Starting Pitching Trade Candidates

As usual, starting pitching questions abound for many teams.  The Dodgers, for example, have to be concerned about the majority of their rotation.  Here's a look at starting pitchers who may be available a few months from now.

  • The Orioles are already nine games out.  Kevin Millwood has a brilliant K/BB ratio so far, and may prove an unnecessary luxury for the O's.  Jeremy Guthrie is more interesting, since he's under team control through 2012.  The question is how comfortable the Orioles would be downgrading their rotation in the short-term.
  • We touched on the White Sox yesterdayFreddy Garcia could potentially be available this summer, or earlier if the Sox remain in contention but prefer Dan Hudson as the fifth starter.
  • The Rays could probably spare Andy Sonnanstine now.  He'll move further down their depth chart once Jeremy Hellickson is deemed ready.
  • The Royals' Gil Meche would have to prove he's healthy before a deal could occur.  Brian Bannister, under team control through '12, is more attractive.  There's no real reason for the Royals to move him, though.
  • The Indians' Jake Westbrook is still shaking off the rust of Tommy John surgery.  The Tribe probably wouldn't mind shedding some of his $11MM salary.
  • The Mariners' Ian Snell could be expendable if Doug Fister and Jason Vargas continue to perform well.
  • Like the Orioles, the Pirates probably prefer not to weaken their rotation further.  GM Neal Huntington does hold two attractive pieces in Zach Duke and Paul Maholm, though.
  • The Reds have a pair of well-paid veteran starters in Bronson Arroyo and Aaron Harang.  Harang is basically owed $15MM if traded, so he'd need to go on a strong run to be marketable.
  • The Padres are enjoying a first-place tie, but they do have three veteran starters in contract years: Jon Garland, Kevin Correia, and Chris Young.
  • Teams looking for aces have to hope the Mariners, Rockies, Cubs, Athletics, Astros, or Diamondbacks fall out of contention.  That might make Cliff Lee, Jorge de la Rosa, Ted Lilly, Ben Sheets, Roy Oswalt, and Brandon Webb available as rentals.  Wandy Rodriguez, under team control through '11, could be a hot commodity if the Astros commit to a rebuild (which would admittedly be out of character).  On a related note, WFAN's Mike Francesa says the Mets "have been sniffing around" Oswalt, and the Astros are listening for the first time.  However, ESPN's Adam Rubin has a source who believes the Mets have no chance at Oswalt. 

59 Responses to Starting Pitching Trade Candidates Leave a Reply

  1. Dear Ruben Amaro, please address the awful pitching you have assembled by going and getting any one of those guys who are better than Moyer and Kendrick. Also, please call someone who has a legit closer because if you havent noticed every ninth inning a run scores!!!!!!!!!!

  2. nymets4581 5 years ago

    Dear Omar Minaya, Get fired and get replaced by a GM who can sign/trade for a pitcher

    • right cuz it wasnt Omar that traded for Johan…( aka the best LHP in baseball )

      • Gubb1 5 years ago

        Get your facts straight he was signed as a free agent. All that took was $$ to get that done!

        • You might want to check that. He was traded to the Mets from the Twins, they the mets decided to sign him to an extension.

        • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

          Buddy you are wrong he was the twins ace the mets beat out the red sox and yankees for him cause the yankees refused to give up joba and hughes and red sox didnt wanna give up clay and i think it was ellsbury dont sure but the mets traded carlos gomez , Phillip Humber and i think 2 other people. Your whole free agent theroy is because they had a extenison window cause he was on the last year of his contract. Or else Bill Smith wouldnt have traded him then. SO do your self a favor and all of us and just take it that your wrong

      • Gubb1 5 years ago

        Get your facts straight. Johan was a free agent signing. All Minaya did was be the highest bidder. As far as trades lets see, Scott Kazmir to the Rays for damn can’t remember his name. Thats how popular that trade was. Oh and wasn’t he fired from the Nationals as well. Time for a change in Flushing!

