Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NL King - NL Trade Bait to Watch

Something to keep in mind if you are in NL only leagues and either have these players on your own roster or maybe looking at acquiring them to add to your team in the short term. I am going to break down each team that I think will either definitely be sellers or could be sellers this year.

Could Be Sellers:
Brewers are team that tries to stay as competitive as possible even though they are a mid market team. They did lose Fielder & Greinke although they tried to keep them both & this spring they signed Kyle Lohse to a 3 year deal.  However the Brewers have holes on their team and if there young starters do not come through they could use more depth in the rotation and their bullpen is a disaster. So if they are out of contention come late July for a wild card spot they will be sellers.

 Corey Hart - Hart is only 31 so he has a few good years left in him but he is a free agent after the season. Hart should come off the DL in late May - early June and there is a good chance he winds up resigning with the Brewers. But if the Brewers feel they can't resign him and they are out of contention for a wild card spot come late July he will be moved.

I don't expect the Padres to be in contention but given their team I do not see a lot of choices other than Chase Headley and Houston Street.

Chase Headley - Headley is looking like the player he was last year and at least publicly the Padres are saying they want to Headley to be a Padre for life. Headley and his agent have said they will not talk contract during the season. I think the Padres will take the stance with Headley like the Marlins with Stanton just a touch different. The Padres will wait until the off-season and make a big push to sign Headley who at that point will be 1 year away from free agency. If the Padres feel they cannot sign Headley they will trade him at the next Winter Meetings. Again every team can be a part of the discussion and every team will have a lot of roster flexibility at that point. However if someone wows the Padres come July for Headley they will most certainly take a very hard look at that, but it would have to be a major package otherwise I believe they will wait until the off-season.

Houston Street - He is signed through next season 2014 but when your a bad team a closer is way down the list. The Padres also have Luke Gregerson who could take over as closer. They will not give Street away but if a team comes up with a good package that might be to hard to the Friars to resist. 

The Phillies could make a run to at least stay in contention for one of the wild card spots and if that is the case they won't even think about selling. However if the bottom starts to fall out then the Phillies might realize it's time to regroup. Last week although he has been terrible it seems they have lost Roy Halladay for at least a considerable amount of time. Here are their candidates.

Cliff Lee - They would probably love to move him and he is still a front line guy BUT at age 34 between this season and the next 2 years (signed through 2015) Lee is owed 87.5 million. That's nearly 30 million a year that's going to be almost impossible to move. Lee also has a limited 9 team no trade clause.

Jimmy Rollins - Still effective and signed through at least next season 2014 and has a vesting option for 2015 that could kick in for 11 million dollars if Rollins stays healthy. However Rollins has a no trade clause because he is a 10-5 man so he isn't going anywhere without his permission. Rollins is from Oakland so maybe he be willing to go to a California team.

Carlos Ruiz - He is a free agent after the season (34 years old) but honestly not a huge rebuild chip for Phillies.

Chase Utley - He is also a free agent after the season and is 34 years old. Utley is off to a very good start but between his no trade clause (10-5 man as well) and his beat up body going to be tough to move Utley and get a good return for him.

Michael Young - A free agent after the season I believe he also has a no trade clause and there is only so much the Phils would get for him.

Right now the Rockies are above .500 and like the Brewers as long as they are in contention for at least a wild card spot they will not be sellers. But honestly with their starting rotation I have a hard time seeing them staying in contention for even a wild card spot. But you never know.

Rafael Betancourt - He has been excellent as the Rockies closer since last year but he is 37 and will most certainly be a free agent after the season (4.25 million mutual option). Given his salary a lot of teams will be interested in Betancourt to bolster their bullpen and the Rocks should get a nice prospect or two for him.

Michael Cuddyer - A real good bat and he could really help someone especially an AL team where he could DH. However Cuddyer is a guy who has a lot of bumps and bruises on him, he is 34 and he is signed through next season at 11 million dollars per year. The Rockies have plenty of bats on the main roster and in fact they just called up Charlie Blackmon who is a good looking young player if he can stay healthy and they still have Tyler Colvin in AAA and all he did last year was hit .290 and have 18HR & 70+RBI in a little over 400AB's.

Jorge De La Rosa - Off to a fantastic start and as long as he De La Rosa is having a very good season and stays healthy the Rocks should be able to get a couple of good prospects for him come July.

Will be Sellers:
Theo Epstein knew when taking the team over he was at the start of a rebuilding program.

 Matt Garza - In the final year of his deal and when healthy he is a front line starting pitcher. Should be off the DL and back in the Cubs rotation sometime next week. Cubs are hoping that Garza pitches like the front end guy he is and stays healthy for the next 2 months and trade him for the best deal they can get come late July. If that pans out their will be a lot of suitors.

 Carlos Marmol - In the final year of his deal and making 9.6 million this season. Cubs will have to hope for a hot streak between now and the trade deadline, be willing to pay part of his contract to be able to get a raw low level prospect.

Alfonso Soriano - Soriano is making 18 million both this year & next and the Cubs want to move to him to open a spot for their younger players. Soriano does have a no trade clause but would move it for certain teams. The Cubs will have to hope that Soriano has a power year like last season, find an AL team desperate for a bat, be willing to eat a significant portion of the contract and expect back at best a couple of low level raw prospects.

The Marlins are in business to sell players.

Rickey Nolasco - Off to a nice start to the season and is a free agent after this year. The Marlins will definitely move him and that might do it way sooner that the end of July and take advantage when Nolasco is pitching well and strike when the iron is hot.

Giancarlo Stanton - Currently on the DL and unless some team blows away the Marlins with a huge package I don't believe the Marlins will look to trade Stanton until the off-season. Stanton is only making $537,000 and does not become arbitration eligible until after the season. Also in the off-season you can get every team involved and have every team have a lot more flexibility in terms of what they can give up. I believe Stanton owners are safe for the 2013 season in terms of Stanton not getting traded.

Still have a lot of work to do as they do not have enough quality players.

John Buck - Do not be fooled Travis D'Arnaud as long as he stops getting these freak injuries is the Mets catcher of the future and that future should start in August. Buck is off to a ridiculous start but come late July the Mets will hope Buck is continuing to have a career year and be able to trade him  for a good young player or two.

Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing

NL King - C.Lizza

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