Trade Winds

Some big names have popped up in MLB trade talks, but whether any of them will move is a different story. (USA TODAY Sports)

Some big names have popped up in MLB trade talks, but whether any of them will move is a different story. (USA TODAY Sports)

There are only nine full days left until Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline. That means nine days left until the ever-spinning hype machine builds to an almost unbearable fever pitch — and then throttles back a little bit until the divisional races really start tightening up. Every day between now and then I’ll be taking a look at some aspect of trade deadline talk that’s circling around the league and examine just how likely it is to come to pass. We’ll start with the three biggest names that may — or in one case, may not — be on the market.

David Price

Price (3.06 ERA, 155.2 IP) remains the big get of the trade deadline, with the most buzz attached to the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Seattle Mariners as destinations. One of these three is not like the others: the Mariners’ organization has graduated so many prospects (and those prospects have performed so tepidly) that Seattle no longer has a credible package to send Tampa without including Taijuan Walker, whom the team has repeatedly indicated they are not willing to trade. Even if Seattle did include him, that still might not be enough to win a bidding war with other teams; Walker’s injury earlier in the season might compel the Rays to go with, say, a Cardinals package instead should St. Louis offer Oscar Taveras and Tampa’s choice of a young arm under team control in the system.

The Cardinals and the Dodgers remain the most likely landing spots for Price at the moment, but the Cleveland Indians also have an outside shot. As I’ve mentioned before, the conversation may have to start with a package composed of elite shortstop prospect Francisco Lindor and one or two other pieces — but should the other teams show reluctance to part with their trade chips, the Indians might be able to come away with the rotation anchor they need in their quest to catch Detroit in the AL Central.

Prediction: Price to the Cardinals, with the Indians stepping at the 11th hour if St. Louis balks at Tampa Bay’s demands.

Cliff Lee

Lee (3.67 ERA, 73.2 IP) is a substantial step down across the board from Price this year: he hasn’t been healthy, he hasn’t been consistent, he’s far older and taking him on requires either Philadelphia to eat a lot of money or win what should be some very challenging negotiations. Cliff Lee’s contract contains one remaining guaranteed year at $25 million and a club option for 2016 at $27.5 million, but that’s a bit misleading: the buyout of Lee’s 2016 option is an insane $12.5 million, meaning that in effect, if a team acquiring Lee does not intend to pick up the option up, they’ll be paying $37.5 million for Lee’s 2015.

There’s one team that can credibly pull those finances off without an issue: the New York Yankees. They’ve been suitors for Lee multiple times in the past, first in the trade market when he was a Texas Ranger and then later in free agency. Starting pitching is such a need for New York both now and for next year that it seems unlikely they’d even decline Lee’s option. While the Blue Jays have also been attached to Lee, they would likely require the Phillies to eat some portion of his contract to make the money work — not the case in New York. The budget in the Bronx isn’t constrained by anything except ownership’s willingness to make discretionary exceptions to its planned spending limits, and Lee seems like the definition of a guy that the Yankees would make an exception to acquire — a proven, talented veteran with playoff experience that fills a need on the team now and for the immediate future.

Prediction: Lee to the Yankees or staying put, if the Phillies are asked to eat too much money.

Giancarlo Stanton

The Miami Marlins still say they’re not interested in trading Stanton (424 PA, .945 OPS, 23 HR), but that doesn’t mean teams aren’t going to continue to make plays for him hoping that the Fish will bite. The big reason everyone assumes that Stanton is actually in play is Miami’s apparent reluctance to sign Stanton to a big extension ever since the fire sale that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and others to the Toronto Blue Jays. For his part, Stanton wants to see his team commit to building a winning roster, but it’s still unclear on whether the franchise and their star player will ever be on the same page.

A Stanton deal would likely clean out the farm of whichever organization acquires him. The Dodgers might be able to get it done with Joc Pederson plus two other prospects of Miami’s choice; St. Louis might be able to get it done with Taveras, Carlos Martinez, Shelby Miller and a minor piece; Baltimore might have the most convincing package, offering the same sort of deal they might give in a Troy Tulowitzki trade — pitchers Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and first baseman Christian Walker. But outside of those three teams rich with young talent with the means and motivation to make a move, it’s hard to think of any franchises that would be a match. Stanton will probably start next year in a Marlins uniform — but if he hasn’t been extended by then, all bets are off.

