2014 MLB Trade Deadline Predictions for Every Team
The final week of July is always remarkably busy due to the MLB trade deadline, and this year's time frame promises to be no different.
From Twitter to newspapers to TV, rumors and speculation are on all fronts. What everyone wants to know is what will actually happen between now and July 31. What follows are trade deadline predictions for each MLB team. Will David Price stay put? Is it finally time for Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers to split? And could there be a fire sale in Boston?
The Houston Astros Will Sell Off Chad Qualls and Tony Sipp
The Houston Astros are in no rush to part with Chad Qualls.
"We need more Chad Qualls. We don't need less," explained general manager Jeff Luhnow, per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
Considering how poorly the club's bullpen has been pitching, it's difficult to argue with Luhnow's logic. Still, in a trade market that significantly favors sellers, the Astros will receive an impressive haul for the closer, who is 11-for-13 in save opportunities.
Left-hander Tony Sipp, who has posted a 12.5 K/9 ratio, is also pitching in his final days in Houston.
The Los Angeles Angels Will Do Nothing
It looks like it will be a quiet deadline for the Los Angeles Angels.
The club isn't expected to make any moves to strengthen its rotation, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. GM Jerry Dipoto isn't in a position to trade. The acquisition of Huston Street cost the Angels top prospect Taylor Lindsey along with three other minor leaguers.
The Angels' farm ranked No. 29 in baseball even before that swap, according to Adam Wells of Bleacher Report. They are nearly out of trade chips.
The Oakland Athletics Will Deal Tommy Milone in a 3-Team Trade
With the deadline looming, the Oakland Athletics' most pressing need is to find an upgrade at second base. The best way to do so would be to ship out starter Tommy Milone.
The lefty, who was recently demoted, has "asked the club to trade him," according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Oakland could send Milone to a contender looking to bolster its rotation and then bring a third team into the mix to acquire a second baseman.
The Seattle Mariners Will Trade D.J. Peterson but Still Miss Out on the Playoffs
Even with the acquisition of Kendrys Morales, the Seattle Mariners still need to add to their lineup.
One way for the team to make that happen would be to part with prospect D.J. Peterson, who has clubbed 23 home runs in 2014. GM Jack Zduriencik recently told Mike Salk and Brock Huard of 710 ESPN Seattle that he doesn't have "any interest" in dealing the right-handed hitter.
Ultimately, Zduriencik will have to make a difficult decision with the M's right in the mix for the second AL wild-card spot. There's no question that moving Peterson would net Seattle a big bat. However, that won't prove to be enough for a playoff trip, as the team that will win the second wild-card spot will come from the AL East.
The Texas Rangers Will Make 2 More Trades
The Texas Rangers have been busy.
The club already traded away relievers Joakim Soria and Jason Frasor, and more moves appear to be on tap. Alex Rios would be a top option to be the next player to go. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays have expressed an "interest" in the right fielder, as the club looks to hang around in the AL East race.
In addition to Rios, Adrian Beltre is nearing the end of his career with the Rangers.
The 35-year-old would assuredly bring back quality prospects to expedite Texas' rebuild.
The Chicago White Sox Will Trade Adam Dunn to a Contender
From Alexei Ramirez to Dayan Viciedo to John Danks, the Chicago White Sox have all sorts of trade chips. The player who could just have the most value is Adam Dunn. Sure, the left-handed hitter absolutely piles up strikeouts, but he also hits home runs.
Dunn has gone yard 15 times in 2014. With a noticeable lack of power on the market, there should be a contender or two that is willing to take a flier on the 34-year-old.
The Cleveland Indians Won't Trade Asdrubal Cabrera Before the July 31 Deadline
Asdrubal Cabrera will be a member of the Cleveland Indians when the July 31 deadline passes.
That doesn't mean he'll be with the team at the end of the season. The Cleveland Indians are still within shouting distance of the second AL wild-card spot, which means the front office can't justify shipping out the shortstop.
By the middle of August, though, it will be a different story. The Tribe could easily be out of contention by then, and Cabrera is a perfect candidate to slide through waivers. The switch-hitter is still owed the remaining balance of his $10 million salary; so, he's likely to go unclaimed. Even if he is, Cleveland can afford to lose Cabrera with Francisco Lindor on the doorstep of the major leagues.
The Detroit Tigers Will Bring in a Left-Handed Reliever
The Detroit Tigers have already upgraded their bullpen by bringing in right-hander Joakim Soria, but GM Dave Dombrowski might not be done making moves just yet.
The American League Central leaders are looking for a lefty, according to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. Fortunately for the Tigers, that position is flush with talent. Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies, Tony Sipp of the Houston Astros and Wesley Wright of the Chicago Cubs are just a few of the names for Detroit to consider.
The Kansas City Royals Will Acquire Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox
The Kansas City Royals are among the flood of teams pursuing a wild-card spot.
If the club wants to keep up in the race, it's imperative that the front office brings in another bat. An ideal target is Jonny Gomes of the Boston Red Sox. Gomes has an underwhelming .240 average on the season, but he's tagged left-handers to the tune of a .315 mark.
