Rarely does an MLB season go by when none of the apparent contenders need pitching help. This year is not one of those years.
This July, top teams in both leagues will be looking to add strong arms for the final months of the season, to carry them through the postseason. Here in mid-June, a few names have come up enough in the rumor mills to merit mentioning them as the trade deadline approaches.
Erik Bedard, A.J. Burnett, and C.C. Sabathia are all starting pitchers with dominant stuff. All three of them could be moved in the next month.
Looking at each pitcher's numbers from the 2007 season should convince any general manager to at least attempt putting together an offer for these arms.
Bedard: 182 IP, 3.16 ERA, 221 K, 1.09 WHIP, .212 BAA
Burnett: 165.2 IP, 3.75 ERA, 176 K, 1.19 WHIP, .214 BAA
Sabathia: 241 IP, 3.21 ERA, 209 K, 1.14 WHIP, .259 BAA
None of the three are dominating opponents so far in 2008, but solid peripherals, including a K/9 around eight for each, indicate that the talent is still there. It will be interesting to follow reports as they surface regarding the status of each of these left-handed starters.
If any team appears primed to make a move, it has to be the Chicago Cubs, with the win-now attitude demonstrated by their manager Lou Piniella, along with an apparent abundance of minor league talent.
What might Sean Gallagher, Sean Marshall, Rich Hill, Matt Murton, Felix Pie, and Ronny Cedeno (not to mention the Cubs' Double-A talent) bring back for the team? We'll have to wait and see.