Potential Trade Suitors for Each Big-Name Pitcher on the Market
Pitching is at a premium in Major League Baseball, and just because the non-waiver trade deadline passed doesn't mean that we're done seeing pitchers moved around.
After a dreadfully slow deadline, many pitchers who should have been traded didn't move at all. For whatever reason, there were very few deals made this year in baseball.
Now that the deadline has passed, the pitchers who will be moving will do so through waivers. However, unlike most years, there are several top arms on the market this August.
With just a few short weeks for these guys to be moved, it's time to take a look at where each arm might land before they do.
Potential Suitors: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Dan Haren has cleared waivers.
The Washington Nationals struggled to dominate like they did last season, and at 14.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves, the team is likely going to miss the playoffs. The Nats are looking to get rid of some players for others who could potentially help the team rebuild, and Haren makes that list.
Haren signed a one-year, $13 million contract with the Nats over the offseason, but he could walk at the end of the year, so he could be on the move before that happens.
With a 4.99 ERA and 1.277 WHIP this season, Haren probably won't attract a lot of suitors. However, those teams that are in desperate need of pitching could be enticed by his low price.
The D-backs appear on that list of teams that should look into Haren, as he has had success in Arizona in the past and could help a struggling pitching staff. The team's starters have been pitiful this season outside of Patrick Corbin, and Haren could help a team that is 7.5 games out of first place in its division after leading for most of the season.
Haren found success in Arizona when he pitched there in 2008 and 2009, posting ERAs of 3.35 and 2.81 at Chase Field those seasons. He could easily help a struggling pitching staff at home, and he is going to come very cheaply.
There's no guarantee that the D-backs even make the playoffs, and adding Haren won't set the team back much if they don't.
Best Fit: Arizona Diamondbacks
Potential Suitors: Oakland Athletics, Cleveland Indians
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Aaron Harang was been placed on waivers, although he has not cleared yet.
The 35-year-old is in the midst of the worst year of his career, posting an ERA of 5.77 and a WHIP of 1.337. The 6'7" giant was once a feared pitcher, but now he has been getting shelled, giving up 20 home runs in as many games.
Harang has been struggling, but there are still a few teams desperate enough to consider adding him to their rotations.
The Athletics and Indians are competing in tight AL races, but both teams have been losing ground because the back ends of their respective rotations continue to lose games.
Both teams are falling out of their respective races, with the Indians being on the brink of falling too far behind the Detroit Tigers to come back. They are both getting desperate, and adding a new guy could be a last-ditch effort to make the postseason, regardless of who that pitcher is.
Harang isn't going to be much help to too many teams anymore, so the best place for him is right where he is. Don't expect him to be moved before the season's end.
Best Fit: Seattle Mariners
Potential Suitors: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Erik Bedard has cleared waivers.
Bedard has been having a solid year on arguably the worst team in baseball. He has posted a 4.28 ERA for the Houston Astros while facing tough American League hitters.
Bedard was once a feared pitcher with the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles, but he's declined over the last few years.
Bedard still has a solid arm and could help a playoff contender, so he should be sought after by most teams. He is also only signed through this year, so he could be a rental without a high price tag for a team that needs him.
We've seen tons of AL pitchers come over to the NL and dominate hitters, and Bedard could be that next guy. His potential to be the next Cliff Lee or CC Sabathia should make a few NL teams take a further look at him.
The Atlanta Braves are looking around for pitching options. After Tim Hudson's season was cut short by a gruesome injury, Bedard could be that guy.
The Braves have essentially locked up a playoff spot and now are just looking to cruise into the postseason. Bedard wouldn't be relied upon as a top starter, but he's a low-risk, high-reward option who could bounce back against a weak group of NL batters and help the team in the playoffs.
Best Fit: Atlanta Braves
Potential Suitors: Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, Matt Lindstrom has cleared waivers.
Lindstrom is enjoying another terrific year, posting an ERA of 3.47 and helping the Chicago White Sox's bullpen throughout the season.
