MLB Trade Rumors: Updated Nightmare Scenarios for All 30 Teams at the Deadline
The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is fast approaching, and by now, teams are working on their strategies to best prepare themselves for the rest of the season and beyond.
There are still a few weeks left for teams to determine whether or not they will be buying or selling, especially with the extra Wild Card in play for each league.
However, there is no question that each team has a particular scenario that they would like to avoid at all costs. For some, it may be not acquiring that one big player that can fill a particular hole. For others, it could be failing to unload a player that's not part of their future plans.
Whatever the case, each scenario could have lasting consequences down the road for each team.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Trading Gerardo Parra
The 2012 season thus far for the Arizona Diamondbacks has not quite played out as planned.
Surprise winners of the NL West Division last year, the Diamondbacks were aggressive during the offseason in making acquisitions to bolster their roster. The trade for pitchers Trevor Cahill and Brad Ziegler and signing free agent outfielder Jason Kubel seemed to address their needs.
However, in acquiring Kubel, the transaction forced Gold Glove Award-winning outfielder Gerardo Parra to the bench. While manager Kirk Gibson has done an admirable job finding at-bats for Parra, he is still fourth on the outfield depth chart behind Kubel, Chris Young and Justin Upton.
The Boston Red Sox reportedly inquired about the availability of Parra and were rebuffed by the D-Backs.
They would be wise in continuing to reject inquiries, especially with Young not producing.
Atlanta Braves: Not Acquiring a Veteran Starter for the Postseason Push
Atlanta Braves starter Brandon Beachy is scheduled to meet with Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to determine whether or not he will need Tommy John surgery.
Beachy was diagnosed with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, leaving the Braves with a huge hole in their starting rotation.
For now, Jair Jurrjens is expected to take Beachy's spot in the rotation. Jurrjens was sent down to Triple-A earlier this season after posting a 9.37 ERA in four starts. Jurrjens hasn't exactly lit the world on fire at Gwinnett either, posting a 3-4 record and 5.18 ERA in 10 starts.
Kris Medlen is an option as well, working out of the bullpen with a 3.45 ERA in 23 appearances thus far for the Braves.
The Braves have quite a bit of money coming off the books next season with the contracts of Derek Lowe and Chipper Jones off the payroll. While the Braves have constraints on their current payroll, relying on Jurrjens to return to last year's first-half form is a major gamble.
The Braves would be wise to stretch that payroll now and acquire a veteran starter.
Baltimore Orioles: Not Acquiring a Solid Starter
The Baltimore Orioles are clearly one of the surprises in the majors this year, currently 10 games above .500 and only 2.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East.
The biggest asset thus far for the O's has been their stellar bullpen, leading the American League with a 2.37 ERA. The starting rotation, however, could use some help, just 10th overall in the AL with a 4.54 ERA.
FOX Sports baseball guru Ken Rosenthal recently reported that the O's have scouted both Matt Garza and Ryan Dempster of the Chicago Cubs. Rosenthal also suggested that Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Joe Saunders could be a good fit as well.
The Orioles haven't been relevant since 1997—they clearly have a window of opportunity open to them right now. Doing nothing to upgrade the starting rotation and continuing to rely on their stellar bullpen will eventually lead to failure once again.
Boston Red Sox: Not Trading Kevin Youkilis
When the Boston Red Sox get both Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury back from the disabled list, they are going to have a major problem on their hands.
With both starting outfielders shelved, manager Bobby Valentine has been able to play the trio of Adrian Gonzalez, Will Middlebrooks and Kevin Youkilis at the same time, with Gonzalez playing right field and Youkilis manning first.
The emergence of Middlebrooks has left little room for Youk, who is currently still slumping with a .216 batting average and just four HR and 13 RBI.
At least five teams are interested, and if for some reason Youkilis is still with the Sox in early August, the logjam is sure to wear on the team.
Chicago Cubs: Not Unloading Alfonso Soriano
Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano has hit more home runs than anyone in the National League since May 15, and despite his bloated contract, his trade value may never be higher.
The Baltimore Orioles were said to be interested at one point, and the Toronto Blue Jays had scouts at Cubs games recently as well.