The Kansas City Royals have been scouting the right-handed hitter for the past week, according to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston.
The Minnesota Twins Will Sell Kurt Suzuki to the Highest Bidder
Kurt Suzuki is enjoying a career year.
That's great news for the Minnesota Twins. The AL All-Star is easily the top catcher available on the trade market and will draw plenty of interest between now and July 31. With the veteran backstop's contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Twins should sell the 30-year-old to whichever contender offers the best prospect.
The Baltimore Orioles Will Trade Away One of the Team's Big Pitching Prospects
The Baltimore Orioles are in an excellent spot to make a trade.
With Hunter Harvey, Dylan Bundy and Eduardo Rodriguez all pitching in the minor leagues, the O's have plenty of trade chips, as executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette explained via Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
"There's a lot of interest in our young pitchers from other teams."
With Baltimore sitting atop the standings in the AL East, now is the perfect moment for Duquette to turn that interest into a top-of-the rotation starter or impact bat.
The Boston Red Sox Will Have a Fire Sale
2014 just hasn't been the Boston Red Sox's year.
Now is the perfect time to cash in on some assets and add to an already strong farm system. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston cited a team "source" who explained "we're working on a lot of things." While players such as left-handed reliever Andrew Miller and outfielder Jonny Gomes should absolutely be on the move, the Red Sox need to think even bigger than that.
Closer Koji Uehara, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season, would bring back a major return if he ends up on the trade block. The ultimate chip, though, is starter Jon Lester, who is also about to become a free agent. According to Edes, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been involved in discussions to acquire the lefty from the reigning World Series champions.
The New York Yankees Will Make a Small Move Before July 31 and a Big One After
The New York Yankees are going for it.
After landing Chase Headley in a swap with the San Diego Padres, GM Brian Cashman, per David Waldstein of The New York Times, said that he still has "work to do." The next order of business could entail adding a power bat at one of the corner outfield spots before the deadline passes.
Of course, the trade season could easily stretch into August for New York. Next month, the club can make a run for Philadelphia Phillies ace Cliff Lee. With the 35-year-old pitching in the third season of a five-year, $120 million deal, there's no question that he will pass through waivers unclaimed.
David Price Won't Go Anywhere and Will Lead the Tampa Bay Rays to the Playoffs
At one point, the Tampa Bay Rays were 18 games under .500. Now, the perennial overachievers are right back in the middle of the wild-card conversation.
Thanks to a 15-5 July, Joe Maddon's squad is just 4.5 games out of the second AL wild-card spot. That means David Price won't be going anywhere before the deadline. The only place the left-hander will be going is the playoffs, as Tampa Bay will beat out the rest of the field to claim the second wild-card spot.
The Toronto Blue Jays Won't Do Enough at the Deadline
The Toronto Blue Jays are in the market for pitching, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
However, the club, which is sitting in second place in the AL East, doesn't appear to be on the verge of a blockbuster. According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, the Blue Jays don't have the ability to take on additional payroll. That lack of financial flexibility will make it nearly impossible to add the front-line starter whom the Blue Jays need.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Will Get Out from Under Martin Prado's Contract
Martin Prado has been on a tear since the beginning of July.
As Zach Buchanan of AZ Central Sports explains, part of the credit is due to the right-handed hitter taking part in some late-night batting practice sessions. With his average now up to .279, the third baseman's trade value is trending upward.
With a lack of quality infielders available on the market, the Arizona Diamondbacks will manage to deal Prado and get out from under what remains of his four-year, $40 million deal, which runs through the end of the 2016 season.
The Colorado Rockies Will Send LaTroy Hawkins to a Contender
LaTroy Hawkins has been dealing for the Colorado Rockies in 2014.
The 41-year-old has locked down 17 of 18 save opportunities in his first season with the club. That success will make him a popular reliever between now and July 31. With just a $2.5 million salary, the Rockies might get two prospects for the veteran.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Will Keep Matt Kemp for Now
Matt Kemp and his agent, Dave Stewart, sure are putting on the full-court press in hopes of orchestrating a trade away from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"Eight years is a long time to be in one place," explained Stewart via Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. "Sometimes change is good. This might be the time to change."
At this point, it seems inevitable that Kemp's tenure with the Dodgers is nearing its end. But now is not that time. The Dodgers still need Kemp's right-handed bat, as they look to claim the top spot in the NL West. The best course of action for the Dodgers would be to hold on to Kemp for now but placate the disgruntled outfielder by assuring him that they'll send him away in the offseason.
The San Diego Padres Will Part Ways with Ian Kennedy
Ian Kennedy has a ton of trade value.
Not only does the right-hander own a 3.66 ERA with a 9.5 K/9 ratio, but Kennedy is also pitching on a reasonable one-year, $6.1 million deal. Those numbers should make the 29-year-old a deadline target for an array of contenders.
According to George A. King III of the New York Post, the New York Yankees have scouted the starter, who, of course, began his career in the Bronx.
Brian Sabean Will Find a Key Contributor off the Scrap Heap
San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean just has a knack for getting the best out of previously discarded players.
