Matthew Pouliot

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Trade Deadline Preview

Sunday, July 28, 2013


National League (Rotoworld MLB news - Rotoworld on twitter - Matthew Pouliot on twitter)

 

Arizona: The Diamondbacks' lineup is set, for better or worse, so GM Kevin Towers and company have to decide whether to add to the rotation or the pen. On the one hand, Brandon McCarthy and Trevor Cahill are on the way back to aid the starters and Randall Delgado has been terrific filling in. On the other, I'd say Patrick Corbin is the only starter on the club I'd feel good about starting in a postseason game. The bullpen is the more obvious need, given the struggles of Heath Bell and David Hernandez. Still, the Diamondbacks have right-handers Will Harris and Josh Collmenter pitching well in losing causes if they just want to give them more of a chance. They may just grab a lefty reliever rather than a closer candidate.

 

Atlanta: The terrible Tim Hudson injury has the Braves weighing a rotation upgrade, such as Peavy, but they'll probably just add a reliever instead. A southpaw from the group of Downs, Mike Gonzalez and Mike Dunn would make the most sense. Even without Hudson, they still have six starters in Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood. While I'm intrigued by Wood as a starter, he may be best utilized out of the bullpen for now. He could turn into a nice weapon there in the postseason.

 

Chicago: The Cubs are still open for business, with Nate Schierholtz and Kevin Gregg serving as the obvious candidates to go. David DeJesus, recently back from a shoulder strain, seems more likely to be dealt in an August deal. A more intriguing name was added to the mix Saturday, with the news that Jeff Samardzija could be had. The Cubs have the newly acquired Jake Arrieta and Justin Grimm in reserve, so rotation depth is a strength right now. Still, a Samardzija deal is probably a 10:1 shot. If Gregg goes, Pedro Strop will take over as closer, something that's probably going to happen anyway. Schierholtz's departure would put Cole Gillespie and Julio Borbon in right until Brian Bogusevic returns from a hamstring strain. Maybe Brett Jackson will be ready for a look in September. The Cubs could also deal Luis Valbuena to make room for Mike Olt at third, though it's more likely that they'll keep Valbuena as a part-timer.

 

Cincinnati: The Reds haven't gotten much from injured relievers Jonathan Broxton, Sean Marshall and Nick Masset this year, so they could stand to add a bullpen arm to help out in the seventh and eighth innings. However, they should be able to stick Tony Cingrani there in September and October if Johnny Cueto makes a triumphant return. So, really, they're pretty well set. A better left-handed hitter to play behind Todd Frazier at third base and maybe Zack Cozart at shortstop would be nice, but those guys aren't easy to find.

 

Colorado: Colorado's situation isn't hopeless yet, but being six games back in the NL West and eight behind in the wild card suggests selling would be the prudent choice. Of course, that doesn't mean they will. In Michael Cuddyer, Jorge De La Rosa and Rafael Betancourt, they have some key pieces they could put in play. A Betancourt trade, though, would most likely have to wait until after he recovers from appendicitis. Most likely, they'll simply stay the course. If they do trade Cuddyer, right field would be wide open for Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson or Tyler Colvin. Dickerson has been the best of the bunch this year, but Blackmon is manager Walt Weiss's preferred option now.

 

Los Angeles: The Dodgers are on a roll and don't necessarily need the help, but subtle isn't really their thing. Their pending signing of Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero to a $32 million contract could aid the infield as soon as September. Perhaps he'll serve as a backup then and replace Mark Ellis at second base in 2014. The Dodgers could also consider Utley if he becomes available and any of the top starters put up for bid. Still, the most likely addition is a right-handed reliever. Most likely, it'd be for a setup role. However, it's not outside of the realm of possibility that they'll acquire an experienced closer (Nathan?) and push Kenley Jansen back to the eighth.

 

Miami: Perhaps wary of further reprimands over what they're doing with their revenue sharing money, the Marlins are poised for a quiet week. Not only is Giancarlo Stanton off limits, but the Marlins are telling teams that Steve Cishek and Mike Dunn aren't available. Perhaps they'll move Chad Qualls or Ryan Webb for a prospect. Justin Ruggiano could make for a decent fourth outfielder on a contender, but given that he hasn't had a hit in three weeks, his stock is awfully low at the moment. Placido Polanco is the other position player most likely to depart, but it's unclear if anyone is going to want him. As for the callups, well, they're mostly already here. Christian Yelich is worth a try as a fifth outfielder in mixed leagues. Jake Marisnick seems likely to be overmatched, but he's still worth a pickup in NL-only leagues. Derek Dietrich could get another try later if Polanco goes.