If the Cubs throw a whole lot of money in with the deal, Soriano would be of help to several American League teams, especially as a DH. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein should absolutely strike now while the proverbial iron is still hot.
Chicago White Sox: Not Acquiring a Rotation Innings-Eater
The Chicago White Sox have been reeling of late, losing 10 of their last 14 games and dropping out of first place in the AL Central Division.
On top of that, they received bad news on starter John Danks, who is likely lost for at least six weeks with a Grade 1 tear of the subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder.
Add to that the fact that Gavin Floyd has a 7.40 ERA over the past two months and Philip Humber has a 7.47 ERA in the 10 starts following his perfect game in April.
The good news is that 23-year-old rookie Jose Quintana has looked terrific with a 1.53 ERA. But that's nowhere near enough to keep the rotation afloat.
GM Kenny Williams will need to make a decision, and soon. With the Detroit Tigers continuing to flounder, there's a clear opportunity in the division. Making no move to bolster the starting rotation would squander that opportunity.
Cincinnati Reds: Not Adding Bench Depth
The Cincinnati Reds have been very fortunate in having a young utility player like Todd Frazier around.
In the absence of Scott Rolen, Frazier filled in admirably, and has also gotten looks in left field to keep his bat in the lineup. Thus far, Frazier is hitting .263 with seven HR and 22 RBI.
However, beyond Frazier, manager Dusty Baker doesn't have much to turn to on his bench. Devin Mesoraco, Ryan Ludwick, Miguel Cairo and Wilson Valdez have all struggled much of the season.
Finding a capable utility player that can complement Frazier would go a long way in helping the Reds at this point.
Cleveland Indians: Not Adding a Right-Handed Power Bat
The Cleveland Indians' lineup has been devoid of power lately, sinking to 12th in the American League in home runs. In addition, they lack a right-handed power bat to offset the overload of left-handed hitters in the lineup.
Only Shelley Duncan and Jose Lopez hit exclusively from the right side, and with just seven home runs between them, the need for power is even more evident.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Carlos Santana are both switch-hitters, but Santana has not gone deep since May 15 and has just five long balls after hitting 27 last season.
Teams will be lining up to neutralize the left-handed bats in the Tribe lineup, and GM Chris Antonetti needs to do all he can to offset that by finding right-handed power help now.
Colorado Rockies: Not Unloading Jeremy Guthrie
This past offseason, Colorado Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd brought in a bevy of pitchers, obviously thinking that much like spaghetti on the side of a refrigerator, some might stick.
So much for that theory.
Jamie Moyer, Josh Outman, Guillermo Moscoso, Tyler Chatwood and Jeremy Guthrie were all brought in by O'Dowd. Alex White and Drew Pomeranz were added last season with the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians.
The result? A league-worst 5.38 ERA.
Guthrie in particular has been horrible. A 3-6 record and 7.02 ERA isn't quite what general manager Dan O'Dowd envisioned when he traded Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom to the Baltimore Orioles for Guthrie this past offseason. And to add salt to the wound, both Hammel and Lindstrom have been huge contributors in the O's resurgence thus far.
O'Dowd at this point would likely love to unload Guthrie, but unless he throws in about all of the money owed to Guthrie plus his firstborn son, he isn't going anywhere except to the Rockies' bullpen.
Detroit Tigers: Failing to Acquire Carlos Quentin
There are varying opinions about the status of San Diego Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Monday that the Padres may not be as keen on trading Quentin as others may think. The fluid ownership situation may have a lot to do with that mindset.
Meanwhile, Rosenthal's partner at FOX, Jon Paul Morosi, believes that the Detroit Tigers will be hot on the heels of Quentin if in fact he is made available by the Padres.
Quentin would be an ideal fit in the middle of the batting order along with Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera.
While the Tigers may have issues at second base and the back of the rotation, adding Quentin should absolutely be their first priority.
Houston Astros: Not Getting Rid of All Overpriced Veterans
Between Carlos Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Brandon Lyon, the Houston Astros are paying a combined $45 million in salary for the 2012 season.
That figure represents roughly 75 percent of the entire team payroll, according to USA Today.
You think new owner Jim Crane won't be doing all he can to rid himself of that burden?
