Every MLB Team's Trade Deadline To-Do List
The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is right around the corner, and, while we have already seen one blockbuster deal between the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics, there should be plenty more action between now and then.
The following article breaks down all 30 MLB teams' 2014 trade deadline to-do list, and you will see the following four terms used when referring to potential moves:
- Trade: A player that should be traded, due to an expiring contract or his status on a rebuilding team.
- Shop: A player that could be traded, but only if the price is right.
- Add: A clear area of need a contending team should address.
- Explore: A potential area of need a contending team could address, and one worth at least exploring options for at the deadline.
So, with that made clear, here is a rundown of what all 30 MLB teams need to do in order to have a successful trade deadline.
- ADD a front-line starting pitcher
The Orioles currently sit atop the AL East standings, and, with the division looking wide open, there is no reason to think they won't look to go all in at the deadline.
Adding another front-line starting pitcher is their biggest area of need. While Bud Norris (7-5, 3.62 ERA) has been solid and top prospect Kevin Gausman (3-2, 3.51 ERA) has looked good over his six starts, the team badly needs another proven veteran arm.
Unless something clicks with Chris Tillman and/or Ubaldo Jimenez, and they start throwing the ball significantly better, look for the Orioles to go after another arm.
- EXPLORE potential second base upgrades
Second basemen have hit just .239/.280/.329 on the year for the Orioles, with rookie Jonathan Schoop (.221/.271/.314) seeing the bulk of the playing time.
Pitching is certainly a bigger area of need than second base, but the team could still kick the tires on whoever winds up available. Veterans Aaron Hill, Daniel Murphy and Gordon Beckham could all be options if they are shopped.
Boston Red Sox
- ADD an outfielder
The Red Sox lack of offensive punch this season has been something of a shock, considering they led all of baseball in runs scored a year ago. The loss of Jacoby Ellsbury has certainly been felt, and that, coupled with the injury problems of Shane Victorino, has left the team lacking in outfield production.
While they find themselves in last place, it's not out of the question to think the Red Sox will still look to add some secondary pieces at the deadline.
David Schoenfield of ESPN lists Will Venable of the San Diego Padres and Gerardo Parra of the Arizona Diamondbacks as two potential names they could target.
- SHOP veteran pieces on expiring contracts
If they do decide to sell, the Red Sox have a number of veterans set to hit free agency at the end of the season that they could test the market on.
Koji Uehara, Jake Peavy, Andrew Miller, A.J. Pierzynski, Stephen Drew, Jonny Gomes, David Ross and Burke Badenhop are all in the final year of their current deals.
The big name excluded from that group is ace Jon Lester, who is also a free agent at the end of the season. He'd net a big return, but holding onto him makes sense, given the team's interest in re-signing him, and, if nothing else, they can extend a qualifying offer to him at the end of the year for draft pick compensation.
New York Yankees
- ADD a front-line starting pitcher
The Yankees went out and added right-hander Brandon McCarthy in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks last week, but they could still use some more starting pitching help alongside ace Masahiro Tanaka.
With the AL East still very much up for grabs, adding another front-line arm to their rotation could go a long way in making them legitimate contenders.
The question is, who will be available now that Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel are off the market, and whether or not the Yankees legitimately have the assets to land an impact arm.
- EXPLORE position player bench depth
With a bench that currently consists of catcher Francisco Cervelli, infielder Brendan Ryan and infielder Zelous Wheeler, the Yankees are as thin as any team in baseball as far as bench depth is concerned.
Health is always a question with a handful of aging veterans that have lengthy injury histories, and adding some versatile depth to their bench could help provide them some much-needed insurance. It would also allow for more days off for their veterans down the stretch.
Tampa Bay Rays
- SHOP SP David Price
A month ago, this would have been a flat-out "trade" label for ace David Price, but the Rays have been playing significantly better baseball of late, and the AL East division title is still within reach if they can keep it up.
That said, they are still nine games back, so, at the very least, they should be gauging the market for a potential deal of Price. Setting the groundwork for a trade now and then making a decision right at the deadline would seem to make the most sense.
With Jeff Samardzija off the market, Price is now the clear-cut prize of the deadline. After seeing the haul the Cubs were able to get for Samardzija and Jason Hammel, the Rays could actually put themselves in a better position for the 2015 season by moving Price for high-end young talent.
