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Ranking the Top 5 MLB Players Available for Trade at Every Position

Ely SussmanCorrespondent IOctober 8, 2016

Ranking the Top 5 MLB Players Available for Trade at Every Position

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    We're fast approaching the July 31 MLB non-waiver trade deadline, with quick fixes and long-term solutions potentially available at every position.

    Most teams consider themselves buyers, which means quick decisions will be essential. The Baltimore Orioles (Scott Feldman), Los Angeles Dodgers (Ricky Nolasco), Texas Rangers (Matt Garza) and Washington Nationals (Scott Hairston) have all acted accordingly.

    To clarify, the following players have been ranked based on their value for the remainder of 2013. Contract terms had no influence, although money obviously determines which contenders could realistically pursue them.

    After sustaining injuries, Jesse Crain, Aramis Ramirez and Josh Willingham are no longer considered deadline targets.

    For your optimal enjoyment, this slideshow will immediately update when anybody changes uniforms.

     

    *Players with significant experience at multiple defensive positions could be listed more than once. Stats provided by FanGraphs unless otherwise noted, updated on July 25.

Catcher

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    1.Carlos Ruiz (Philadelphia Phillies)

    2013 stats: .252/.301/.280, 0 HR in 158 PA

    Jon Heyman of CBS Sports polled his major league sources about whether or not the Phillies would shop their All-Star backstop:

    Execs could see the Phillies trading Carlos Ruiz if the team remains on the cusp of the race or falls further. "They'll move him,'' one opined, flat out. Phillies people don't suggest that, but there's also no evidence to date that they've tried hard to extend the free-agent-to-be catcher.

    Coming off a campaign where Ruiz provided terrific bang for the buck, he has dramatically regressed. That on-base percentage represents a personal worst for someone who entered this season with a .363 career OBP.

    He still guns down would-be base-stealers at a good rate and seldom makes errant throws. The pudgy switch-hitter also brings 46 games of playoff experience and rather impressive numbers under the brightest lights, per Baseball-Reference.com.

     

    2. Ryan Doumit (Minnesota Twins)

    2013 stats: .237/.297/.388, 9 HR in 350 PA

    Doumit has long been a defensive liability, so during a season in which he isn't producing with the bat, his value has taken a huge dive.

    Still, he can provide above-average power from the left side. The sooner contenders are reminded of that, the better chance Minnesota will have of receiving fair value for him.

    The 32-year-old is earning $3.5 million both this season and in 2014.

     

    3. Dioner Navarro (Chicago Cubs)

    2013 stats: .284/.358/.515, 9 HR in 151 PA

    On the strength of his excellent offensive numbers, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune calls Navarro "a more valuable chip than anyone imagined."

    It's worth nothing, however, that the veteran switch-hitter isn't faring particularly well from the left side (.216/.274/.402 vs. RHP). A larger sample size will undoubtedly drag his numbers back toward normalcy.

     

    4. John Buck (New York Mets)

    2013 stats: .222/.290/.394, 14 HR, 2 SB in 328 PA

    The free-agent to-be was supposed to pass the torch to super prospect Travis d'Arnaud. It's safe to assume that d'Arnaud, who's recovering from a foot injury, won't be ready to join the Mets before July 31.

    Steve Schreiber of Amazin' Avenue details why the team might settle for an indirect transition:

    If the Mets were to move Buck anyway, Anthony Recker could probably hold the fort as the starter with somebody like Las Vegas catcher Juan Centeno backing up for a bit until d'Arnaud returns. It wouldn't be ideal, but with Buck an impending free agent, they should make a move if they can get anything of value in return.

    Buck posted very strong power numbers through the first couple months of this season, but he then began to wear down.

     

    5. Tyler Flowers (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .203/.252/.360, 8 HR in 238 PA

    The White Sox have discovered a long-term replacement for A.J. Pierzynski behind the dish, but it isn't Flowers. He started frequently through the first three months of the season and failed to improve his plate discipline.

    Meanwhile, rookie Josh Phegley is turning heads with his immediate infusion of offense.

    According to Jon Heyman, the White Sox opened for business in late June with only two untouchables: Paul Konerko and Chris Sale.

First Base

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    1. Kendrys Morales (Seattle Mariners)

    2013 stats: .280/.340/.462, 15 HR in 406 PA

    Considering that most of the above numbers were compiled at spacious Safeco Field, Morales is pretty close to his pre-injury form.

    As of July 10, general manager Jack Zduriencik wasn't waving the white flag, per Jon Heyman. It's unclear how a 3-2 record since then has affected his reluctance. More recently, Heyman has reported that the Tampa Bay Rays checked in about Morales and other Seattle bats.