 

Milwaukee: Already having moved Francisco Rodriguez, the Brewers are going to keep dealing from their bullpen. Mike Gonzalez is sure to go. John Axford has always seemed a likely possibility, as well. However, now there's some talk that Jim Henderson, too, could be a trade candidate. Henderson was picked over Axford to regain the closer's role after the K-Rod trade, which would seem to suggest that he'll stay. It will all depend on the offers, though. Either way, there's still some chance Axford will get some saves the final two months. If the Brewers make a move in their rotation, I think it's more likely to involve Tom Gorzelanny than either Yovani Gallardo or Kyle Lohse. They'll be cautious there, in part because they lack much in the way of rotation fallbacks; Jimmy Nelson might be the best option. One player who would get some notice if made available is Rickie Weeks, even though he's cooled off again after his outstanding June. The A's and Royals could use his pop. Scooter Gennett would take over at second in the event of a Weeks deal.

 

New York: If the Mets were gutsier, they'd look to sell high on Daniel Murphy and Bobby Parnell. They'll probably just let the deadline pass them by, though. No team is going to give up a top prospect for Marlon Byrd, and the Mets would rather keep him than give him away. Right-handed relievers LaTroy Hawkins and David Aardsma might get looks from contenders, but the Mets will likely ask for more than their worth. On the off chance that Parnell is traded, Aardsma would be the logical choice to close.

 

Philadelphia: Losing eight in a row might have been the best thing for the Phillies, as Ruben Amaro seemed prepared to mortgage even more of the farm system for what figured to be an ill-fated run this year. Now the team can make Utley, Michael Young, Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz and even Cliff Lee available. I'd include Jimmy Rollins on the list, but the Philadelphia Daily News reported he won't waive his no-trade clause. Young seems to be the most likely candidate to go, and Cody Asche could come up and play third base in his place. Utley and Ruiz will give the Phillies pause, since even though they're set to become free agents, the team may well want to re-sign them. Of course, there's nothing stopping them from dealing them now and trying to bring them back this winter. My guess is that Utley and Young go and everyone else stays. Papelbon is just so expensive at $13 million per year through 2015 or 2016 if his option vests. Lee's contract is huge -- he'll make $62.5 million for 2014-15 or $77.5 million for 2014-16 -- and while I'm guessing the Dodgers or Red Sox would take it on, neither is going to want to give up top prospects to do so.

 

Pittsburgh: The Pirates are usually sellers this time of year, but not in 2013. With Garrett Jones having rebounded some of late and Gaby Sanchez still doing a nice job against lefties, the Pirates don't have any obvious needs. I still think Morneau or Adam Lind would be a nice fit -- Jones can play right field after all -- but the Pirates can get by as is. Shortstop is another place where an upgrade would be a luxury, not a necessity. I'd stick with Jordy Mercer and Clint Barmes before giving up a prospect for Alexei Ramirez and taking on his contract. With Jason Grilli down for a month, the Pirates could add a reliever. The bullpen has been outstanding this year and is perfectly capable of covering Grilli's absence, but someone like Janssen or Luke Gregerson would only add to its potency.

 

St. Louis: The Cardinals have baseball's best record and its best run differential, but they're still being aggressive in looking at Peavy and Alexei Ramirez. The bummer for them is that there are no better shortstops than Ramirez available. Aybar would be great, but the Angels (after trading Jean Segura for Zack Greinke last year) would have to be bowled over. The Indians are in the thick of the race and can't part with Asdrubal Cabrera. Rollins reportedly won't waive his no-trade. Jurickson Profar for Oscar Taveras? That old rumor still makes some sense, but there's no reason to think it's ever actually been discussed and Profar isn't necessarily a short-term upgrade. Probably best just to target Peavy and to continue to cobble together the shortstop situation.

 

San Diego: Injuries have robbed the Padres of their depth and some of their opportunities to sell. Also, Chase Headley, who would have been a top target had he been made available last winter, isn't nearly as attractive to teams now after four months of mediocrity. The Padres could trade Carlos Quentin, but they probably won't. He is their best hitter, even if he gives a lot of it back on defense. Nick Hundley was supposed to be trade bait, but not only is Yasmani Grandal hurt, he also has the Biogenesis cloud handing over his head. It sounds like the Padres will trade Gregerson; he'll bring in a significantly nicer return than Huston Street would at the moment. Edinson Volquez is available but unwanted. The righty swinging Jesus Guzman would make a nice bench piece for a contender.

 

San Francisco: The Giants have slipped behind the Padres into last place in the NL West, which should make the decision to sell easy. It's not Brian Sabean's style, but he may have to suck it up anyway. Tim Lincecum's bounce-back outing Sunday after an initial rough start following his no-hitter should have his stock on the rise. He might be an ideal get for Boston; he could be the fifth starter now and then potentially move back to the bullpen in the postseason. Pence seems like a good bet to go, perhaps to Texas or Pittsburgh. If that happens, Francisco Peguero could get a look in right field for the Giants. Chad Gaudin, Santiago Casilla and Jose Mijares are also possibilities for trades.

 

Washington: The Nationals won't give up, but they probably won't do anything big, either. The lineup is set, and Taylor Jordan has more than held his own while filling in for Ross Detwiler in the rotation. Plus, Ross Ohlendorf has looked great as a swingman. If the Nationals add, it will most likely be to the bench or the bullpen. It probably won't have much in the way of fantasy ramifications either way.



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Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
Email :Matthew Pouliot


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