- SHOP 2B Ben Zobrist and OF Matt Joyce
If they do decide to sell, Price is not the only piece the Rays could consider moving, as they could have two of the more sought-after bats on the market as well.
The versatility of Ben Zobrist makes him one of the more valuable players in all of baseball, and he would be a huge addition to any contender looking to bolster their lineup for the stretch run. The team could also make an outfielder available, as there will be a logjam of sorts once Wil Myers and David DeJesus return from injury.
Matt Joyce would be the most likely candidate to be shopped, as he will be in his final year of arbitration eligibility and likely earn a raise over his $3.7 million salary from this season.
Toronto Blue Jays
- ADD a veteran starter
After failing to land Jeff Samardzija after targeting him off and on since the offseason, the Blue Jays are still in need of another starting pitcher to bolster a rotation that ranks 14th in the MLB with a 3.80 ERA.
Mark Buehrle is an All-Star atop the staff, and the young duo of Drew Hutchison and Marcus Stroman has helped solidify the rotation behind him, but they could still use another proven veteran to round things out.
They are not likely to make a run at David Price or Cliff Lee, due to their unwillingness to part with top prospect Aaron Sanchez. Someone like Ian Kennedy or A.J. Burnett could be more realistic options for them to target.
- EXPLORE second base options
The Blue Jays offense has been solid this season, but second base remains an area of concern. The position has been a revolving door this year, with Munenori Kawasaki the latest to man the position.
The team has hit a combined .250/.312/.367 on the year at the position, with Brett Lawrie, Ryan Goins, Steve Tolleson and Chris Getz all seeing time there at various points in the season.
A reunion with Aaron Hill could make sense, and the team has also been linked to White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham in the past. Kawasaki has played fine so far, so it's not exactly a glaring need, but it's worth considering their options.
Chicago White Sox
- TRADE 1B/DH Adam Dunn
Signed to a four-year, $56 million deal before the 2011 season, Adam Dunn bounced back from a terrible first year with the White Sox to hit 41 and 34 home runs in the past two seasons, respectively.
He's hitting just .226 on the year, but does have a solid .800 OPS and 13 home runs. The White Sox have no reason to hold onto the free-agent-to-be at this point, and there is always a market for a left-handed bat with pop.
- SHOP SS Alexei Ramirez
The White Sox have never been big into rebuilding, so the asking price for someone like Alexei Ramirez will be high. He is under contract for a reasonable $10 million next year, with a $10 million option for the following season as well.
An All-Star for the first time this year, Ramirez has cooled off a bit after a red-hot start. He's still hitting .282/.317/.402 with eight home runs and 41 RBI, and, if he were to be shopped, he'd represent the top shortstop option on the market. It's at least worth testing the waters to see what kind of return he could net them.
- ADD a starting pitcher (if they're buyers)
Outside of Corey Kluber (8-6, 2.86 ERA), who has emerged as a bona fide ace this season, the Indians' rotation has been inconsistent at best this year. They lost Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir in free agency and have been unable to fill in the holes.
They rank 26th in the MLB with a 4.52 ERA from their starters, and, if they are going to catch the Detroit Tigers, and Kansas City Royals for that matter, they will need to figure things out behind Kluber.
- TRADE SP Justin Masterson and SS Asdrubal Cabrera (if they're sellers)
The Indians are still in striking distance in the AL Central, but, if they fall back a bit more in the weeks ahead, they could opt to sell off a couple of veteran pieces at the deadline in right-hander Justin Masterson and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
Both players are free agents at season's end, and both are almost certainly headed elsewhere next season, so dealing them now makes sense.
Cabrera (.244/.306/.387, 21 2B, 8 HR, 34 RBI) and Masterson (4-6, 5.51 ERA, 4.06 FIP) are not having their best seasons by any means, but both are proven veterans with decent track records, so they should generate some interest from contenders.
- ADD bullpen help
The Tigers made a move to add veteran Jose Veras to their bullpen at the deadline last year, and they are certainly in the market to add some relief help once again this July.
The duo of Joba Chamberlain (38 G, 2.86 ERA) and Al Alburquerque (43 G, 3.00 ERA) have been solid, but the bullpen as a whole ranks 27th in the majors with a 4.39 ERA, and closer Joe Nathan has had a rocky season at best.
