MLB Trade Deadline: 5 Rookies Who Could Land Starting Jobs Following Trades
When a veteran player is dealt at the deadline, we spend so much time dissecting his every move on his new team that we often forget somebody else is now playing his old position.
In reality, the success or failure of the deal relies just as much on the new starter's performance as much as the traded player's performance on his new team.
Further, there are situations in which a team deals a player not because they don't want him, but rather they have a younger guy they think is better, and to whom they want to give more playing time.
Here are five rookies that could take over starting positions at the trade deadline, and who might be a big reason a trade gets done in the first place.
Campana has been very active since his May 17th call-up, appearing in six of the Cubs [ast seven games, all as a late-inning defensive replacement or pinch runner.
Only 5-foot-8, Campana is a grinder who finds ways to help his team to win. He was hitting .342/.383/.442 in Triple-A before his call-up. He had eight doubles, two triples and was eight-for-nine on steal tries.
He plays a great outfield and has not made an error this year.
For a Cubs team that ranks second to last in the majors with only ten steals, Campana could be a real asset. Veterans Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fokudome aren't getting any younger, and Chicago could be looking to shop either of them.
Tyler Colvin, who was demoted in order to make room for Campana, is another power hitter—he will be back soon, and will render either Soriano or Fokudome obsolete.
Look for Campana to emerge as a viable spot-starter who could see regular playing time in the event of a trade.
In a surprise move on Sunday, the Padres called up outfielder Blake Tekotte from AA San Antonio to replace struggling Will Venable.
San Diego arguably had a better option from their Triple-A affiliate—Aaron Cunningham is hitting .291/.380/.453. But the Padres ultimately opted for Tekotte, a lefty, since current starters Cameron Maybin, Chris Denorfa and Ryan Ludwick are all righties.
Tekotte figures to get starts against right-handed batters, against whom he hit .305/.431/.568 in Double-A this year. He can play either corner outfield spot.
Should he provide the much needed spark for the majors-worst San Diego offense, Tekotte could hasten Ryan Ludwick's exit.
Ludwick, an eight year veteran, is having a tough time in San Diego this year, hitting .230/.295/.408. But he is a career .264 hitter, and has eight homers this year. With only about $2.3 M due to him after the deadline, he will certainly draw interest from teams looking to acquire a veteran bat off the bench.
Adams was a candidate to make the Orioles roster out of spring training, but instead started the year in Triple-A.
When Brian Roberts hit the DL last week for what's sure to be the first of several trips this season, Adams got the call. He was hitting .303/.373/.434 with two homers, two triples and ten doubles.
Adams has gotten a couple of starts already in his brief time with the big league club this season, indicating they have plans for the 24-year-old infielder, who can play second or third.
The O's left side of the infield is a mess. J.J. Hardy has been injured, but still is hitting only .239 in 67 at-bats. Mark Reynolds is surprising no one by sitting below the Mendoza line, but only has five homers to show for it.
At some point, Baltimore will give up on this season, and start building toward the future (they are currently sitting in last place in the impossibly tough AL East). At that point, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy or even Brian Roberts all become potential trade pieces.
A trade of any aforementioned players would open up a permanent roster spot for Adams.
Since current second baseman Robert Andino can play shortstop as well, if Roberts continues to stay on the DL, and either Hardy or Adams could find himself as the every day second baseman.
Bogusevic has plodded through the minor leagues, but is on the Astros active roster at last at 27-years-old.
With Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence trade rumors circulating, Bogusevic stands the most to gain as a player who can man any of the three outfield positions or first base.
Bogusevic would definitely add some excitement to the Astros lineup. In AAA Round Rock last year, he hit .277 with 13 homers and 26 doubles. He stole 23 bases and was caught only once.
He made only three errors in 2010, and all were at first base.
If the Astros could dump El Caballo, they would trot out one of the more dynamic outfields with Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn and Brian Bogusevic.
Sands is a player the Dodgers have been very excited about for a while, and has been with the major league team for just over a month now.
He is currently the fourth outfielder, most often taking at-bats away from Jay Gibbons, but should be given a starting gig. He is hitting .280/.410/.500 in May, and at 23-years-old, is 11-years younger than Gibbons.
Sands is already a fan-favorite in Los Angeles, and he could easily take over an outfield position if star Andre Ethier got dealt.
It is difficult to predict how the Dodgers will shoot themselves in the foot next, but dealing their star player to alleviate a financial burden seems like a possible course of action.
In the end, it might not be the worst deal if they can get some solid prospects back—it's only a matter of time before Sands takes up the mantle of stardom himself.
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