Prediction: Stanton stays put – Cardinals fans get their hopes up for nothing.

15 thoughts on “Trade Winds

  1. What if anything do you think the Giants will do?

    I think Bonafacio would be a good fit, but now that Cain is on the DL will they also focus on pitching?

    • the Giants have a better crew in their minor league system
      than all the idiots mentioned.
      no one, i mean no one, actually studies the AA etc. level
      accept scouts.
      i expect surprises where by we fans are stunned at what
      moves are made involving minor leaguers based on scouting
      alone. i watched joc pederson strike out to end a bottom 9th
      affair bases loaded winning run on 2nd, at the whim of
      Heath Hembree, ?? why no mention here of the guy that leads
      AAA for 2 years? what more can he do, the organization has
      the best bullpen, when on, in the league. 2 stoppers both
      quality, when on, romo and casillas. great lefties, the leagues
      best when on. 2 series rings to prove it?? where are all the
      experts? Adam Duvall showing even accidental swings pop
      the center field wall in Philly, seeing Posey, only reach the
      track with a bigger fuller swing?? is weirrrrrrd. this kid
      is hitting over 300, and leads the league by 10 homers
      already, and RBIs, plays the corners, weak defense LOL
      but…how come no one mentions a prospect that just
      turned 25 has versatility, could dh, ph, and be taught to
      play LF as good as Morse for crimanysakes LOL LOL
      hes the best prospect in the minors, ahead of joc pederson
      by leaps, just watch em!!!! live, like me…joe panik is
      going to be a more valuable infielder than crawford,
      he will hit with the same power, more doubles, and
      30 points higher on average, and 100 on base %, the kid
      is money, im not sure i would trade Panik for Zobrist…
      he has a ceiling but we cant say what it is yet, it may
      be that its not any higher than zobrist..

      • You seriously believe that the Giants have the same high ceiling talent as the Cards, Dodgers, Orioles, Pirates, Mariners in the minors? If so, you might want to wipe the SF fog off of your eyes. Sure the Giants have a lot of eventual ML talent, but nobody aside from Crick as huge upside, and nobody is near major league ready.

        • well for one the AA team is in first place and leading
          the league in era etc. has the best batting avg SS
          most saves Law//strickland, etc. not an offensive
          powerhouse, but no one is in eastern AA,
          as for AAA they were potentially great but lost
          machi, gutierrez kontos panik duvall etc. you get the
          idea so much interference they are not a league leading
          record, as for the other teams you mentioned and their
          “prospects”, ill take guys that are doing it now,
          duvall for example
          panik for example 24 year olds
          crick and escobar 22 year olds
          hembree 24 its like for you to come in here
          and be insulting is not anything but emotion
          my analysis is based on facts, im an A’s fan
          i study the river cats etc. the Nuts,
          i watch them all live as a retired person i
          am all over this one. joc pederson is not
          as high a ceiling as adam duvall.

        • lets see last time i checked Panik and Duvall are
          major league starters!!!
          and its easy to see that you only rely on gossip
          and rumor, not on your own personal observation.
          have you watched Crick?
          hes not the best prospect and hes not big league ready.
          Kickham is both.
          If i had to pick a guy to pitch my team out of a jam
          right now, id take Kickham over Crick no brainer.
          there is no way to know the future and therefore
          all we can do is project, and i would rather rely on
          today’s performer than tomorrow’s projection,
          expectially looking back with 50 years of hindsight
          and seeing how lousy we all are at projecting out the
          correct outcomes. willie mays was a fast runner
          with very good defense and a weak bat, he was
          brought up on flair and his dad’s rep, he played in
          the series and did poorly only running the bases.
          he eventually taught himself to be a power hitter,
          its the same for hank aaron, read his book they call
          me the hammer, you dont know today, what the
          player will be tomorrow you can only guess, i can
          look at performances NOW, and say Hembree can
          be in a bullpen in the big leagues right now no doubt.
          hes good enough, and Kickham could be a starter on
          a weak team no doubt right now… no way in heck
          crick or escobar can do that, or say that not now.
          not right now. like panik and duvall, everyone down
          on panik and his avg has to look at crawford and belt
          avg they suck the same degree, and blanco so its not
          like its just one guy colvin adrianza arias and sanchez
          all hitting around 200 and panik is getting clutch
          outcomes, moving runners etc. his defense has
          been underrated. scutaro would have to do alot
          better than what im seeing for me to think a 4 year
          deal was a good idea for Sabean LOL