David Schoenfield of ESPN mentions Huston Street, Joakim Soria, Brad Ziegler and former Tigers setup man Joaquin Benoit as options the team could explore.
Kansas City Royals
- ADD a bat with some pop
The Royals currently rank last in the majors in home runs (51), and, while they are averaging a respectable 4.12 runs per game, adding some more pop to their lineup seems like their biggest area of need.
Right field looks like the most likely area to be upgraded, as Nori Aoki has posted a .651 OPS and is currently shelved with a groin injury. Jarrod Dyson has moved into the starting lineup in place of Aoki, and both he and Lorenzo Cain provide little in the way of power.
Marlon Byrd is one name that could make sense, though the fact that he is signed for $8 million next season actually works against him in this case. Chicago Cubs outfielders Nate Schierholtz and Justin Ruggiano could also provide some pop at a low cost, similar to what Justin Maxwell did down the stretch last year.
- EXPLORE starting pitching depth
With the emergence of Yordano Ventura and Danny Duffy, the Royals have one of the better starting rotations in all of baseball right now.
They currently rank third in the American League with a 3.72 starter's ERA. When you take out four rough starts from Bruce Chen (19.1 IP, 16 ER) and one from Aaron Brooks (0.2 IP, 7 ER), that mark is an even more impressive 3.47 out of their five current starters.
The team reportedly agreed to a minor league deal with Joe Saunders on Tuesday, according to a press release from the team. He was recently released by the Texas Rangers after going 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in eight starts, so he may not be that much better of an option than Chen.
- TRADE LF Josh Willingham
This year's trade market figures to be thin on bats, and, while Josh Willingham does not have the same value he did two years ago when he won a Silver Slugger award, the free-agent-to-be could still bring a decent return.
Looking past his .218 batting average, he has posted a .367 OBP, .796 OPS and is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position on the season. He likely won't cost more than a couple of mid-level pieces, so there could be a number of teams interested in his services.
- SHOP 1B/DH Kendrys Morales, SP Kevin Correia and C Kurt Suzuki
Josh Willingham is not the Twins' only veteran player in the final year of his contract.
Kendrys Morales (.229 BA, .566 OPS) and Kevin Correia (4-11, 4.79 ERA, 4.36 FIP) are not having great seasons, and interest in them will be minimal at best, but there is no reason for the Twins not to make them available.
On the other hand, catcher Kurt Suzuki (.300 BA, .749 OPS) has turned in an All-Star season on the one-year, $2.75 million deal he signed in the offseason. He's a candidate to be re-signed, and the Twins likely value him higher than the market does, but it's at least worth testing the waters.
- TRADE relievers Tony Sipp, Chad Qualls and any other relievers with value
The Astros brought aboard a handful of veteran arms to shore up their bullpen this past offseason, and they will likely make any and all of them available at the deadline.
Tony Sipp (27 G, 2.81 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 12.6 K/9) has been one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball this season, and he could actually net a solid return, given the fact that there will likely be more than a few teams vying for his services.
After him, closer Chad Qualls (34 G, 2.05 ERA, 9-of-11 SV) is a proven veteran who could certainly help a contender in a setup role, and lefty Darin Downs (28 G, 4.50 ERA) may also generate some interest.
- SHOP CF Dexter Fowler
The second-highest paid player on the Astros this season at $7.35 million, Dexter Fowler will likely only get more expensive this coming offseason in what will be his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Acquired from the Colorado Rockies in the offseason, he's been a solid addition to the offense, hitting .270/.377/.396 with 21 extra-base hits in 285 at-bats.
However, he is currently sidelined with a strained intercostal, and it looks like a safe bet the Astros will hold onto him at least until this coming offseason. That being said, shopping him now and starting to lay the groundwork for a potential deal down the road would make sense.
Los Angeles Angels
- EXPLORE closer options
The Angels have already added Jason Grilli and Joe Thatcher in an effort to shore up their shaky bullpen, but they still lack a lights-out closer they can rely on to slam the door in the ninth.
Their pen currently ranks 25th in the MLB with a 3.99 ERA, and they have converted just 22-of-34 save chances on the year. Joe Smith, signed to be a setup man, is currently filling the closer's role and has a 2.56 ERA and is 11-of-15 on saves.