    Only about $2 million of Morales' $5.25 million salary still needs to be paid.

    The Scott Boras client will certainly be seeking a multi-year deal in free agency this winter.

     

    2. Mike Morse (Mariners)

    2013 stats: .251/.313/.454, 11 HR in 227 PA

    Morse flirted with a .300 batting average in each of his three previous seasons. The drop-off in 2013 has a lot to do with his platoon splits (.225/.287/.384, 41 K in 150 PA vs. RHP).

    Nonetheless, the 31-year-old, whose contract comes off the book this winter, will be sought after for his great power potential.

    Morse seldom starts at first base for the M's, but it was his primary position back in 2011.

     

    3. Justin Morneau (Minnesota Twins)

    2013 stats: .269/.329/.397, 7 HR in 392 PA

    Well, this is awkward.

    According to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune, Morneau wants to stay with the Twins long-term, but the feeling isn't exactly mutual. The franchise has told him that it will table discussions until after the trade deadline.

    The former AL MVP no longer provides the power of a prototypical first baseman. Oddly, his 2013 mediocrity has been more evident on the road (.590 OPS) than at cavernous Target Field (.590 OPS).

    Sure-handedness at first base compensates for a lack of range, so all in all, he's an adequate defender.

     

    4. Chris Carter (Houston Astros)

    2013 stats: .223/.325/.450, 18 HR in 360 PA

    In his first season as an everyday player in the majors, the 26-year-old Carter is making a serious run at 30 home runs...and 200 strikeouts. Lots of swing-and-miss to his game.

    Still, he has come a long way since being selected in the 15th round of the 2005 amateur draft.

    At 6'4" and 245 pounds, he's a range-less defender who, frankly, belongs in the DH spot.

    Carter's long-term cheapness is his greatest appeal. He doesn't gain arbitration eligibility until 2015 or reach free agency until after the 2018 season.

    So long as his sore ankle doesn't linger, there should be suitors leading up to July 31.

     

    5. Adam Dunn (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .210/.313/.457, 24 HR in 380 PA

    Adam Dunn is similar to Carter on several levels, but he's seven years older and much more expensive ($15 million salary this year and in 2014).

    Dunn swings from the left side and has historically struggled when at a platoon disadvantage.

    As Bleacher Report's own Josh Schoch explained, trading reliever Matt Thornton was likely the "first of many moves" for the White Sox as they flip veteran players for prospects. GM Rick Hahn has committed to selling after his club went into the All-Star break losing 21 of its last 30 games.

Second Base

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    1. Chase Utley (Philadelphia Phillies)

    2013 stats: .286/.346/.520, 13 HR, 7 SB in 298 PA

    Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that he wants the veteran second baseman to be a "Phillie for life."

    Heart-warming as that sentiment may be, extending Utley's contract long-term isn't necessarily in the franchise's best interest. He'll be highly coveted at the July 31 deadline, and if the Phillies don't begin surging toward the top of the NL East, flipping him for prospects will become a very real possibility.

    Durability is an obvious concern, but a healthy Utley gets on base frequently, makes great situational choices and fields his position as well as anyone.

     

    2. Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .325/.347/.428, 2 HR, 5 SB in 177 PA

    Uh-oh, Beckham's availability leading up to the deadline is in doubt.

    When healthy this season, the 26-year-old has been a great all-around second baseman. The offensive production rivals what he accomplished as a standout rookie in 2009.

    That could all be for naught as Beckham's surgically-repaired left wrist is preventing him from swinging a bat, reports CSNChicago.com. He acknowledged that the injury would "take a little bit of time but hopefully not too long” to recover. A DL stint would knock him out until early August.

    Beyond 2013, Beckham has two more years under team control.

     

    3. Rickie Weeks (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: .217/.321/.370, 10 HR, 7 SB in 346 PA

    Excluding a red-hot month of June (during which he didn't even play regularly), Weeks has endured his most painful MLB campaign.

    The former All-Star doesn't produce enough at the plate to offset his brutal defense at second base. Even the looniest baseball executive wouldn't absorb his remaining contract in a trade, which guaranteed $10 million for this summer and $11 million in 2014.

    Ryan Topp from DisciplesofUecker.com explored potential trade fits for the Brew Crew in the National League. It seems that the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers are the only ones who could use Weeks' services.

     

    4. Kolten Wong (St. Louis Cardinals)

    2013 stats (minors): .297/.357/.458, 7 HR, 14 SB in 383 PA

    The 22-year-old University of Hawaii product is excelling at Triple-A, but Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso block him from a major league call-up.

    Wong's combination of steady defense and a potent bat all but ensure a long career at the next level. The only question is whether most of his service will be spent in a starting or reserve role.

