Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Could the Rangers deal Darvish?

The Texas Rangers are 6 games below .500 entering play on Wednesday and while the team has not yet given up on 2014 with 6 teams sitting between them and the final wild card spot, odds of another post season appearance are beginning to look less and less likely with every loss.
The next few weeks won't get any easier.  On Tuesday the team began a stretch of 20 games in 20 days before the All star break then right after the All star break they'll jump into 13 games against teams who currently sit in playoff spots. When they are done with that stretch it'll be the July 31 trade deadline.
General manager is reportedly exploring the trade market to bring back core players in return for players like Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios, Joakim Soria, Adrian Beltre, and even Yu Darvish.

Padres ready to sell off bullpen

The San Diego Padres have some decisions to make in terms of which players to deal away before the July 31 trade deadline and the firing of general manager Josh Byrnes would seem to indicate that change is indeed afoot with the franchise.
That's probably not surprising to learn that the Padres are getting a lot of trade inquiries on back end bullpen stalwarts Huston Street and Joaquin Benoit.
Neither pitcher has a No trade clause so several teams are bound to be making offers over the next few weeks. The Tigers, Angles, Blue Jays, Orioles, Brewers, and Marlins are among contending teams that could be surveying the relief market and are potential landing spots for relievers. Among teams with playoff aspirations are the Yankees, Twins, and Indians are logical teams to look at the pen market because of uneven relief work.
If the Padres do end up trading one of those pitcher the closer role would go to the other. However, if the Padres decide to deal both, then it would give the franchise an opportunity to audition Dale Thayer and Alex Torres to potentially fill that role going forward in 2015 and perhaps beyond.

New Closer for the Angles?

After refusing to outright declare that closer Ernesto Frieri had been relieved of his ninth inning duties, even as he continued to use other pitchers in the role over the last few games, manager Mike Scioscia finally confessed to reporters that there was a new go to guy in his bull pen. The embattled Angles bullpen tossed four scoreless innings in an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night and while Frierei did work in a scoreless eighth it was Joe Smith who wrapped up the win in the ninth. Scioscia said there's No doubt they wanted to use Smith in the ninth and they're gonna keep him in the closer role until until Frieri gets his feet on the ground and his game comes back.

Lee set to return in July

The Philadelphia Phillies expect Cliff Lee to be back from elbow injuries in July. Barring setbacks he could be back for a start right before the All star break depending if he needs 2 or 3 rehab starts. Regardless on how many starts he makes in July July could be his last month as a phillie as they are expected to move his contract. Lee is due at least $50 million over the next season and a half. That figure could grow to 62.5 million if he vests his option for 2016. Teams that have spoken with the Phillies say the club is willing to eat a good portion of his salary if they get the right pieces in return.

Diamondbacks ready to deal?

The Arizona Diamondbacks payroll is the highest in team history, but there they sit in last place in the national league west. As such, it makes perfect sense for the team to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches.
Kevin Towers, the general manager, said that the team has to be open minded in moving contracts and some veteran players for younger players.
One name the Diamondbacks are looking to move is Aaron Hill. He's due $29.5 million through 2016 and his numbers have decreased. Brandon McCarthy is due $4.5 million and Cody Ross is due $12.75 million.
Brad Ziegler has gone 17-3 since the start of the 2012 season and has solid numbers as a setup man this season. He is 34 years old and falls into the veterans category. Teams that can use him are the Tigers and Dodgers.
Martin Prado is a versatile player and would make him a perfect addition for teams looking to add roster flexibility depth for a run at the post season.  Yangervis Solarte has been a bit shaky at third so a move to the Yankees would seem to be a perfect fit.
If Bronson Aaroyo can return to the mound and show he's still healthy teams may have interest in him. Given Tony La Russa's involvement with Arizona perhaps he can luar an under the radar prospect from St Louis who just lost a pair of starting pitchers.