MLB Trade Talks: Possible Players Who Might Be On The Move

by Marc Keller | Posted on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
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Justin Morneau

With the trade deadline a little less than 2 months away, front offices are now starting to seriously evaluate how good their team really is.  While front offices are always looking to improve upon their club at any time during the season, it increasingly becomes more important as the trade deadline approaches and the playoff and division races begin to heat up and become clearer.  This time of year puts a lot of players on notice, as at any moment they could be on the phone with their agent asking for real estate referrals because they will be looking for a new rental property.

But before we can start to talk about players who may be on the move at the trade deadline, we first should evaluate all the teams and categorize them as potential buyers, potential sellers, standing pat, and tough decisions.   Below is that list:

Potential Buyers – These are the teams who will be looking to add a veteran player or two to strengthen their ball club for a playoff or division run:

New York Yankees

Boston Red Sox

Baltimore Orioles

Detroit Tigers

Texas Rangers

Washington Nationals

Atlanta Braves

Cincinnati Reds

San Francisco Giants

Arizona Diamondbacks

Potential Sellers – These are the teams who are looking into the future and will look to move a veteran player for a prospect or two:

Minnesota Twins

Chicago White Sox

Seattle Mariners

Houston Astros

New York Mets

Miami Marlines

Chicago Cubs

Milwaukee Brewers

San Diego Padres

Standing Pat – These are the teams who may or may not be involved in a playoff or division race, but will stand pat and not trade any of their players or prospects; as either there is no need to, they have no one teams would want, or they can’t afford to trade any one:

Los Angeles Angels

Oakland A’s

Kansas City Royals

Toronto Blue Jays

St. Louis Cardinals

Los Angeles Dodgers

Tough Decisions – These are the teams who have to make the tough decision of determining whether or not their team is good enough to contend in a playoff or division race, and want to either be buyers or sellers:

Tampa Bay Rays

Cleveland Indians

Philadelphia Phillies

Pittsburgh Pirates

Colorado Rockies

Now that we have our list, we can start to identify “buyer” team’s needs and which players from the “seller” teams who may be on the move.

The first and obvious place to start is pitching.  No matter how good you think your starting pitching or relief pitching is you can always use more pitching.  There is always a spot on a roster for a good starting pitcher or relief pitcher on a playoff contending team.  Here are some of the pitchers who may be targeted:

Starting Pitchers:

Jason Marquis, Padres

Yovani Gallardo, Brewers

Matt Garza, Cubs

Ricky Nolasco, Marlins

Erik Bedard, Astros

Joe Saunders, Mariners

John Danks, White Sox

Kevin Correia, Twins

Relief Pitchers:

Huston Street, Padres

Kevin Gregg, Cubs

Carlos Marmol, Cubs

Jose Veras, Astros

The Yankees, Orioles, and Rangers will undoubtedly be in the market for starting pitching help and they have the prospects in their farm system to go after someone like a Gallardo, Garza, or Nolasco.  The Giants and Red Sox could also use one more starting pitcher; however the need for one of the bigger names is not necessary.  Someone like a Marquis, Bedard, Saunders, Danks, and Correia would be perfect for them and wouldn’t cost them the high-end talented prospect they can’t afford to trade away.

Again, everyone in the “buyer” category could use an extra bullpen arm, but not necessarily a closer.  If you are a team in the playoff hunt, odds are that you already have an established closer.  The Tigers, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox are the only teams who closers situations are still not completely solidified, but for the most past stable at the moment.  The trade deadline is the time of year where you see closers on bad teams get traded to a contending team and their role changes from a closer to an excellent set-up man.  That is what will eventually happen to guys like Street, Gregg, Marmol, and Veras.


Alfonso Soriano, Cubs

Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

Carlos Quentin, Padres

Juan Pierre, Marlins

Carlos Pena, Astros

Raul Ibanez, Mariners

Adam Dunn, White Sox

Justin Morneau, Twins

Josh Willingham, Twins

Every trade deadline you will see at least one, starting, good hitting position player get dealt.  Last season we saw OF’s Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino traded from the Phillies.  The year before that, we saw OF Carlos Beltran traded from the Mets.  And in those trades, it cost the receiving team a good amount of quality prospects for their services.  This year’s top hitting candidate: Ramirez of the Brewers.  I can see the Braves and Reds making a strong push to acquire Ramirez as they both have needs and openings in their starting lineup for a 3B.  It would cost them a wealth of good-to-top prospects, but if it brings you closer to possibly winning the World Series, it is worth it?  That is why these GM’s and front offices get paid the big bucks to make these decisions.  Besides, if you aren’t going to play your prospects, might as well move them for a player who will play and contribute right now.

All the rest of the hitters on the list would have a hard time finding a regular starter gig on any of the “buyer” teams.  Teams could use Soriano, Quentin, or Willingham to solidify their OF, but they are a hindrance defensively and for a National League team who can’t DH them, they are platoon OF’s at best in the NL.  The Giants and Rangers could go after these guys to play a corner OF position, but are they worth a good prospect?  Juan Pierre is someone who will land with a team, as there is always a need for speed (nice Top Gun reference), and some team will get him strictly to pitch-run late in games, a la Dave Roberts with the Red Sox.  Look what that got them?  The rest, with the exception of maybe Morneau, would be platoon situation players or late-inning pitch-hit candidates.  I can see Morneau being dealt to the Yankees and them then moving Mark Teixeira strictly to DH.

As always, it should be an exciting next couple of months.

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Marc Keller
About the Author

Marc Keller is a Senior Writer for Baseball Hot Corner. His three greatest loves in life are his wife, son, and the San Francisco Giants. You can follow and banter with him on Twitter @mrarmchair.

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