Jake Arrieta and Eric Hosmer are two of the best players in baseball today, but is it possible that both of them could be on the trading block as soon as the 2017 season gets underway?
While it's hard to imagine Arrieta not sporting his beard while pitching for the Chicago Cubs, or Hosmer making a great play at first base then coming up the following inning and smashing a leadoff double for another team and not the home Kansas City Royals, it is a very realistic situation that both of these All-Stars are playing their final seasons with their current club.
Both of these players head into 2017 with the possibility to test the free agency market in 2018, which has to make their hometown fans a little bit nervous.
So could there be something to the possibility of the Cubs unloading Arrieta, or to the Royals finding a way to get something for Eric Hosmer before the 2017 season is over? Very much so.
First up is Arrieta.
The Cubs are riding a high off of winning their first World Series in over 100 years, so they do deserve a bit of slack. However, they do have a chance to be a force for years to come, and what they decide to do with Arrieta could dictate the teams future. Do they sign Arrieta long term, or could they be thinking of trading the star pitcher while his stock is still at an all-time high?
24/7 Sports indicates that not only will Arrieta be a free agent following the season, signing him to a long-term deal would likely cause the Chicago Cubs to have to pay for exceeding the luxury tax threshold. Add to that, Arrieta is represented by Scott Boras, who is known for asking for the sun, moon and the stars for his top guys, which he is usually able to get, and you may have the perfect storm of one team giving up a star player for many good players in return.
If Arrieta was on the block, the New York Mets and Cleveland Indians might be first in line.
Both teams are ready to contend, and adding Arrieta would bolster their chances of making it to a World Series. They also both have low payrolls, so a long-term deal wouldn't be out of the question.
Now to Eric Hosmer.
This guy is one of the top first baseman in all of baseball, period. Hosmer is better than average as a fielder and hitter, and he has great knowledge of the game. Yet his career in Kansas City is seemingly coming to a close -- unless the Royals can afford to keep him.
According to Bleacher Report, Hosmer plans to pursue free agency this fall unless the Royals make him a sweet deal before Opening Day.
Hosmer told Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that he plans to enter the free agency market next winter should he and the Royals fail to agree to a new contract by Opening Day in April.
"I don't know if it's going to heat up now in spring training," he said. "But during the season, I don't like being bothered with that stuff. If something doesn't happen here, I don't see anything during the season really happening."
With Mark Teixeira retiring at the end of 2016, New York went out and signed Chris Carter. While Carter has pop in his bat, he hits for a very low average and strikes out a lot.
With the way the Yankees have retooled over the last year, could they be interested in trading for Hosmer? It could be a great fit for both Hosmer and New York.
If Hosmer doesn't get an offer he likes from the Royals, the Yankees may be one of the teams that shows a lot of interest in the first baseman this fall.
[Featured Image by Ed Zurga/Getty Images]