Trade Deadline 2013: The Sellers

The SDI Staff takes a look at the trade deadline, beginning with answering the important question: who might be willing to sell?

It’s getting to be that time of year when pundits and [especially] fans with tunnel-vision begin to throw out hypothetical trade proposals that make sense for only one team, neither team, or that simply ignore several facts that make the hypothetical trade unrealistic and lazy. By taking a look at who might be willing to give up contributors to a contender, we can start to whittle down the players who might be wearing a new jersey in late July.

#1 Houston Astros

“The team most motivated to sell almost by definition doesn’t have the most assets, but the Astros will surely be looking to sell off what is left of their roster and they continue their system rebuilding.” – Robert Pike

Potential Assets:

  • SP Bud Norris, 6-7 3.22 ERA in 18 starts (109 IP)

A trade for Bud Norris may not sound sexy, but the 28-year old right-hander has shown some consistency this year, recording quality starts in 12 of his 18 starts.  The right-hander is under control thru 2015, and could be counted on as a back-end innings-eater for contending team lacking starting pitching depth.  One of the most obviously-tradable assets in baseball, teams assuming the Astros will be moving Norris will not expect to pay a high price in terms of prospects to bring in Norris, who is owed just $3 million in 2013, his first arbitration year.

  • RP Jose Veras, 0-4 3.29 ERA, 17 Saves in 38.1 IP

The 32-year old journeyman right-hander Veras is both cheap (1 year, $1.85 million with a $3.25 million team option for 2014) and available.  Veras holds a strikeout rate of over 9 SOs per 9 innings, and is enjoying the best year of his 9-year career, posting an ERA+ of 127 to this point.

  • SP Lucas Harrell 5-9 5.04 ERA in 19 starts (103.2 IP)

Harrell is in just his second season of being handed the ball every fifth day, but after solid numbers (11-11 3.76 ERA) in 2012, Harrell could be a candidate for a team looking to eat innings in the second half.  Harrell is 28, and under team control until after the 2017 season.


#2 Miami Marlins

“This is a team that is perplexing in many ways and yet they’re the team everyone has started watching during trading periods, just to see what they do this time around.

They have more stable parts than they want to admit. Their outfield (Ruggiano/Ozuna/Stanton) is good enough on both sides of the game to be a positive. Even so, if they feel like parting with Stanton to address other needs, they have prospect Christian Yelich ready to go once he returns from a DL stint in AAA. Their corner infield is about to stabilize with the call up of Donovan Solano to play third and Logan Morrison doing well at first. Their middle infield is another story; giving up Jose Reyes for Adeiny Hechavarria will never make sense to me. This is precisely why they’d require the likes of Jurickson Profar in at least 95% of the deals proposed.

As sellers, they in an interesting position. They have players in Stanton, Yelich, Noalsco, and Fernandez (even though he’s 20) that could fetch the type of MLB ready/prospect mix that they usually pursue. If you are reading this and want them to specifically sell Stanton to the Rangers, expect them to want Profar, maybe Olt (depending on how Morrison and Solano continue to do), and probably pitching help as well. In order to get the Marlins to sell you what you want/need, expect to pay a hefty price.” – Sarah Powers

Potential Assets:

*Note: Miami has already traded SP Ricky Nolasco to the LA Dodgers.*

  • 1B/3B Gregg Dobbs .226/.298/.596 2 HR, 18 RBI

Pretty much anybody over the age of 30 is available on this team right now, but that doesn’t leave much.  Dobbs may provide a corner bench bat for a team with a serious need who is willing to part with very little in exchange for Dobbs, who is on a one-year deal at age 34.

  • 2B/3B/SS Placido Polanco .242/.304/.286 1 HR

At age 37, Polanco could still be attractive to a team with a need for a utility infielder.

  • OF Justin Ruggiano .218/.288/.397 12 HR, 32 RBI

The 31 year old former Aggie is having a down year after posting a .313/.374/.535 slash in 320 plate appearances last year, but still represents decent value as a 4th OF for a contender.

  • CL Steve Cishek 2.75 ERA, 17 SV in 39.1 IP

Cishek has little value to a non-contending team, and his controllability could yield decent prospect should Miami look to move him at the deadline.


#3 Chicago White Sox

“This is the epitome of a team that needs to start over. They have a farm system that has been bare for a long time. It has been slowly replenished over the past couple of years, but it is a long way from a Rangers or Cardinals type caliber system. Chicago has pieces to deal in Paul Konerko, Jake Peavy and the often mentioned Alex Rios. The problem that the White Sox have is the $124.07 million payroll for 2013, which is the 9th highest in Major League Baseball. $124 million for a team with 34-52 record and 14 games out of first place. A massive payroll, low attendance (12 of 15 in the AL) and losing team means one thing: SELL.  The trade chips for Chicago will most likely be the high priced veterans, which their front office will ask for high valued prospects in return.” – Patrick Despain

Potential Assets:

  • OF Alex Rios .281/.333/.448 11 HR, 40 RBI

Aside from Matt Garza, Alex Rios has been the most often mentioned player in Texas Ranger trade speculation. He is a right handed bat with some power and hits for a decent average. Rios is 32 and makes $12.5 million per year, but he’s signed through 2014 and an American League team would be an ideal fit for him. The Rangers could be a good fit for Rios, who can DH in place of Lance Berkman, or spell Nelson Cruz in RF.

