July 29, 2021

Clearing The Bases

May 15, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Major League Baseball teams for the most part use the first third of the season (April, May) to evaluate their team, the middle third (June, July) to make acquisitions to help the team, and the last third (August, September) to fight for a playoff run.  Now trading won’t really pick up for another month or so but still, there are quite a few fantasy players that could be dealt.  I wonder if with all the injuries throughout MLB that trading could be quieter this season than in years past.  Also have to wonder if with the addition of a second wild card team that there won’t be as many sellers as their used to be.  More teams should find themselves in the hunt which could reduce both the quantity and quality of available players.  With this column we are going to take a look at nine players who could need a moving van by July 31.  Once again they are in no particular order.

  1. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox:   Youkilis has had a nightmare of a season to date.  He got off to a poor start in both spring training and the regular season.  This after missing a good part of last season due to injury.  Then he had manager Bobby Valentine come out and pretty much say he wasn’t playing with the same intensity and giving it his all.  Then he suffers a back injury that puts him on the DL, and he may have just been Wally Pipped.  His replacement, top prospect Will Middlebrooks has been raking since his arrival and seems to need to play every day.  With the Sox struggling, hard to see them sending Middlebrooks back down, the Sox don’t have an opening at 1B (Adrian Gonzalez) or DH (David Ortiz) and neither players seems to be athletic enough to play the outfield.  How would Youkilis react to being benched?  Probably not well.


  1. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies:  There are two reasons why Hamels could be traded?  First, he is a free agent after the season and wants at least a six year contract for over $100 million.  Seems unlikely Philly would be able to dole out yet another mega contract.  They just don’t have the funds and Hamels doesn’t seem inclined to give them a home team discount.  Second, this doesn’t look like it’s going to the Phillies year.  They are a struggling team that might not be able to survive the injuries to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard therefore it might benefit the team to trade away a star pitcher that you’re not going to be able to re-sign anyway, and get whatever talent you can for him.


  1. Shane Victorino, Philadelphia Phillies:  Victorino is in the same situation as Hamels.  Another free agent whom the team may not be able to afford.  Now Victorino is not a superstar and won’t command the kind of mega contract that Hamels will, but still he is valuable and may command a bigger contract than Philly believes he is worth.  Pretty much, if you’re a Phillies fan, you’re hoping the team turns things around within the next two months or else some of your favorite players may be playing for someone else.


  1. Closers throughout baseball:  There were quite a few names on this list.  Brett Myers of Houston, Matt Capps of Minnesota, Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes of Oakland, Jonathan Broxton of Kansas City, Brandon League of Seattle, Joel Hanrahan of Pittsburgh, Carlos Marmol of the Cubs, and Huston Street of San Diego.  What do these players have in common?  They are closers on bad teams that will probably be out of the race by July 31.  While any team that wishes to acquire one of these players may not need them to close, they probably could use another bullpen arm and could bring back a valuable young player to their current team.  None of these closers are God’s greatest gift to the position or a future Hall of Famer, they can be dealt and then replaced quite easily.


  1. Peter Bourjos/Mike Trumbo, Los Angeles Angels:  The Angels already released Bobby Abreu to make room for Mike Trout, something they should have done in spring training.  Still though, a worthy major leaguer has to ride the bench.  Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Trout, Bourjos, Mike Trumbo, and Kendry Morales are pretty much six players battling for five spots.  Wells can’t be traded because he has what might be the most unmovable contract in the sport.  Hunter has little value.  Bourjos would bring back the least in terms of talent.  Trout isn’t going anywhere.  Morales seems entrenched in the DH role.  Trumbo would seem to have the most value but do the Angels really want to give up on such a young talent?  Bourjos is probably not long for this team.


  1. Zach Greinke/Shaun Marcum, Milwaukee Brewers:  Greinke and Marcum are both free agents next season.  Milwaukee is probably going to lose Greinke just like they did CC Sabathia.  Greinke won’t command the kind of contract that CC did may just be the best right-hander on the market this off-season.  Is he worth the type of contact that he wants?  Probably not, but someone will offer it, they always do.  As for Marcum, he just hasn’t been all that good in his two years with Milwaukee.  They probably want him back, but they would like it to be at their price.


  1. Carlos Lee, Houston Astros:  The Astros are playing well now, but they know they aren’t going anywhere.  Lee is a free agent after the season so money is not an issue.  Someone should want a right-handed bat that can play first and some outfield and add a little pop.


  1. Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs:  He may have the second worst contract behind Vernon Wells but with the way Bryan LaHair is hitting for the Cubs and Anthony Rizzo for AAA, you have to think the Cubs will finally eat a good portion of his contract in order to open up a spot on the team to promote Rizzo.  Right now LaHair is playing 1B, but he can play the outfield, problem is there isn’t a spot open for him right now.


  1. BJ Upton, Tampa Bay Rays:  It comes down to this.  Upton has never really lived up to his talent ceiling.  He gives off a terrible impression that he doesn’t care when on the field, and now he is just getting more and more expensive.  The team already has a low payroll, he was almost dealt to St. Louis for Colby Rasmus last season, have a hard time seeing him in Tampa long term.  Get something for him while u can.


Remember, you can follow or ask me any fantasy questions you like on Twitter, @GeorgeKurtz


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