A couple of new names likely hit the trade block this week, albeit with a diminished value after recent demotions. It’s not ideal to try to trade a player once you’ve told the world they’re not good enough to have a starting job on your team.
In the case of Boston Red Sox pitcher Alfredo Aceves and Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan, though, there could be enough of a need for a team to take a chance on a player that has been a productive major leaguer.
The same goes for Colorado Rockies infielder Chris Nelson and Oakland A’s outfielder Casper Wells, who were both designated for assignment on Sunday but could be fits on another major league roster.
Here are some notes on all four players.
Alfredo Aceves, RHP, Boston Red Sox
While Aceves has officially reported to Triple-A, which was expected since he would’ve forfeited the remaining amount of his $2.65 million salary if he had declined the assignment, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that teams are open-minded about acquiring him. The Sox are also very likely to try to deal him.
Cafardo speculates that the Los Angeles Angels or Texas Rangers could have interest. With so many teams in need of pitching depth, Aceves’ past success and his talent could have several teams contemplating a deal and hoping a change of scenery could help.
The 30-year-old Aceves has been awful since the second half of last season but had been a very reliable and productive pitcher with the New York Yankees and Red Sox since breaking into the majors back in 2008. His track record of success in the AL East should also give his value a boost.
Brendan Ryan, SS, Seattle Mariners
Not only did Ryan lose his starting shortstop job a few days ago, he lost it to Robert Andino, who was hitting just .161 at the time. The 31-year-old Ryan is one of the better defensive shortstops in the game, ranking first in defensive runs saved from 2009 to 2012, so the move to a much less reliable defender who isn't that much better with the bat was a questionable one.
Stat of the Day: The @mariners have decided to bench Brendan Ryan. Since 2009, Ryan has 90 Runs Saved, 23 more than 2nd-place Evan Longoria.— John Dewan (@FieldingBible) April 24, 2013
Ryan actually started two of the last five games, and Andino’s error on Sunday led to an unearned run, so don’t completely rule out a change of heart by Seattle in the near future. But a handful of teams are thin at shortstop and would likely value Ryan’s glove enough to “buy low” on him while he’s out of favor with his current team.
About Brendan Ryan: One rival evaluator notes that one team that could be a good fit is Toronto. He could lock down some defensive issues.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 24, 2013
Chris Nelson, IF, Colorado Rockies
A slow start by Nelson (.242 BA, 0 HR, 4 BB, 19 K in 21 games) combined with a red-hot start by the Rockies (15-9 at the time he was designated for assignment) moved prospect Nolan Arenado’s timetable up to late April, possibly two months earlier than what was originally anticipated.
The Rockies now have 10 days to trade or release Nelson, or outright him to the minors if he can clear waivers. He does have some value, however, because of his ability to play second base, shortstop and third base, along with a strong finish at the plate in 2012 (.881 OPS in second half).
A team lacking depth in the infield could pursue the 27-year-old as a bench option. The Milwaukee Brewers and Miami Marlins could be fits, while the Toronto Blue Jays and Arizona Diamondbacks might have space with Jose Reyes and Aaron Hill on the disabled list. According to Rockies beat writer Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Yankees and Oakland A’s have had interest in Nelson in the past.
Casper Wells, OF, Oakland Athletics
On the one hand, Wells has to feel like a wanted man since he’s been claimed by the Blue Jays and acquired by the A’s since the season started. But he’s also been designated for assignment three times.
By early May, the 28-year-old could be on his fourth team of the season. One team that could make sense for Wells is the Cincinnati Reds, who will reportedly put Chris Heisey on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Prospect Donald Lutz, who has an .807 OPS in Double-A, is expected to get the call but, he would give the Reds four left-handed hitting outfielders to go along with the switch-hitting Derrick Robinson. The right-handed hitting Wells could be a good platoon partner in left field with Xavier Paul.
The Red Sox could also be a possibility for Wells if Shane Victorino has to go on the disabled list with tightness in his lower back. He hasn’t played since Wednesday.