3 Win-Win Trade Scenarios MLB Teams Should Pull the Trigger on
With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline just around the corner, the next week has the potential to either make or break the season for some teams.
Two major deals have transpired since Friday, with the Los Angeles Angels acquiring Huston Street from the San Diego Padres over the weekend and the Detroit Tigers trading for the Rangers' Joakim Soria on Wednesday night, per USA Today's Scott Boeck.
In return for the proven closers, both the Padres and Rangers received a loaded prospect package featuring some of the best young talent from the Angels' and Tigers' systems, respectively.
More importantly, both of the aforementioned trades can be viewed as a "win" for all teams involved, as they fit each organization's short- or long-term timelines.
Here are three other "win-win" trade scenarios teams should pull the trigger on before the deadline.
*All contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.
*All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.
New York Yankees Trade for John Danks
Yankees receive LHP John Danks, LHP Eric Surkamp
White Sox receive LHP Manny Banuelos, salary relief
While the $33.9 million remaining on Danks’ contract through 2016 will repel most teams, it doesn’t pose an issue for the Yankees, who, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, are said to be interested in the left-hander’s services.
Danks, 29, logged only 192 innings between 2012 and 2013 due to shoulder surgery, but he’s been healthy this year and proved to be a valuable back-end starter for the White Sox. On the season, he’s posted a 4.35 ERA, 4.70 FIP, 6.3 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 124 innings spanning 20 starts. The left-hander has pitched particularly well over the last two months, with a 3.41 ERA and 46-20 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 71.1 innings.
The White Sox have been targeting young talent since Rick Hahn took over as general manager, and they’ll likely demand a prospect package in return for the veteran starter. However, because the Yankees have the flexibility to take on most of Danks’ remaining contract, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Pale Hose received only one notable prospect in the deal.
That being said, I think this deal presents an opportunity for the White Sox to buy low on Manny Banuelos, the former prize of the Yankees system who nearly reached the major leagues in 2011. Banuelos, 23, underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2012 and subsequently missed the entire 2013 season. This year, the southpaw has posted a 4.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 47-17 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 49 innings between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton.
Kansas City Royals Trade for Alex Rios
Kansas City Royals receive OF Alex Rios
Texas Rangers receive OF Bubba Starling and pay Rios' remaining salary
Alex Rios is one of the few chips the Texas Rangers have to move at this year’s trade deadline, though the ankle injury he suffered over the weekend could potentially hurt his value. However, according to Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News, the Royals had scouts on hand watching last weekend’s series between the Rangers and Blue Jays.
There’s no question that the 33-year-old right fielder could offer a huge boost to a contender—and there’s no contender more starved for offense than the Kansas City Royals. Rios’ $13.5 million club option next season doesn’t leave much room for flexibility, so trading for him would likely mean Billy Butler’s ($12.5 million club option in 2015) days in Kansas City are over. Rios also would have to approve the trade, as the Royals are one of six teams in his no-trade clause.
The Rangers stand to receive at least an average prospect in return for Rios, and that guy could be outfielder Bubba Starling, who many would argue needs a change of scenery.
Selected by the Royals with the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft, Starling was one of the more hyped amateur prospects of the last decade due to his national recognition as a two-sport star. However, the 21-year-old outfielder’s development hasn’t progressed as hoped, and his performance has regressed with each new level.
This season, Starling is batting .226/.307/.353 with seven home runs and 112 strikeouts through 96 games at High-A Wilmington. He’s still young and has plenty of time to figure things out, but so far, his career has been full of disappointments. Therefore, the Rangers would target Starling so as to offer him a fresh start and change of scenery.
St. Louis Cardinals Trade for Jake Peavy
St. Louis Cardinals receive RHP Jake Peavy
Boston Red Sox receive OF Stephen Piscotty, pay remainder of Peavy's contract
The market for Jake Peavy is starting to heat up—which isn’t surprising after he helped Boston win the World Series last year after coming over from the White Sox at the trade deadline. One team that has already expressed interest is the St. Louis Cardinals, with Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe stating that the 33-year-old veteran is on the team’s “back burner.”
The Cardinals don’t have the starting-pitching depth they had last year: Phenom Michael Wacha remains out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, Shelby Miller has struggled and recently moved to the bullpen, and Marco Gonzales is too inexperienced to be counted on down the stretch.
Enter Jake Peavy.
Peavy, who will become a free agent after the season, is earning $14.5 million this year, and it’s likely the Cardinals will want Boston to take on most of his remaining contract. However, that would also require the Cardinals to give up a legitimate prospect in return, possibly outfielder Stephen Piscotty.
The Cardinals are high on Piscotty—as they should be—and he’d probably be in the major leagues right now if not for an overcrowded big league outfield that includes Matt Holliday, Allen Craig, Peter Bourjos, Jon Jay and top prospect Oscar Taveras. The organization also has Randal Grichuk, who's already had two separate stints with the Cardinals this season, at Triple-A Memphis, as well as James Ramsey at Double-A Springfield.
The 23-year-old Piscotty is an advanced hitter with excellent contact skills and untapped power potential, and his athleticism and arm strength make him a clean fit in right field at the highest level. If this trade were to take place, Piscotty would likely finish the season in the major leagues before getting an extended opportunity in 2015.