Kansas City Royals: Not Capitalizing on the Resurgence of Jonathan Broxton
Jonathan Broxton, who probably thought at the beginning of the season that he was destined to be a setup man all year long, signed to a one-year, $4 million contract by the Kansas City Royals to serve as the eighth-inning man for incumbent closer Joakim Soria.
However, after Soria was shelved with a bad elbow requiring Tommy John surgery, Broxton stepped back into the role he originally filled with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the results have been outstanding.
Broxton has 18 saves in 21 chances with a 1.57 ERA, and while the fastball is nowhere near the velocity seen in the late 2000s, the effectiveness is clearly there. Contending teams will likely be calling on Royals GM Dayton Moore sometime in the next few weeks.
Moore would do well to listen.
Los Angeles Angels: Trading Peter Bourjos
Due to the incredible play of Mike Trout and the move of Mark Trumbo to the outfield, center fielder Peter Bourjos has seen his playing time limited in recent weeks.
However, that does not mean in any way that the Los Angeles Angels are pursuing any deal for the speedy outfielder, nor should they be.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals all reportedly had interest in acquiring Bourjos at some point, and the Washington Nationals apparently checked in on his availability at some point as well.
With Torii Hunter in the final year of his contract, an outfield of Trumbo, Trout and Bourjos could well represent the Angels for years to come. GM Jerry DiPoto should avoid dealing Bourjos at all costs.
Unless of course he's completely blown away by a deal, but that's highly unlikely.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Not Adding a Capable Power Bat
The Los Angeles Dodgers are still in first place without star center fielder Matt Kemp.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that they're doing it with smoke and mirrors. Less than two weeks ago they were held hitless by six different Seattle Mariners pitchers. On Tuesday night, they were held to just two hits by Oakland A's pitchers.
It's clearly a disturbing trend.
GM Ned Colletti would do well to go after a bat to complement Kemp once he returns from the disabled list, because it's clear that the current roster isn't capable of carrying an offense.
First baseman James Loney certainly isn't the guy, hitting .257 with a career-low .676 OPS thus far. Andre Ethier is doing his part, but a one-man show in the middle of the batting order doesn't cut it.
The Dodgers have a clear chance to seize an opportunity for postseason glory, but they will absolutely need another power bat to support both Ethier and a healthy Kemp.
Miami Marlins: Failing to Acquire Speed for the Outfield
The Miami Marlins are pulling the old Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde act.
Off to a slow start in the month of April, the Marlins blazed through the month of May, winning a franchise-record 21 games. Now, the Marlins are slumping once again, having lost 12 games thus far in June through Tuesday night.
A punchless offense has a lot to do with it. The Marlins have only scored 41 runs in June, an average of just 2.56 runs per game. That's not going to cut it, folks.
The lack of offense has definitely coincided with the loss of center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, out since May 18 with a broken thumb. It's likely Bonifacio won't be back until sometime around the All-Star break.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are actively looking for speed in the outfield. Frisaro mentioned both Peter Bourjos of the Los Angeles Angels and Denard Span of the Minnesota Twins as possibilities.
What they really need is a healthy Bonifacio at the top of the lineup wreaking havoc on the basepaths, but finding another outfielder will certainly help as well.
Milwaukee Brewers: Failing to Get Anything They Can for Zack Greinke
Okay, is it just me or does anyone else think there's no way the Milwaukee Brewers are going to re-sign Zack Greinke?
Opportunities have clearly been there to get a deal done, but it still hasn't happened. And every moment the Brewers continue waiting, the higher the price jumps.
If in fact they have no intention of signing Greinke, it makes complete sense to get as much as they possibly can now. If the Brewers wait until the postseason and fail in their efforts to woo Greinke back to Milwaukee, they'll have missed out big time.
Minnesota Twins: Being Too Loyal to Their Employees
If there is one thing about the Minnesota Twins that's a positive trait, it's the fact that they are extremely loyal to their employees.
They have had exactly two managers (Tom Kelly, Ron Gardenhire) in the last 25 years, and three general managers in the last 27 years (Andy MacPhail, Terry Ryan, Bill Smith).
At this point in time, that loyalty should not extend to their players.