    The Cardinals would reluctantly move Wong if it secured them an elite pitcher down the stretch (only a few are available). Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch admits that Wong is unlikely to ever leapfrog Matt Carpenter on the depth chart.

     

    5. Jeff Keppinger (White Sox)

    2013 stats: .240/.267/.285, 2 HR in 326 PA

    So much has gone wrong to force Chicago into selling mode.

    Keppinger is certainly contributing to the disappointment. Since inking a three-year, $12 million free-agent contract in December, both Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs consider him the least effective MLB position player in terms of WAR.

    There are a few redeeming qualities about the 33-year-old, namely his sure-handedness in the field and high contact rate.

Shortstop

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    1. Alexei Ramirez (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .280/.306/.351, 1 HR, 20 SB in 417 PA

    The former Cuban star was arguably the most consistent shortstop in baseball from 2008 to 2011. He showed respectable power and elite defensive range.

    Although Ramirez still excels in the field and seldom gets hurt, he's no longer making as much solid contact. Many of his plate appearances end in infield hits or harmless pop-ups, which is largely why the 31-year-old has one of the lowest RBI totals among qualifying hitters this season.

    ESPN Insider Jim Bowden imagines a trade (subscription required) that could send Ramirez—and what remains of his $32.5 million contract—to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

     

    2. Brendan Ryan (Seattle Mariners)

    2013 stats: .194/.257/.267, 3 HR, 4 SB in 257 PA

    It speaks volumes about the thin trade market that someone who lost his starting job to a rookie appears on this kind of list.

    The M's have recalled a handful of prospect position players this summer, implying in a not-so-subtle way that their pricey veterans are expendable.

    Ryan might be the best fielding shortstop in the American League. He'd appeal to a much larger share of 2013 contenders if he wasn't such an offensive liability.

    The 31-year-old can leave for free agency after collecting his $3.25 million salary.

     

    3. Danny Espinosa (Washington Nationals)

    2013 stats: .158/.193/.272, 3 HR, 1 SB in 167 PA

    As Anthony Rendon thrives as Washington's everyday second baseman, Espinosa's role going forward becomes murkier by the minute. A combination of injury and ineffectiveness led to his demotion in early June.

    Espinosa continued to sputter for a few more weeks at Triple-A, but a recent hot streak suggests that he's turning the corner. Scott Boras insisted to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post that the 26-year-old is ready to help a major league team again.

    Kilgore noted previously that Espinosa has been spending time at both middle infield positions. Perhaps the Nationals are showcasing him to generate trade interest.

     

    4. Ronny Cedeno (Houston Astros)

    2013 stats: .220/.260/.298, 1 HR, 2 SB in 155 PA

    The Astros would be ecstatic to get anything for Cedeno, who they designated for assignment at the same time as Carlos Pena. He posted a much more respectable .741 OPS with the New York Mets last summer.

    More likely, Cedeno will pass through waivers unclaimed, then ink a minor league deal with an interested team.

     

    5. Jeff Keppinger (White Sox)

    2013 stats: .240/.267/.285, 2 HR in 326 PA

    The journeyman spent most of his Cincinnati Reds tenure at shortstop (2007-2008) and played there as recently as 2010. He owns a .983 fielding percentage in 178 total games at the position.

     

Third Base

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    1. Chase Headley (San Diego Padres)

    2013 stats: .235/.333/.364, 7 HR, 6 SB in 369 PA

    The Padres absolutely imploded toward at the end of the first half, losing 14 of 16 games heading into the midsummer break. Danny Knobler of CBS Sports learned at the All-Star Futures Game that the Padres are indeed "open for business" and willing to consider offers for Headley.

    The third baseman overachieved last summer with an .875 OPS and NL-best 115 RBI. Since mid-May, however, he's been among the least productive everyday players at his position. The true Headley is somewhere in between.

    Regardless of how he handles the bat, Headley is an elite defender at third and occasional base-stealing threat.

    The 2014 season will be his final one as an arbitration-eligible player. Barring some improvement in August and September, he could be seen as a non-tender candidate.

     

    2. Michael Young (Philadelphia Phillies)

    2013 stats: .286/.347/.417, 7 HR, 1 SB in 377 PA

    Perhaps the Phillies won't fully commit to selling, but Ken Rosenthal wonders if Young could be put on the market anyway. The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and other playoff hopefuls have considered upgrading the left side of their infields.

    Compared to last season, Young has produced more at the plate to compensate for poor defense. A manifestation of increased selectivity, there's a 61-point difference between his batting average and on-base percentage. The 36-year-old puts plenty of balls in play (about one strikeout every seven plate appearances).