The team doesn't have much in the way of tradeable assets, but expect them to try their best to make a run at guys like Huston Street, Joakim Soria and Joaquin Benoit.
- EXPLORE left-handed bench bat options
Following the release of Raul Ibanez at the end of June, the Angels have become very right-handed offensively.
Kole Calhoun and Josh Hamilton are the only left-handed bats in the starting line, while Erick Aybar is a switch-hitter. The bench features the switch-hitting Hank Conger as their backup catcher, with right-handed batters John McDonald, Grant Green and Collin Cowgill rounding out the reserves.
The team is not likely to make a play for any big-time bats, though they could stand to upgrade at third base. However, adding a lefty hitter with some pop to come off the bench would help them come October.
Perhaps they could get Adam Dunn on the cheap if they were to take on the remainder of his contract and send one of their second base prospects the other way?
- EXPLORE second base options
Eric Sogard may be a fan favorite, but that doesn't make him any less of a liability offensively. He has shared time at second base with Nick Punto, and the team has gotten a combined .231/.295/.278 line out of the position on the year.
The A's have the highest-scoring offense in baseball right now at 5.00 runs per game, so they can get away with having a black hole of production at second base, but upgrading the position would just make a great team that much better.
Second base may be the deepest position on the market, with Ben Zobrist, Daniel Murphy, Chase Utley and Aaron Hill all representing plus offensive options that could be shopped.
That said, someone like Luis Valbuena of the Cubs may be a more realistic target. According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the A's were working to get him included in the Jeff Samardzija/Jason Hammel deal before it was finalized, and they could revisit that in the weeks to come.
- ADD a right-handed hitting bat with some pop
The Mariners offense has been marginally improved this season, climbing from 12th in the AL in runs scored to 11th. Despite that, they find themselves in a position to legitimately contend for a playoff spot, and adding another bat to the mix seems like deadline priority No. 1.
The addition of Robinson Cano has certainly helped, but outside of him and fellow All-Star Kyle Seager, the team is still desperately lacking in consistent producers.
Veteran Corey Hart was also added to the mix this offseason, and the hope was that he could serve as a right-handed run producer between them. He's missed 42 games with a hamstring injury though, just recently returning to the lineup.
The market is fairly thin on impact bats, but someone like Marlon Byrd or Josh Willingham could be a nice mid-level pickup to give the offense a boost.
- EXPLORE starting pitching depth
Starting pitching has been a surprising strength for the Mariners this season, even with injuries to Taijuan Walker and James Paxton.
They currently rank second in the AL with a 3.48 starter's ERA, and Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma have been a dynamic one-two punch once again, it's the rest of the rotation behind them that has been a pleasant surprise.
Chris Young (8-5, 3.08 ERA) and Roenis Elias (7-7, 4.19 ERA) have both pitched far better than anyone could have expected, and Walker (1-1, 3.60 ERA) has looked strong in two starts since returning.
James Paxton is still expected back at some point, but this team would be wise to add some insurance, should Young (4.92 FIP) and Elias (4.28 FIP) regress after the All-Star break.
- TRADE relievers Joakim Soria, Neal Cotts and Jason Frasor
The rash of injuries they have suffered this year has proven to be too much for the Rangers, as they have fallen well out of contention in a deep AL West and will be looking to sell.
How much they sell remains to be seen, as they likely still view themselves as contenders for 2015. At the very least, they have a handful of veteran relievers that could generate some interest.
Neal Cotts (41 G, 3.65 ERA, 10.7 K/9) and Jason Frasor (36 G, 2.86 ERA, 9.2 K/9) have both been solid setup options and are free agents at the end of the season. Veteran closer Joakim Soria (16-of-17 SV, 2.76 ERA, 12.3 K/9) has a $7 million option for next year, but could bring a bigger return.
- SHOP RF Alex Rios
The Rangers acquired Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox last August, and they could at least explore the idea of flipping him at the deadline this year.
He carries a $13.5 million team option for next year with a $1 million buyout, and, given the year he is having, the Rangers may just want to hold onto him. He's currently hitting .304/.333/.438 with 30 extra-base hits and 14 steals.
While he could certainly factor into the team's plans for next year, he may also be able to net the Rangers a decent prospect return, as he could be the biggest bat on the market.