Not with a team that's 26-40 and lost 99 games last season. Speculation has been rampant about what the Twins will do at the trade deadline in terms of who will be available. Justin Morneau, Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano and Matt Capps have all been mentioned at some point, and there well could be more.
GM Terry Ryan mentioned that he wanted pitching depth, so expect the Twins to get as much pitching as they can for at least some of the above mentioned stars.
If Ryan were smart, loyalty wouldn't enter the equation. That ship has sailed.
New York Mets: Not Finding Reliable Bullpen Arms
With the exception of Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak, the Mets' bullpen has been pretty abysmal for most of the season.
In fact, the Mets bullpen ERA of 5.32 is by far the worst in the National League.
Think of how many wins they could have if the back end of their pitching staff could even pitch just a little.
GM Sandy Alderson has already talked about re-making the bullpen, which is what he attempted over the offseason with the acquisitions of Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez and Frank Francisco.
Maybe he can get it right the second time around.
New York Yankees: Not Finding a Veteran Bullpen Arm
It's difficult to look at the New York Yankees lineup and say that there is anything that they absolutely have to have right now.
Winners of 10 straight before losing two to the Atlanta Braves, the Yankees are back on top in the American League East and show no signs of dropping back down from their perch.
One area that could be bolstered would be their bullpen. While Rafael Soriano has done an outstanding job closing games in the absence of Mariano Rivera, another quality veteran arm couldn't hurt.
With guys like Matt Capps, Jonathan Broxton, Grant Balfour and Brian Fuentes likely available, it wouldn't hurt for the Yankees to pursue some insurance for the bullpen.
Oakland Athletics: Keeping Kurt Suzuki
The declining production of Oakland A's catcher Kurt Suzuki has certainly been a mystery, and it's clear that he can no longer be considered the franchise catcher.
In the A's organization since being drafted in 2004, Suzuki was already coming off a down year in which he hit just .237 and has been even more dismal this year, hitting just .215 with zero home runs.
The Tampa Bay Rays were sniffing around asking about Suzuki at one point during the preseason—GM Billy Beane should revisit that along with any other offers he gets for the one-time franchise backstop.
Philadelphia Phillies: Not Getting Everything They Can Now for Cole Hamels
For many teams, Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels would be a franchise pitcher.
Just 28 years old, Hamels has been outstanding once again this season, posting a 10-3 record and 3.25 ERA for an under .500 Phillies team.
Much like Zack Greinke, Hamels' value continues to rise each day, and if the Phillies were going to sign him, the ink on that deal would be dry already.
GM Ruben Amaro Jr. should seek out the best possible deal for return value right now. Very few teams have the payroll flexibility to give Hamels what's expected to be a deal in the range of $150-$175 million, and the longer Amaro waits, the less he'll be able to get for Hamels.
Pittsburtgh Pirates: Not Finding a Quality Outfield Bat
The Pittsburgh Pirates have given up 18 more runs then they have scored, yet they're still three games above .500 and just 2.5 games out of first place in the NL Central.
The Pirates are dead last in the NL in runs scored and second-to-last in team batting average. If it weren't for center fielder Andrew McCutchen, their offense would essentially be dead in the water.
GM Neal Huntington won't hesitate to transition into buying mode if the standings are similar in just a few weeks. Failing to get McCutchen some solid support in the lineup would be a huge mistake.
San Diego Padres: Not Capitalizing on Getting Max Value for Carlos Quentin
According to ESPN, the San Diego Padres have the best farm system in the majors. With youngsters like Yonder Alonso, Cameron Maybin, Yasmani Grandal and many others in a packed organization, the future is indeed bright.
That future could be a lot brighter if GM Josh Byrnes strikes while the iron is hot with hot-hitting outfielder Carlos Quentin. There are a number of teams said to be interested in the slugger, including the Detroit Tigers.
The bounty that Byrnes could receive for Quentin right now would no doubt be rich and would serve to give the Padres more prospects that could position them well for the next several years.
San Francisco Giants: Not Finding Middle Infield Help
At this point, the San Francisco Giants really have no idea when second baseman Freddie Sanchez will make his return, if at all.
Sanchez recently had two epidural shots to relieve pain in his lower back, and there is no current timetable for his return.
