|Fantasy Baseball: Nine Men on the Trade Block|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on July 24, 2008
The trade deadline is a week away, which means it is time to look at a few players who may be on the move. For those of you who are in AL or NL only leagues, I’ll add a list of potential teams those guys may go to. There’s nothing worse than losing a good player because he now plays in the opposite league.
CL George Sherrill, Baltimore Orioles – Sherrill’s story of reaching the big leagues is amazing. Not drafted out of Austin Peay College, Sherrill worked at a baseball academy in Memphis, Tenn., before working for UPS. He got back into baseball, because his goal in college was to play professionally. Sherrill was a vital part of the winning AL squad this year in the All Star Game. He may be out of Baltimore, however, as the team needs to be serious about its rebuilding efforts. A quality closer is a commodity the Orioles have no need for and could net serious interest from the Dodgers, Brewers, and Yankees.
CL Huston Street, Oakland Athletics – His name is mentioned quite a bit around the trade deadline, but he hasn’t moved yet. There are some good reasons why he may go, but also some more why he won’t. That makes this a difficult situation to gauge. The A’s could easily plug Santiago Casilla or Joey Devine into the closer’s role for much less money. However, the closer market may be saturated with Sherrill, Jon Rauch, and Brian Fuentes out there. Street also blew a costly save opportunity last Saturday, so he needs to pitch lights out for the next week. The Mets and Dodgers are interested.
CL Demaso Marte, Pittsburgh Pirates – With Matt Capps out, Marte has taken over the closer’s role in Pittsburgh with gusto. He has a quality fastball and with his control improving recently, Marte could become a very solid closer or setup man for a contending team. Needless to say, his talents are being wasted in Pittsburgh. Look for Boston to chase him.
CL Brian Fuentes, Colorado Rockies – The Rockies are out of contention and should realistically rebuild for 2009 and beyond. That means dealing a lefty closer who could draw interest from contending clubs in need of a setup man. Colorado already has Manny Corpas as its long-term guy for that role. So, who could snag Fuentes at the deadline? Look for the Yankees, Mets, Phillies, and Cardinals to all make calls to Dan O’Dowd.
SP AJ Burnett, Toronto Blue Jays - This situation is a little tricky. Burnett can opt out of his contract at season's end. Or he could stay with his current club for a two-year, $24 million guarantee. If he can stay healthy, we should expect Burnett to opt out and try for that new contract. There was a reason why that clause was built in. Other than health concerns, Burnett's propensity for allowing walks may scare teams off. I only say "may" because it's the trade deadline and teams are desperate for pitchers. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, scouts from the Cardinals, Phillies, Yankees, Brewers, Marlins, Dodgers, and Tigers all had scouts at last night's Blue Jays/Orioles game. They also may have been there for Sherrill.
SS Jack Wilson, Pittsburgh Pirates – A few mixed league players may wonder why Wilson is included here, but those NL only guys go through desperate times at shallow positions. Wilson is hitting .280 and pretty much nothing else so far this year. That hasn’t stopped teams like the Orioles, Tigers, and Dodgers from calling. A dark horse in this competition may be the Cardinals.
SP Greg Maddux, San Diego Padres – With the Padres in even worse shape than the Rockies, look for them to part ways with Maddux, 42. He has been a solid performer this year, putting up a 4.21 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP. Maddux may not get that many innings, but he is a consistent performer who could help keep your ratio stats down. According to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com, Maddux would only accept a trade to a west coast team. That pretty much means the Dodgers.
OF Matt Holliday, Colorado Rockies – Power is a rarity on the trade market, which means it would be sage for the Rockies to put Holliday out there. He is hitting .338/.423/.576 so far this year. With numbers like that, Holliday can hit anywhere. Just be careful about his home/road splits so far this season: .368/.442/.670 at Coors and .301/.400/.459 away. The Phillies were rumored to be close, but the Yankees, Red Sox, and Mets should be at the front of the line.
1B Mark Teixeira, Atlanta Braves – The Braves appear as if they’re going to go for it this year, which may not be the wisest course of action considering their streaky play. Teixeira has been mentioned in a trade for Kevin Youkilis of the Red Sox, but those whispers have fallen away. The Angels would be a logical match, but they have been slow to trade away the quality prospects Atlanta would want in return. The best guess here is that the Braves hold onto their first baseman for the remainder of the season.