MLB Trade Rumors: Jake Peavy and 5 Players Who Could Be on the Move
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It’s early in the 2012 season, but we have already seen major injuries for some of baseball’s key players: Mariano Rivera, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, Michael Pineda and Jayson Werth to name a few.
Teams with deep pockets have needs.
Here we explore five key players who could be on the move on the July 31 trade deadline.
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Peavy has been remarkable for the Chicago White Sox this season. The former Cy Young winner seems to have overcome the injuries that plagued him over the last three seasons.
Peavy is 3-1, with a 1.99 ERA in 45.1 innings pitched. Peavy is striking out an impressive 7.7 batters per nine innings and has already tossed two complete games. He is showing no signs of slowing down. So why would Chicago trade him?
The White Sox have a $22 million club option on Peavy for the 2013 season (ESPN). The White Sox most likely will not invest $22 million into a 31-year-old pitcher with a long history of injuries.
They could opt to buy out the contract for $4 million but if Peavy continues to pitch at an elite level the White Sox could have one of the best bargaining chips in baseball at the trade deadline.
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Street was placed on the 15-day DL with a strain near his pitching shoulder. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious and when Street returns there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to be a very effective closer. In 10 games Street has four saves, a 0.93 ERA and 0.51 WHIP.
The San Diego Padres are already 9.5 games out of first in the NL West, and they have been hit especially hard by injuries this year.
The Padres have shown no signs they will turn their season around by the trade deadline. Enter Street, a nice bargaining chip for a team that’s still building. Street has a mutual option of $9 million for 2013 and a buyout of $500,000.
San Diego's best bet is to trade Street to a contender before the option even becomes an issue.
Look for San Diego to go all out to trade Street in July.
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The Houston Astros are in rebuilding mode. Aging veterans like Lee don’t make sense for Houston’s future. Lee has had a solid 2012 campaign batting .289 with two home runs and 14 RBIs.
Although Lee’s power numbers have dropped every season for the past four seasons he’s an intriguing option for contenders seeking a solid bat. Lee can still drive in runs (94 RBI last season) and is known as a great clubhouse guy.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow recently told Ken Rosenthal, “If we have pieces on our club that are in demand by other clubs and we get enough future value for them to make up for the short-term loss, we’ll consider every opportunity.” (MLB Trade Rumors)
Lee will become a free agent in 2013 and Houston will likely try to move Lee at the trade deadline rather than let him walk for nothing next season.
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Balfour will draw a lot of interest on the July 31 trade deadline. He will become a free agent next season if Oakland doesn’t pick up his $4.5 million option (spotrac). Balfour is affordable and plays for a team that may be out of contention in July.
Big-market teams (New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox) already have seen their closers go down and Billy Beane could get a team desperate for bullpen help to overpay for Balfour.
Balfour has pitched, and pitched effectively, in the AL East in the past. That makes him an intriguing option for the Red Sox and Yankees.
Balfour has posted a 4.40 ERA, with seven saves in 15 games.
Oakland is playing well right now sitting in second place in the AL West. But overcoming the Rangers and the struggling Angels most likely will prove to be too much for the light-hitting A’s.
If Oakland begins to struggle there’s a strong possibility we’ll see Balfour in pinstripes by the trade deadline (ESPN).
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Hanrahan fits the Street and Balfour mould. He’s a solid closer, pitching for a team not expected to contend, and will become a free agent next season.
Hanrahan has pitched in nine games for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season and has a respectable 3.00 ERA with five saves. The Pirates are in fifth place in the NL Central and have a hot bargaining chip on their hands with Hanrahan.
Hanrahan is an All-Star closer who racked up 40 saves with a 2.47 ERA last season.
According to Tom Singer of MLB.com Hanrahan’s teammates have already begun joking about trade possibilities asking questions like "Will your car fit in the garage in New York?" or "Do you know how far is it from Boston's Logan Airport to Fenway Park?"
Although the questions were asked in jest they speak to the larger possibility that Hanrahan may be donning something other than the Pirate’s black and yellow after the trade deadline.