MLB Players That Will Be Shipped By The Trade Deadline
July 31st is a day most major league fans look forward to. It could possibly be categorized as the most hectic 24 hours in baseball. On the last day of July, we reach the trade deadline. This is the time we find out which teams are making a push for the playoffs and who is preparing for 2015. Afterward, new jerseys are made and the landscape of some clubs drastically change.
Many blockbuster deals have gone down in the deadline’s history. Mark McGwire was acquired by the St. Louis Cardinals from the Oakland A’s in 1997 for Eric Ludwick, T.J. Matthews, and Blake Stein. The LA Dodgers landed Manny Ramirez in 2008. The Milwaukee Brewers traded the now All-Star Michael Brantley for two months of CC Sabathia (not a bad two months though) in 2008 as well.
2014 should prove no different from past years. Many teams feel they are one or two solid players away from an October appearance. Others are led to believe they have no chance in 2014 and will trade their top tier players for future, prospective stars. The following players should be traded not only for their personal benefit, but for the sake of their team’s future.
Cole Hamels– One of the biggest names on the block this year, Hamels definitely remains one of baseball’s top pitchers. The Philadelphia Phillies are dead last in the average NL East. The core of the team is aged and their farm system is one of the worst. Cole is one of the last assets the Phillies have right now and shouldn’t be afraid to part ways with him. When you take into consideration his remaining contract ($109 million over 5 years), it even seems like the best option. The Phillies need to rebuild, even though they carry a critical, win now fan base. Picking up a few solid prospects and clearing about 50 million in cap space (The Phils would need to pick up half of his remaining contract) wouldn’t be such a bad deal.
Possible landing spots- Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals, Toronto Blue Jays
Cliff Lee– The Phillies will likely be the most active sellers at the deadline, so don’t be surprised if Lee ends up with a different team. Lee will provide short-term support for a team needing a 2 or 3 starter, especially in the playoffs. However, his age will deter some from pursuing him. Lee is owed $25 million next season, not something the Phillies will be thrilled to pay if they fail to put a winning team on the field next year. Though Lee won’t bring in top notch talent, he is certainly worth someone’s top ten prospect.
Possible landing spots- Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees
David Price– Price’s time with the Tampa Bay Rays will be coming to a close soon. Price has expressed his interest in being traded and will most likely not sign another contract with the Rays. This isn’t a bad time to trade David, as his value is sky-high considering the success he is having so far in 2014. This could be the trade of the decade if it were to go down in the coming weeks. Having Price in your rotation almost guarantees at least 15 wins a season, so any team with stuff to give will certainly be willing to give it. Expect a thrilling sequence when that time comes.
Possible landing spots- Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays
James Shields– Shields is the same pitcher he was in Tampa Bay, if not better. However, in his time with the Kansas City Royals, they still haven’t made the playoffs, which is the reason Wil Myers was traded. On top of this, it doesn’t seem like Shields wants to return once his contract expires. It is a shame considering what the Royals could put on the field in a few years, but it is his career. James still has three or four quality years in him, so he is a hot commodity for basically any team. Those who want to make the playoffs this year will find more value in him than teams like the Houston Astros or Chicago Cubs.
Possible landing spots- Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays
Some players won’t be traded this year, despite growing interest in said players. This may be for personal reasons or unforeseen plans by the franchise. Here are a few that won’t be suiting up for different teams the last two months of the season.
Jimmy Rollins– The Phillies definitely want to trade Rollins. Not because he’s unproductive or a nuisance in the clubhouse, but because they want him to play for a team that will actually win by the time he retires. Unfortunately, Rollins has a no-trade clause in his contract and won’t waive it off. It seems Rollins wants to finish off his career in Philly, which you can’t blame him for wanting.
Chase Utley– The Phillies are active not only because of the guys that might be traded, but also for the ones that won’t be. Utley is in the same boat as Rollins. He has been in Philly for his entire career and wants it to stay that way. Utley is an all-star this year, so there is still value in him if minds do, in fact, change.
Max Scherzer– Scherzer has climbed tremendously in the last season and a half. His 2013 Cy Young along with his fantastic start to 2014 makes him an interesting target for trades. However, the Detroit Tigers are in contention for another playoff run and Max will certainly lead the rotation in October. Plus, contract talks will resume once the season ends, so he may end up in Detroit for quite a while.
Matt Kemp– The LA Dodgers have an abundance of outfielders. Yasiel Puig resides in right, Carl Crawford plays right, Kemp mans center, and Andre Ethier falls wherever they need him to. The Dodgers are well equipped to take the National League with what they have now, but why have so many quality outfielders? Third base is a position of need in LA, so why not at least attempt to get one by the 31st? Puig will be considered untouchable and there isn’t much value left in Crawford. That leaves two. Kemp has been mentioned to be on the market, but if the Dodgers are smart, (which I don’t doubt for a second they are) they will try to trade Ethier first. Kemp, if he returns to 2012 form, could be a 30/30 guy. If talks fall through with Ethier, then possibly consider Kemp, but I don’t see this scenario occurring.