It’s a little over a week until the trade deadline and we are already busier than the past couple of years. I’ll look at what has happened so far and what is currently rumored to happen.
The Trades so Far:
– The Nationals trade RP Jon Rauch to the Diamondbacks for 2B Emilio Bonifacio: The Nats probably could have gotten more, but they wanted to fill a need of the organization. Bonifacio was the 6th best prospect in the D’backs system and will be the second baseman for years in Washington.
– The Padres trade SP Randy Wolf to the Astros for P Chad Reineke: The Astros stay they made this move so they’d have an advantage to sign Wolf in the off-season; I think it’s a bad move for a team that’s not in contention. They now have to pick up $3.5MM and lose someone that can help the team in the future. The Padres grab another guys that will be inserted into the bullpen; he’s comparable to Chad Qualls.
– The Giants trade 2B Ray Durham to the Brewers for OF Darren Ford and LHP Steve Hammond: The Brewers wanted someone to platoon with Rickie Weeks. Durham should see a small boost in his numbers now that he’s in a better ball park. The Giants just wanted a warm body or 2 back. Both prospects have potential, but both also have some serious flaws.
– The Rockies trade IF Juan Castro to the Orioles for IF Mike McCoy: The Orioles needed someone to replace Miguel Tejada; unfortunately Castro won’t be able to do it (ask Minnesota and Cincinnati). The consolation is they gave up a career minor leaguer for him, so no loss.
– The Padres trade 1B Tony Clark to the Diamondbacks for P Evan Scribner: The D’backs wanted depth and know what Clark brings to the table. The Padres wanted someone to help start over; he could be another bullpen arm for the Padres.
– The Athletics trade SP Joe Blanton to the Phillies for P Josh Outman, 2B Adrian Cardenas, and OF Matt Spencer: Blanton is a solid starter, but has struggle this year. The move to Philly won’t help things. At least they’ll have him for a few years. In return, Oakland nabbed a good hitting middle infielder, a solid starter with good stuff, and an outfield project (who could convert back to a pitcher if he doesn’t work out).
– The Athletics trade SP Rich Harden and SP Chad Gaudin to the Cubs for SP Sean Gallagher, OF Matt Murton, 2B/OF Eric Patterson, and C Josh Donaldson: The Cubs added another ace, but one that doesn’t hold up for a season. Gaudin was added as insurance, in case Harden does break. He’s pretty valueable since he can pitch out of the ‘pen or in the rotation. Oakland walked away with a solid pitching prospect in Gallagher; he’s got a good fast ball, with a solid changeup and curves. Murton is pretty much a platoon player, but has drawn a lot of interest in the trade market. Patterson could shift back to second if the A’s allow Mark Ellis to walk. Donaldson is a rough catching prospect and had struggled before the trade.
– The Indians trade SP CC Sabathia to the Brewers for OF Matt LaPorta, P Rob Bryson, P Zach Jackson, and a PTBNL: The Reigning Cy Young award winner wasn’t going to come back to Cleveland, so they decided to move him. He’ll be the ace in Milwaukee, along side injury prone Ben Sheets (also a free agent after the season). Cleveland walked away with probably the best hitter from last years draft (at this point). LaPorta may move back to first base in Cleveland. Bryson is an average reliever in the low minors; he’s only got 2 pitches, so a move to the rotation is slim. Jackson looks like the classic 4-A player; he does well in the minors, but it never translates in the big leagues. Both pitchers, and the PTBNL, were essentially throw ins.
The People Being Mentioned:
– Huston Street’s name keeps popping up. The Reds have recently been linked to him, as have many contenders. He’ll be expensive since he’s under team control through 2010. I don’t think he’ll be moved.
– The Braves will not be trading reliever Mike Gonzalez, but will listen on lefty Will Ohman. On the Mark Teixeira front, they want to players who equal 2 first round picks, which they’d lose when he signs elsewhere in the off-season.
– Raul Ibanez will be hard to get; the Mariners have a high asking price for him, but there have been no negotiations. Expect the Diamondbacks and Mets to be mentioned. Boston called on JJ Putz, but was told he’s not available.
– Brian Fuentes is probably the marquis name right now; apparently the Rockies have asked for Wade Davis (Rays), Ian Kennedy (Yankees), Clay Buchholz (Red Sox), and Jon Niese (Mets). The price will likely drop now that Jon Rauch has established the market for closer potential relievers.
– The Yankees are looking at starting pitching. They were very interested in Jarrod Washburn; his no trade clause includes the Yanks, so this probably won’t happen. Instead, they’ll explore other options (Bronson Arroyo or AJ Burnett perhaps). They’ve also been scouting the Dodgers (Lowe?).
– The other New York team was recently scouting the Rangers; possible targets include Marlon Byrd, Frank Catalanotto, and Eddie Guardado.
– Pittsburgh continue to ask for too much for Xavier Nady; the Rays, Yankees and Phillies inquired and passed. Teammate Jason Bay is getting interest from the A’s.
– George Sherrill is drawing interest from many teams; the Cardinals have had scouts watching him recently. The O’s are known for being difficult to deal with; if he’s moved, it’ll be after Fuentes. Both Jamie Walker and Chad Bradford could clear waivers and be dealt after the deadline. Jeremy Guthrie is not available.
– Casey Blake is the best name the Indians have to offer; he’s getting interest from the Mets, Rays, and Twins. Paul Byrd and Jamie Carroll are also available.
– The Marlins have pushed a catching upgrade to the backburner while looking for a reliever; they’re in the Fuentes sweepstakes.
– The Dodgers are still looking for the answer at third base; Dallas McPherson could be a solution. They are using Andy LaRoche right now, but may be willing to deal him for an upgrade.
– Philadelphia called on Matt Holliday, Nady, and Matt Kemp.