    ESPN's Jayson Stark hears that he's "pretty much a lock" to be dealt if the Phillies fall farther out of contention in the coming days.

    Philadelphia is on the hook for $6 million of his $16 million salary after receiving him from the Texas Rangers. Young's no-trade clause further complicates the shopping process.

     

    3. Jeff Keppinger (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .240/.267/.285, 2 HR in 326 PA

    This is where the White Sox envisioned Keppinger spending the next three years.

    He doesn't profile as a corner infielder considering his lack of power and arm strength, but he'll make plays on anything hit in his general direction.

    Over his past 40 contests, Keppinger has a .303/.353/.379 batting line.

     

    4. Cody Ransom (Chicago Cubs)

    2013 stats: .243/.344/.559, 9 HR in 129 PA

    It's hard to imagine the Cubs moving Luis Valbuena considering his age (27) and remaining years under team control. Ransom is the other half of their platoon at third base.

    He has landed with seven different organizations since the start of 2007 because this league loves guys who can thrash left-handed pitching, even in small bursts. He's slashing .264/.361/.653 with the platoon advantage so far in his age-37 campaign.

    Ransom could play anywhere in the infield if necessary.

     

    5. Brandon Inge (Pittsburgh Pirates)

    2013 stats: .181/.204/.238, 1 HR in 110 PA

    Inge was designated for assignment to make room for Neil Walker on the active roster.

    The veteran utility man had some good moments with the Oakland Athletics in 2012, but for the most part, he's been an offensive liability for the past three seasons. Still, Inge has reached double-digit home runs in eight separate seasons.

    In emergency situations, the 36-year-old could play any infield position or either of the corner outfield spots.

Left Field

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    1. Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: .294/.361/.369, 4 HR, 13 SB in 423 PA

    Aoki hasn't played anywhere but right field since September 2012, but that's what happens when you play alongside Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez. In reality, he's more than capable of meeting the defensive demands of any outfield assignment.

    The market for Aoki probably shrunk with the discovery that he'll reach free agency upon the expiration of his current contract rather than go through arbitration.

    Considering his $1.25 million salary for this season and $1.5 million team option for 2014 ($250,000 buyout), it's still an excellent bargain.

     

    2. Raul Ibanez (Seattle Mariners)

    2013 stats: .262/.315/.561, 24 HR in 317 PA

    If Ibanez maintains his current pace and challenges for 40 home runs and 500 plate appearances, then it would be wrong to rank him below any other available left fielder.

    Of course, that's wildly optimistic.

    There's a reason Ibanez didn't play more than 10 consecutive games at any point during the 2011 and 2012 seasons: He's old. His usage has increased at age 41, but only because the Mariners lineup has deteriorated due to injuries and underachieving.

    Ibanez has been an awful defender in left, as evidenced by this GIF (h/t CBS Sports).

    All this trade discussion might be for naught, however. Ken Rosenthal reports that Ibanez enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest and serving as a mentor. Jack Zduriencik has the power to move him at any time, but he wouldn't do so without his consent, according to Rosenthal.

     

    3. Chris Denorfia (San Diego Padres)

    2013 stats: .264/.319/.382, 7 HR, 7 SB in 323 PA

    After earning $2 million in 2013, Denorfia has another $2.25 million remaining on his contract. That's not bad at all for someone with a lifetime .836 OPS against southpaws.

    The 33-year-old has ample experience at all three outfield positions and a solid contact rate.

    A major league source tells Ken Rosenthal that the Texas Rangers have considered pursuing Denorfia.

     

    4. Mike Morse (Mariners)

    2013 stats: .251/.313/.454, 11 HR in 227 PA

    In more than 1,000 career innings as a left fielder, Morse hasn't been pretty to watch. He lacks the athleticism to cover the ground that the position demands.

    All that's irrelevant if he doesn't come back from a strained quad in the coming days. Off the active roster since June 21, Morse has yet to begin a minor league rehab assignment.

     

    5. Chris Carter (Houston Astros)

    2013 stats: .223/.325/.450, 18 HR in 360 PA

    Across Major League Baseball, 167 different players have spent at least 100 innings of this season in the outfield. Carter's minus-6.3 UZR ranks 152nd, and his minus-5 DRS is nearly as pathetic.

    Although this isn't Raul Ibanez-caliber futility, he can't use the "I'm a 41-year-old" excuse.

    At least Carter provides above-average power while earning roughly the league minimum.

Center Field

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    1. Alejandro De Aza (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .280/.337/.443, 12 HR, 12 SB in 418 PA

    The late-blooming Dominican bats from the left side and will be due a raise on his $2.08 million salary in arbitration.

    His six errors—the highest total among AL outfielders—is a bit misleading. Ordinarily, the 29-year-old performs only slightly below average with his glove.