    • after watching Ty Blach live, hes a control lefty that can pitch
      to contact, very very good control and movement and a league
      leading era candidate. over the years only once did i see the
      flying squirrels have a quality season LOL but this year they look
      as good as anyone in the league. after Blach with his league leading
      era, i see last nite my man J Snodgrass mowed down a good hitting
      team. now a 2. something era hes like 10 and 3 a league leader in
      overall pitching and gets strikeouts for a control lefty with good
      movement and spots. hes pithing to contact very very confidently
      at this point and like Blach they have to move up to AAA now and
      figure out if they can keep the big hitters in the hitters parks
      off the bases. If these 2 can pull this off at the AAA level, they can
      become a Barry Zito like player. Both have that potential.
      i quit laughing at prospects with no “stuff” long ago after i saw
      Zito mezmerize people at 80 mph LOL LOL

    • the real story in AA has been SS Duffy a quality season with a league
      leading batting average ?? OMG man why no mention of this dude?
      hes leading the hardest to hit in league?? hes a Giant?? no mention
      anywhere of this late rounder, probably works for 20k a year LOL
      can easily out hit crawford, adrianza abreu noonan right now,
      thats not a joke, he runs well throws well is average D.
      this is our best offensive prospect in AA and below because
      Mac Williamson has been injured and not really 100%,
      none of our A leaguers will get a note because they are too far off.
      but AA pitching is really where we are at in SF. after Snodgrass
      and Blach, we have Clayton Blackburn being heavily scouted
      now that he is off the DL and pitching very very well again.
      another guy with good control, good movement, perhaps the
      most big league ready of the staff in Richmond, the DL thing
      has been overcome and this guy is a big RH, that may have a higher
      ceiling than Chris Heston his clone in AAA who lacks the movement
      this guy has, or well, maybe well see next year because blackburn
      has to get moved up or out as so many scouts…..circling……but not
      a mention here,??? the true artist emerging there is austin fleet
      who has won like 5 in a row and is getting more and more confident
      along with kevin marte another guy with an excellent record and
      as a team the lowest era in their league. only Mejia has been off his
      game this year. era is up and record not that good, after losing
      derek law to tommy john surgery :( hunter strickland came on and
      hes lights out with mccormick setting up, and cody hall very good
      the fact is it has been looking like big O Osich has been getting his
      control and at 95 to 100 mph hes unhittable setting up ????
      is he healthy? this guy is sick man….no wonder Richmond is killing it,
      Lisson made the allstars, we could see his potential in winter ball,
      villalona is back off the DL and underperforming, i would cut this guy
      loose, zambrano is working well at C, tyler graham is looking like a
      mover. and the only guy we hear about being mentioned in AA is
      KYLE CRICK LOL LOL LOL i have to say, hes underperformed, lacks
      control, has real good pop movement, but what good is it when your
      wild?? only go 5 innings at 22 hes a project, and like his well spoke
      of counter part in AAA Escobar, neither really looks like they will
      get their repeat down well enough to go big league to me.
      as for the AAA starters, its all about Kickham who is a top 5 league
      starter big lefty with good stuff, has lacked control but when on
      hes lights out. he got rushed into the BL last season and was not very
      good, well see if he can get a call up this sept. not many are as big
      league ready and proven as this guy, with better control who knows
      a bp guy? maybe, he seems better in person than on tv to me, im more
      and more impressed this year in mike kickham, watching chris heston
      who is on, better than i have ever seen him, and jason berken who
      was the league leader until injured, very good stuff and control,
      but not powerful, mitch lively was horrible, then started finding it
      this season and his contract came due he went road to get a better
      opportunity, and so did tony abreu yesterday LOL LOL you cant
      move thru this organization at all, its road blocked meaning,
      all this Duvall, Panik, Susac, Duffy, Escobar, Crick, Blackburn,
      Black, Hembree, it all together represents a hell of a bargaining
      chip, and to think, if duffy develops, crawford is exendable,
      as is adrianza, perez, brown, noonan already, Panik
      may be Zobrist and eliminate the need to do a huge trade.
      Belt is so screwed up i wish we would have traded him
      for Price last year when it came along. we dont need him with
      Duvall, i am leaning towards resigning Panda, and using posey
      and duvall at first, trading belt and prospect pitchers for price.
      i would offer panda for beltre with one prospect. and i would
      offer crick and escobar for price, i would throw in susac and
      panik if i could get zobrist. looking at the packages being
      offered for Price, i realized that because i actually know the
      giants AA team and have studied baseball intensely since 1965,
      i feel the Giants can manage to put together a deal for Price.
      and still have adequate pitching left over, its 2 or 3 prospect
      pitchers along with 2 prospect players and given the list!~!