      • jwsox 5 years ago

        seriously you need to learn about omar he has a history of bad deals…ie his trade of cliff lee+grady sizemore+ brandon phillips for bartolo colon..and he threw a bunch of money at johan and destroyed his farm system and has yet to be able to do anything with him becuase they dont have money for anyone else…omar is one of if not the worst GM’s in history

        • Common misperception. Manaya did not make the Bartolo Colon trade. That was Dan Duquette. Probably should have your facts straight before you call people out.

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            i just looked it up again and omar was the GM during the time the the lee+sizemore+philips for colon happened..and GM’s are the ones that do the trades

          • Look it up again. You. Are. Wrong. it was Duquette.

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            can you provide a link every where i look omar was in charge when that trade went down

          • jwsox 5 years ago

            I just check wikipedia…..a few other websites…and even this on in the GM trade history segment Tim did in 2008 Omar was 100% in charge when that trade went down

        • bjsguess 5 years ago

          How did the Johan trade destroy the farm system? The Mets gave up nothing of value for one of the best pitchers in baseball. Not putting the Sizemore deal in context also tells only half the story. Looks bad today but at the time it was a win now move for a franchise that was going to be contracted.

      • redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

        Im going to have to respectfully disagree with you i think that C.C Sabithia is but its Close but if i had to choose it would be sabithia

  3. I think you can add Tom Gorzelanny to that list too. With Ted Lilly coming off the DL in four days, it appears as though Carlos Silva will stay in the rotation over Gorzelanny–thus making him expendable.

    I think Gorzelanny will certainly be a trade candidate considering how he’s looked so far this season (1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 7 K’s in 9.3 IP) and even last season (3.05 BB/9, 9.39 K/9, and 1.35 WHIP). Being a lefty never hurts either…

  4. baseball1 5 years ago

    Millwood and Guthrie look great so far this year. I would prefer to keep at least one since our pitching is thin and it would be not such a good idea to have the whole staff under the age of 25. (Matusz, Hernandez, Tillman, Bergesen, Berken, Arrietta, etc.)

  5. lefty58 5 years ago

    You missed a big one, Mark Buehrle is almost certain to be on the market at the deadline.
    He is on an awful team and has acknowledged that he has no intent on resigning with the White Sox, his current deal ends after next season and he will never have higher value than he has right now. If he pitches another bad/terrible 2nd half again like last year, he will severely diminish any return the team could expect.

    Bad team + good pitcher + desire to leave = good time to trade.

    • Triteon 5 years ago

      Nice call. Buehrle has said for some time that he’d like to pitch for the Cardinals before he retires. I could see a late-season trade down the line though, barring an injury to the starting staff, maybe not this year. It would be nice to see him pitch for his home team, and allow the legend/cult of Dave Duncan grow.

    • I don’t know. I thought about Buehrle for this post and for yesterday’s White Sox one and decided to leave him off. I think that even with a veteran sell-off the Sox will still be looking to win in 2011 and will want Buehrle around.

      • lefty58 5 years ago

        My position has more to do with returns and timing than it has to do with Buehrle and his potential 2 year impact. While the obvious players they have to trade will bring very little in return IMHO, AJ, Konerko, Jenks, Pierre, Garcia, Linebrink, suddenly Buehrle starts to make more sense. They have a few that are close to impossible to unload in Rios and Peavy due to obscene contracts and why would they consider Danks or Floyd?

        My position is that if they are looking for significant return to build on, there are very few choices other than Buehrle.

  6. The Dodgers probably are concerned about their rotation, but they have almost nothing left to trade in terms of prospects. They’ve spent less than every other major league over the last 3 years on signing draft picks, and they gave up their best trade chips to acquire Casey Blake and George Sherrill.

    • Piccamo 5 years ago

      Why not Ivan Dejesus Jr and Josh Lindblom for Millwood?

    • markjsunz 5 years ago

      In A few years they will be worse then an expansion team. The fans do not know what the McCourts are really doing to this team. When the young talent that McCourt inherited are not signed as free agents it is going to be ugly. The Tampa bay team is doing it the right way with a limited budget and they may have the best starting pitching in all of baseball. They have major talent ready to come to the big leagues when the rays players become free agents. They are a team to get excited about. The Dodgers are being run into the ground. The O`Malley family would deliver world championships, The McCourts are nothing more then carpetbaggers from the sewers of Boston.