Ryan Theriot has done a capable job filling in, hitting .275 in Sanchez' absence, but he is not a long-term answer should Sanchez' current situation linger.
GM Brian Sabean would be well-served to explore options. The current market is devoid of quality middle infield help, so creativity will be needed to remedy San Francisco's woes.
Seattle Mariners: Not Releasing Chone Figgins
In the Mariners' 14-10 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Chone Figgins entered the game as a third baseman and collected two hits, raising his average 13 points.
Unfortunately, that meant he only raised his average to .198.
It's now official that the signing of Figgins prior to the 2010 season was one of the worst contracts ever given out in Mariners' history. I don't think you'll find many people to debate that.
Manager Eric Wedge has been steadfast in saying that releasing Figgins is "not even an option"—the question is, why not?
At this point, the season isn't quite a lost cause for the Mariners, but it will likely get to that point in the coming weeks. Keeping Figgins on the roster serves no useful purpose.
Better off playing the youngsters and getting them some valuable experience rather than continuing to hope that Figgins will eventually turn things around. It should be apparent by now that's not going to happen.
St. Louis Cardinals: Not Finding a Left-Handed Reliever
The St. Louis Cardinals have been struggling, and much of that has to do with injuries.
With Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter, Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker all on the shelf, the offense has taken a hit. However, once they return the Cards will have the skip back in their step offensively.
The bullpen on the other hand is relatively healthy, but needs help. There are currently no quality southpaw arms to turn to. Marc Rzepczynski has struggled mightily, both with keeping runs off the scoreboard and with spotty command. Sam Freeman doesn't appear to ready either.
GM John Mozeliak should work to rectify that situation quickly. With arms like Brian Fuentes and others that will likely be available, Mozeliak can bolster the bullpen fairly easily without having to give up top prospects.
Tampa Bay Rays: Not Finding a Quality Catcher
The Tampa Bay Rays find themselves once again in the thick of things in the American League East, just three games behind the New York Yankees.
They've kept their heads above water despite the loss of third baseman Evan Longoria and starting pitcher Jeff Niemann. They've also done it without any solid production from their catchers, either.
Thus far, manager Joe Maddon has used Jose Molina, Jose Lobaton, Chris Gimenez and Stephen Vogt behind the plate—collectively they are hitting .200 with four HR and 19 RBI.
GM Andrew Friedman would do well to seek out a catcher who can not only help out now but serve as a quality backstop in the future as well. None of the four currently on the roster stand out as franchise catchers at all.
Texas Rangers: Not Locking Up Josh Hamilton Before It's Too Late
I'm not quite sure why the Texas Rangers haven't done what they could to lock in star slugger Josh Hamilton.
I understand wanting to be patient after Hamilton fell off the wagon during the offseason. Hamilton's struggles with addiction and his ongoing recovery are certainly well-documented.
But with 22 HR and 64 RBI, Hamilton continues raking, and the longer Hamilton goes unsigned, the more likely his value will continue to rise.
You don't think the Los Angeles Dodgers wouldn't be salivating at the chance to sign Hamilton?
Why not avoid an unnecessary distraction and just get a deal done? The Rangers are well-primed for the defense of their pennant, and GM Jon Daniels should work to get Hamilton signed to take that potential distraction off the table.
Toronto Blue Jays: Not Finding Starting Rotation Depth
The Toronto Blue Jays have taken a major hit to their starting rotation recently, losing, Drew Hutchinson and
of the , of the and and of the .
Other pitchers will likely appear on the open market as well. GM Alex Anthopoulos would be wise to get at least one of the pitchers available in order to keep pace in the AL East and the Wild Card race.
Washington Nationals: Not Resolving Their Center Field Situation
For the past year now, the Washington Nationals have been trying to resolve their situation in center field.
Reportedly, young phenom Bryce Harper is not the long-term answer there, and the Nats would rather keep Jayson Werth in right field as well.
For now, Harper can handle center, and when Werth returns an outfield of Harper, Werth and Michael Morse will be potent. But it still makes sense for the Nats to resolve that issue sooner rather than later.
Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle. Follow Doug on Twitter, @Sports_A_Holic.
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