I know, it's only May 11th, but I love the trading deadline (July 31st) and all the hype that leads up to it. So I'm starting my hype early with some thoughts/predictions/statements/wishes/etc.
Teams that could be sellers:
Oakland (Orlando Cabrera, Jason Giambi, Bobby Crosby, Matt Holliday,
Seattle (Adrian Beltre, Erik Bedard, Russell Branyan, Jarrod Washburn)
Detroit (Magglio Ordonez, Placido Polanco)
Washington (Nick Johnson, Austin Kearns)
Baltimore (Melvin Mora, Aubrey Huff)
Cleveland (Cliff Lee, Ben Francisco, David Dellucci, Ryan Garko)
Pittsburgh (Freddy Sanchez, Adam LaRoche, Paul Maholm, Ian Snell, Zach Duke)
St. Louis (Rick Ankiel, Kyle Lohse, Dennys Reyes, Jason LaRue)
Colorado (Garrett Atkins, Yorvit Torrealba, Jason Marquis, Huston Street, Ryan Spilborghs)
San Diego (Jake Peavy, Brian Giles, David Eckstein)
Teams that could be buyers:
Yankees (C, RP, CF)
Marlins (SP, 3B, OF)
Angels (2B, SS)
Does anyone else think that Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik might send Erik Bedard to Milwaulkee, his former employer, to try and acquire some prospects he previously scouted?
The Angels are log jammed in the outfield (Torii Hunter, Juan Rivera, Gary Matthews Jr. , Reggie Willits, plus they have Vlad Guerrerro, who is on the DL). They should try to deal Matthews Jr. and/or Rivera. Matthews is signed through '11, making $10mm this year, $11mm next year, and $12mm in 2011. So it will be hard to find a taker. However, perhaps they could orchestrate a bad contract swap (Edgar Renteria perhaps?). I think a Juan Rivera ($3.25mm this year, $4.25mm next year, $5.25mm in '11) for Kazuo Matsui ($5mm this year, $5mm next year) would be a smart move. Kaz has post-season experience, with fine results (.347 OBP/ .500 SLG 2 doubles, 2 triples, and a homer in 46 postseason at bats). That's crucial for the Angels who expect to go far in the postseason.
Anaheim also needs some power, so they could also look at trading the speedy Chone Figgins and acquiring someone that can play third and hit with power like Adrian Beltre, Russell Branyan, Garrett Atkins, Melvin Mora, or Aubrey Huff.
The Braves could be the suitor that makes the most sense for Matt Holliday. I think he could get traded for a package built around Yunel Escobar. I don't think he'd bring back a top prospect like Tommy Hanson though.
Jake Peavy will get traded. Drayton McLane would probably love to have him in Houston, always buying when he should be selling, but he doesn't have much to give up. The Cubs could make sense, but they'd have to get the budget addition approved. We all know that Peavy has a no trade clause and prefers to stay in the NL. But, if that changes, Texas could be a fit. They have some promising young arms (Harrison, McCarthy, Feldman) along with a plethora of other young players, specifically a fine catching surplus(Max Ramirez, Saltalamacchia, and Taylor Teagarden). Who isn't going to respond to Nolan Ryan calling him up and saying that he wants him on his team? I also could see Peavy going to Milwaulkee for a package built around one of their young players like Alcides Escobar.
The Rockies need to trade Garrett Atkins. If they can get a young pitcher from the Angels or the Twins in exchange for Garrett they should. Names like Dustin Moseley, Glenn Perkins, and Nick Blackburn will surely be mentioned in trade talks.
Anyone else think that Wrigley Field could be a good landing spot for Placido Polanco? They need a second baseman and Detroit could host a firesale this summer. He could be traded for a young pitcher, probably not Jeff Samardzija, but maybe Sean Marshall or Randy Wells?
Now...what we all really care about...What's going on in the Bronx?
The Yanks have a very weak, injury-riddled, bullpen. We also may end up with a hole in center field, although if Melky keeps playing like he has been there will be no reason to worry.
With the bullpen, we need some reliable pitchers. Edwar Ramirez (5.40 ERA), Jose Veras (7.20 ERA), and Jon Albaladejo (5.63 ERA) just don't cut it. The way I see it right now we have two acceptable relievers in the 'pen, Mariano and Coke. Bruney's great, but he's on the DL. Aceves and Tomko could be good, but we won't know until they make a few more appearances. Damaso Marte is overrated, and on the DL. Even when he returns, I just don't see him as a quality arm any more. He hasn't been able to handle the Bronx ever since he arrived last year.
We should be looking to find some relievers via trade. Joe Beimel (1.74 ERA) , Bob Howry (3.38 ERA) , and Rafael Soriano (1.20 ERA) are some possible trade candidates. All are free agents after this year and all could be big parts of our bullpen.
There are some other guys to look at from Colorado (Grilli, Embree, Daley), San Diego (Perdomo), Cleveland (Sipp, Matt Herges), Chicago White Sox (Dotel, Linebrink, Thornton, Jenks, Carrasco), Oakland (Ziegler, Springer, Wuertz, Bailey), Seattle (Aardsma, Lowe, White), and St. Louis (Motte, Franklin, McClellan). These are all clubs that could easily deal a reliever either because of a surplus or because they won't contend this year. Hopefully Mark Melancon will come back up to the bigs sometime in the near future, and be effective. The core of our bullpen should be Mariano, Bruney, Melancon, and Coke. We need some other arms to throw in there and there are so many out there, we just need to go out and get them.
Currently we have a gaping hole at catcher with Jose and Jorge both out. I wouldn't mind signing free agent backstop Javier Valentin, but I'd really love to see us swing a deal for Yorvit Torrealba of the Rockies. The Rox want to get rid of him because he's a backup to Iannetta and he is making more than they'd like to pay ($3.5mm this year and a $4mm option with a $0.5mm buyout). Yorvit had success in the postseason in 07, is an okay hitter, he's better than Cash, that's for sure, and is above average defensively. The Rox need starting pitching and we could offer someone like Alfredo Aceves, Brett Tomko, Kei Igawa, Jason Johnson, or even Ian Kennedy(depending on what we got in return).
This summer will be full of blockbusters, of that I'm sure. But, we've still got a ways to go before we can know for sure where everyone will be heading.
Thanks to Cot's for contract info.