One Player on Each MLB Team Who Will Be Gone by the Deadline
With the MLB season two weeks in, some teams have shown to be surprises, while others have shown to be disappointments.
While it's still a feeling out process as teams try to get into their grooves, there is still talk among fans about which players need to go.
And as any sports person would agree, it's never too early to talk about possible trade-deadline moves.
Here's a look at one player from each team who will be gone by the deadline.
Note: Projections are made from players on the current 25-man roster, and includes players currently on the disabled list.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Jason Kubel
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While many would find it hard for the Arizona Diamondbacks to give up Jason Kubel, consider he has a $7.5 million team option in 2014.
If Arizona is out of contention, trading Kubel is an easy guess as it gets closer to the deadline.
He produces a lot at the plate (30 home runs in 2012) and could bring back a nice return for some team in contention.
Of course, this is all depending on Arizona being out of the playoff race.
Atlanta Braves: Juan Francisco
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The Atlanta Braves are in a precarious situation with Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman currently on the disabled list.
However, McCann won't go anywhere even though he's in the final year of his contract mainly because general manager Frank Wren would risk alienating fans.
Then there are fans who want to see Dan Uggla go since he's struggled for so long to get things going at the plate. But, no team will take on the last three years and $39 million on his contract.
So that leaves Juan Francisco. Normally in a platoon role with Chris Johnson, at some point the Braves are going to have to go with one or the other.
My money is on Johnson as he's been better defensively at third base and provides the same power that Francisco does at the plate.
While it's hard to believe the Braves will make any trades if they continue to click the way they are, odds are some move will be made.
Baltimore Orioles: Alexi Casilla
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The Baltimore Orioles are once again going through an injury with Brian Roberts.
Once he makes a return, Alexi Casilla could become expendable.
While Casilla does offer the ability to play shortstop as well, he has a team option for 2014 and could interest a team looking for a veteran backup.
It's hard to predict with the Orioles, especially with their need in the rotation. However, once Roberts comes back, space will need to be made and Casilla could be the odd-man out.
Boston Red Sox: Jacoby Ellsbury
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The emergence of Jackie Bradley Jr. has gotten Boston Red Sox fans to believe there will be life after Jacoby Ellsbury.
If Bradley does in fact fix the holes in his swing and make the proper adjustments, I could see them trading Ellsbury before the deadline.
Ellsbury is a free agent after this season and a Scott Boras client. While the Boston owners do have fat wallets, I'm not sure they'll pony up to Boras' asking price.
So, why not get a return for Ellsbury while you can?
Chicago Cubs: Alfonso Soriano
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Every year it seems like the Chicago Cubs have Alfonso Soriano on the trading block.
This year is no different:
Cubs feel the presence of teams watching Alfonso Soriano but no substantive talks have taken place yet. Phillies and Yankees on radar.— Nick Cafardo (@nickcafardo) March 15, 2013
Soriano still has one more year on his contract worth $18 million. If the Cubs agree to take on part of that salary, some team might finally take the bite.
Chicago White Sox: Paul Konerko
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The fact remains that Paul Konerko is in his final season with the Chicago White Sox.
He's a free agent after this year and will be 38 next year.
There's no way the White Sox re-sign him to a longer deal this offseason.
So, like others, why not get a return on him?
The White Sox likely won't be in the playoff race at the deadline and could flip Konerko for young talent from a team making a playoff push should he waive his 10-and-5 rights.
Cincinnati Reds: J.J. Hoover
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This move for the Cincinnati Reds wouldn't be for contract reasons, but more of for performance reasons.
J.J. Hoover was good in 28 appearances with a 2.05 ERA in 2012.
However, he's been stinking up the place in 2013 with three losses already on his record in seven appearances.
Hoover has given up at least one hit in six of his appearances, having struggled with pitch count in all but his last appearance.
He may get better over the course of the season, but fans have to be cringing when he comes into the game.
Cleveland Indians: Ubaldo Jimenez
This is the year the Cleveland Indians finally give up on Ubaldo Jimenez.
He has an $8 million team option for 2014, but I don't see how the Indians pick it up.
With a 13-22 record and a 5.39 ERA with Cleveland, Jimenez has failed to capture some of the magic he had in Colorado.
Some team will take a chance on him in the stretch run. And the Indians should pounce on any offer given.
Colorado Rockies: Todd Helton
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This isn't a move to really improve the Colorado Rockies, but more of a move to reward Todd Helton.