    De Aza's lifetime 20.5 strikeout percentage isn't what you would want from a top-of-the-order batter, but his athleticism justifies casting him in such a role.

    Jon Paul Morosi tweets that the Texas Rangers have interest.

     

    2. Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: .294/.361/.369, 4 HR, 13 SB in 423 PA

    This season, center fielders have been batting atop major league lineups more so than players at any other position.

    Aoki is qualified to perform both those duties. He has maintained the lowest strikeout rate in the sport, which contributes to his great on-base percentage.

     

    3. Marlon Byrd (New York Mets)

    2013 stats: .277/.322/.517, 17 HR, 1 SB in 330 PA

    Byrd has started only two games in center field this season after playing there almost exclusively from 2010 to 2012.

    He's looking like the NL Comeback Player of the Year front-runner with career-best slugging numbers. The Mets signed him for a $700,000 guarantee, and understandably couldn't be happier.

    "We want to be competitive," general manager Sandy Alderson explains to Mike Puma of the New York Post, "and unless we see a strong possibility of adding to our talent base, we’re not going to compromise our competitiveness." The question is whether any team would surrender a significant prospect for a soon-to-be 36-year-old with a relatively high strikeout rate.

     

    4. David DeJesus (Chicago Cubs)

    2013 stats: .262/.318/.447, 6 HR, 3 SB in 223 PA

    He's back from the disabled list just in time to audition for contenders.

    Though DeJesus isn't a great everyday player at this stage of his career, he could fit in seamlessly with someone seeking a left-handed platoon player. He owns a .291/.365/.450 lifetime batting line versus right-handed pitching, including a .269/.324/.480 line this season.

    After earning $4.25 million in 2013, DeJesus has a $6.5 million team option for next year ($1.5 million buyout).

     

    5. Justin Ruggiano (Miami Marlins)

    2013 stats: .201/.280/.367, 12 HR, 12 SB in 315 PA

    Ruggiano shockingly slashed .313/.374/.535 in a half-season with the Marlins in 2012, and even then, he wasn't really considered a candidate to play every day.

    He strikes out even more than De Aza and doesn't serve as much of a power threat against right-handers.

    Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel explained that Ruggiano is someone who "might want to keep a bag packed" in the aftermath of the Ricky Nolasco deal. Promotions of top outfield prospects Jake Marisnick and Christian Yelich seemingly make him expendable.

Right Field

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    1. Michael Cuddyer (Colorado Rockies)

    2013 stats: .328/.393/.557, 16 HR, 7 SB in 341 PA

    The Rockies have epitomized mediocrity since June 12 with a 11-20 record. Even in a down year for the NL West, they could begin building for the future if they don't break out of this funk soon.

    In that scenario, Ken Rosenthal expects Colorado to receive lots of calls about Cuddyer. He's amid a career year at age 34 and due $10.5 million for the 2014 season.

    Selling high on the veteran and receiving controllable, talented pitching prospects in return could persuade the Rockies to pull the trigger. In any event, they aren't likely to be the ones initiating Cuddyer-based conversations.

     

    2. Alex Rios (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: .274/.328/.436, 12 HR, 21 SB in 409 PA

    One thing to love about Rios is his near-identical success against both left-handers and right-handers. That's been true for him in 2013 and just about every other season of his MLB career.

    On the other hand, he's been extremely inconsistent, alternating productive years with forgettable ones. This season is a microcosm of that, as Rios homered 10 times through 40 games (.917 OPS), but did so just once during the next 50 (.627 OPS).

    He used to be an extraordinary defensive right fielder and still rates above average at age 32, mostly due to arm strength.

    Rios' contract rules out a few potential buyers. He's banking $12.5 million this summer and in 2014. Moreover, his 2015 team option will escalate from $13.5 million to $14 million if he gets dealt.

    The Texas Rangers apparently aren't deterred. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that they're actively talking with the White Sox about a potential trade.

     

    3. Norichika Aoki (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: .294/.361/.369, 4 HR, 13 SB in 423 PA

    Jon Paul Morosi learned that Aoki's name came up during trade talks between the Brewers and Texas Rangers. Morosi reminds us that Nelson Cruz could face a suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, in which case the 31-year-old makes sense as his replacement in right.

     

    4. Nate Schierholtz (Chicago Cubs)

    2013 stats: .277/.334/.521, 13 HR, 5 SB in 294 PA

    After a sizzling start to the summer, Schierholtz mashed only one extra-base hit in his final 13 first-half games. 

    The Cubs unintentionally caused a stir by resting him July 13 and 14. Ken Rosenthal tweets that several scouts interpreted the decision as the preface to a trade, yet Schierholtz remains employed in the Windy City.

