boras and Eric Hosmer will have to see what the market says. Hosmer is flirting with the dark side, but the Royals would love to see the return of their Jedi in 2018.

Minnesota Twins—Alex Cobb

Cobb isn’t on the Yu Darvish or Jake Arrieta tier of free agent pitchers, but when was the last time the Minnesota Twins signed a high-priced free agent pitcher?

They added a second-tier starter in Ervin Santana a few years ago and that contract has worked out well. Cobb hasn’t been as durable as Santana, but he could be a similar bargain if he can stay healthy.

Should he sign with the Twins, Cobb would be a nice starter to complete an effective trio along with Santana and Jose Berrios.