  • SS Alexei Ramirez .281/.309/.348

Still under team control until 2016 at age 31, Ramirez has been mentioned in several proposed deals with team needing a shortstop.  Ramirez would be owed roughly $25 million over the next three years (and a $10 million team option for a fourth) by the acquiring team.

  • RP Matt Thornton 0-3 4.00 ERA in 27.0 IP

The 36 year old former closer is in the last year of his contract, and while he hasn’t performed as well in the last two years as he did in his early 30s, several teams have expressed interest.

  • DH/1B Paul Konerko .249/.314/.368 7 HR, 30 RBI

Konerko is a name that has been seldom mentioned. His power numbers are down in 2013, he’s 37 and on the DL with a strained lower back. That’s not a combination that attracts a ton of interest, but there maybe a team  out there that needs a DH/1B.

  • RP Jesse Crain 2-3 0.74 ERA in 36.2 IP

Crain is having a stellar year for the White Sox. With an ERA  of 0.74 and an ERA+ of 152, the chances Jesse has a new address by July 31st are very high. He is 31 years old and makes a friendly $4.5 million in 2013. However, he is a free agent at the end of 2013, so he could become a rental. All that being said, Crain could be an  extremely valuable bullpen piece down the stretch for someone. 

  • RP Matt Lindstrom 2-3 3.06 ERA in 35.1 IP

Lindstrom has quietly become a reliable relief option over the past 3 seasons, maintaining an ERA under 3.00 over that period since leaving Houston, where he served as the club’s closer in 2010.  At 33, Lindstrom is working on a 1 year $2.8 million deal.

  • SP Jake Peavy 6-4 4.30 ERA in 11 starts (67 IP)

Peavy is a name that pops up every year at the deadline. He is a 32 year old, injury prone, high priced pitcher. The 2007 National League Cy Young winner is once again on the DL for Chicago, this time with a broken rib. When healthy, Peavy is a proven pitcher who eats innings and is very effective, but he simply cannot stay healthy. There may be a team that will take a chance on a guy making over $14 million and has more trips the DL than I have trips to Wal-Mart, but I wouldn’t count on it.


#4 Chicago Cubs

“Another obvious sell situation for Cubs, who should expect to get a nice return on Garza, who represents the class of the trade market at the deadline as it stands today.” – Robert Pike

Potential Assets:

  • SP Matt Garza 5-1 3.22 ERA in 10 starts (64.1 IP)

Easily the hottest name on the market, Chicago will surely sell high on Garza before he hits free agency this winter.  The price tag is rumored is be very high for the 29 year old rental, but as the deadline looms, he still remains the lone [borderline] ace openly available.

  • OF Alfonso Soriano .266/.294/.480 15 HR, 47 RBI

At 37, Soriano still has some power, and is sporting a slash of .355/.382/.968 in July to go along with 6 HR and 12 RBI.  Soriano is under contract for 2014 at $18 million and would likely require the Cubs to subsidize that salary if moved.

  • C Dioner Navarro.291/.364/.530 8 HR, 19 RBI

29 year old Navarro has been a nice surprise for the Cubs at the plate after signing a one year deal this off-season.


#5 Milwaukee Brewers

“The Brewers are a team in transition. After winning the NL Central in 2011 with 96 wins and making it to the NLCS, the Brewers have regressed, obviously losing Prince Fielder was a huge factor. Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Yovani Gallardo are still there, but Milwaukee lost all-star caliber players in Fielder and Zack Greinke. While they got Jean Segura as part of the Greinke deal with the Angels, the Brewers roster is rapidly aging. Braun and Carlos Gomez are in their prime right now, but others on that roster are either past it, or not yet to it. Doug Melvin has a fairly easy choice in terms of how to approach the future of the Milwaukee Brewers.  There are valuable players on the roster that could bring back decent returns in the right deal.” – Patrick Despain

Potential Assets:

  • SP Yovani Gallardo 7-8 4.85 ERA in 19 starts (107.2 IP)

The Fort Worth (Trimble Tech) product has been a solid starter in his career. He is only 27 years old and relatively cheap at $7.75 million for 2013. His contract increases to $11.25 million for 2014, which isn’t astronomical, but 2013 has been down year for Gallardo. His K/9 has decreased over the last 5 years and his H/9 has increased over that same period of time. The biggest area of concern for MLB teams is the decrease in velocity on Gallardo’s fastball the past few years. A change of scenery maybe exactly what he needs to right the ship, but teams had the same mindset regarding Ubaldo Jimenez.

