We’ve heard in recent weeks that the Yanks plan on targeting two types of players this year at the mid-season trade deadline. A relief pitcher and an athletic Outfielder who can come off the bench. But thus far, getting anyone to put a name to such targets have been few and far between. Only David Dejesus has been mentioned in a Tweet by Jon Heyman, and that was just speculation on his part. So just for fun, I wanted to kick around a few names. My criteria will be as follows:
-Last place team
-Last year on a deal making decent money
-No teams in the Yanks division
If you’re thinking about Carl Crawford or requiring Johnny Damn, sorry, but I can’t help you out. Since the Royals are in 4th place in the AL Central they miss the cut as well. But on the heels of firing their Manager, if any team will break things down and rebuild it’s them. The problem is that after Dejesus, you’re looking at Gil Meche, Kyle Farnsworth, and Jose Guillen as guys who make good money and/or have expiring contracts after this season. Their most attractive target, Closer Joakim Soria, is signed through 2011 with club options that take him to 2014.
My list should give us a reasonable idea of what’s out there and assess the marketplace that Cash will be looking at. It may even produce a few names that might actually be traded by the end of next month. Here’s who I’ve come up with:
Washington Nationals: Closer Matt Capps was signed to a 1 year 3.5 mil deal this off season. Having what appears to be a nice season on the surface (18 saves 2.70 ERA) but his 1.463 WHIP isn’t great, and you have to be concerned about how he translates to the AL East. 3.4 SO/BB rate is good, however. Could be an option if the price isn’t too high. With the success that Tyler Clippard has had the past two years, I’m sure the Nats will be eager to make another deal with Cashman.
Cleveland Indians: Former Closer Kerry Wood will be very available, and for good reason. He’s been horrendous this year (8.68 ERA/2.036 WHIP) and makes a whopping 10.5 mil. They could eat the entire deal and he’s still not worth it. Would be nice to have another bullpen Lefty, but Rafael Perez has been ineffective (6.13 ERA/2.135 WHIP) and was throwing in the high 80s the last time we saw him get rocked at YS3. Only makes 795K for this year (arb eligible) so they’ll likely hang on to him.
Houston Astros: The name Lance Berkman jumps out at you, but he’s recently said he’ll only accept a deal if a team picks up his 15 mil 2011 option. That should scare most teams off at age 34 during a down year (117 OPS+/149 Career). Add to that he hasn’t played RF in a few years, he’s really a 1B now. Not a fit. Brandon Lyon has pitched well (3.47 ERA/1.329 WHIP) but nobody wants that contract. Michael Bourn is still in his arb years (3.028 service) and unlikely to go anywhere. Nothing exciting here.
Seattle Mariners: If your head has been feeling great lately and you think you could go for a nice headache to mix things up, then Milton Bradley‘s your man. For the rest of us, Closer David Aardsma and setup man Brandon League would be a nice fits, but both are earning little, still in their arb years and therefore highly unlikely to be traded.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Forget about relief help, they need all the help they can get in that department. Their bullpen is the worst in Baseball by a lot. In the National League, no less. In the Outfield, everyone is either signed long term or no damn good.
Looks like outside of Matt Capps and David Dejesus, there’s not much available at this point. Here’s the 2011 Free Agent list if you want to look over for yourself, but most of the really interesting names are playing on contenders.
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