- ADD a left-handed reliever
With Alex Wood moving back to the starting rotation following the Gavin Floyd injury, the Braves bullpen once again has just one left-hander in Luis Avilan. They acquired veteran Scott Downs at the deadline last year and could look to make a similar deal this season.
Avilan has posted a 4.25 ERA and 1.55 WHIP over 46 appearances this year, a far cry from last season when he had a 1.52 ERA and 0.95 WHIP in a team-high 75 games.
Tony Sipp, James Russell, Wesley Wright and Oliver Perez are all expected to be available and should come at a reasonable price.
- EXPLORE bench options
The Braves starting lineup looks to be solid top-to-bottom, but their bench is severely lacking in viable options as far as pinch-hitting is concerned.
Ryan Doumit (.209 BA, .569 OPS) was expected to be that guy, but he has done very little offensively this year after posting a .710 OPS with 28 doubles, 14 home runs and 55 RBI for the Minnesota Twins last season.
He's joined on the bench by Ramiro Pena (.191 BA, .574 OPS), Jordan Schafer (.182 BA, .482 OPS), Gerald Laird (.234 BA, .612 OPS) and Dan Uggla (.162 BA, .472 OPS), so there is a clear need to add a minor piece or two here.
- EXPLORE cheap starting pitching options
The trio of Henderson Alvarez (6-3, 2.27 ERA), Nathan Eovaldi (5-4, 3.75 ERA) and Tom Koehler (6-7, 3.98 ERA) have been solid this season for the Marlins, but the final two spots in the Marlins' rotation have been a mess.
Jacob Turner, Anthony DeSclafani, Randy Wolf, Andrew Heaney, Brad Hand and Kevin Slowey have started a total of 28 games and gone a combined 5-16 with a 5.97 ERA.
They won't spend big to add to the rotation, but could explore low-cost options on the trade market or look at veterans who wind up designated for assignment.
- SHOP 3B Casey McGehee
The Marlins hit the jackpot on a one-year, $1.1 million deal for Casey McGehee this past offseason, after he spent the 2013 season playing in Japan and received little interest on the free agent market.
He has just one home run on the season, but is hitting .318/.386/.390 and is tied for sixth in the National League with 53 RBI.
It's very possible that the Marlins will stand pat and look to make a run at a winning record this season, but if they are going to look to move someone, McGehee looks to be the most likely candidate. He's capable of playing first or third and would be one of the better bats out there.
New York Mets
- TRADE SP Bartolo Colon
After a rocky start to the season saw him post a 5.84 ERA through his first eight starts, Bartolo Colon has rounded into form with a 6-2 record and 2.66 ERA over his last nine games.
The Mets signed him to a two-year, $20 million deal in the offseason, so he's a relatively inexpensive option for a team looking to bolster their rotation but not interested in going after one of the big-time arms.
Additionally, the Mets would be wise to move at least one starter here at the deadline. With Matt Harvey returning next season and prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero likely to be vying for rotation spots as well, they could have as many as eight guys competing for five jobs.
- SHOP SP Jon Niese and 2B Daniel Murphy
Jon Niese is signed for a very reasonable $16 million over the next two years, with another two club options tacked on at $10 million and $11 million respectively, so the 27-year-old is a far more valuable trade chip than Colon.
That being said, the Mets likely value him higher than the market does, and the fact that he just landed on the disabled list makes moving him this July unlikely. He's also the only left-hander among their long-term starting options.
Another player they could put out feelers on but are unlikely to move is second baseman Daniel Murphy, as he's another player they likely value far more than the market.
An All-Star for the first time this year, he's still below average defensively and has minimal power. He's a nice secondary piece, but the Mets asking price will no doubt be too high for anyone to bite.
- TRADE RP Jonathan Papelbon and RF Marlon Byrd
The Phillies have a ton of guys they could look to move this July, but the two most likely pieces to be on the move would seem to be closer Jonathan Papelbon and Marlon Byrd.
Papelbon is 21-of-23 on save chances this year with a 1.27 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, as he has returned to an elite level. There is always a market for veteran relief help, and, if the Phillies eat some of the $13 million remaining on his deal for next year, they could actually net a solid return.