  7. biz251 5 years ago

    Did you just call Jorge de la Rosa and Ted Lilly Aces? Really

  8. dizzle4 5 years ago

    I’d add Shaun Marcum of the Jays to this list.

    • East Coast Bias 5 years ago

      Why? That makes no sense. He’s making less than a mil, and going through arbitration years. That’s exactly the kind of pitcher the Jays WANT!

    • Taskmaster75 5 years ago


      Makes no sense, he’s good, makes no money, and can develop even more.

      • dizzle4 5 years ago

        Rosenthal had an article a few weeks ago about how he should attract interest. Jays have him for 3 more years (until 2013), so if they can get a couple of good prospects in return that they could control for 6 years each, they’d jump on it.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          Remember, this is the same Rosenthal who talked about Vernon Wells and him possibly being traded last week.

          I won’t discount the possibility of Marcum becoming a trade commodity, but I don’t see it bearing fruit any time soon.

          • dizzle4 5 years ago

            Maybe it’s just because I follow the Jays closely, but I can easily see the Jays dealing Marcum. He’ll be 30 by 2012, which is the earliest the Jays can hope to compete. He has very good stuff, but probably profiles as a #3 or #4 starter on a contender in the AL East, so to me it makes tons of sense to move him for a couple of high potential prospects. I’m not saying in any way that the Jays should dump him or take any offer they get, but for a great offer, I think he’s definitely a trade candidate.

  9. East Coast Bias 5 years ago


  10. TwinsVet 5 years ago

    After an offseason of “The White Sox are favorites because of the world’s best pitching staff!!!1!!!one!!!”, it’s amusing as hell to see talk already of selling, including selling pieces of this vaunted staff that was supposedly going to compensate for the loss of their two premiere mid-order slugging threats.

    • coup 5 years ago

      I’m not discounting the White Sox just yet.

    • lefty58 5 years ago

      I don’t think many seriously considered the White Sox contenders. They are as bad as any team in the majors defensively and have a joke of a lineup. No OBP guys and minimal power = low run production.
      And honestly, did anyone really think the team that has been the worst in the majors for years fundamentally was suddenly going to win games because of their sound fundamental play? It’s just not logical.

      • TwinsVet 5 years ago

        I agree.

        But that wasn’t the hype on the south side. Even nationally there was talk they were favorites when nathan went down.

        • cman 5 years ago

          That was also the talk where I’m from as well. Nathan goes down under the knife, causing the Twins to totally bomb and finish 25 games under .500. Sox fans were screaming, hooting and hollering how awesome their starting pitching was and how bad ours was. Guess what? You can’t win games without a lineup that can ACTUALLY SCORE!!!
          The Twins starting rotation has been solid this season. Reality check for White Sox fans. Look at the standings and team stats, prove me wrong.

      • GDane 5 years ago

        Umm…The White Sox have the 3rd most home runs in baseball, and are in the top half of the league in almost every fielding category.

  11. this article is exactly the scenario I was referring to when I said Omar was better off waiting til mid-season when a true ace becomes available…

  12. Taskmaster75 5 years ago

    I think Cliff Lee is the biggest guy to get dealt this offseason. They probably don’t want to have that big of a commitment to the rotation along with Hernandez. Maybe they trade him to the Dodgers?

    • PhilliePhan77 5 years ago

      Cliff Lee is getting $9mm this year. He is a free agent at the end of the 2010 season. The Mariners will not be able to sign him to long term deal (Lee wants $20mm+/yr for 5 years) and if they are out of it, Lee is traded. Lee is a rental for the Mariners, and will be a rental to whoever he is traded to most likely.

      I think Seattle should take the West so he shouldn’t be going anywhere. If he is, he should get a hefty price on the open market. He is cheap and most likely the best pitcher that could be traded.

  13. JL 5 years ago

    Dodgers need help in the worst way

  14. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    I think you can add the Jays as a candidate to trade some pitching, since it comes as an abundance to them. Who they could/would trade is anybody’s guess though. Tallet, Eveland and McGowan are all out of options, but I don’t think the Jays would trade McGowan with his value so low and ceiling still possibly high. When Litsch and Rzepczynski come back, someone is going to be expendable.

