Logan Morrison would have to be part of the return for Gio Gonzalez

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A quick take on the story Craig relayed earlier. I thought the last paragragh of David Villavicencio’s piece on a possible Gio Gonzalez-to-Florida deal was the most interesting one:

The source says three different players have been discussed as potential pieces for the deal. All three players played significant time with the Marlins last season. It is unlikely that all three would be involved in the deal.

So, we’re talking major leaguers. And that makes it pretty much a given that Logan Morrison is someone being talked about. Mike Stanton has to off-limits, and it’s doubtful that Hanley Ramirez is on the block just yet (even if he is, it’s doubtful the A’s would be a strong suitor there). It’s Morrison.

Morrison would add to Oakland’s crowd of first basemen, but he’s enough better than all of the rest to secure the position immediately. The A’s could also leave him in left field for another year, but first is where he belongs for the long haul and they might as well get started on the transition now, even if it leaves Daric Barton and Brandon Allen without much of a role in Oakland’s plans.

Morrison is the kind of potent bat that the A’s will need to deal Gonzalez. It doesn’t come with premium defense, but he should threaten to make an All-Star team or two before he qualifies for free agency in five years.

Some other names likely being discussed:

Chris Coghlan – The current guess is that Coghlan, the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year, will open next year in the minors after hitting .230/.296/.368 in 269 at-bats last season. He seems primed for a rebound, though, and it would make sense for the Marlins to hang on to him if they trade Morrison.

Ricky Nolasco – The rumor lately is that the Marlins have decided to keep Nolasco, whose trade value is down after seasons of 5.06 and 4.51 ERAs. He’s also on the hook for $22 millon over the next two years. The A’s might be willing to take a shot on him anyway, but only as a secondary piece of the deal.

Chris Volstad – Volstad seems more likely than Nolasco to be part of a deal with the A’s. He probably won’t have a rotation spot anyway if the Marlins bring in another starter. The former first-round pick has been an annual disappointment, but his strikeout rate was up and his walk rate was down last year.

Ronald Acuna tops Keith Law’s top-100 prospect list

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ESPN’s Keith Law has released his annual top-100 prospects list. According to Law, Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna is the number one prospect in baseball.

After blazing through High-A and Double-A ball last season, Acuna was the youngest player in Triple-A in 2017. He was 19 years-old all season long and put up a fantastic line of .335/.384/.534 in 486 plate appearances at Double and Triple-A. He then went on to star in the Arizona Fall League, leading that circuit in homers. Law, who is not one to throw hyperbolic comps around, says, “if Acuna stays in center and maxes out his power, he’s going to be among the best players in baseball, with a Mike Trout-ish profile.”

Acuna, who is 20 now, is likely play the bulk of the season in Atlanta, even if he’s kept down at Triple-A for the first couple of weeks of the season to manipulate his service time, er, I mean to allow him to develop his skills more fully. Or something. Given the presence of reigning Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte, Acuna is not likely to man center for the Braves this year, but Law says he’d be a plus right field defender, which could make the Braves outfield Death to Flying Things in 2018. At least when Nick Markakis is not playing.

Number two on the list: Blue Jays third base prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. As law notes, the name may be familiar but he’s not very much like his old man. Mostly because young Vlad can take a walk. Which is better, even if it’s nowhere near as fun as swinging at balls that bounce in the dirt first.

For the other 98, you’ll have to click through.