As for Byrd, he's been a pleasant surprise once again with an .801 OPS, 18 home runs and 52 RBI on the year. He's signed for a very reasonable $8 million next year and could help a lot of clubs looking for a power bat.
- SHOP everyone else
There really is no young, superstar piece on this Phillies roster that can be viewed as a cornerstone player and untouchable in trade talks.
Cole Hamels is probably the closest thing they have, but even he could be shopped for the right return, as he is already in his age-30 season.
The ownership group seems to have no interest in blowing things up and completely rebuilding, as they fear it will too greatly affect attendance, but this team desperately needs to shake the etch-a-sketch and start over fresh.
- ADD a left-handed reliever
The Nationals made it through much of last season without an effective left-hander out of the bullpen, and they find themselves in a similar position here this year.
Jerry Blevins (38 G, 4.99 ERA, 1.37 WHIP) and Ross Detwiler (23 G, 4.10 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) are the two southpaws currently featured in the pen, and neither has pitched well on a consistent basis at any point this season.
The division-rival Braves are in a similar position, so these two teams could be targeting the same crop of guys that includes Tony Sipp, James Russell, Wesley Wright and Oliver Perez.
- SHOP LHP Ross Detwiler
It may seem counter-productive to move a lefty reliever when that currently ranks as the team's biggest need, but Detwiler could have some value to a team looking to buy low on a controllable, bounce-back starter candidate.
The 28-year-old was 10-8 with a 3.40 ERA in 2012, and had a 4.04 ERA (3.66 FIP) in 13 starts last season, so he has enjoyed some success in the rotation before. He was pushed to the bullpen this season by Tanner Roark, and his transition to relieving has not gone well.
He's under team control through next season, and unlikely to see much of a raise over his current $3 million salary in what will be his final year of arbitration, so he could be a nice bargain pickup for a team looking to 2015.
- TRADE OF Nate Schierholtz, RP Wesley Wright, RP James Russell
The Cubs already pulled the trigger on dealing their two biggest trade chips when Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were shipped to the Oakland Athletics, but they still have some secondary pieces that could be moved.
Outfielder Nate Schierholtz has been a shell of the player who posted a .770 OPS with 21 home runs last season, but he is still a low-cost, left-handed bat with some power potential, so he could be moved.
Left-handed relievers Wesley Wright (32 G, 2.59 ERA) and James Russell (35 G, 2.84 ERA) are both having solid seasons and both set to hit free agency after next season. Both players are drawing interest, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
- SHOP OF Justin Ruggiano, IF Luis Valbuena
Justin Ruggiano has quietly turned himself into a solid trade chip, catching fire recently with a .425 average over his last 10 games. He is under team control through 2016, so he's worth holding on to if the Cubs can't get decent value in return for him.
Versatile infielder Luis Valbuena is also under team control for the next two years, and his ability to play both second and third base, as well as his on-base skills, make him a nice bench piece. There will be a number of teams interested, but he too should only be moved if the price is right.
- EXPLORE left field and bullpen options
The Reds' offense has been subpar at best this season, and, while that is due in part to injuries, they could still stand to add a bat.
If there is one clear area that could be upgraded, it is left field, where a three-man platoon of Ryan Ludwick, Chris Heisey and Skip Schumaker has hit a combined .262/.315/.370 on the year.
The team could also use another bullpen arm or two, as Jonathan Broxton (30 G, 0.62 ERA) and Sam LeCure (33 G, 3.62 ERA) are the only two relievers outside of closer Aroldis Chapman with more than five appearances and an ERA under 4.00.
A lack of payroll flexibility and a history of standing pat at the deadline make it unlikely the Reds will pull the trigger on any significant moves, but the bullpen and left field two areas worth at least kicking the tires on some guys.
- ADD a bullpen arm
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said the following when talking to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the team's deadline plans:
"We've talked about bullpen help. Over the course of the year, your bullpen gets worn down pretty good. A lot of teams are going to be looking for bullpen help. Offensively, I don't think we're going to have to do much if we're healthy."
With Jim Henderson and Tyler Thornburg both on the disabled list, adding a right-handed setup man to join lefties Will Smith and Zach Duke at the back of the bullpen makes sense.