Helton has spent all of his 17 years in Colorado without ever having won a World Series.
Regardless of what they could get in return, the Rockies should consider trading Helton to a contending team before the deadline should he waive his 10-and-5 rights.
He's earned the right to go after a world title, and the Rockies making the move would be a nice way of saying thank you.
Detroit Tigers: Drew Smyly
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The Detroit Tigers need a closer...and bad.
Jose Valverde may be in the minor leagues, but he's not the answer.
The answer will come from someone outside of the organization, and the Tigers are going to have to give up one of their young guys to get a deal done.
Drew Smyly is that guy for the Tigers.
He's one of the top young arms in Detroit's system and is good out of the bullpen.
It will be a steep price for the Tigers to pay, but some team is going to ask for a young, proven arm in return for a closer.
Houston Astros: Rick Ankiel
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The Houston Astros are a young team not going anywhere for a while.
However, they do have a few valuable pieces some teams might be willing to trade for before the deadline.
Rick Ankiel is one of those players.
He can provide a bat off the bench to a playoff contender and good baserunning abilities.
Ankiel won't be an ultimate contributor, but he could make a Dave Roberts-like contribution to a team.
Kansas City Royals: Jeff Francoeur
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Jeff Francoeur seems to get dumped on a lot by fans.
However, the Kansas City Royals outfielder could bring a lot to a team that trades for him.
The best part of his game is his defensive ability and strong arm.
For a team that needs a strong arm in the outfield, Francoeur is your man.
He also has decent power, belting 36 home runs over the last two years.
He'll be a free agent after this year, so you don't have to worry about him sticking around, either.
Los Angeles Angels: Alberto Callaspo
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The Los Angeles Angels don't seem to have a player that would likely be traded, but Alberto Callaspo does come to mind.
Callaspo still has another year left on his contract and is relatively cheap at just over $4 million a year.
However, he is a liability at third base, having committed 27 errors over the last two years.
While some will stand behind him, it's hard to have that kind of liability at third base.
If Kaleb Cowart can get things going in the minor leagues, it will make the decision that much easier.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Chris Capuano
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Zack Greinke will eventually come back, and there will be no place for Chris Capuano once again.
There will be some contending team that will need a starting pitcher due to an injury.
The Dodgers can set themselves up nicely if Capuano impresses while filling in for Greinke.
If he does, expect multiple teams to inquire about getting his services.
Miami Marlins: Greg Dobbs
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Greg Dobbs can provide a valuable bench bat for a contending team.
Currently stuck with the Miami Marlins and a free agent after this year, Dobbs is in the middle of auditions. Not only for teams to sign him this offseason, but for possible suitors in a deadline trade.
The Marlins are going nowhere and it stinks that Dobbs is stuck on that roster.
He'll be better suited coming off the bench for a team making a run at the World Series.
Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford
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John Axford is no longer the closer for the Milwaukee Brewers.
If he continues to pitch the way he is, Axford may no longer have a job by season's end.
In his five appearances this year, Axford has given up at least one earned run in four of those appearances.
Of the last two appearances, he threw 31 pitches. Only 12 of those went for strikes.
Axford needs to get it together or he's going to be released before the deadline.
Minnesota Twins: Josh Willingham
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Willingham brings a power bat to the lineup.
Any team contending would be happy to have him.
If the Twins are willing to listen to offers, they'll come in. And some team will pay a good price to acquire him.
New York Mets: John Buck
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The New York Mets have to be loving what John Buck has done to start the year.
With six home runs through the first two weeks of the season, Buck can give the Mets a nice return when Travis d'Arnaud is called up.
Buck is a free agent after this year, so there's no real reason for the Mets to hang onto him, unless d'Arnaud doesn't get the call.
But, while he's hitting the ball like nobody's business, the Mets need to make a move to get something in return.
The closer it gets to the deadline, the less they'll get for him.
New York Yankees: Alex Rodriguez
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Although Rodriguez is on the disabled list right now, the Yankees are likely trying to figure out how to get rid of the superstar.
His subpar play and latest PED allegations have the Yankees wanting to get as far away from him as possible.
For this to work out, the Yankees are going to have to agree to pay most of his salary over the rest of his contract.
If they don't, they'll be stuck with the world's richest bench player.
Oakland Athletics: Bartolo Colon
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It's not as if Bartolo Colon will have done anything bad to not be on the Oakland Athletics at the trading deadline.
However, I don't see them keeping Dan Straily in Triple-A throughout the year.
