MLB Trade Rumors: Closers Available at Deadline

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IJune 24, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 7: Heath Bell #21 of the San Diego Padres pumps his fist after getting the final out during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park on June 7, 2011 in San Diego, California.  The Padres won 2-0.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Come the trade deadline, many players will move and that includes closers.  I have no doubt that right after the All-Star game, several players will start to move. 

Teams that are competing are almost always looking for bullpen depth.  That can spell doom for your closer or create a closer from a top-notch setup man.  Some closers just will change teams. 

Here is a list of closers that could be moved by the trade deadline and the teams that would either need them or be the best fit for them. NEXT ARTICLE, I'll cover why the teams mentioned will be requiring relief help.

1. Heath Bell, San Diego (19 saves, 2.70 ERA)

Bell has had another dominating season, but the Padres just aren't competing for another season.  At 32-44 and already 9.5 games out, they will be dealing and Heath Bell will be the primary target of many teams.  Bell has posted great numbers as expected with a 2.70 ERA and 19 saves. 

Bell would most likely go to a team needing a closer and Mike Adams is waiting in the wings to become the next closer for the Padres.  Let's not forget about Luke Gregerson either.

Teams he could go to: Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals.
New team closer totem pole: Mike Adams, Chad Qualls, Luke Gregerson

2. Francisco Rodriguez, New York Mets (19 saves, 3.18 ERA)

The Mets are playing well but are 10 games out and in a rebuilding year.  They want nothing more than to unload Rodriguez and should have no problem doing it.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, St. Louis.
New team closer totem pole: Pedro Beato, Jason Isringhausen

3. J.J. Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks (19 saves, 2.61 ERA)

Granted the Diamondbacks are playing great baseball and likely wouldn't move their closer J.J Putz, however stranger things have happened.  The Diamondbacks signed Putz to a two-year, $10 million deal with a $6.5 million option for 2013. 

I don't think Kevin Towers planned on keeping him two years, especially not three years.  So if the deal is right, I can see Kevin Towers dealing Putz, and if the Diamondbacks fade by July 31st, expect it.  Also note that the Diamondbacks have confidence in David Hernandez, a former starter who has closer stuff.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Detroit.
New team closer totem pole: David Hernandez, Juan Gutierrez

4. Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh Pirates (19 saves, 1.31 ERA)

Hanrahan is pitching out of this world for the Pirates this season.  The Pirates have no chance of going to to playoffs, even with being only three games back as of June 23.  If teams come calling for Hanrahan and I believe they will, the Pirates will move their All-Star closer for the right deal.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals.
New team closer totem pole: Jose Veras, Tony Watson, Evan Meek (DL)

5. Brian Fuentes, Oakland Athletics (12 saves, 4.59 ERA)

 Fuentes has had a resurgence this year.  Granted he hit some rough patches, he is still effective at closing and he is a lefty.  While I don't think he will be traded and become a closer, you never know.

He is a lefty and we know the Athletics love to trade veterans.  Also, Bailey is back and that makes Fuentes expendable.

Teams he could go to: Boston, Texas Rangers, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals.
New team closer totem pole: Andrew Bailey, Grant Balfour, Michael Wuertz

6. Fernando Rodney, Los Angeles Angels (three saves, 4.09 ERA)

 Rodney lost his job to rookie Jordan Walden and never regained it.  While the Angels still have a chance, Rodney doesn't figure in their future plans with the emergence of Walden.  

Not many teams will want Rodney, but any team that asks should get him for a cheap price.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers.
New team closer totem pole: Jordan Walden, Scott Downs

7. Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers (seven saves, 5.68 ERA)

 I don't think that Broxton will be traded this year.  Once he returns from injury, if he is effective he will stay.  If he's not and the Dodgers are fading, they will move him, assuming their are teams interested.  

Broxton could provide a playoff team with a strong setup man or closer.  He may need the change of scenery and a better pitching coach.

Teams he could go to: Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies,Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians
New team closer totem pole: Kenley Jansen, Javy Guerra

8. Carlos Marmol, Chicago Cubs (15 saves, 2.70 ERA)

 This one might sound crazy, but it's very possible.  The Cubs are 14 games under .500 and 10 games out of first place.  Marmol has pitched well this year, but the Cubs have an even better prospect closer behind Marmol in Sean Marshall.  

Last year Marshall posted great numbers with a 2.65 ERA and 90 Ks in 74.2 innings.  This season he has been even better with a 2,34 ERA and 35 Ks in 34 innings.    

If the Cubs want to continue rebuilding, cutting loose with Marmol might get them some top-notch prospects.

Teams he could go to: Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, Seattle, San Francisco Giants
New team closer totem pole: Sean Marshall, John Grabow

9. Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies (N/A)

 Brad Lidge has been out all season and is due back in July.  When he comes back things will be different.  The Phillies have a closer in Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo has been off the charts this year.  

There is really no spot for Lidge, and he likely won't be happy with whatever role he is given.  I think that he will be show cased and likely moved after he clears waivers.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants.
New team closer totem pole: Ryan Madson, Antonio Bastardo, Jose Contreras

10. Joakim Soria, Kansas City Royals (11 saves, 4.50 ERA)

Soria is in a contract year and not pitching well.  He will command high closer dollars in the offseason and the Royals won't be willing to pay it.  First, they just don't offer big contracts and secondly, they have Aaron Crow.  

Soria is likely gone as the Royals fade into the darkness of the AL Central basement.  Right now they are 31-43 and 9.5 games out.  Moving Soria makes sense for the Royals and I expect him gone sooner than later.  Whatever team trades for him will likely need to sign him to an extension.

Teams he could go to: New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies.
New team closer totem pole: Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Blake Wood

Others to consider being traded: Jon Rauch, Kevin Gregg, Brandon Lyon, David Aardsma.


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