Clearing The Bases
Today is the two week mark before the non-waiver trade deadline in Major League Baseball. Trades are always a fun thing to discuss both in fantasy baseball and reality. We always wonder where certain players will end up. Will it help our team? Will it hurt our team? Most trades that are mentioned won’t happen, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss them. Whether it’s for your fantasy team or the team you root for, we all dream of ways to make our team better. Tonight we are going to take a look at a few trades that could happen within the next two weeks in MLB.
Ryan Dempster to the Los Angeles Dodgers: Dempster is probably the first big domino to fall and he could be dealt as soon as this weekend. The Dodgers need to make a couple of moves, mainly hitting, but with Chad Billlingsley having been placed on the disabled list today the Dodgers could use a starter as well. Now the Red Sox are interested in Dempster as well, but he is a 10/5 man (10 years in MLB, 5 with the same team), which means he can turn down a deal to any team and he has already declared that he prefers the National League West to the American League East as a destination.
Matt Garza to the Boston Red Sox: Now this deal would seem to make sense on quite a few levels. Garza has already pitched and had success in the AL East (Tampa Bay). The Red Sox need another starter badly. Even with all the injuries they have had, they are tied with Texas for the most runs scored in MLB. Starting pitching however is another story. The Sox can’t rely on the health and production of Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey if and when they come off the DL. One holdup could be Boston’s unwillingness to deal with former GM Theo Epstein. They may be afraid that he knows their minor league system better than they do, plus there is still the little matter of compensation from his leaving Boston.
Cole Hamels to Detroit: Another trade that makes sense. The Tigers are desperate for starting pitching as Justin Verlander is really the only starter they can rely on. The Tigers also know they have been playing better ball of late and another ace could be what they need to not only win the AL Central but go deeper into the playoffs. The Tigers can also offer Nick Castellanos, their top hitting prospect, who happens to play third base, a position of need for Philly. The question is will Philly put Hamels on the market? They have won three of their past four games, they might try and stay in it. There are also rumors that Philadelphia will make a big pitch to re-sign Cole before free agency.
Shane Victorino to the New York Yankees: Victorino is one Philly who is likely to get traded even if the team decides to stay in the race. He walked out of the clubhouse about 10 days ago after seeing that he was batting seventh in the lineup. Not the way you want a player who hasn’t been performing up to standards to react. There is very little chance that Philly re-signs Victorino, so better to get what you can for him by the deadline. The Yankees would make sense in that it’s looking more and more likely that Brett Gardner will be out for the season and continuing to have Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones play leftfield everyday might expose their deficiencies or lead to wearing them down. Victorino would also be able to play center and give Curtis Granderson a breather every now and again.
Omar Infante to Detroit: Once again this assumes that Miami decides to trade out. Infante is a former Tiger who could certainly their problems at second base. That position has been a black hole for Detroit this season. If Miami were to become sellers, Anibal Sanchez and the recently acquired Carlos Lee could also be on the move. Sanchez is a free agent after the season and Lee was only brought in for this season, not long term.
Any reliever on planet Earth to the Mets: Watching the Mets blow yet another game because of a bullpen meltdown has to force the club into action. The team has lost five straight games now and may be turning back into a pumpkin either way, but there is no faster way for a team to lose confidence in itself then when they bullpen can’t hold a lead. Former Met Francisco Rodriguez was mentioned as a possibility and one would have to believe he still is, even though he has just been elevated to closer by Milwaukee. They are more than likely sellers, not buyers.
Zach Greinke to ????????: I was pretty sure that Greinke was going to be traded 7-10 days ago, but now that Milwaukee has decided to give him 10 days off to “re-energize”, has to send up quite a few red flags. The teams states he is not hurt, just needs a break. Strange timing indeed. The Rangers and Angels were said to be interested in his services, but one has to wonder if either or both back off now. Keep in mind that Greinke has had psychological issues in the past as well which could lead to hesitation from some teams.
Justin Upton to Texas: This would be a big deal as Upton is just 24 years of age and only making about $8.5 million per season through 2015. So why does Arizona want to trade him? Is there a problem in the clubhouse? Is there a medical problem we don’t know about? Once again this screams buyer beware but Texas would make some sense in that they have a strong farm system (Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, Martin Perez, Neil Ramirez) and could also have the need for a big bat with the pending free agency of Josh Hamilton.
Bryan LaHair and Alfonso Soriano to the Los Angeles Dodgers: Okay I know this is not likely to happen but the Dodgers are one team that is in a position to take on salary. The Cubs would love to dump the remaining two plus years on Soriano’s contract and while they wouldn’t get much in return for including LaHair in the deal, it would free them up somewhat financially. As for LA, they need bats, Soriano could help in the outfield and LaHair could take over at first base. Even better for LA would be that it’s only cash, wouldn’t have to give up and big prospects in this deal which is good, as their minor league system is not all that strong right now.