    • aside from price, any move Sabean makes will be meaningless.
      alot of BS moves like Uggla, Franceur etc.
      nothing substantive.
      i feel the Giants should look at picking up Kemp from the
      dodgers. hes asking to go, i dont think hes going to hit
      over 275 again and wont be a great CF refusing to play
      LF LOL LOL what a headtrip, i still feel the dodgers will cut
      him loose, they want to play the other guys and have joc pederson
      knocking on the door, after looking at this im not sure the
      Rays will move price for pederson and they would not want kemp.
      with Pagan ailing, Kemp could work out in CF and would offer
      alot of upside potential if healthy, only thing is, the dodgers would
      have to eat alot of that contract.
      as Texas is in last place Beltre for panda works for me, panda can
      agree to a long term deal there ahead of time and beltre is good
      for one additional season so the Giants can have another year
      on Duvall at 3rd. or promoting Posey to 3rd, buying time, offing
      the 5 year panda deal that wont fly, and having potentially a
      backup plan with duvall.
      zobrist for panik and a prospect
      price for belt and a prospect pitcher like escobar.
      so the new giants are:
      Morse, Kemp, Pence
      Beltre Crawford Zobrist Duvall Posey
      Bumgarner Price Hudson Lincecum Vogy or Cain. with
      even if 3 prospects are gone my favourite 3, Crick Escobar
      and Blackburn, i still have lefties Blach, Snodgrass, Marte
      and Kickham LOL so im not really all that worried. Stratton
      and Fleet and Heston the big RHers. and lets face it at 23
      now, Tyler Bede needs to catch up to the AAA guys straight
      away. im not sure i have any confidence in the giants drafts
      of cabrerra ryder jones christian arroyo etc. stratton beede
      im not sure any of these guys will pay off.

    • everyone wants stanton but who can get him? and what
      do you give up?
      the Giants have Pence tied up and Morse one more year
      their CF prospect Brown is going to be out of options and
      must be cut loose next year, at 270 avg in AAA hes in trouble
      with darren ford there with chris dominguez etc. nothing
      popping there, so Stanton would be great to have but
      then where do we put pence, i wonder why pence cant
      play LF? so you could have Pence Kemp Stanton in the Giants
      OF. LOL LOL not bad.
      with Panda Duffy Zobrist Duvall and Posey for an infield.
      and Bumgarner Price Hudson Lincecum and for no 5
      youd have whoever you did not trade away. De Paula
      Kickham Heston Snodgrass Fleet im not so sure the Giants
      are making any moves, but there are alot of them.
      get stanton
      get price and zobrist
      trade panda now for beltre
      get kemp.

    • no way the giants make the playoffs with the current line up
      no way especially without belt and cain.

      • No way anyone others to read your comments here, man…
        No way especially because typing everything in lower-case letters makes your comments difficult to read and is nearly as annoying as typing in ALL CAPS.
        Seriously, capitalize proper nouns and the first words of sentences… those conventions exist for a reason – they enhance readability. Typing everything in lower caps gives the instant impression your comments are idiotic and not worth reading.

  2. Uggla is far from a quote “BS move”. Does he strike out at an unbelievable pace?? absolutely. But he has also hit 20+ homers since he landed in the major leagues with Miami. The Giants signed him to a major league minimum and sent him to Fresno. Yes he’s not what he used to be I understand that, but their bench is suffering with lack of production from Adrianza, Arias, Sanchez and so on and if Uggla can come off the bench just to pinch hit and provide some pop his acquisition is far from a “BS move”.

    • As a Braves fan and (consequently) sufferer from BUST (Braves Underperformance Syndrome Trauma; see also Upton, BJ, and Minor, Mike), I respectfully disagree with your statement that “Uggla is from from a quote “BS move.””