    Schierholtz still has one more year under team control before he can return to the free-agent market.

     

    5. Marlon Byrd (New York Mets)

    2013 stats: .277/.322/.517, 17 HR, 1 SB in 330 PA

    Byrd has totaled more innings in this corner so far in 2013 than he did during any of his 11 previous seasons.

    It's working out just fine. Already, he has six assists.

Starting Pitcher

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    1. LHP Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: 6-8, 2.85 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 9.8 K/9 in 120.0 IP

    It was previously reported that Sale could not be pried from the White Sox.

    Perhaps general manager Rick Hahn will reconsider that stance during a summer where no other true aces appear on the trade market, writes Ken Rosenthal. He envisions Sale returning a haul of top prospects capable of totally revamping Chicago's farm system.

    Although the amazing southpaw has not suffered any major injuries in his professional career, there are many—even in the White Sox organization—who worry that his violent arm action and wiry frame will eventually betray him. If the team was intent on shopping him, it would make the most sense to do so before something snaps and requires surgery.

     

    2. RHP Jake Peavy (White Sox)

    2013 stats: 7-4, 4.19 ERA, 3.78 FIP, 8.5 K/9 in 73.0 IP

    Peavy abruptly left Chicago's rotation in early June after suffering a broken rib.

    The White Sox activated the former Cy Young Award winner immediately after the All-Star break, and he has shown no ill effects from the absence. Unlike Sale, he's definitely being shopped.

    Peavy is owed $14.5 million for next summer, which would be an appropriate salary if he returns to his 2012 All-Star form.

    The Boston Red Sox, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals all have varying levels of interest. Bleacher Report has you covered with all the latest Peavy-related developments.

     

    3. RHP Ervin Santana (Kansas City Royals)

    2013 stats: 6-6, 3.18 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 7.2 K/9 in 130.1 IP

    The in-season addition of George Brett to the Kansas City coaching staff was supposed to spark the offense and invigorate the entire team.

    It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for the Royals under his guidance, however, and they went into the All-Star break at 43-49. Even while dodging significant injuries, the Royals dropped to the .500 mark on May 19 and never went above it again.

    Not surprisingly, Ken Rosenthal tweets that the right offer could get a deal done.

    However, it's value would likely need to exceed that of a first-round draft pick. K.C. can extend a one-year qualifying offer to Santana in the offseason, which links him to draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.

     

    4. RHP Tim Lincecum (San Francisco Giants)

    2013 stats: 4.26 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 9.7 K/9 in 116.1 IP

    Danny Knobler reports that the Giants have put their buying plans on hold while they're sitting dangerously close to the National League's cellar-dwellers.

    With that said, the defending champs aren't throwing in the towel...yet. Lincecum's no-hitter complicated the situation, Jon Paul Morosi explains, because although it went a long way to bolster his trade value, it could also be interpreted as the spark that turns their season around.

    We don't know that the Giants will move anybody, but if they begin the second half sluggishly, Big Time Timmy Jim is going to draw some interest.

    His strikeout rate ranks third-best among NL starters, and his release point is much more consistent than it was in 2012. Of course, Lincecum's pitch efficiency—and, as a result, his average start length—is frustratingly bad.

     

    5. RHP Kyle Lohse (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: 6-7, 3.49 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 5.6 K/9 in 121.1 IP

    General manager Doug Melvin has been playing it cool, reports Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, insisting that moving Lohse is "not something we have to do."

    He's 100 percent correct. The veteran right-hander is locked up through 2015 (albeit for $11 million per year), so the Brewers might be best served keeping him around if they realistic see themselves contending by then.

    Besides, Lohse's stock is way down, as a fluky home run rate has bloated his numbers. Being a pitch-to-contact guy in the Senior Circuit makes it tough to shop him to AL teams.

     

    6. RHP Bud Norris (Houston Astros)

    2013 stats: 6-9, 3.93 ERA, 3.87 FIP, 6.4 K/9 in 126.0 IP

    In the Jeff Luhnow era, the Astros have been reluctant to lock up veteran players, and Norris certainly won't be extended either. He's earning $3 million and is due for a hefty raise his next time through arbitration.

    His strikeout rate has crept up the past couple months, but he's still being viewed as nothing more than a mid-rotation guy.

    From the tone of this Angel Verdejo Jr. piece in the Houston Chronicle, it seems that Norris' tenure in H-Town is over.

     

    7. LHP Joe Saunders (Seattle Mariners)

    2013 stats: 9-8, 4.28 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 5.0 K/9 in 120.0 IP

    Ignoring his pitiful June 25 outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Saunders has been lights-out since Memorial Day. He's routinely pitching into the seventh inning or later and making opposing batters earn their way on base.

