Waiver Trade Candidate: Ryan Klesko

Let’s assess Ryan Klesko’s situation and background.  He could be a  candidate for a waiver trade this month.

When he has been on the field, the 35 year-old Klesko has recently been seen in left field.  Last year, he dealt with back soreness/spasms, a fever, a pinched nerve in his neck, and a strained shoulder.  He got into 137 games despite all of that, but slugged just .418. 

The Padres planned to move him to first base and the #2 slot this year, but a cortisone shot didn’t solve his shoulder problem.  By April he’d decided to have surgery.  Currently he’s about a week away from playing in rehab games.  Some team might want his left-handed bat, and if his shoulder’s better some power could return. 

Klesko makes $8MM in the final year of his deal; Kevin Towers has already mentioned that he won’t exercise Klesko’s 2007 option.  As a 10 and 5 player, he the ability to reject any waiver claim.  He’s said he’s willing to waive that right if there’s a chance to play full-time for a contender.  Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .303/.346/.519 as Klesko’s replacement.

Earlier in July, the Red Sox expressed a little bit of interest in Klesko.  While any trade would involve a contending team, it’s unlikely Klesko would be a starter.  The Twins and Angels could have interest as well. 

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