Odds of Each Hot Trade Rumor Actually Happening Before the Deadline
With less than a week to go before the trade deadline, contenders are starting to be separated from non-contenders and rumors are starting to get more specific.
With that comes players linked to certain teams more than others. Sometimes, that's where the player ends up. Matt Garza had been linked to the Rangers quite often before he was finally traded there, so it came as no surprise.
Other times, that player is traded to a team that hadn't ever been mentioned in rumors. Francisco Rodriguez was traded to Baltimore after he had been linked to several other interested teams over the previous few days. The Orioles weren't one of them.
Here are five rumors that have been floating around and the odds of each trade actually happening.
Luke Gregerson to the Tigers
It's a pretty good bet that the Tigers will land a relief pitcher by the trade deadline, and Padres setup man Luke Gregerson is on their radar, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports.
The 29-year-old Gregerson (2.98 ERA, 13 holds) currently finds himself in a similar situation to Mike Adams, who was also one of the top setup men in the game with another year of team control when the Padres traded him to Texas at the 2011 deadline.
The Rangers' farm system was stacked, though, and they were able to part with two pretty good mid-level pitching prospects—Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland—without depleting their prospect depth. The Tigers don't have that luxury. They don't have a lot of depth or overall talent in the minors.
If the Padres are expecting a package similar to what they received from Texas for Adams, they probably won't get it from Detroit.
Jake Peavy to the Red Sox
Several teams have their eye on Jake Peavy, considered to be the top starting pitcher on the trade market, and the Red Sox have been mentioned as a possibility on several occasions. And if the Red Sox really want Peavy, they'll probably get him.
That's because they have several high-quality prospects in the upper minors and might even be willing to part with third baseman Will Middlebrooks, whom Scott Merkin of MLB.com says the teams have discussed.
Peter Gammons tweeted earlier today that he's hearing that the White Sox want to acquire pitching for Peavy. That's also good news for the Red Sox, who also have plenty of young starters with front-line potential, including Matt Barnes, Anthony Ranaudo and Allen Webster.
Middlebrooks and either one of the aforementioned pitching prospects could be all it takes for the Sox to acquire the former NL Cy Young winner.
Alexei Ramirez to the Cardinals
A scouting source recently told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that the White Sox turned down an offer from the Cardinals that would've landed them top pitching prospect Carlos Martinez for shortstop Alexei Ramirez.
It seemed like a crazy rumor, considering that the White Sox would have to be crazy to turn down that deal for an elite pitching prospect, and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports later tweeted that they hadn't turned down that deal.
Still, Ramirez to the Cardinals makes plenty of sense, since Pete Kozma isn't giving them much with the bat (.583 OPS). Also, although the 31-year-old Ramirez isn't having a great season, he's heating up with a .315 batting average and eight stolen bases since June 10.
It probably wouldn't take a prospect of Martinez's caliber to acquire Ramirez, but the question is whether the Cardinals have enough non-elite minor league talent to get a deal done.
Considering Ramirez is signed through the 2015 season at a reasonable rate ($9.5 million in 2014, $10 million in 2015), the White Sox have the leverage and could probably ask for a lot more than the Cards are willing to offer.
Alex Rios to the Rangers
As of Wednesday, the Rangers and White Sox were discussing an Alex Rios deal, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Whether or not Nelson Cruz is hit with a suspension for his alleged involvement in the Biogenesis investigation (subscription required), Texas can use another bat in the middle of the lineup.
With David Murphy having a rough season (.750 OPS), Leonys Martin struggling this month (12-for-56, 4 BB, 18 K) and Lance Berkman possibly out for the season, Rios (.767 OPS, 12 HR, 21 SB) could be perfect in Texas.
Unless the Giants make Hunter Pence available, the trade market for outfielders is thin. The 32-year-old Rios, who is signed through 2014 ($12.5 million) with a $13.5 million club option for 2015, is easily the best option, and the Rangers have one of the best farm systems in baseball. If they want him, I'm certain they'll get him.
Nate Schierholtz to the Pirates
After starting the month in a 2-for-28 slump, Nate Schierholtz was in danger of decreasing his trade value to the point where the Cubs would have no motivation to trade him since he's still under team control for another season.
But he's picked up it again with eight hits in his last 15 at-bats, including three doubles and two homers, to boost his OPS to a healthy .865 with 13 homers on the season.
The Pirates have been keeping close tabs on Schierholtz for quite a while, according to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, and would likely hand him the starting right field job over Travis Snider and Jose Tabata if he was acquired.
If the Bucs still prefer to hang onto their top prospects and keep their payroll at a modest level, then Schierholtz would be the likely choice over pursuing Alex Rios. As long as the Cubs aren't asking for top prospects Jameson Taillon or Gregory Polanco, who both play for Altoona, there's a pretty good chance Schierholtz is in a Pirates unifom by August 1.