MLB Trade Rumors: 2 Guys Each Sinking Seller Will Look to Deal
The 2011 MLB trade market is clicking into high gear this week, and there is—as expected—a growing frenzy of rumors and possible deals to cover.
Today, I’m going to look at two players from each of the “sinking” teams of the league and the latest rumors and news surrounding their fates.
Remember, even though some of the players may have no-trade clauses, it doesn't mean a deal still won't be done, only that the bargaining will either be harder and come equipped with certain restrictions.
Let’s take a look.
Baltimore Orioles: Jeremy Guthrie – SP
Believe it or not, Guthrie is technically the best trade chip the O’s have, and that’s with a 3-13 record and a 4.45 ERA.
Guthrie can still throw a lot of heat (80:36 BB:K ratio) and could be a perfect fit for a team looking to add a solid arm in the bullpen, like the Rangers?
The Rangers have a lot of younger arms—pitching is what Baltimore wants in return for Guthrie—but whether or not the Rangers are even interested in a guy like Guthrie is yet to be seen.
Baltimore Orioles: Adam Jones – OF
While the likelihood is small on a trade involving Adam Jones, the idea isn’t all that far fetched.
The Orioles have a nice bargaining chip with Jones who has consistently hit .270 or better since coming to Baltimore, and he has already pulled to within four home runs shy of his 2009 and 2010 totals of 19.
Jon Heyman on Twitter has named Jones as one player the Orioles have received calls about in recent days.
Again, the chances here are slim at best, and if it were up to me, I would try and deal away Lee now, for a quality upgrade at first.
Chris Davis, anyone?
Kansas City Royals: Melky Cabrera – OF
Cabrera has got to be the biggest trade chip in Kansas City right now, but the Royals are not making it easy to acquire his services.
The Royals want a ton in return, specifically a “near ready arm” reports Jerry Crasnick on Twitter.
The problem here is whether or not teams believe a player who traditionally is not a good second-half hitter is worth such a distinguished trade designation.
Cabrera is currently hitting .293 with 11 homers and 52 RBI, which does make him somewhat attractive.
Kansas City Royals: Jeff Francoeur – OF
Another player the Royals are willing to market but want that near ready arm in return for is Jeff Francoeur.
Francoeur says he wants to stay in Kansas City (Kansas City Star) and is even hoping for a possible two- or three-year deal, which sounds like a comment made out of hopeful desperation, rather than actual expected fact.
Since the rumor of the Royals possibly dealing him and/or Cabrera, Francoeur has hit .296 to go along with two home runs and 11 RBI in what appears to be a rebound from his .235 average in June, an average that hasn’t helped his case to remain a Royal.
Oakland Athletics: Josh Willingham – OF
Willingham has been a pretty hot name considering most people have already forgotten he plays in Oakland this year.
The Phillies have been mention as a possible suitor, albeit unlikely, but the Pirates have also been mentioned which adds some intrigue.
The Pirates need a serviceable option in the outfield that could serve as a possible upgrade over Matt Diaz and Garrett Jones and Willingham would be a real nice option to fill that role.
Oakland Athletics: Andrew Bailey – RP or Trevor Cahill – SP
In order for a deal to even be considered for Bailey—and they are getting calls— the A’s would have to be overwhelmed by the return.
The Texas Rangers are one team that is significantly interested says one news source, but it is unlikely that the A’s will deal him at all.
Trevor Cahill holds more value in regard to what the A’s would likely look for in return—a good solid bat—and the A’s are unlikely to have a team come along and “wow” them with a deal for Bailey, even Texas.
Chicago Cubs: Ryan Dempster – SP
Ryan Dempster has been a Cubs player whose name has gained some steam in the rumor mill, but there are some conflicting outlooks here.
Manager Jim Hendry has said he has zero interest in trading Dempster and fellow pitcher Matt Garza, but Hendry could get the boot himself.
The Cubs would shed some payroll with Dempster, and the team has said in the past they are open for business, so a trade consideration to fill other needy areas is not technically out of the question.