- EXPLORE versatile infielder options
With Rickie Weeks limited to playing exclusively second base, and utility guys like Jeff Bianchi (.169 BA, .360 OPS) and Elian Herrera (.235 BA, .525 OPS) providing nothing offensively, the Brewers could use a versatile infielder capable of starting a game here and there.
Who fits the bill as a low-cost infield option remains to be seen, but if they could find someone similar to what the Braves found in Elliot Johnson last year, that would suffice.
- EXPLORE starting pitching depth
The Pirates rotation has been aided greatly by the recent strong performance of Vance Worley (5 GS, 2-1, 3.03 ERA) and Jeff Locke (7 GS, 2-1, 3.08 ERA) and the steady play of Charlie Morton (18 GS, 5-9, 3.10 ERA).
However, with Gerrit Cole landing back on the disabled list with a strained lat, and Francisco Liriano still on the shelf with a strained oblique, there is a clear need for some depth here.
- EXPLORE first base options
Ike Davis was a nice pickup early on, and he is still getting on base at a decent .357 clip, but he is slugging just .378 out of a power position and has actually been a minus-0.5 WAR player due to his poor defense.
The team won't go crazy here, as pitching is a bigger area of need and the market is thin on bats. However, making a move similar to the Justin Morneau acquisition last August could be an option. Maybe Adam Dunn?
St. Louis Cardinals
- ADD a starting pitcher
Who would have guessed at the beginning of the season that the Cardinals would be in the market to add a starter come July?
However, with Jaime Garcia again lost for the season to a shoulder injury, and Michael Wacha currently alongside him on the disabled list, it has become an issue that will almost certainly be addressed.
The team has been strongly linked to Boston Red Sox veteran Jake Peavy over the past few days, according to a tweet from Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, among others.
They could look to pull the trigger on a deal for a starter in the next couple days, so they can turn their attention to improving the offense.
- EXPLORE second/third base options
The Cardinals currently rank 29th in the MLB at 3.68 runs per game, and if there is one clear area that could be upgraded it is second base.
Second basemen have hit just .207/.271/.285 on the season, as rookie Kolten Wong and veteran insurance policy Mark Ellis have both struggled at the plate.
There are a number of second basemen on the market that the team could look at, or they could go after someone like Diamondbacks third baseman Martin Prado and slide Matt Carpenter back over to second base.
- TRADE reliever Brad Ziegler and Oliver Perez
The easiest thing to trade at the deadline is proven veteran relievers, and the Diamondbacks have two good ones to dangle in Brad Ziegler and Oliver Perez.
Ziegler (47 G, 2.18 ERA) spent time as the Diamondbacks closer in the second half last year and has the added value of being signed for a very reasonable $5 million next season.
Perez (38 G, 2.12 ERA) is also signed for next year and comes even cheaper than Ziegler after signing a two-year, $4.25 million deal this past offseason. He's reinvented himself as a reliever the past few seasons and turned into one of the better left-handed bullpen arms in the game.
- SHOP IF Martin Prado, 2B Aaron Hill and OF Gerardo Parra
The Diamondbacks' most valuable trade chip looks to be versatile infielder Martin Prado, and the team's asking price will likely be incredibly high. He's hitting a solid .271 on the year and locked up through 2016 with an $11 million salary for the next two years. It's his ability to play second, third and the outfield that makes him so valuable.
Second baseman Aaron Hill (.627 OPS) and outfielder Gerardo Parra (.660 OPS) are both capable of more than they've shown at the plate this season and could pick their production up significantly by jumping into a pennant race.
Both guys represent a commitment beyond this season, though, as Hill has two years and $24 million left on his deal and Parra enters his final year of arbitration this coming offseason.
- TRADE relievers LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Belisle
With Michael Cuddyer likely sidelined beyond the deadline with a shoulder injury, and Jorge De La Rosa struggling to a 7.11 ERA in June, two guys who looked like they could be trade chips for the Rockies will now likely be staying put.
That leaves relatively slim pickings as far as movable parts, but they do have a pair of serviceable relievers in LaTroy Hawkins and Matt Belisle that could interest a contender.
Hawkins (16-of-17 SV, 2.61 ERA) carries a nice $2.25 million option for next season and is capable of closing, while Belisle (40 G, 4.50 ERA) would be a rental option as a free agent at the end of the season.
