August 1, 2021

Clearing The Bases

July 19, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

There was no column last week as I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and needed a few days to recover.  I’m back now and with the non-waiver trading deadline just 12 days away it seems prudent to talk about some of the players that might need to send a change of address to the post office.  The Brewers already acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets.  The Mets needed to trade KRod as they didn’t want his player option to kick in for next season.  The Brewers were able to re-work that option, and now have a 1-2 punch in the bullpen that can be hard to beat.  With that being said, here are 10 other players that are sure to have a rumor or two spoken about them before Aug. 1.

  • Carlos Beltran, New York Mets:  Beltran is going to be traded, it’s just a matter of when and to whom.  He’s in the last year of his contract with the Mets and they have no plans on re-signing him for next season.  Beltran could be quite attractive to any one of a number of teams.  Boston comes to mind as a replacement for JD Drew.  The Mets are willing to pick up the remainder of his contract (about $6 million), but want a top prospect in return.  The Yankees could get involved if the Mets can’t find a suitable trade partner and just want to dump his contract.
  • Ryan Ludwick, San Diego Padres:  Ludwick is another outfielder that may be in some demand.  He is also in the last year of his contract and could look good in an Indian or Tiger outfield.  The Padres are out of the race in the NL West and could be major sellers at the deadline.  Ludwick could be the consolation prize to the teams that lose out on Beltran.
  • Josh Willingham, Oakland Athletics:  Another player on a team going nowhere and in the last year of his contract.  It seems Willingham will once again be changing teams and could provide some right-handed pop either in a platoon role or off the bench.  Willingham already has 12 home runs this season and that’s playing in the Oakland Coliseum, not exactly a power hitter’s paradise.
  • Heath Bell, San Diego Padres:  Everyone’s favorite closer has as good a chance to be dealt from San Diego as he ever has.  The one caveat to Bell being dealt is that the Padres are going to want young prospects equal to or better than the two draft picks they would receive if they lost Bell to free agency.  If they don’t feel they are getting fair value, they could keep Bell, let him go in free agency and take the picks, and then trade setup man Mike Adams.  The teams most associated with Bell are the Phillies and Rangers.  The Phillies would make sense as Bell could remain a closer and Ryan Madson would move back to his setup role.  A trade to the Rangers or a couple of other teams for that matter could force Bell into the setup role.
  • Jose Reyes, New York Mets:  Two months ago it looked like Reyes was a lock to be dealt.  He was proving to everyone that he was healthy and back to being a franchise player.  Owner Fred Wilpon stated that the Mets wouldn’t give Reyes major money in free agency, that Reyes wasn’t going to get Carl Crawford money, which would seem to be an indication that the Mets weren’t interested in re-signing Reyes.  Than Reyes continued on his MVP season and the Mets fans started to get on ownership that Reyes can’t be allowed to leave.  Then Reyes got hurt, possibly hurting his trade value and possibly taking a few $$$$$ off of his contract.  All of this could help the Mets retain Reyes if they want to.  Problem still is are they willing to give Reyes the kind of contract he is going to demand in free agency?  If so, then I can understand holding onto him and trying to sign him during your exclusive negotiating window, but if they have no intention of signing Reyes, then deal him now and get as much as you can.
  • Leo Nunez, Florida Marlins:  Nunez is a new name that we have heard mentioned lately.  Relievers are always at a premium this time of year as contending clubs are always looking for another power arm in their bullpen.  Nunez would also be a closer that a contending club might not be as worried about as far removing him from the closer role and inserting him into a setup role as he isn’t an established closer but only someone who has had the job for a season or two.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez, Colorado Rockies:  Now here’s a name that is making major news here in the Northeast as it came out that the Yankees are interested in his services and the Rockies may be interested in dealing him.  Problem is the Rockies have no need to trade him.  He is a top pitcher at a good price ($18 million total for 2012-14).  So why would they deal him?  Is there something in his medical history that shows he is a Tommy John candidate?  Their asking price from the Yankees may have shown their hand as they asked for the top four prospects (Manny Banuelos, Ivan Nova, Jesus Montero, Dellin Betances).  Why not just ask for Robinson Cano while you’re at it.  I think Colorado was just testing the market, Jimenez isn’t going anywhere.
  • Colby Rasmus, St. Louis Cardinals:  In my mind Rasmus is a player that needs to get away from St. Louis and manager Tony LaRussa.  He is in desperate need of a change of scenery.  LaRussa and Rasmus seemed to have been at odds since day one.  If the Cardinals can get equal value, which is getting more and more difficult each day they bench him, then they should make the deal and move on.
  • BJ Upton, Tampa Bay Rays:  Another player who may need a change of scenery.  Upton has just never lived up to his potential in Tampa and could find his way out of town.  It’s unlikely because the Rays need all the offense they can get, but one trade that has been mentioned that might make sense for both teams, Upton for Rasmus.  Would give both players the new starts they seem to need and neither team would lose an offensive player.
  • Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins:  The Yankees were interested in Liriano in the off-season and may be so again if the Twins decide to become sellers by the deadline.  That’s the key here, if the Twins give up on the season.  They are six games out of 1st place as of this writing and would need to climb over two other teams just to get a shot at Cleveland.  Not impossible and the Twins have proven to be a strong second half team in the past, so how they play over the next week and a half will show if they are buyers or sellers.

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