Opening a door
You tend to spend most of your time looking at the prospects who changed teams in trades this time of year. Sometimes, though, it’s the prospects left behind who have the greater opportunity.
Several of the big trades completed at the Winter Meetings open up opportunities for Minor Leaguers who’s paths to the bigs were previously blocked. It was a good week for second baseman, ending with Dan Uggla being taken in the Rule 5 draft by the Marlins and likely being given the opportunity to start the season as their starter at that position.
On Wednesday, two trades opened the door for a pair of second base prospects. When Mark Loretta was dealt to the Red Sox for Doug Mirabelli, Josh Barfield must’ve jumped for joy (You can find out by tuning into Around the Minors on MLB Radio on Friday, 2 p.m. ET.). He should now get a shot at the second-base job, barring any other moves. Sure, there are some vets on the roster who may share some time with him, but I see him taking over full-time sooner rather than later.
Then there’s Texas. With Soriano gone, it’s time for Ian Kinsler to get a shot. He hit 23 homers, drove in 94 runs and stole 19 bases in Triple-A.
Of course, it might be smart for these prospects to keep their fingers crossed until guys like Mark Grudzielanek and Bret Boone sign, but why rain on their parade now.