Dempster is currently 7-6 with a 4.68 ERA, but more importantly, he’s gone 3-2 with a 2.86 ERA since June adding to his potential value.
Chicago Cubs: Aramis Ramirez – 3B
The market for third baseman this year is pretty darn thin, and the Cubs have been rumored for a while to possibly try and deal Ramirez, which would be the right thing to do.
It would shave a little bit in payroll, possibly clear the way for Jeff Baker—who the team is very high on, and has made a part of their long-term plans—and act as a great trade chip.
The going rumor was he would be dealt to the Yankees due to A-Rod’s injury—Ty Wigginton is a more likely solution—and the claimed decline of Derek Jeter, but I don’t see that happening.
It is worthy to note that Ramirez does have a full no-trade clause and doesn’t want to be traded, but the clause is usually nothing more than a leverage tool, which would come in handy for a player who has a $16 million 2012 club option that vests upon a trade.
Houston Astros: Hunter Pence – OF
Ed Wade Jr. is on his way out the door, the Astros could wind up moving to the AL under the proposed league re-alignment, and Hunter Pence could act as a huge trade chip for Houston.
Pence is a solid outfielder who is also hitting .321/.363/.489 with 11 homeruns and 61 RBI.
There are plenty of teams in need of a solid outfielder—namely Pittsburgh who has been named as an interested team—and the Astros will be looking for a continuation of the re-build process.
For the right price, the Astros could be dealing Pence, sooner than you might think.
Houston Astros: Wandy Rodriguez – SP
Believe it kids, his name is on the table for anyone interested, but the Astros are asking for as much in return for Rodriguez as the Rockies are for Ubaldo Jimenez, reports Peter Gammons on MLB.com.
This team has so much to accomplish, and the trade market is where it has to AT LEAST begin. They need to get younger, add more depth and find quality position players.
The only way that happens is by dealing away their best trade chips, and with a change in ownership and possible management, the Astros have quite possibly the largest hill to climb of any other MLB team.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Hiroki Kuroda – SP
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo!, the Dodgers are “getting a lot of play” regarding Kuroda.
Boston, New York (Yankees), Detroit, Cincinnati and Colorado are just a few names that have said to be interested in Kuroda’s services.
It is, however, noteworthy to mention that Kuroda is rumored to not be willing to accept a trade to an East Coast team.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Jamey Carroll – SS
Teams should be quickly getting in line for the non-waiver Dodgers’ short stop, Jamey Carroll.
Carroll—37—is hitting .289/.359/.356 and is owed roughly a low-cost cool $1 million, which adds to the intrigue of teams looking for a backup SS.
Back in June it was reported that the Rockies were showing interest, but to date, nothing has materialized.
San Diego Padres: Heath Bell – RP
It’s no secret that the Padres are looking to deal Heath Bell, alongside fellow relievers Chad Qualls and Mike Adams.
There are three teams in particular that could wind up being a landing spot for Bell: Philadelphia, Texas and New York (Yanks).
The Rangers are filled with prospects and cash but seem unlikely to acquire Bell and the Yankees are always a possibility considering their ability to buy, buy, buy.
But Buster Olney on Twitter has reported that the Philadelphia Phillies are considered the front-runners in the race for Bell.
Acquiring Bell would help the Phils in the respect that they could finally move Ryan Madson back to his setup role.
San Diego Padres: Ryan Ludwick – OF
Another hot player drawing significant interest in outfielder Ryan Ludwick, but most Padres’ fans already know this to be true.
Ludwick’s stay in San Diego hasn’t been exactly what the Padres’ were hoping for, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t viewed as a potential bat for some needy teams.
Buster Olney on Twitter has reported that Boston is one team that has asked about Ryan Ludwick, but I have also heard that Philadelphia was another team kicking the tires on him as well.
That’s about it, guys. I hope you found this information useful for you fantasy fans come check out the Fantasy Relevance of the aforementioned if you’re interested.