Colon is 40 and doesn't look that impressive.
Straily does, however.
While Straily was demoted once Colon came back from suspension, it's only a matter of time before the team realizes that the future is now.
Philadelphia Phillies: Roy Halladay
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If there ever was a surprise this year, it has to be Philadelphia Phillies starter Roy Halladay.
Once feared, Halladay now has opponents licking their chops when they face him.
Halladay has a 14.73 ERA in 2013, having given up 12 earned runs in 7.1 innings.
If he continues to struggle, the Phillies will look to dump him and try to get some sort of return. In doing so, they may have to pay a portion of his salary.
Any way you look at it, if the Phillies want to contend this year, Halladay can't take the mound.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Jason Grilli
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The Pittsburgh Pirates feel like they can make a legitimate run at the playoffs in 2013.
However, should they fall out of the race, Jason Grilli would be the perfect bait to hang out there.
For starters, Grilli is 36 and isn't the long-term closer for the Pirates.
He also is under team control in 2014, which would give the trading team another year of his services.
The Pirates can set themselves up for the future by moving Grilli at the right time and when his value is high.
San Diego Padres: Chase Headley
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The more and more I look at it, the San Diego Padres would be wise to trade Chase Headley while his value is high.
Leading up to 2012, Headley never hit more than 12 home runs in a season. All of a sudden he hits 31? Something doesn't add up there.
However, it can all add up for the Padres if they trade him while the iron is hot.
Some teams need a power-hitting third baseman. Headley fits the bill.
And, if 2012 turns out to be a fluke, at least the Padres will have gotten rid of him and traded him while his value was high.
San Francisco Giants: George Kontos
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The San Francisco Giants are going to need to make some improvements to the bullpen and I believe George Kontos will be the odd man out.
While Kontos is still relatively young, he's had his struggles in the bullpen.
When he's on, he can be good. But when he's off, he can give up a lot of runs.
For a team that brought back most of the players from last year's World-Series team, only minor tweaks will be needed near the deadline.
Seattle Mariners: Brendan Ryan
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This move is more about seeing Robert Andino get his chance than getting rid of Brendan Ryan.
However, for the Seattle Mariners, Ryan is going to have to be gone for Andino to get his chance to start.
While Andino won't solve the Mariners' problem at shortstop, they should give Andino a look.
Ryan is a free agent after this year and likely won't re-sign. So, it's time for Seattle to start looking towards the future.
St. Louis Cardinals: Ty Wigginton
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Ty Wigginton is pretty much taking up bench space for the St. Louis Cardinals.
While Wigginton is nothing more than a role player at this stage in his career, St. Louis doesn't seem like it's a good fit.
Being a utility player, Wigginton thrives on the ability to play multiple positions. However, the bench has players that can play each of those positions, nullifying the need for a utility man.
Some team needs a player like Wigginton and would be willing to trade a reliever for his services.
The Cardinals need to find a way to work that out as one injury to the bullpen could hurt them without a move.
Tampa Bay Rays: Roberto Hernandez
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With the way he's pitching thus far, Roberto Hernandez is another player who might be straight-up released.
Hernandez is 0-2 on the year with a 6.08 ERA.
The Tampa Bay Rays have a lot of young pitching and Hernandez is currently keeping a few in the minor leagues.
The longer he struggles, the more fans will wonder why guys like Jake Odorizzi and Chris Archer are still in the minor leagues.
Texas Rangers: Julio Borbon
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Simply put, there is no room for Borbon in Texas' outfield and he can't stay with the team.
And, since there are teams that are interested in his services, Texas is listening and will get a reliever (or two) in return.
Toronto Blue Jays: Darren Oliver
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The Toronto Blue Jays were expected to contend for the AL East title this year after acquiring so much in the offseason.
While it's still too early to tell how the experiment will go, the Blue Jays should go ahead and start thinking about trade options should they fall out of contention.
Darren Oliver would be a great player to trade mainly because of how good of a middle-reliever he is.
Every contending team needs bullpen help down the stretch and Oliver would be a great addition anywhere.
The only question would be how much the Blue Jays could actually get in return for a 42 year old reliever.
Washington Nationals: Steve Lombardozzi
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The more I look at the bench for the Washington Nationals, the bigger weakness I see.
Steve Lombardozzi doesn't bring much to the table and would be better served playing somewhere else.
The Nationals need better depth on the bench and the answer might be in their minor leagues with Anthony Rendon.
However, someone would have to go and my pick would by Lombardozzi.