MLB Trade Scenarios: Top Starters Likely to Be Available at the Deadline
The MLB trade deadline brings excitement each summer as contenders try to improve their team while pretenders look to the future.
The saying in baseball is that you can't have too much pitching, so starting pitchers are always at high demand around the deadline.
An elite starting pitcher can be the difference in reaching the postseason or making a run at a World Series Championship.
Cliff Lee was traded at the deadline to the Texas Rangers a few years ago and led them all the way to the World Series.
There doesn't appear to be a pitcher on Lee's level, but there are good pitchers that should become available by the deadline.
Let's take a look at some of the top starting pitchers who could help your baseball team get to the next level.
1. Jake Peavy
The Jake Peavy trade has not worked out for the Chicago White Sox, and they will listen to offers at the trade deadline.
Peavy has not started more than 30 games in either of the past two full seasons with the White Sox and has pitched poorly in the few starts he's made. Last season Peavy neared an average of five earned runs a start.
Peavy has gotten off to a good start in 2012 and have the White Sox tied for first place.
However, a couple factors should lead toward Peavy being traded. The White Sox should eventually falter in the division to the supremely talented Detroit Tigers.
Combine that with the team's $22 million option at the end of the year, and teams will be willing to gamble the old Peavy is back.
The White Sox can clear up some cap space and pick up some prospects while a contender could add a spark to their rotation.
2. Wandy Rodriguez
Wandy Rodriguez is an above average pitcher who pitches for a terrible team.
Rodriguez has kept his earned run average around three runs a game since 2008 and has gotten off to a good start this season despite his 1-2 record.
Rodriguez is no stranger to the trade rumors but his contract this year and $13 million contract for 2013 has kept him in Houston.
The Astros dumped Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn at last year's deadline, and this will be the year they send Rodriguez on his way.
The 33-year-old left-hander is not getting any younger, and the Astros are clearly looking toward the future.
The Astros aren't going to compete for the playoffs this year and should unload Rodriguez for more prospects.
A contending team with pitching needs would be crazy not to come calling for Rodriguez this summer.
3. Brandon McCarthy
People are well-aware of the buy low and sell high approach used in the Oakland Athletics' organization.
Nobody on the A's is safe, and that includes right-hander Brandon McCarthy. The A's have especially been quick to unload starting pitchers such as Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder and Joe Blanton.
McCarthy is in the final year of his contract and has been a solid pitcher during his time with Oakland.
McCarthy only won nine games last season but had an ERA of 3.32. In three starts this year he hasn't recorded a win but has a respectable 3.38 ERA.
McCarthy recorded 123 strikeouts to just 25 walks last season. He's a steady pitcher who could be a decent middle of the order guy in a contender's rotation.
McCarthy's name will be thrown around this summer.
4. Bartolo Colon
Sticking with the Oakland organization, but turning to a veteran pitcher who would bring experience to a team during a playoff run.
The 40-year-old Bartolo Colon has bounced around his career but is still proving he can get major league hitters out.
Colon has an ERA of 2.62 in five starts this season and threw an incredible 38 straight strikes in a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Colon has to throw strikes and precisely locate his pitches now that he's at the end of his career.
Colon signed just a one-year contract with the A's and would be an easy player to move.
Colon is a veteran pitcher who teams will be intrigued by in the next few months.
5. Jair Jurrjens
Jair Jurrjens seemed to be heading toward being an elite pitcher in the National League just last season.
He led the league in ERA and pitched in the All-Star game for the Atlanta Braves.
However, this season has been rough for Jurrjens who just got optioned to Triple-A after last night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jurrjens suffered a knee injury in 2011, which still may be bothering him.
It would be a low-risk trade at this point as his trade value has plummeted, and the Braves have a plethora of young pitchers.
The Braves have guys that can come in and replace Jurrjens while teams could pick up a pitcher who has shown No. 1 potential for a low price.
A potential trade involving Jurrjens would not make a huge splash, but is one that is intriguing that could potentially prove to be a steal.