MLB Trade Speculation: 10 Stars Who'll Be Moved If Their Teams Are Sellers
Unless you're the Minnesota Twins and are so far behind you think you're in first, a lot of teams are still in the hunt for postseason play. However, here in a couple weeks, teams will have a better indication of whether they can indeed continue to compete for a playoff spot.
This installment will look at 10 potential players that may be on the move if their respective teams decide to sell at the trade deadline or before.
Francisco Liriano: Minnesota Twins
Liriano is one of the biggest "Jekyll and Hyde" pitchers there is today. He is capable of striking out double-digit batters every time out, but is also capable of walking double-digit batters too. Last year, he showed what he can be (posting a 14-10 record and winning the AL comeback player of the year award) and he showed earlier this year what is possible throwing his first no-hitter.
However, the Twins may decide that they will be better off without Liriano and are in need of rebuilding a once-strong minor league system. Liriano is their best trade chip.
Michael Cuddyer: Minnesota Twins
This one was a toss-up between Cuddyer and Jason Kubel. I went with Cuddyer because he is simply making more money. Although both of them are lifelong Twins, Kubel will be the cheaper option and therefore make Cuddyer available. He is a versatile player (as shown the past two seasons playing the outfield, first base and second base) that could definitely help a contender.
Joe Nathan: Minnesota Twins
This is another player that is currently under contract with the Twins and has not performed at the level he did before his elbow injury. The time frame for pitchers returning from Tommy John injury is usually a couple years before they get back to where they were prior to injury.
Still, Nathan is getting up there in years and it’s hard to tell how much he has left in the tank. With the way the bullpen is now, it would be a huge mistake to get rid of Nathan but the Twins need to rebuild their farm system and he is a player that some teams may want for the stretch run.
Jose Reyes: New York Mets
Prince Fielder: Milwaukee Brewers
If the Brewers are still in contention come June, Prince stays. If they aren’t, look for the Brewers to part ways with their future free-agent slugger. There are multiple teams that would be interested in Prince but probably few that could sign him to what he’s looking for. Still, if a team is in the chase for the division title and the Brewers aren’t, look for Prince to be on the way out.
Ivan Rodriguez: Washington Nationals
Pudge’s best catching days are behind him. Still, he’s a serviceable backup and could help a team get over the top. He is currently grooming Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who will soon be taking over the everyday catching duties, which may make him expendable.
Carlos Beltran: New York Mets
After Fred Wilpon’s tirade on Beltran and Jose Reyes, teams may not want anything to do with him. It’s Wilpon’s own fault he outbid everybody (including the Yankees) for Beltran’s services and didn’t get the return he expected on his investment. Beltran can still play at a high level but the days of 30 home runs and 100 RBI are gone. He could start for most contending teams and spell outfielders who need days making him a good addition to a contending team.
Heath Bell: San Diego Padres
The Padres are dead-set on not trading Bell but it’s hard to say that he won’t be traded. I think if a team is a good closer away from potentially going to the World Series, and it has the pieces needed to pry him away from the Padres, it would listen. Otherwise I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
Jonathan Broxton: Los Angeles Dodgers
Broxton is in the same position as Joe Nathan. There are some lingering elbow issues with Broxton that may give some teams the red flag that he isn’t 100 percent (the fact that he’s on the DL now is one), but when healthy, he could serve as a good setup man or possibly close games again.
Chone Figgins: Seattle Mariners
This is an interesting situation. The Mariners have not gotten near what they paid for with Figgins. He did steal 43 bases this year but his overall numbers were below what they usually are. This year is no exception. He is hitting barely over .200 and has seven stolen bases. Still, his track record of performing (while with the Angels) may make him an interesting commodity for a contending team.
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