  • RF Norichika Aoki .298/.366/.378 4 HR, 19 RBI

Aoki is only in his 2nd year in MLB at the age of 31. In his short time playing in the US, the former Yakult Swallow has a slash of .292/.359/.411 in nearly 1000 PA’s. Yes, you read that correct…an OBP of .359. Aoki is a solid defender who rarely makes a mistake in the field and is also an absolute steal at $1.25 million. If your team needs a LH bat, they should call Doug Melvin immediately.

  • RP John Axford 3.86 ERA in 37.1 IP

Axford has not performed as well as he did when he burst onto the scene as a dominant closer, but nevertheless represents value and carries with him the track record of a guy who posted a 1.95 ERA and 46 SV in 2011.  The 30 year old is not a free agent until after the 2016 season.

  • RP Francisco Rodríguez 1.25 ERA in 21.2 IP

Rodriguez is back to closing games in 2013, and with his contract expiring after 2013, the Brewers may look to try to get something in return before he bolts in free agency.

  • 3B Aramis Ramirez .271/.359/.414

“While Ramirez is 35 and his power numbers are declining, an American League team could find his services valuable, as a DH and part time 3rd baseman. However, Ramirez is owed $10 million for 2013 and $16 million for 2014. That is a hefty salary for a 35 year old with diminishing skills.”


#6 Seattle Mariners

“Seattle may maintain the charade of calling themselves ‘reluctant sellers,’ however, they are the 4th best team in their own division with several expiring contracts on the roster.  They’ll be selling.” – Robert Pike

Potential Assets:

  • DH Raul Ibanez .253/.301/.548 22 HR, 51 RBI

Even at 41, Ibanez can still hit for power, blasting 22 HR so far this season.  His contract expires after the 2013 season.

  • SP Hisashi Iwakuma 7-4 2.97 ERA in 19 starts (124.1 IP)

If Iwakuma became available, he’d immediately be in the conversation for most coveted starter at the 2013 deadline.  Seattle may opt to hold onto Iwakuma, who is under team control until 2018.

  • 1B/DH Kendrys Morales .279/.339/.462 13 HE, 52 RBI

The former Angel is in a contract year at age 30, and despite some health concerns in the past, has been a bright spot for Seattle this year.  Seattle may look to deal Morales, who might prefer to be in a more hitter-friendly park next year when he is a free agent.

  • SP Joe Saunders 7-8 4.51 ERA in 18 starts (107.2 IP)

The starting pitching market is thin, and a team lacking depth might be willing to spend a minimal amount in bringing in a fifth starter like Saunders, who posted a 4.07 ERA in 2012.

Other Potential Sellers


San Francisco Giants

“The Giants are having a weird season. It seems like they’re destined to have a WS year, totally off year, a WS year, totally off year… and so on. Injuries and pitching woes are probably going to dictate the way the Giants move through the trade waters this season, namely as buyers.

They are missing an essential force with Angel Pagan out for the season. Brandon Belt is still trying to finally come around and be the permanent solution at first base that they want and need (hmmm… that sounds familiar). The pitching rotation is sustaining injury and a general instability of starters to get into grooves. The Giants will probably look for middle infield help, outfield help and starting pitching. That’s a tall order for a buyer, especially when so many teams will be looking for the same.

I get the impression that if they feel that Tim Lincecum makes too much money to be strictly a bullpen guy (even though he shined in the pen during the playoffs last year), he’ll end up on the trade block. They have a decent farm, but most of their top prospects are pitchers who still have work to do in order to be MLB ready. It will be interesting to see what they try to do as sellers and what kind of deals they feel they can pull off, considering the needs they are trying to address.” – Sarah Powers


New York Mets

“While the front office may insist that some players will not be moved in order to preserve “competitiveness,” New York has already sent Scott Hairston to Washington, and will likely continue to shop some of their other assets.” – Robert Pike

Potential Assets:

  • OF Marlin Byrd .265/.310/.486 13 HR 43 RBI

He’s 35, he only makes $700k, he’s got an OPS+ of 121 thus far, and he’s a pretty huge headache.  He won’t bring much back to New York, but he could be useful to a contending team willing to have Marlon Byrd on their roster.

  • CL Bobby Parnell 5-4 2.41ERA 16 SV

The Mets may plan to hold on to Parnell, who is just in his first year of arbitration at age 28, but he may bring back a nice return should the Mets decide to field offers on him.

  • C John Buck .213/.279/.394 14 HR, 46 RBI

With as thin as the position of catcher has been across the league, the Mets could look to move Buck, who is in a contract year at age 32.

  • RP LaTroy Hawkins 3.20 ERA in 39.1 IP

At age 40 and in a contract year, Hawkins doesn’t represent a huge cost acquisition, but should be available for teams looking for an experienced reliever.

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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