MLB Trade Ideas Based on Latest Week 13 News, Rumors and Speculation
Sometimes, it's not the blockbuster trade but a seemingly insignificant one that winds up paying the most dividends for a contender down the stretch.
While the rumor mill is heating up in regards to the biggest names expected to be available as the trade deadline nears, much of the chatter is redundant. There's only one Cole Hamels, for example, so while there might be a dozen teams that Philadelphia's ace is linked to, only one is going to get him.
It's the players whom the rumor mill isn't paying quite as much attention to that we'll focus on this week, a group that includes former All-Stars, a future Hall of Fame inductee and some solid but underwhelming veterans.
It's important to remember that the teams we'd classify as buyers won't be the only clubs in the running to acquire a given player's services, so the packages proposed are not only geared toward being fair to both sides, but also to ensure that the seller takes a buyer's offer over the competition's.
Additionally, keep in mind that these proposed deals are only ideas and pure speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there's no indication that any of them have actually been discussed.
A Pair of Brewers for a Trio of Angels
Los Angeles Angels Get: 1B/DH Adam Lind and OF Gerardo Parra
Milwaukee Brewers Get: C Jett Bandy, RHP Jeremy Rhoades and RHP Nick Tropeano
Adam Lind and Gerardo Parra aren't perennial All-Stars whose presence strikes fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, but the pair of veterans fits exactly what Fox Sports' Jon Morosi reports the Angels are looking for: a left-handed bat with good on-base skills who can play designated hitter or left field.
Parra's .318 on-base percentage might not look impressive, but it would be the fifth highest among Angels regulars. A versatile defender who can provide terrific defense at all three outfield positions, he's a perfect fourth outfielder for the Angels to employ.
Lind, who MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez originally reported was on Los Angeles' radar, has been stellar against right-handed pitching this season, posting a .300/373/.517 slash line with 11 home runs and 34 RBI over 68 games.
With nearly $15 million in payroll to play with, per Gonzalez, the Angels will have no problem fitting the roughly $7 million that remains on the pair's deals for the rest of the year.
The Brewers add a MLB-ready starter in 24-year-old Nick Tropeano, a projected mid-rotation arm who isn't nearly as bad as his numbers in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League this season (5.11 ERA and 1.41 WHIP) suggest, as evidenced by a 3.52 FIP and 3.62 SIERA, per Minor League Central.
A defensively sound catcher with a strong throwing arm, Jett Bandy gives Milwaukee another option behind the plate when the team finally makes the decision to move Jonathan Lucroy to first base in an attempt to extend his prime. Like Tropeano, he's just about ready to contribute in the big leagues.
Taken in the fourth round of the 2014 draft, Jeremy Rhoades is more of a long-term project but has put forth an impressive showing so far as a professional, averaging just about a strikeout per inning while showing a knack for inducing ground balls, a talent that's always welcome at Miller Park.
Ichiro Returns to Seattle
Miami Marlins Get: 3B/1B/OF Jordy Lara and a player to be named later
Seattle Mariners Get: OF Ichiro Suzuki
Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times is absolutely serious when he suggests that the Mariners go out and bring Ichiro Suzuki back home, and it's got nothing to do with the club's recent decision to revisit its past with the hiring of Edgar Martinez as hitting coach.
"Ichiro lacks power but makes frequent contact, unlike many strikeout-prone Mariners," Baker said. "He also adds needed speed. … He’s a natural outfielder playing three positions. The Mariners have used too many converted infielders in the outfield and lack flexibility."
While he's not about to become the Ichiro of old, he could light enough of a spark atop Seattle's lineup to put some extra runs on the board and start chipping away at the sizable deficit the team faces in the hunt for a playoff spot. As unlikely as it may seem, the Mariners can still try and salvage the season.
Miami isn't going to just give Ichiro away, however, especially with the team needing his services now that Giancarlo Stanton is sidelined by a broken hand. But the chance to add an intriguing player like Jordy Lara is enough to motivate the Marlins to make a deal.