Lindstrom has been tearing it up since 2011, and he could very easily pitch in October for a playoff team if given the chance.
This guy is going to be drawing interest from the best teams in baseball; he should be claimed without a problem.
A lot of teams will be gunning for Lindstrom, but the best fit may be in Boston.
The Red Sox are still waiting for Clay Buchholz to return from the DL, and although he could be back in the next few weeks, the team's pitching hasn't been the same without its ace.
Lindstrom could help secure the bullpen, and adding another arm that can pitch in pressure situations never hurts.
He has never allowed a run in Fenway Park (3.1 IP) and has proven himself to be among the best relievers available.
The Red Sox were quiet at the deadline and will be looking to make some moves before the postseason, but the team only has a little over two weeks to add Lindstrom if he is going to pitch in the playoffs.
Best Fit: Boston Red Sox
Potential Suitors: Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Barry Zito has cleared waivers.
The former Cy Young Award winner was once a dominant pitcher, but he hasn't posted an ERA below 3.80 in a decade, and this year didn't change that trend.
With a 5.31 ERA, Zito has been having the second-worst season of his career, and the San Francisco Giants are shopping him for the last seven weeks of his seven-year, $126 million deal.
Zito could have been a starter in any rotation for a time, but now it's difficult to get anyone interested in him.
The teams that need Zito are the most desperate ones, and they happen to be in the AL for the most part. If Zito can't handle NL hitters, there's no way he'll turn around in the AL, and it's hard to imagine any team taking a chance on him.
Best Fit: San Francisco Giants
Potential Suitors: Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals
Zito's teammate, Tim Lincecum, has also had his name swirling around as a potential trade target or waiver wire pickup over the last few months.
Lincecum isn't the same guy who won back-to-back Cy Young Awards in 2008 and 2009, but he threw a no-hitter earlier this year and has shown flashes of brilliance.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo reported that the team simply wasn't offered enough value for Lincecum at the non-waiver trade deadline, which is why he wasn't moved. However, it would make sense to add him to waivers and see what's out there.
A lot of teams that needed starting pitching but didn't get it by July 31 could now be more willing to give up quality players for Lincecum as we near the end of the regular season.
Linecum's contract expires at the end of the year, so he'd simply be a one-year rental. However, there will certainly be at least one playoff contender that desires his services enough to make a deal with the Giants.
That playoff contender will likely be the Cleveland Indians, whose starting rotation doesn't have a single pitcher with an ERA below 3.54.
The Indians would certainly be willing to find a spot for Lincecum in their rotation and would likely take the chance on him. The team doesn't have anything to lose as it watches the Detroit Tigers pull farther away, and the Indians don't have many opportunities to acquire difference-makers.
Look for the Indians to make one last desperate move to make the postseason by acquiring Lincecum.
Best Fit: Cleveland Indians
Potential Suitors: Arizona Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Oakland Athletics,
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Josh Johnson has cleared waivers.
The man who was once a legitimate ace for the then-Florida Marlins is in the midst of arguably the worst season of his career. Even worse is that this is a contract year for Johnson as well.
With Johnson toting a 6.20 ERA, a team wanting to make a late-season surge that chooses to pick him up would essentially show that they hope he can return to form.
Possibly the biggest reason why Johnson has struggled so much this year is that he is facing AL batters.
Team batting stats from the Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN) show that this year, AL batters best their NL counterparts in average, on-base percentage, RBI and other benchmarks; it may be that Johnson simply can't stand up to that challenge.
A team in the NL may be willing to take a chance on Johnson, but they'd have to be extremely desperate.
I think the Arizona Diamondbacks just raised their heads and sniffed around a little bit.
The D-backs are quickly falling behind the hottest team in baseball, and Arizona needs to do something to change things—and fast.
The team's starting pitching is dreadful; even if the team acquires Dan Haren, it should be looking for more.
Johnson was an ace when he was in the NL, and the Diamondbacks could be desperate enough to take a chance on him and hope that he can replicate that success over the next month-and-a-half.
Best Fit: Arizona Diamondbacks