We are now about a month away from the non-waiver trade deadline and those of us in AL only pools are nervously eyeing our teams and wondering which players we might lose. For me I’m very concerned about Bud Norris (who has publicly said he’d love to play in San Fran) and Jose Veras as the Astros will deal anything with value in their epic rebuilding process. This creates both problems but also potential solutions. As with any market uncertainty there is an opportunity here to gamble. Take last year for example; James Shields was widely expected to be dealt by the Rays and a nervous owner might well have let him go at a discount fearing he would end up in the NL. Of course he didn’t go anywhere so a deal for him could have been a steal. On the other hand an owner that was able to deal away a Brandon League for example before his move to the Dodgers would have benefited even if he sold at a discounted rate.
Here’s a rundown of names that are being floated as movers coming up to the July 31st deadline. A few of them I have my own opinion on which I’ll note:
- Ricky Nolasco – seems destined to move. He is 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA and 6.9K/9. Decent but not great
- Jonathon Papelbon – being eyed by both the Red Sox and the Tigers as the Phillies are floundering. To me he makes sense in Detroit where Ilitch badly wants a ring and this is clearly their weak spot. Save up your shekels for this guy.
- Jose Veras – likely to provide bullpen support for a contender and lose his closer’s gig.
- Jake Peavy, Alex Rios, Jesse Crain, etc. – anyone not tied down in Chicago could go as their season devolves.
- Steve Cishek – the Marlins closer is being viewed by many teams and Miami will deal anyone with value. He has 12 saves and a 3.45 ERA so far this year. Depending on the destination he’s likely to lose his gig.
- Yovani Gallardo – he keeps getting mentioned as trade bait but I just don’t see it. If he does move he could be an excellent addition.
- Drew Storen – lost his closer’s job in Washington and could provide bullpen depth in a deal
- Justin Morneau – one of the more surprising names out there but his power has vanished this year.
- Chris Perez – has been critical of the organization in the past. This will depend on the Indians place in the standings as they don’t really have a ‘next-in-line’ guy this year with Pestano less than stellar.
- Edinson Volquez – has been awful this year but has shown ability in the past. He was suspended for PEDs and hasn’t been the same since. I wouldn’t touch him.
- Chase Utley’s name has come up in rumours as well but frankly I don’t buy it.
Well there you go. I’m sure this will change many, many times in the coming weeks but the important thing to do now is hedge your bets if you can. I may lose Veras so I’m looking at who is next in line in Houston. It’s a small thing to do now but it could pay off in the end.