He's already been busy buying low this month, as the club has brought in second baseman Dan Uggla and starter Jake Peavy. Whether either of those moves will work out remains to be seen.
If the Giants are going to keep up with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, Sabean will need to pull off one more of his patented moves. Ideally, the executive will find a top-of-the-order catalyst to spark the team's dormant offense.
The Chicago Cubs Will Pull Off at Least 3 More Trades
The Chicago Cubs have already moved their big chips in Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, but that doesn't mean they're closed for business just yet.
According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Cubs are contemplating keeping both outfielder Justin Ruggiano and infielder Luis Valbuena. It's possible they will retain them, but it's also possible that the front office is trying to drive up their respective asking prices.
Left-handed relievers James Russell and Wesley Wright also look like top contenders to be leaving town before the end of the month. Of the four players listed, at least thee of them will be off the roster by the time the deadline passes.
The Cincinnati Reds Will Bring in a Bat
Sitting in fourth place in the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds need to do something. With second baseman Brandon Phillips and first baseman Joey Votto both sidelined, upgrading the offensive attack wouldn't hurt.
According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, the Philadelphia Phillies called the Reds to see if the team might be interested in Marlon Byrd. As Sheldon notes, the 37-year-old is "cost prohibitive" because he has an $8 million vesting option for 2015.
The Reds could choose to focus on a more economical option, but they would have to settle for less production if they do. With 20 home runs, Byrd is improbably the most dangerous hitter on the market.
The Milwaukee Brewers Will Buy Insurance for Francisco Rodriguez
The Milwaukee Brewers could use another late-inning reliever.
Francisco Rodriguez has been scuffling badly as of late, and the Brewers face all sorts of competition in the NL Central. LaTroy Hawkins would be a helpful addition.
However, GM Doug Melvin is not optimistic that the Colorado Rockies will part with the reliever, as he explained via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. With the Rockies owning the second-worst record in the NL, the Brewers will eventually offer a deal that will convince Colorado to change its mind.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Make Use of Their Farm System to Land an Ace
The Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system is loaded.
According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, no team is in a better spot than the Pirates in terms of minor league trade ammunition. As Callis notes, Pittsburgh is unmatched in its "combination of prospect quality and quantity."
All that talent means that the Pirates can legitimately pull off a move for a front-line starter and make a serious push in the congested NL Central.
The St. Louis Cardinals Will Acquire Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox
The St. Louis Cardinals are well-positioned to make a big move.
The team is chasing the Milwaukee Brewers for the top spot in the NL Central and has one of the best farm systems in baseball. That makes Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox a great fit for the Cardinals.
Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal speculates that St. Louis could begin the discussion by offering outfield prospect Stephen Piscotty. That's an intriguing start, but the conversation would likely need to work its way toward a better prospect like Carlos Martinez.
The Atlanta Braves Will Only Make Minor Moves at the Deadline
There hasn't been much trade buzz surrounding the Atlanta Braves.
The most likely spots that the team could upgrade at are the bench and the bullpen. Bringing in an established pinch hitter and a reliable left-hander reliever would definitely help. Whether those moves will be enough to help the squad overtake the Washington Nationals, though, is far less certain.
The Miami Marlins Will Sell High on Casey McGehee
There's really just one reason why the Miami Marlins will trade Casey McGehee. Simply put, the journeyman's value will never be higher.
The third baseman is hitting .310 and has connected on 21 doubles in his first campaign with Miami. With a thin market for hitters, the Marlins could command a high price for McGehee.
The New York Mets Will Pawn Off Bartolo Colon
Bartolo Colon doesn't seem to be aging.
The 41-year-old is 9-9 with a 4.03 ERA and carried a perfect game into the seventh inning during his start on July 23. The New York Mets aren't in a position to get much of a return from a potential trade, but it would save the club some change.
The right-hander makes $9 million this season and $11 million in 2015. According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, per sources, the team is willing to eat roughly $2 million of his remaining salary to help facilitate a deal.
The Philadelphia Phillies Will Deal Marlon Byrd to a Contender
The Philadelphia Phillies have plenty of trade chips.
The problem is that most of those players have exorbitant contracts or the ability to block trades. Marlon Byrd fits into that category in the sense that he has an $8 million vesting option for 2016 and a four-team no-trade clause, per Matt Gelb of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
However, Byrd also has a redeeming quality: power and lots of it. In 2014, the 36-year-old has already swatted 20 home runs.
The Washington Nationals Will Land Adrian Beltre from the Texas Rangers
For much of the trade season, the Washington Nationals have appeared to be immune to trade rumors.
That changed when third baseman Ryan Zimmerman hit the disabled list with a hamstring injury. The NL East front-runners have "inquired" on Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers, as Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports, according to sources.
Landing the 35-year-old from the Rangers wouldn't be easy, as it would require the Nats to part with a ton of prospects. Also, it would be an expensive move, as Beltre could be owed $34 million over the next two seasons ($16 million vesting option).
However, the move would also allow Washington to run away from the Atlanta Braves in the division.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.