2011 MLB Trade Deadline: 10 Best Pitchers Who Could Still Be Available
With just a few days left before Major League Baseball's second trade deadline, teams finding themselves out of contention are beginning to expose their players to the waiver-wire in an effort to possibly work out a deal for future value.
Most contenders have at least some weaknesses on their rosters that can possibly be addressed by making such a deal.
Here are some impact pitchers that might be calling a new team home before the deadline passes.
Bruce Chen has played for a number of teams during his career, so another destination certainly wouldn't faze the Kansas City Royals lefty.
Chen is 8-5 in 17 starts this season with an ERA just above 4.00.
His experience in the league could solidify the back end of a rotation with question marks heading into the home stretch.
Wandy Rodriguez has been in trade talks since early this summer and has been linked to many contending ballclubs.
His salary is high enough to deter some teams, but he is undoubtedly one of the top pitching talents whose name is being thrown around.
A 9-9 record with a 3.31 ERA in 23 starts could just be enough to get a team over the hump in a short opening playoff series.
Much like Rodriguez, Barry Zito's salary may deter teams from calling San Francisco.
Zito's time in San Francisco hasn't exactly gone as planned, as his 43-61 record with the Giants and an ERA more than a run higher than in Oakland have derailed his namesake.
Still, he has dominating stuff when he's on and may be able to contribute in October.
Rich Harden nearly changed teams before the July 31 trade deadline, and may have another shot at switching up jerseys before August 31.
Health concerns deterred the Boston Red Sox from taking on the Oakland righty and an attempt from the Indians to bring in Harden also fell through. The A's placed Harden on waivers just over a week ago.
Harden is 4-2 this season with a 3.91 ERA and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
Another name that was constantly in trade talks throughout July, Heath Bell would be a great backend member for any contending team's bullpen.
His 34 saves are fourth in the National League and the 33-year-old would certainly love to play meaningful games this fall as he looks to further his position towards a new offseason contract.
After a 17-win season in 2010 in which Bronson Arroyo compiled a 3.88 ERA, the 2011 season has been a relative disappointment for the Reds pitcher.
Arroyo is 7-10 this season with an ERA over 5.00—a full run higher than his career average.
He doesn't strike out many batters but doesn't walk many either, which is imperative during postseason play.
After playing for six teams during his 10 years in the majors, Rodrigo Lopez may be running short on time.
Lopez has however won two of his last three decisions and when he's on, he has the talent to compete in this league.
A team would likely be able to acquire him with very little struggle and could fit him in somewhere on their roster.
At 28 years old, Jason Vargas still has plenty of good years left in his arm.
Despite a 2011 season that has seen his career ERA jump over last year, Vargas has enough pitches to propel his way into a rotation should the Mariners decide to deal him.
The Mariners may look to keep Vargas around as he'll still be under team control past this season, but if the right team comes calling and the proper package presents itself, a deal may get done.
The $33 million contract that Ted Lilly is currently playing under is likely above his market value, and with a Dodgers team still willing to shed payroll it probably wouldn't take a lot to get a deal done.
Lilly is 14-17 in his two seasons with the Dodgers after a 47-34 record in four seasons with the Cubs.
This likely being the last significant contract that Lilly pitches with, he'd be well-suited to perform up to his abilities and help solidify a true contender's rotation.
A recent demotion to the bullpen has been a telling sign in the struggles that Tom Gorzelanny has encountered throughout the 2011 season.
The Washington Nationals are looking to make a move towards competing in this league with a good base and some strong prospects, so they may look to move on from the 29-year-old left hander in hopes of getting a prospect or two in return.