Trade Deadline 2013: Buyers

Deal
The SDI Staff continues to keep an eye on the deadline, this time asking the question – who are the buyers?

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#1 Texas 

Kind of obvious, but here goes:

“Texas has once again positioned itself as a contender, but this version has a few more holes and a lot more competition within the division than in years past.  Signing a 41 year old Manny Ramirez should be a pretty obvious signal that the team could use another bat with DH Lance Berkman struggling to stay healthy and productive.  The club has gotten very little out of LF David Murphy and utility-man Jurickson Profar has contributed only a line of .235/.309/.346. Combine that type of production with the uncertainty of Nelson Cruz’s BioGenesis situation, and the need for a bat becomes even more highlighted.

In addition to a bat, Texas also needs a shot in the arm of the rotation.  As it stands right now, the list of injured Ranger starters might compare pretty favorably around the league when compared to most teams’ healthy rotations.  With Ogando and Lewis starting rehab assignments, one solid addition to the rotation could provide the team with what it needs to make their push to take the division.”

— Robert Pike

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#2 Baltimore

“Just when you thought Baltimore couldn’t possibly add any more former Rangers, they acquire Scott Feldman from the Cubs.  Baltimore has ridden the bat of Chris Davis to a record of 53-43 (4.5 back of Boston) and are looking to make the play-offs for the second consecutive year.

Baltimore is strong in the OF with the trio of Nate McLouth, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, but could really use a DH, as Nolan Reimold has contributed only a .195/.250/.336 slash in his 140 plate appearances.

Even with the addition of Scott Feldman, the Orioles may still be in the market for another starting pitcher as well, as they look to capitalize on Chris Davis’ MVP-candidate-type year.” 

–Robert Pike

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#3 Boston

“The Red Sox did not waste time getting to the top of the AL East standings. They’ve stayed on top the whole way and have staved off the Baltimore Orioles, despite some offensive and defensive drop offs as of late.

The deadline will be interesting from a buyer’s standpoint because their biggest need lies within the pitching, starting and relief. The duo of Lester and Lackey have led the way, but they may see some interest in replacing the likes of Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront to stabilize a potential playoff rotation. The bullpen has done fairly well overall, but a solidified bullpen will help them in a playoff push as well. They would also like some stability at third base, especially since Will Middlebrooks is back in AAA trying to figure things out. They’re hoping Jose Iglesias continues his charge into the majors this season.

From a seller’s POV, they’re main chip may be Jacoby Ellsbury. He’s due for free agency after this season and Boston recently said they won’t keep him from testing the market this off-season. He’d be a solid OF addition to any club and would probably be a good chip if they wanted to pursue pitching of any kind, especially since Jackie Bradley Jr. is developing nicely in AAA. The club is also getting a chance to see Jose Iglesias take over at third and Stephen Drew is doing well at shortstop, which means Will Middlebrooks and Xander Boegarts may be considerations as trade chips along with Ellsbury. All in all, I’d expect Boston to focus on pitching, but maybe pick up a bat as well to round out a few offensive edges.”

–Sarah Powers

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#4 Cincinnati

“When it comes to the 2013 trade deadline, the Reds are one of the most interesting teams that could possibly make a move. They are still in the hunt, being only 5 games out of first. But as of today they are tied for first in the National League Wild Card hunt. The Reds are a power hitting station-to-station team. They have Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Shin Soo Choo and Brandon Phillips in that powerful lineup. A lineup producing 4.36 runs per game. A solid pitching staff with Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Bronson Arroyo and of course Homer Bailey, owner of the last two Major League no-hitters also resides in Cincinnati. While they are solid club, they could, like almost all teams improve with an addition at the trade deadline (July 31st).

Needs:

Speed. The Reds are next to last in the National League with only 26 stolen bases on 46 attempts. They have the incredibly fast Billy Hamilton in the minors, but his hit tool is in serious question as far as translating to the Major League Level. The Reds rely on the home run and playing small ball to score. In the playoffs with great pitching, the stolen base is a valuable weapon that the Reds, as of this moment do not possess.

Bullpen. Of course Aroldis Chapman is an emerging star at the back end of that bullpen. And while Dusty Baker has a few good arms at his disposal, the bridge from middle relief to Chapman has been shaky in Jonathan Broxton. A guy like Francisco Rodriguez in Milwaukee or Jesse Crain on the southside of Chicago could make sense here. The bullpen is a sought after commodity this time of year, and the Reds have enough on the farm to make a deal happen.

Defense. If you go by the stats alone, the Reds are a solid defensive club. They don’t, as a whole, make a lot of errors (aside from the one game in Arlington). However, their range is extremely limited. A defensive outfielder for late game substitutions could be beneficial for Cincinnati if they make the postseason.”

–Patrick Despain

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#5 Detroit

“While the Tigers own the second-best run differential in the AL (+89), the division lead stands at just 1.5 games.  The biggest hurdle for the Tigers on their quest to return to the World Series: the bullpen.

Only 5 teams have a higher bullpen ERA than Detroit (4.15 ERA), and outside of Benoit and Drew Smyly, Tiger’s manager Jim Leyland does not have many good options of the pen.  Before the downfall of Valverde, Leyland had enjoyed the luxury of using Benoit (the team’s best reliever) as a relief ace of sorts, able to get out of jams from the sixth inning on, as needed.  With Benoit closing games, Leyland may need a new arm to turn to in those critical situations.”

–Robert Pike

Other potential buyers:

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Philadelphia

“The Phillies are a team that some Rangers fans are paying attention to this season, namely because of Mr. Clifton Phifer Lee having a great season on the mound. Ruben Amaro Jr. has said repeatedly that he’s not going to trade Lee, but for the right pieces, anything can happen.

The Phillies stand to be buyers in order to gain some offensive stability for the future. The outfield has Domonic Brown, Ben Revere… and everyone else. They’re looking for help in right field because Delmon Young is not expected to keep up his current hot streak and his fielding is not exactly stellar. They will probably have to ride out the duo of Young and Frandsen at third, mostly because third base prospect Cody Asche is still projected to be ready by next season. If a team sells to the Phillies, they will probably have to yield MLB ready players and absorb a portion of money owed to the player.

The front office is trying to cut down on the budget where they can and this probably lends itself to them being sellers for a good, low cost return based purely on big league need, especially since there aren’t any significant positional log jams to speak of at the moment. If they chose to sell in order to fix a glaring need right now, they’d sell for relief pitching.

The Phils will probably look to buy and address some pitching needs, but will be very selective about selling. They will most likely expect the other team to cover large salary portions as buyers and will be very selective about how much to cover as sellers.”

–Sarah Powers

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Oakland

“The A’s and Billy Beane are an enigma when it comes to deadline deals. They are a team with a low payroll at just over $68 million which is 26th of 30 MLB teams, and in 2012, did not make a move at the deadline. Right now Beane and Bob Melvin are pushing all the right buttons. They are getting timely hitting, solid pitching and good defense. The Oakland A’s simply do not beat themselves; the model of Moneyball. With the limited payroll, I do not foresee the Athletics making any deadline deals. However, Billy Beane is is the unknown commodity on the other end of the phone.

Needs:

A veteran starter. The A’s have Bartolo Colon who is 40, and 4 kids in the rotation. Those 4 kids are fantastic, and a veteran reliever would help in a playoff run. Picking out holes in the Oakland team is a tough chore.”

Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

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