This year’s outfielders have a lot to live up to on July 31st. It was just a year ago that the Red Sox parted with Manny Ramirez and acquired Jason Bay. This time, Matt Holliday’s the big name, but there are also a few cheap, powerful players out there for teams looking to add an outfielder. Here’s your list of trade candidates, ranked from highest 2009 salary to lowest:
- Matt Holliday – At $13.5MM, Holliday's pricey, but he's a good defender with a history of batting excellence. With just seven extra base hits in the last month, Holliday's no longer perceived as a sure thing.
- Jermaine Dye - He makes $11.5MM this year and there's a mutual option with a $1MM buyout for 2010 on his deal. The White Sox want to win now though, so Dye doesn't appear to be on the block.
- Gary Matthews Jr. – The Angels would presumably pick up salary in any deal involving Matthews, as he makes $10MM this year and $23MM over the course of the next two years.
- Juan Pierre – Another overpaid outfielder in LA, Pierre makes $10MM this year and $18.5MM over the course of the next two. At least he's hitting well, with an OBP approaching .400 and a career-high slugging percentage.
- Alex Rios – He makes $5.9MM this year and has $60MM more coming his way between now and 2014. His teammate, Vernon Wells likely could not be traded.
- David Dejesus - Under contract for $3.6MM this year, he can play all three outfield positions, but his .714 OPS is ordinary.
- Mark Teahen – Makes $3.6MM as well and can play the outfield, though he's been manning third for the Royals. He has a .344 OBP and 27 extra base hits.
- Jeff Francoeur – He's struggled since last year and makes $3.4MM this season, so the suitors are not lining up for Francoeur.
- Josh Willingham – He has 10 homers for a .534 slugging percentage and he'll earn $3MM in 2009. Mike Rizzo says Adam Dunn's staying in Washington.
- Luke Scott - He makes just $2.4MM this year and won't be a free agent until after 2012, so the Orioles have a cheap, powerful asset on their hands. They have three talented outfielders already in Nolan Reimold, Nick Markakis and Adam Jones, so they could conceivably part with Scott.
- Jeremy Hermida – With good patience, some power and a $2.25MM contract, Hermida could appeal to teams in need of a bat.
- Cody Ross – Like Scott, Ross is cheap and powerful. He's slugging .505 and makes just $2.2MM this year. He's scheduled to hit free agency after 2011.
- Scott Hairston – He was just traded, but he plays solid defense and has extra base power, so Hairston, who makes $1.25MM this year, could appeal to other teams.
- Ryan Spilborghs – Apparently the Rockies would prefer to hold onto Spilborghs, who's under team control for three more years and makes just $415k this season.
The Tigers, Braves, Mets, Giants and Reds could all look for outfield bats.