MLB Trade Rumors: 10 Players Guaranteed to Be Traded by the Deadline
As we get closer to the end of the season's first quarter, we can start to take a look at the standings and actually learn things from the team's performances.
It means nothing if the Baltimore Orioles are atop the AL East after four games. If they're still there after 40, though, that says a lot about the team.
That, of course, means we have to look at the trading deadline and see how the market has changed, and at the players guaranteed to be playing in a different uniform in August.
Okay, so perhaps "guaranteed" is a slightly strong word to use in the first week of May.
After all, a player might be a great trade chip in July, then have a month where he goes 3-43 with no extra base hits, or has a run of six starts with a 12.00 ERA.
But as of right now, these players have good value and might very well be shipped come July 31.
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Francisco Liriano has heard his name mentioned in trade rumours for years and this year is no different. However, his poor performance on the mound has done nothing for his trade value.
Liriano is 0-4 with a 9.97 ERA, has walked as many batters as he has struck out and considered a start were he gave up four runs against the struggling Angels offense "encouraging."
Despite that, however, it only makes sense for the Twins to trade him, and will have buyers if he can perform better.
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Can the Baltimore Orioles keep up their torrid start, which has given them a 19-9 record and first place in the ultra-competitive AL East?
If Baltimore cannot, and they're not going to challenge for a playoff berth, Adam Jones becomes a trade chip, especially since he'll be a free agent in two years and will be able to command a huge salary.
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Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein have dismantled the Chicago Cubs since they arrived in the offseason and there are few holdovers from the old regime.
Matt Garza is one of them, but might not figure in their long-term plans, given that he'll be a free agent in two years.
Mark Miller of Yahoo! Sports reported in the offseason the Cubbies were talking with the Detroit Tigers about a trade involving Garza.
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The Tampa Bay Rays have gone from playoff possibilities to sexy World Series pick.
Tampa's 19-10 record is the second best in the American League, behind the Baltimore Orioles, their pitching rotation is excellent and their lineup has been surprisingly potent.
However, the Rays almost have too much pitching and the lineup might not be able to hold up this pace for the whole season.
Other teams will look at the Rays' rotation with envy and Niemann could be the one to go to shore up their order.
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A few factors have combined to make Wandy Rodriguez a viable trade option come July 31.
One: He has performed very well, with a 2.33 FIP.
Two: The Houston Astros are terrible.
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Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported the New York Mets should consider trading third baseman David Wright in the offseason.
New York is going nowhere and if Wright's stays healthy and his numbers are decent, they should probably think of moving him.
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The Boston Globe reported the Philadelphia Phillies would be willing to eat a quarter of Joe Blanton's contract to ship him at the deadline.
Philadelphia might need to.
While the Phillies have perhaps the best rotation in the NL, their offense is statistically the worst in all of baseball.
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The Atlanta Braves have done well to get over their historic collapse in September, and are now only a half-game out of first in the NL East.
However, they do have needs, specifically a power-hitting left fielder.
Jurrjens struggled early, but if he turns it around he will have good value.
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Oakland's righty reliever Grant Balfour has performed very well in April and teams are already looking at him as a potential trade target says the Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Balfour will be one of the most sought-after bullpen arms and the Athletics aren't going to challenge for a postseason berth this year.
The L.A. Angels could be a potential landing spot, even though it would mean trading within the division.
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Nick Cafardo also writes Brett Myers could be the most attractive ninth-inning pitcher available at the deadline.
The fact he's already pitched well in a big market makes Myers a good option for playoff-contending teams.