    Other ideas are maybe one of the following three:

    Brett Cecil: 2.45ERA, 1.36WHIP, 9/KIP in 2GS
    Brad Mills: 2.04ERA, 1.13WHIP, 24SO and only 4BB in 17 2/3IP
    David Purcey: Numbers aren’t too good, but has a .188BAA


  15. Guest 5 years ago

    Tim, as preposterous as it may sound this early, you probably should add Giants’ pitchers to this list. As we’ve seen over the last three days, the Giants will repeatedly waste good and even great pitching this year because Sabean has yoked a Top 5 staff to a AA offense. They are not a playoff team this year, or even next year, and will waste all that pitching talent on a .500 team this year. Yet Sabean keeps his job and Bochy will keep making questionable decisions because Bow Tie Neukom is in over his head.

    It’ll be hard to support paying Lincecum/Cain/Sanchez those payroll numbers for a team that will not contend because of front office mistakes with the offense.

  16. Twins45 5 years ago

    Haha agreed. The Twins wisely traded most of that horrible package and got Rauch(doing his best Joe Nathan impression) and JJ Hardy…

  17. jonoooooo 5 years ago

    How about Ryan Church for Jeff Francouer? Im not a huge fan of Omar right now, but give credit where its due

  18. thegrayrace 5 years ago

    Seriously, Chin Lung Hu isn’t going to entice anyone in a trade. DeJesus Jr. is probably the Dodgers future 2B (with DeWitt moving back to 3B once Blake’s contract is up), which is why they traded Abreu. Anyway, DeJesus Jr. doesn’t have that much value. He could be included in a trade for Harang or Arroyo, but do either player help the Dodgers that significantly? The Dodgers need an ace, not another #3 quality guy.

    The Dodgers top prospects are going to be the players other teams will be most interested in – Gordon and Withrow being the top of that pack. Lindblom also has a fair amount of value. Lambo, Robinson, E. Martin, etc. also have some trade value. Personally, I wouldn’t trade Gordon, Withrow or Lindblom unless it was an unquestionable ace coming back in return.

  19. markjsunz 5 years ago

    McCourt is not going to trade for a pitcher making 15 million a year unless the reds pay the contract. That means the dodgers would have to give up there best minor league prospect. I doubt Hu is very marketable. Slick fielding infielders who cannot hit there body weight for an average are common.The reds have a guy on there bench who already does just that.

  20. I didn’t mean to hit the like button my b. Anyways he was traded
    link to

  21. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    As a red fan i beg the mets to trade for him and get him but I think the owner and ed wade wont trade either of oswalt or berkman because tthey think they can still win with the team they have a dump of a farm system. Also they both have no trade clauses and i think oswalt would wave his but i dont know if he would to the mets maybe he would just to get out of the astros , Hes already spoken about his frusrations with the team

  22. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    I forgot all about that. But if its F-mart there wanting i would say no way i think that kid is going to be something special and hopefully for the mets sake they dont trade him but it would have to do with maybe a neise holt and mejia >?

  23. redsandyanksfan 5 years ago

    And thats exactly what they would be looking for a guy who can already get major leaugers out say they take mejia and john maine then they would have to throw in maybe 2 prospects in low ball with alot of potenial cause Oswalt is still a heck of a pitcher and i think he’s only like 32 or 33? he’s been in the game a while is the reason i think people think hes older. Now let me ask you something what would you think about a trade for berkman and oswalt with a extenison window maybe on berkman for Ike Davis,and f mart or davis and 2 of mejia/holt/neise then throw in maine if hes doing bad. I dont think i would personally do this and im not sure how off base i am there but if the mets are in compete now mode then it would be so bad if they got lance on a extenison . With that The astros get there replacement at firstbase and a pitcher or two to help with the loss of oswalt or f mart who is extremly talented

  24. This just in: The Reds will trade Harang and a thank you note for nothing at all. Just take his salary and believe a change of scenery along with a pitcher friendly ballpark will turn him around. If he keeps this pace up he will be replaced by one of our guys in AAA.

  25. dailyboxscores 5 years ago

    we’ll see come July

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