- SHOP OF Drew Stubbs
With the emergence of Corey Dickerson, offseason acquisition Drew Stubbs has been relegated to a bench role for the Rockies.
He strikes out a ton, but he is hitting a solid .295/.333/.484 with eight home runs and 11 stolen bases on the year, and he has always been an intriguing power/speed guy and a solid defensive outfielder.
He's making $4.1 million this season and has a year of arbitration left this coming offseason. That's reason enough for the Rockies to look to unload him, and he could be a nice pickup for someone like the Seattle Mariners who desperately need offensive production in the outfield.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- ADD a starting pitcher
With Josh Beckett landing on the disabled list on Tuesday with a hip injury, and the injury history of Dan Haren, there is no question the Dodgers could use some starting pitching depth.
It remains to be seen if depth is all the Dodgers will be looking for though, as the thought of adding David Price to the already lethal duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke remains awfully intriguing.
Acquiring Price would likely mean parting with two of Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and Julio Urias though, and that would be an awfully steep price to pay.
One way or another, expect the Dodgers to acquire a starting pitcher between now and the deadline. Just don't hold your breath that it will be Price who winds up sporting Dodger blue.
- EXPLORE left-handed relief and middle infield options
Beyond adding another starter, the Dodgers will likely just look at secondary pieces to fill out the roster for their stretch run.
Adding another left-handed reliever alongside J.P. Howell (41 G, 1.47 ERA) would make sense, especially considering it may be Paul Maholm who moves to the rotation to replace Beckett for the time being.
They could also target a utility infielder with Justin Turner and Erisbel Arruebarrena both currently on the DL with hip injuries and guys like Miguel Rojas and Carlos Triunfel providing little offensively.
San Diego Padres
- TRADE 3B Chase Headley and OF Chris Denorfia
At this point, there is no reason for the Padres not to cut their losses and move Chase Headley for whatever they can get.
With few impact bats on the market, and the outside hope that he can regain his 2012 form, that may wind up being more than he's worth.
The free-agent-to-be is hitting .225/.301/.344 with six home runs and 27 RBI on the year, but he does play a plus defensive third base, and one would think he could only benefit from a change of scenery at this point.
Denorfia (.254/.307/.344) is also a free agent at the end of the season and teams have shown interest in him in the past. He's another "move him for whatever you can get" candidate.
- SHOP relievers Huston Street, Joaquin Benoit and Dale Thayer
The Padres have perhaps the two best relief pitching trade chips on the market this year in closer Huston Street and setup man Joaquin Benoit. Both players are controllable beyond this season at reasonable salaries and both are having terrific years.
Street (23-of-24 SV, 1.13 ERA, 0.78 WHIP) has been the most effective closer in baseball this season and is a steal with a $7 million option for next season.
Benoit (36 G, 1.23 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 10.1 K/9) has closer experience from his time with the Tigers, but has long been one of the best setup men in baseball. He has an $8 million salary for next season and an $8 million vesting option for 2016.
The team could also shop Dale Thayer (41 G, 2.19 ERA, 1.19 WHIP), who is having a solid season in his own right and will be first-time arbitration eligible this coming offseason.
San Francisco Giants
- ADD a second baseman
When the Giants were sitting atop the NL West and looking like the best team in the National League, their struggles at second base were a bit easier to overlook. But now that the losses have started to pile up, it's the obvious spot to upgrade offensively.
The team's second basemen has hit a dismal .176/.265/.292 on the year, with Brandon Hicks seeing the bulk of the playing time early on and Joe Panik getting most of the starts of late.
It's worth mentioning that veteran Marco Scutaro finally began a rehab assignment at Triple-A Fresno on Monday, according to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News. Counting on him to be anything more than a utility infielder this season would be unwise, though.
- EXPLORE starting pitching depth
After a rocky season last year, the Giants rotation has been terrific this season, sitting ninth in the MLB with a 3.65 starter's ERA.
They've also been fortunate to have some good health, as their Opening Day rotation has started 86 of 91 games so far this season.
Yusmeiro Petit made the other five starts, going 1-2 with a 5.81 ERA, and, if one of the team's starters were to miss significant time, he'd likely be the one to step into their rotation spot as the team is very thin on rotational depth.
Adding a low-cost veteran to the mix as insurance would be a prudent move, and the team wouldn't have to give up much to do it.
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