Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Trade Deadline Dreaming is Believing

We took a look at the trade target for contenders a bit earlier last year, at the start of June. We are only three weeks from this season's non-waiver trade deadline, which gives us a different perspective. Let's see if we can pick out the best players available to team's competing for the pennant.

Non-contending "sellers" in this year's market should be the Marlins, Brewers, Mets, Cubs, and Phillies from the National League and the Astros, Mariners, White Sox, and Twins representing the American League.

The Royals are in an interesting spot. Baseball Prospectus gives them just a 2.3% chance at making the playoffs. On the other hand, Coolstandings gives them an 18.7% chance at making the postseason, slightly higher than the 18.1% odds they give the Yankees. The Royals have a better run differential than the Yankees, but they should sell this season. They don't have enough coveted assets in the high minors to trade for elite talent this year. It seems more and more like the goal for the Royals should be to be a better team next season and beyond. Should we expect them to stand pat and trade no-on of great consequence? That could be their worst fate. Reloading the upper minors with talent, by trading James Shields, would help the 2014+ Royals immensely. At the very least, they have to get something for Ervin Santana, who is a free agent after the season. Luke Hochevar is pitching well in the bullpen, but his high salary could lead him to being non-tendered in the offseason. Flipping him for an decent prospect would help. Greg Holland has been one of the most dominant strikeout pitchers in the American League. Next year will be Holland's first arbitration year. With three years of team control ahead of him, Greg Holland would fetch a nice return for the Royals. No fewer than five teams are in the market for a reliever, as Boston, Detroit, Arizona, Washington, and the Dodgers are obvious.

Jose Reyes and the Blue Jays are
gonna keep going for it. #LoViste
A good week or two can increase any team's playoff odds exponentially. The Dodgers had less than 5% chance of going to the postseason a few weeks ago but currently have 41.6% odds on Baseball Prospectus and a 21.2% chance from Coolstandings. The odds for the Blue Jays are just 3.9% on B-Pro and 5.9% on Coolstandings. Due to the tight race in the AL East and the Blue Jays' poor performance, health, and luck in the first half, their fans and management are optimistic about the stretch run. If anything, the Blue Jays will look to double down like the Dodgers, acting as buyers this month.

The NL West is positioned for another wild finish. First and last place in the division are separated by just 7 1/2 games. Although the Rockies, Giants, and Padres appear to be on the outside looking in at the moment, the tight standings make it tough for any of those teams to raise the white flag.

So, we've identified five sellers in the National League and five (if we count the Royals) in the American League.

With that in mind, below are the best players for contending teams to consider acquiring...

Starting Pitchers
Cliff Lee, Phillies (owed ~$70M for next 2.5 years)
James Shields, Royals
Matt Garza, Cubs
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins TRADED!
Bud Norris, Astros
Ervin Santana, Royals
Scott Feldman, Cubs TRADED!
Aaron Harang, Mariners
Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
Mike Pelfrey, Twins
Joe Saunders, Mariners
Shaun Marcum, Mets (out for the season)

Relief Pitchers
Greg Holland, Royals
Glen Perkins, Twins
Jesse Crain, White Sox (on DL)
Steve Cishek, Marlins
Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
Matt Thornton, White Sox
James Russell, Cubs
Kevin Gregg, Cubs
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
Oliver Perez, Mariners
Luke Hochevar, Royas
John Axford, Brewers
Jose Veras, Astros
LaTroy Hawkins, Mets
Jim Henderson, Brewers
David Aardsma, Mets

... it's getting a little hairy...

Mike Gonzalez, Brewers
Erik Bedard, Astros
Ryan Webb, Marlins
Jon Rauch, Marlins
Chad Qualls, Marlins
Brandon Lyon, Mets

First Basemen/Corner OF/DH
Michael Morse, Mariners
Raul Ibanez, Mariners
Nate Schierholtz, Cubs
Kendrys Morales, Mariners
Justin Morneau, Twins
Scott Hairston, Cubs TRADED!
Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
Carlos Pena, Astros
Delmon Young, Phillies

Centerfielders
Alex Rios, White Sox
Norichika Aoki, Brewers
David DeJesus, Cubs (on DL)
Juan Pierre, Marlins
Alejandro De Aza, White Sox
Ryan Sweeney, Cubs
Dewayne Wise, White Sox
Marlon Byrd, Mets

Middle Infielders
Chase Utley, Phillies
Rickie Weeks, Brewers
Darwin Barney, Cubs
Brendan Ryan, Mariners
Adeiny Hechavarria, Marlins
Omar Quintanilla, Mets

Third Basemen
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers (on DL)
Luis Valbuena, Cubs
Placido Polanco, Marlins
Michael Young, Phillies
Greg Dobbs, Marlins

Catchers
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
Carlos Ruiz, Phillies
Ryan Doumit, Twins
Jeff Mathis, Marlins

It looks like there's at least 2 or 3 good players in each positional grouping. What do you think? Did we leave anyone out? Who do you like the most? Did we miss players from any other team that should be selling? Who are the best bets for guys who wont cost so much on the trade market? Please add your thoughts below.

No comments:

Post a Comment