MLB Trade Ideas Based on the Latest News, Rumors and Speculation
This will be the last installation of MLB trade ideas based on the latest news, rumors and speculation before the deadline passes on Sunday, whereby players who are acquired are eligible to participate in postseason play.
Needless to say, the situation is tense around MLB. That said, what types of trade ideas are possible with the information we already have at hand?
Here are three MLB trade scenarios based on actual need and published rumors through the end of Monday, Aug. 25. As a standard note, the following proposals are nothing more than postulation.
The point here is to build a trade based on someone else's written or spoken word. They are balanced deals that are fair for each team, though, and take into consideration each franchise's strengths and weaknesses.
Seattle Mariners Get Drew Stubbs from the Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners Get: OF Drew Stubbs
Colorado Rockies Get: RHP Carson Smith
Going into action on Monday, the Seattle Mariners held a one-game lead over the Detroit Tigers for the second wild-card spot. And while general manager Jack Zduriencik has done quite a bit in the last month or so to improve his team, the offense still needs to improve.
Now, there is no official word on Stubbs’ availability, but there is a strong chance that he will be placed on waivers (if he hasn’t been already) as he was one of the players CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman listed earlier this month.
And make no mistake: If Stubbs were available, the Mariners would certainly be interested. After all, they made an offer at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline for the 29-year-old. At the time, Nick Groke from The Denver Post elaborated:
A major-league source confirmed to The Denver Post that the Seattle Mariners offered a deal for Stubbs this week. The Rockies aren't actively trying to trade Stubbs, the source said.
The Rockies acquired Stubbs in a December trade to bolster their outfield. But with Charlie Blackmon having blossomed into a National League all-star and Corey Dickerson having built on his promising rookie start in 2013, the Rockies have become flush with good outfielders.
In any trade they make, the Rockies likely will want young pitchers in return.
With that as a launching point, let’s build a trade for Stubbs around minor league pitcher Carson Smith.
Smith is a right-handed reliever with a mid-90s fastball and a sharp slider who “profiles as a seventh-inning or setup-type guy, but he’s one who should contribute to the big league bullpen soon,” per MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. In other words, he will help an ailing Rockies’ relief corps in the very near future.
This year, Smith is 1-2 with a 2.92 ERA, 1.325 WHIP and is averaging 9.2 strikeouts every nine innings. He has also improved his control, going from 4.1 walks every nine innings in 2012 to his current mark of 2.7.
It may not look like much of a return on paper, but Smith is the real deal, potentially locking down the closer's role in the coming seasons.
Another thing to keep in mind for the Mariners is that the newly acquired Chris Denorfia will be a free agent after the end of the season, while Stubbs is under team control for one more year. That makes this a trade that will help manager Lloyd McClendon's club now and next season.
True, Stubbs is hitting much better at Coors Field (.365/.389/.640) than he is on the road (.221/.283/.329), per splits over at Baseball-Reference, but he is worth a setup man. That is, of course, if he is waived and makes it to the Mariners.
Oakland A's Get Cliff Pennington from the Arizona Diamondbacks
Oakland A’s Get: MI Cliff Pennington
Arizona Diamondbacks Get: RHP Ryan Dull
Now he will have to make it through quite a few teams to get to them, but Pennington, who was slashing out at .274/.357/.395 as of game time on Monday, would be a fine fit with the Oakland A’s.
Yes, the A’s traded him after the 2012 season, but given the production the club is getting from its second basemen (.239/.310/.392) and shortstops (.238/.317/.357), not to mention the injuries to Nick Punto and Jed Lowrie, Pennington would certainly help. It must be noted that Alberto Callaspo has played well recently, but shortstop isn't in his repertoire, limiting what he brings to the club.
Another reason the move makes sense for the A’s is that while Pennington is arbitration eligible after this season, “he’s a non-tender candidate after earning $3.25MM this season,” per MLB Trade Rumors’ Steve Adams. In other words, general manager Billy Beane would only be on the hook for the remaining dollars on this year’s contract.
In return for Pennington, the Diamondbacks would receive minor league right-hander Ryan Dull.
Dull, who was selected in the 32nd round of the 2012 MLB first-year player draft, is an interesting pitcher. See, he doesn’t garner much attention, but he certainly delivers results and would improve the Diamondbacks' prospects in the bullpen next season and beyond.
On his career, he is 12-11 with a 2.67 ERA, 1.083 WHIP, 28 saves and averages 11.3 strikeouts every nine innings. This season, he is 5-5 with a 3.04 ERA and has a 1.2387 WHIP in 53.1 innings pitched at Double-A Midland going into action on Monday.
All things considered, the pitching staff in Oakland is where it needs to be for a postseason run, and the defense will be just fine. One more piece that has ability on the offensive end and versatility in the field will go a long way toward helping the cause.
Another thing to consider is that Beane placed a claim on Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Yunel Escobar. Unfortunately for the A's, Escobar was pulled back, per a separate tweet from Rosenthal.
Los Angeles Angels Acquire Bartolo Colon from the New York Mets
Los Angeles Angels Get: SP Bartolo Colon
New York Mets Get: OF Collin Cowgill, OF/IF Grant Green
When Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal tweeted that New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had put starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (12-10, 3.82 ERA, 1.147 WHIP) on revocable waivers, the rumors began flying.
Near the top of the list of rumored destinations are the Los Angeles Angels. In part, this is due to the fact that Rosenthal mentioned them by name, but there is also the reality that the Angels appear in need of a starting pitcher after Garrett Richards was lost for the season after tearing a patellar tendon in his left knee last week.
So now that Colon has cleared waivers, per Rosenthal, what would Angels GM Jerry Dipoto have to offer up in return? Considering that he has one of the weakest farm systems in baseball, and Mets GM Sandy Alderson is in no rush to trade Colon, the talent will have to come from the active roster.
Acquired from the Mets last June, Cowgill is making the most of his at-bats. All told, he is only hitting .268, but he has drawn 21 walks, leading to a .385 on-base percentage, and has a .368/.429/.500 slash line in high-leverage situations, per splits over at Baseball-Reference.
Regarding Green, he has a lifetime .311/.358/.478 slash line with 70 doubles and 167 RBI across parts of three seasons at Triple-A. According to Nick J. Faleris and Bret Sayre from Baseball Prospectus, “He should hit for average with a good number of doubles and low-double-digit home runs, and will show some on-base ability while providing positive value on the bases.”
The best piece of Green’s repertoire is his ability to play on the infield and in the outfield. That would serve a club like the Mets well in the near future.
For his part, Colon, who is owed $11 million next season, is ready for whatever happens, saying that his “part is to pitch,” via MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. It must be imagined, however, that a return to the Angels would be welcome.
All that said, the Angels don’t necessarily need another starting pitcher. As Dayn Perry from CBS Sports noted, “there's something to be said for letting the bats, increased reliance on the relief corps and the prevailing randomness of October ‘small sample size’ baseball do their respective things and seeing what comes out of the sausage-grinder.”
Perry’s points are valid, and besides, perhaps Alderson is able to include Colon in a larger package this offseason, making a trade now premature.
We shall see what happens, but if Dipoto wants to bring the right-hander over, this is a deal that could work.
Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are accurate as of game time on Monday, August 25. Transaction, prospect, game and injury information are courtesy of MLB.com. Contract information pulled from Cot's Contracts.