    As evidenced by his low strikeout rate, the 32-year-old needs to work low in the strike zone and in front of a strong defensive team.

    Jon Heyman feels that Saunders is "slightly more available" than any of Seattle's hitters. Moving him would open a rotation spot for top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker.

     

    8. RHP Phil Hughes (New York Yankees)

    2013 stats: 4-9, 4.57 ERA, 4.48 FIP, 7.7 K/9 in 102.1 IP

    Hughes is replicating his 2012 campaign, although a slightly elevated BABIP has prevented him from going quite as deep into his starts.

    He survived in the Yankees rotation for a full 32 starts last season, but there's little hope of that happening this summer. An AL executive tells Ken Rosenthal that the 27-year-old impending free agent has been "aggressively" shopped by New York's front office.

    Being an extreme fly-ball pitcher, Hughes has predictably yielded a ton of home runs at Yankee Stadium (12 in past 10 starts there). He could, however, be worth something to a contender whose home ballpark is more spacious.

    The Yankees can turn to either David Phelps or Michael Pineda to fill the rotation void if a trade involving Hughes goes through.

     

    9. RHP Yovani Gallardo (Brewers)

    2013 stats: 8-8, 4.58 ERA, 3.95 FIP, 7.2 K/9 in 120.0 IP

    According to Jon Heyman, the Diamondbacks engaged in trade talks with the Brew Crew earlier this month about Gallardo. The possibility of controlling the right-hander through 2015 is understandably appealing.

    With that said, Gallardo has barely justified a starting job with his 2013 performance. His velocity is declining after more than 1,000 major league innings, and the strikeout rate has followed suit (9.4 K/9 from 2009-2012).

    Gallardo is slumping at the worst possible time. He totaled six innings or fewer in four straight starts entering the break, and his season earned run average rose from 4.09 to 4.83 in the process.

     

    10. LHP Erik Bedard (Astros)

    2013 stats: 3-7, 4.41 ERA, 4.74 FIP, 8.2 K/9 in 98.0 IP

    Talk about a turbulent journey.

    In 2013 alone, Bedard has experienced the highest and lowest emotions that any pitcher possible can. He preserved a no-hit bid through six and one-third innings, tallying 10 strikeouts in the process. That came barely two months after the Astros, baseball's least competitive club, briefly demoted him to the bullpen due to sheer ineffectiveness.

    The 34-year-old is obviously inconsistent, not to mention injury-prone after three major shoulder surgeries.

    However, Bedard can be lights out when he gets ahead in the count. MLB.com's Brian McTaggart feels that upside might get him moved in the coming days.

Reliever

11 of 11

    1. LHP Glen Perkins (Minnesota Twins)

    2013 stats: 1.72 ERA, 1.74 FIP, 12.0 K/9 in 36.2 IP

    In a fascinating report from Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, Twins general manager Terry Ryan could shop the only All-Star on his pitching staff:

    It's not just the expiring contracts of first baseman Justin Morneau or starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey that Ryan would be willing to move before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The GM mentioned All-Star closer Glen Perkins several times on Saturday as the type of proven performer the Twins, seemingly headed toward a third straight 90-loss season, would be willing to discuss with contending teams.

    The most encouraging of all Perkins' stats is his career 6.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio. While that may not be entirely sustainable, the dominant southpaw had nearly five times as many strikeouts as walks in 70 appearances last summer.

    Any team would salivate over his modest, long-term contract: $2.5 million in 2013, $3.75 million in 2014 and 2015, and a $4.5 million team option in 2016 with $300,000 buyout.

     

    2. LHP Oliver Perez (Seattle Mariners)

    2013 stats: 1.98 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 12.4 K/9 in 36.1 IP

    This failed starter spent the second half of 2012 as a successful lefty specialist. Perez has since earned Eric Wedge's trust and seen nearly an inning of action per appearance, with plenty of exposure to right-handed opposition.

    A heavy reliance on fly balls could bloat his earned run average after leaving Safeco Field, but that scenario hasn't hurt his popularity. Jon Heyman insists that the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and others have expressed interest in Perez.

     

    3. RHP Tim Lincecum (San Francisco Giants)

    2013 stats: 4.26 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 9.7 K/9 in 116.1 IP

    To reiterate, the Giants probably won't decide their trade deadline strategy until the last possible second.

    If they fare poorly coming out of the break, however, several teams could pursue Lincecum as a shutdown reliever, according to Jon Paul Morosi.

    You may recall that he worked out of the bullpen for San Francisco last October. He posted a sparkling 0.69 ERA and 17/2 K/BB in five relief appearances. The success shouldn't be dismissed as fluky: Lincecum gains extra velocity in such a role and creates more separation between his fastball and filthy changeup.

