If you are a fan of prospects, building toward the future, weighing current needs against future potential and a loaded transaction page on the inside flap of the sports section, the MLB trade deadline is like Christmas.
There are plenty of rumors circulating around the league as teams look to position themselves for the October chase. With that in mind, let’s take a trip to the rumor mill.
Note: All players included in this article were not yet traded as of this writing.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com filled fans in on the latest regarding the Baltimore Orioles:
The Orioles are still shopping for starting pitching and left-handed relief. But teams that have spoken with them now think it's unlikely they'll deal for a starter. They kicked the tires on Lester but never got far. They dabbled in the A.J. Burnett market but backed off.
It is somewhat surprising that the Orioles seem to be out on some of these top-notch starting pitchers considering they rank 26th in the majors in quality starts. We are talking about a team that is multiple games clear of the rest of the American League East and has a rare opportunity with the Boston Red Sox struggling and the New York Yankees mired in mediocrity.
Where does Baltimore finish the season?
Still, while it’s not as sexy as a front-of-the-rotation starter to fulfill a need, adding left-handed bullpen help should not be overlooked.
Individual matchups late in games take on even more pressure and importance than usual when one critical out could change the course of an inning, matchup and even an entire three-game series. If Baltimore can land the right southpaw, it can help itself reach the postseason this year.
Stark provided an update on Marlon Byrd as the deadline approaches:
It doesn’t appear that the Seattle Mariners are going to land Byrd, but the Yankees could certainly use some power. In fact, only Mark Teixeira has hit at least 15 home runs this season for New York, and there really isn’t a prototypical No. 3 or 4 hitter on the roster at this point.
Byrd isn’t exactly Babe Ruth in terms of power, but he does have 20 homers and 60 RBI, both of which would lead the Bronx Bombers.
What’s more, Byrd also brings a veteran presence to the table who has been to the postseason before. There is a certain value in knowing what to expect in a pennant race that should not be overlooked this time of year.
That’s something I can’t control. I don’t have a no-trade [clause]. So if [general manager] Ruben [Amaro] makes a trade with them and gets something back in return, it’s like, ‘Hey, we’ve got to trade Marlon,’ there’s nothing I can do. I’ll pack my bags and move on.
He may not seem too excited about joining the Yankees in that quote, but he will likely be ready to play if the situation arises and the postseason is on the line.
Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post filled fans in on some of the latest plans from the Colorado Rockies:
Continue to be told #Rockies will not trade either De La Rosa or Anderson. Relievers not likely to be traded either, but Rox listening— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) July 30, 2014
This is an interesting development given Colorado’s position in the race for the postseason. The Rockies are in last place in the National League West and have virtually zero chance of competing for a playoff spot. It would seem to make logical sense from Colorado’s perspective to land some prospects and rebuild with an eye on the future.
That would require a couple of trades.
However, both Brett Anderson and Jorge De La Rosa have turned in solid seasons for Colorado (Anderson sports a 3.24 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, while De La Rosa has an 11-6 record with a 1.28 WHIP). If the Rockies think they can keep these pitchers long term as part of a winning formula, then trading them may not be the best option.
After all, it’s always about the future if you are a seller at the trade deadline.
Follow me on Twitter: