MLB Trade Ideas Based on Week 18 News, Rumors and Speculation

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2016

MLB Trade Ideas Based on Week 18 News, Rumors and Speculation

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    Trade season is officially upon us, and with less than a week to go until baseball's August 1 non-waiver trade deadline arrives, things are sure to pick up.

    We've already seen one big trade go down this week, with the Chicago Cubs acquiring closer Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees for a package that included the team's top prospect, shortstop Gleyber Torres.

    If you're receiving MLB trade rumor notifications on B/R's Team Stream app, then you've already heard the news from Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal that the San Diego Padres have agreed to send outfielder Melvin Upton Jr. to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for a Single-A prospect. If you're not, well, what are you waiting for?

    What follows are trade ideas based on the latest chatter from the rumor mill. Some of these we touched upon briefly on Monday, while others haven't yet been explored. 

    Keep in mind that these proposed deals are pure speculation. Unless otherwise noted, there's no indication that any of them have actually been discussed.

Wade Miley Gets Traded to the Miami Marlins

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    Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

    Miami Gets: LHP Wade Miley

    Seattle Gets: LHP Raudel Lazo and RHP Drew Steckenrider

    The Rumor/Speculation

    The Seattle Mariners' Wade Miley is among the starting pitchers the Miami Marlins are considering, according to a tweet from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, who added that the Marlins have previously shown interest in the southpaw.

    Why It Makes Sense for Miami

    Wade Miley has been a disappointment in Seattle, posting a 5.23 ERA and 1.42 WHIP while allowing 18 home runs over 18 starts. But he does have a track record of success as an innings-eater, something the Marlins desperately need.

    From 2012 to 2015, Miley pitched to a 3.92 ERA and 1.32 WHIP for Arizona and Boston, averaging 198 frames per season.

    A return to the National League could help him get back to that level of production. If he does, his $8.9 million salary for 2017 and $12 million team option for 2018 will be a relative bargain for the Marlins.

    Why It Makes Sense for Seattle

    With Taijuan Walker expected back from a foot injury sooner than later and former Dodgers prospect Zach Lee biding his time in the minors, the Mariners can afford to part with Miley, who has done little to help the team's chances of contending in 2016.

    Seattle winds up with a pair of intriguing relievers in this deal, 27-year-old Raudel Lazo and 25-year-old Drew Steckenrider.

    Lazo attacks the strike zone with a sinking, low-90s fastball that generates a fair share of ground balls, while Steckenrider's stuff has played up since he moved out of the rotation. He's pitched to a 1.14 ERA and 0.66 WHIP with 56 strikeouts over 39.1 innings across two minor league levels this season.

Hector Santiago Gets Traded to the Baltimore Orioles

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    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Los Angeles Gets: LHP Chris Lee and 3B Jomar Reyes

    Baltimore Gets: LHP Hector Santiago

    The Rumor/Speculation

    Teams have been calling Los Angeles about southpaw Hector Santiago, and the Angels are willing to listen to offers, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Two unnamed executives floated Baltimore, Miami and the New York Mets as possible suitors to Crasnick.

    Why It Makes Sense for Baltimore

    The Orioles' rotation has been one of baseball's least impressive, with a combined 4.89 ERA and 1.45 WHIP that would look far worse were it not for Chris Tillman's 3.18 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.

    Santiago isn't more than a back-of-the-rotation arm, but he's capable of eating innings and keeping things close enough for Baltimore's offense and bullpen to finish off the opposition. Under team control for another year, the 28-year-old is more than a short-term rental.

    Why it Makes Sense for Los Angeles

    The Angels land a pair of prospects to help build up what Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter ranks as the worst farm system in baseball.

    Named one of the 10 best third base prospects in baseball by MLB.com, 19-year-old Jomar Reyes is still a few years away from contributing in the majors. But he has the arm strength and developing power to stick at the hot corner, with a chance to hit for average as he refines his approach at the plate.

    Chris Lee doesn't have overpowering stuff which might play up in a relief role, but the 23-year-old has the arsenal to become a reliable, innings-eating, back-of-the-rotation arm, much like Santiago.

Wade Davis Gets Traded to the Washington Nationals

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    Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    Kansas City Gets: OF Victor Robles, RHPs A.J. Cole, Erick Fedde, Koda Glover and Austin Voth

    Washington Gets: RHP Wade Davis

    The Rumor/Speculation

    The Kansas City Royals are looking for a better deal for Wade Davis than the one the New York Yankees got from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Aroldis Chapman, per ESPN.com's Jayson Stark.

    Why It Makes Sense for Kansas City

    The Royals exhausted much of their pitching depth with last season's trades for Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist. That's a big reason why it looks increasingly unlikely that the team will be able to defend its crown this season.

    With teams paying a premium for elite relievers and Wade Davis under team control for only one more season, Kansas City has an opportunity to reload for 2017 and beyond by trading the two-time All-Star.

    In this deal, the Royals walk away with a pair of top-100 prospects (per MLB.com) in Erick Fedde and Victor Robles. While neither one figures to contribute until the second half of 2017 (at the earliest), both have significant upside—Fedde as a front-of-the-rotation arm, Robles as a multi-tool outfielder.

    A.J. Cole and Austin Voth would be viable contenders for a rotation spot in Kansas City next spring, with both projecting as reliable, mid-rotation innings eaters. Koda Glover has the stuff and makeup to thrive as a late-inning reliever in the big leagues, becoming a focal point of a new "big three" for the Royals.

    Why It Makes Sense for Washington

    Having never advanced past the divisional series in their two trips to the playoffs since moving to Washington, the Nationals can't afford another early exit from the postseason—or to miss out on the playoffs altogether.

    Davis would not only be an upgrade over Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning but would also provide stability in the role for next season, with Papelbon set to depart as a free agent in a few months.

    While it's a steep price for the Nationals to pay for a relief pitcher, the club has the pitching depth to absorb such a loss, with top prospects Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez still in the mix.

Chris Sale Gets Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Chicago Gets: C Austin Barnes, RHP Frankie Montas, LHP Julio Urias, OF Alex Verdugo

    Los Angeles Gets: LHP Chris Sale

    The Rumor/Speculation

    Sources told Joel Sherman of the New York Post that the Los Angeles Dodgers are willing to include prized pitching prospect Julio Urias in a deal for Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale.

    Why It Makes Sense for Chicago

    While I predicted that Chris Sale would wind up in Texas—which remains a possibility—the White Sox can't pass up the opportunity to add a premier pitching prospect like Urias, who has the makings of a future ace.

    His numbers in limited playing time with the Dodgers aren't overly impressive—a 4.69 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in nine starts—but he's fanned 48 batters over 40.1 big league innings and is only 19 years old. That experience is only going to help his development going forward.

    Austin Barnes is versatile enough to play multiple positions but fits Chicago best as its catcher of the future, while Alex Verdugo can play all three outfield positions and projects to hit for average and power in the majors.

    Frankie Montas, who the White Sox included in the three-team deal to acquire third baseman Todd Frazier, returns to Chicago's south side. Questions about whether he's best suited for the rotation or bullpen linger, but the 23-year-old's fastball remains a big-time weapon.

    Why It Makes Sense for Los Angeles

    With Clayton Kershaw sidelined by a herniated disc in his back that could require season-ending surgery, adding another ace is the only logical move for the Dodgers.

    Sale isn't Kershaw—nobody is—but the 27-year-old would give the Dodgers an ace if Kershaw is unable to return this season and a second ace to pair alongside him, like Zack Greinke did last season, if and when Kershaw is able to get back on the mound.

    Additionally, Sale is under team control through 2019, providing the Dodgers with some insurance should Kershaw opt out of his contract and depart as a free agent after the 2018 season.

Edinson Volquez Gets Traded to the Texas Rangers

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Kansas City Gets: LHP Yohander Mendez and RHP Pedro Payano

    Texas Gets: RHP Edinson Volquez

    The Rumor/Speculation

    The Texas Rangers are interested in a reunion with Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

    Why It Makes Sense For Kansas City

    As was the case in the Wade Davis deal, the Royals add more pitching depth to the organization with a pair of intriguing 21-year-old starters.

    Yohander Mendez has put up impressive numbers across three minor league levels this season, pitching to a 2.71 ERA and 1.08 WHIP with 92 strikeouts over 79.2 innings of work. He has the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter and is just about ready to contribute in the big leagues.

    Pedro Payano needs more minor league seasoning than Mendez and lacks a true plus offering, but his three quality pitches, along with the deception in his delivery, give him a chance to develop into a solid big league starter.

    Why it Makes Sense For Texas

    Edinson Volquez returns to the team with which he began his big league career back in 2005. While he hasn't been nearly as good as he was a year ago, the 33-year-old has proved to be a durable innings-eater over the course of his career, something an injury-depleted Rangers rotation sorely needs.

    His performance (4.56 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) and pending free agency make him a far less costly acquisition than some of the other starters the Rangers have been linked to over the past few weeks.

    Unless otherwise noted, all statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com and current through July 25. All contract information courtesy of Cot's Contracts (via Baseball Prospectus).

    Hit me up on Twitter to talk all things baseball: @RickWeinerBR.

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