As underwhelming as Jordan Lawlar's first cup of coffee in the big leagues was, he's likely to be the starting shortstop for Arizona on Opening Day in 2024. His speed and power are dazzling, and he could be an impactful defender at the most important position on the infield. Since Ketel Marte was terrific in the first season of his contract extension (and even better in the playoffs), he's pretty well locked in at second base. At third, there's more fluidity, because Evan Longoria might retire or sign elsewhere, but they do still have Emmanuel Rivera in the mix.
Somewhere in there, Geraldo Perdomo has to find a home. The 2023 All-Star just turned 24 last month, during the Snakes' magical postseason run. He doesn't have Lawlar's or Marte's tools. He makes up for the shortfall, though, by being one of the best hitters in baseball at the art of controlling the strike zone. He chases outside the zone extraordinarily rarely, and when he swings, he makes contact at one of the highest rates in baseball. That's why Perdomo had a .353 OBP this year.
Pair those skills with good speed and above-average defense at shortstop, and Perdomo is a first-division regular--even if he won't come close to making the All-Star team most years. He's under team control through 2027, and won't even become arbitration-eligible until after 2024. He's the kind of player who can catalyze the lineup from the bottom of the batting order, in addition to his considerable defensive value. It's not hard to imagine why the Brewers would have interest.
Under what circumstances could they pry him loose? After all, while Perdomo would be a third baseman so unorthodox as to make any roster builder uneasy, he could play the position, and he's a better hitter than is Rivera. He could also remain the regular shortstop to open the season, with Lawlar either sanding off his rough edges in the minor leagues or manning the hot corner. Perdomo is a valuable player, and although he's a problematic fit for the team who currently hold the rights to him, any trade for him would have to include someone pretty good.
As it happens, the Diamondbacks came up one legitimate starting pitcher short of giving the Rangers a real fight in the Series this fall. They'll still have Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly next year, and Brandon Pfaadt seems to have turned the corner in his emergence as a mid-rotation starter, but the team still needs help in that unit. Kelly is likely to decline slightly, with age. Injuries are always a lurking threat. There's a framework, here, involving the Brewers trading Corbin Burnes to Arizona in exchange for a package centered around Perdomo.
Obviously, barring a trade of Willy Adames, Perdomo wouldn't play shortstop for the Crew. Nor is Milwaukee any better positioned to use him at third base than are the Diamondbacks given their need for power at the corners. At second base, though, Perdomo could be an improvement on Brice Turang, who showed a similar dearth of power but nowhere near the same zone and contact skills as Perdomo this year. Then, too, there's always a chance that the Crew do elect to trade Adames, and Perdomo would make a fine replacement.
Marte would be the best fit for Milwaukee, but he's probably endeared himself too much to the fan base for the team to consider trading him now, even as his contract makes him fairly expensive. Lawlar is exciting enough to be almost untouchable in trades. Rivera wouldn't make the Brewers any better, relative to fringe options like Owen Miller and Abraham Toro who already cling to the edges of the roster. Perdomo might represent a sweet spot, though, and could be a high-upside addition to a team still in need of depth throughout the lineup.
What do you think of the Diamondbacks as potential trade partners for the Crew this winter? Are there any other members of the team who make more sense? Let the hot stove percolate.
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