    Cost really limits the trade market, as he's earning $22 million this season before joining the free-agent mix.

     

    4. RHP Luke Gregerson (San Diego Padres)

    2013 stats: 2.93 ERA, 2.97 FIP, 8.1 K/9 in 40.0 IP

    Since debuting for the Padres in 2009, Gregerson has proven to be amazingly consistent. This is his fifth consecutive season with a sub-3.25 ERA, and he's once again on pace for more than 60 appearances.

    However, the former 28th-round draft pick is beginning to get expensive through arbitration, and Bill Center of U-T San Diego holds the opinion that he's the strongest trade candidate in the team's bullpen. Per John Harper of the Daily News, San Diego tried to deal him to the New York Mets in 2012. So far this summer, the Tigers have expressed interest, tweets Jon Paul Morosi.

    Although Gregerson has some ninth-inning experience, he would likely fill more of a setup role on a contending team.

     

    5. RHP John Axford (Milwaukee Brewers)

    2013 stats: 3.38 ERA, 4.12 FIP, 9.1 K/9 in 42.2 IP

    In a world that's all about "what have you done for me lately," Axford gets bonus points for surrendering only one run in his last 27 innings pitched.

    Make no mistake—the Ontario native hasn't recaptured his 2010-2011 form. Axford's strikeout rate is way down from his glory days.

    If retained for 2014, the right-hander will get a raise on his $5 million salary (second-time arbitration eligible). That means anything less than lights-out pitching with his new team makes him a non-tender candidate.

    Danny Knobler reassures us that the Brew Crew have made Axford available for contenders, like the Los Angeles Dodgers.

     

    6. LHP Mike Gonzalez (Brewers)

    2013 stats: 2.88 ERA, 3.77 FIP, 11.0 K/9 in 34.1 IP

    Gonzalez has spent the past decade making it look easy to strike out left-handed batters.

    This year, however, he's been vulnerable with runners in scoring position. His solid earned run average doesn't factor in a season-long struggle to strand inherited baserunners.

    Regardless, MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that the Atlanta Braves have the southpaw on their wish list.

     

    7. LHP James Russell (Chicago Cubs)

    2013 stats: 2.68 ERA, 3.23 FIP, 7.1 K/9 in 37.0 IP

    The Cubs bullpen has been largely unwatchable in 2013, and the front office has already shown its disgust by dumping Shawn Camp and Carlos Marmol.

    At this point, Russell is the only one who could bring back a significant return. Recognizing that, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune suspects that the lefty's use in three straight games is an indication that he's being showcased for scouts (h/t MLB Trade Rumors).

    The Cubs have used him more as a specialist rather than a legitimate setup option. When at a platoon disadvantage, Russell's opponents are slashing only .189/.218/.284 this season.

     

    8. RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (Mariners)

    2013 stats: 3.95 ERA, 3.65 FIP, 6.9 K/9 in 43.1 IP

    Wilhelmsen has an insane 18 mile-per-hour difference between his fastball (96.2 mph) and curveball (78.2 mph), according to FanGraphs. You would think he could just fall out of bed and pick up a strikeout per inning.

    His command since Memorial Day, unfortunately, has been way off. It's hard to fathom that his earned run average sat at 0.41 on May 26.

    Even amid a slump, the 29-year-old is a significant trade chip because he'll be under team control through 2017. Wilhelmsen still has a few appearances later this month to prove that he can be an immediate upgrade in a contender's bullpen.

     

    9. RHP Matt Lindstrom (Chicago White Sox)

    2013 stats: 2.75 ERA, 3.07 FIP, 6.4 K/9 in 39.1 IP

    Lindstrom tried closing with the 2009 Florida Marlins and 2010 Houston Astros, and it didn't work out so well. He put too many runners on base and didn't have the necessary secondary pitches to get himself out of jams via strikeout.

    The veteran right-hander definitely won't elevate a .500 team to the playoffs, but he could be worth a win or two down the stretch. His contract also includes a modest $4 million club option for 2014 ($500,000 buyout).

    Lindstrom shares some similarities with Kevin Gregg of the crosstown Cubs. His advantage over Gregg is recent performance.

     

    10. RHP Kevin Gregg (Cubs)

    2013 stats: 2.89 ERA, 3.93 FIP, 8.4 K.9 in 37.1 IP

    Gregg's value has tanked with an awful July. None of his outings this month have been clean.

    Although currently closing in the Windy City, there's zero chance that he'd be doing the same for a contender.

    Interestingly, Gregg is dominating left-handed batters in 2013. He's extremely affordable after inking a minor league deal in April.

     

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