With MLB’s July 31st trade deadline rapidly approaching, several teams have already made their moves. The Brewers have acquired CC Sabathia and Ray Durham for 6 prospects, while the Cubs obtained Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin for 4 players. The Phillies bolstered their rotation with the acquisition of Joe Blanton, but there are several other teams who could be players in the next 9 days.
The Mets: With Moises Alou all but done, and Ryan Church suffering from migraines, one has to assume they will be in the market for a corner outfielder. The Indians Casey Blake makes sense, as he’s capable of playing left and right field as well as third base and first base. They could also be in the market for another reliever or starter, pending concerns for Pedro Martinez and Billy Wagner. Prospects Jonathan Niese and Fernando Martinez continue to be their most asked about players.
The Phillies: Despite the acquisition of Blanton, the Phillies could use a legitimate #2 starter. Blanton’s move from the pitcher friendly confines of Oakland to the bandbox that is Citizens Bank Ballpark won’t help his already pedestrian numbers. The return of Brett Myers could help, but based on how he has pitched in 2008, the odds seem to be stacked against that. Carlos Carrasco remains with the Phillies after the Blanton deal, and they may be better off seeing if he can give them some quality innings down the stretch, given the quality of starters available on the trade market.
The Brewers: The Brew Crew has made some big moves already, but they need to make one more as they are in desperate need of a big time reliever. Right now, only Salomon Torres and Brian Shouse are performing at an above average level and off-season acquisition Eric Gagne has managed to lose the closers job to Torres, by posting an ERA above 7.00. The Rockies Brian Fuentes would be a natural fit here, as he has closing experience, and would serve to make the bullpen better.
The Dodgers: Joe Torre’s new team is in desperate need of an offensive upgrade. Their offense is averaging just 4.26 runs per game, and rank 13th out of 16 in the NL in that category. Three positions worth upgrading are 3B(being manned by Blake Dewitt, though top prospect Andy LaRoche is getting more playing time), SS (where Rafael Furcal hasn’t played since May) and LF (where the sub par Juan Pierre struggles to do anything above average). Perhaps the Dodgers are showcasing LaRoche for a possible trade? Targets could be Seattle’s Adrian Beltre (a former Dodger), and the Pirates trio of Jack Wilson, Xavier Nady, and Jason Bay. A trade for Wilson and Nady makes the most sense, and Dodgers have the prospects to get it done. Maybe Elbert, LaRoche and Hu would satisfy the Pirates.
The Braves: Despite proclamations to the contrary, the Braves should be looking to move a few players at the deadline. At the top of the list is 1B Mark Teixiera. Acquired last summer in a failed playoff push, Teixiera is just 3 months away from free agency, and is a player the Braves are unlikely to resign. Given that they are 6 games out of first, and their pitching staff beyond Tim Hudson and Jair Jurrjens scares no one, now would be a good time to bolster the team for a run next year. Possible destinations would include the Yankees, the Angels, and possibly the Diamondbacks, where his bat and glove would provide an upgrade over Connor Jackson.
The Pirates: As noted above, Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, and Jack Wilson could all be with new teams by August. Or none of them could be. The Pirates should be looking to deal Nady while he is hot, and they have top prospect Andrew McCutchen waiting in the wings. The Pirates are looking for young pitching, and I would have to imagine 3B and SS help.
The Padres: The Padres have a few veteran players capable of helping some contending teams, such as Randy Wolf, Greg Maddux, and Brian Giles. While they are not valuable pieces, each could bring back a prospect or two, along with some salary relief.
The Giants: Ray Durham has already been traded. Could players like Randy Winn, Rich Aurillia, and Bengie Molina be far behind?
Posted originally: 2008-07-22 20:53:31