Jeff Todd, a writer for MLBTradeRumors.com, joins Scott and Jeremy to discuss possible MLB trade rumors as the trade deadline approaches.
As the deadline approaches, teams are already making moves to bolster their pitching staffs or acquire prospects in return for them. The Cleveland Indians have determined they are basically out of the playoff race for an AL wildcard spot, and they’ve traded their ace starter, Justin Masterson, to the St. Louis Cardinals.
“The Indians are a practical club that sort of takes things as they come—they have another solid player in Asdrubal Cabrera who could now be on the move as well,” said Todd.
The Red Sox are worse off than the Indians at this point when it comes to playoff contention, but still, most don’t naturally think of Boston as a team to trade their own players. According to Todd, this season may be different.
“I think the Red Sox are in a very interesting spot—they’re the kind of club that you don’t see as a seller, but their GM is very practical, and he’s going to go get what he can,” Todd said.
Although Jon Lester has been the hottest rumored player in trade speculation, there’s another Boston starter who teams may have interest in.
“Lacky is going to appeal to a lot of contenders who don’t have big payrolls, because Lacky is going to earn the league minimum this year. That is attractive to teams,” said Todd.
There are a number of reasons for why starting pitchers dominate the trade rumor mill: They are difference makers in the playoffs, they are the key to every game’s outlook, and they’re more marketable. However, another reason for a lack of hitters in trade talks has been simple—there just aren’t that many quality hitters available.
“Marlon Byrd of the Phillies, Josh Willingham of the twins, and Alex Rios may all be dealt. Their clubs might be able to get a more decent return due to lack of players available,” Todd said.
As for trades specifically within Baltimore’s division, the trends have seemed to have flipped up-side-down this season.
“The AL east is always fascinating and it seems like it is for different reasons. The Red Sox look like sellers, the Ray look like holders, and as you kind of move up the standings the Yankees are picking around the edges, but they may go for the big money yet again,” Todd speculates.
Although the Orioles may seem like they’ve remained quiet, Todd speculates they do so for a tactical reason, in hopes of getting the price down.
“[Y]ou look at the top, the Os and Bluejays have been heard about in rumors a lot, and they’re sitting back waiting for the prices to drop,” Todd said. And I think you may see a couple of moves from the Orioles right before the clock stops.”
The move Baltimore would like to make before the deadline may involved the Phillies’ second basemen, Chase Utley. However, that’s a bit trickier than at first glance on the surface.
“Utley would be a huge addition for the Orioles, but the problem with him is that he has a no trade clause in his contract. So, if he doesn’t want to go, he won’t go,” said Todd.