Lara, 24, owns a .268/.346/.455 career slash line with 67 home runs over parts of seven minor league seasons. While he can play first base and right field, he's a third baseman by trade and has a strong enough arm to stick at the position. But he's blocked in Seattle by Kyle Seager, making him expendable.
With Brian Anderson still a few years away from the big leagues and Martin Prado—if healthy—a likely trade candidate, Lara could be the team's short-term answer at the hot corner.
Jon Niese Gets Traded to the Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers Get: LHP Jon Niese
New York Mets Get: IF Alberto Callaspo
While the two sides aren't believed to have had substantial discussions, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers have interest in Mets southpaw Jon Niese. While he's not going to bring New York the impact bat that it desperately needs, Niese can still be used to obtain a useful player from Los Angeles.
Alberto Callaspo has rediscovered his stroke at the plate with the Dodgers, hitting .296 with a .747 OPS over 25 games. He'd be an upgrade over Dilson Herrera or Ruben Tejada, who have both struggled to produce at the plate, and with David Wright's uncertain return, he'd give the Mets some stability at third base.
Niese isn't a star, but he's a serviceable, experienced back-end arm who can eat some innings and keep the Dodgers in games, which is just what the club needs to bolster its rotation while saving its biggest trade chips for a front-line starter.
Toronto Adds the Pitching It Seeks
Oakland Athletics Get: LHP Matt Boyd, OF Dwight Smith Jr. and RHP Alberto Tirado
Toronto Blue Jays Get: RHP Tyler Clippard and LHP Scott Kazmir
Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos hasn't hid what his trade deadline agenda is—improving the pitching staff.
“We still need to make upgrades in the rotation and the bullpen, that goes without saying,” the Blue Jays GM told Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker on Sportsnet 590 The Fan (via Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith). “I’d love to land both.”
He can do just that in a deal with Oakland, adding veteran southpaw Scott Kazmir to the rotation and veteran reliever Tyler Clippard, who the Jays have previously expressed interest in, to the bullpen. We don't need to rehash what each brings to the table—it goes without saying they'd make Toronto better.
But the Blue Jays aren't going to be the only team trying to acquire both of them, so they'll have to send the A's a three-player package that some might consider overpaying for a pair of rentals.
Despite surrendering three home runs and nine hits in his MLB debut, Matt Boyd was impressive, striking out seven batters without issuing a walk over 6.2 innings of work. His four-pitch mix should find him a permanent spot in Oakland's rotation, but he could easily shift into a bullpen role if needed.
Dwight Smith Jr. has steadily worked his way through Toronto's farm system since being taken with the 53rd overall pick in the 2011 draft, currently playing at Double-A New Hampshire, where he's hitting .270 with a .700 OPS.
More of a doubles hitter than a home run threat, Smith has shown a good understanding of the strike zone, has enough speed to be a threat to take off running when he's on base and projects as a solid everyday left fielder when he reaches the majors, which could happen next year.
Alberto Tirado might have the most upside out of the bunch, but the 20-year-old is also the furthest away from contributing in the big leagues. The right-hander has an electric arm and a knack for missing bats, with 204 strikeouts over 218.1 minor league innings, but needs to work on his command.
L.J. Hoes Returns to Baltimore
Baltimore Orioles Get: OF L.J. Hoes
Houston Astros Get: RHP Tyler Wilson
This isn't a deal that's going to result in either team pulling away in its division, but it's one that helps fill a need on both clubs, even if only temporarily.
The Orioles are looking for help in left field and wouldn't mind reacquiring L.J. Hoes, according to a report from the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich, while the Astros have been on the hunt for reinforcements in the rotation—preferably another front-line starter to pair with Dallas Keuchel.
Tyler Wilson most definitely isn't that starter, but the 25-year-old right-hander has been a reliable arm across parts of five minor league seasons, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He made his MLB debut earlier this season, allowing four earned runs and 18 hits over 17 innings of work.
Hoes, originally part of the package Baltimore sent Houston for Bud Norris, has been tearing up Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .335/.417/.466 slash line but has nowhere to play in Houston, making him an expendable piece.
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