Starting Pitching Sellers

Starting pitching is always the biggest need at the trade deadline.  Over two months remain until July 31st, but we may have enough data to determine who's selling.

  • Orioles.  They'll presumably have Kevin Millwood up for auction.  The 35-year-old righty is winless in ten starts despite the best strikeout-to-walk ratio of his career and a league-leading 68 innings.  The Orioles are paying him $9MM this year and would have to get around his limited no-trade clause.  The O's can also offer 31-year-old righty Jeremy Guthrie, who's trimmed walks this year and sports a 3.86 ERA.  Guthrie is more than a rental; he's under team control through 2012.
  • Indians.  A Jake Westbrook trade seems inevitable.  He's finally back from Tommy John surgery and has retained his ability to generate grounders.  His $11MM salary will limit the Indians' return.
  • Royals.  They could part with Gil Meche, but he's been walking everyone this year after dealing with shoulder pain in April.  He earns $12MM this year and the same in '11, so interest will be minimal.  Brian Bannister might be a better trade candidate.  The 29-year-old righty is under team control through '12, just like Guthrie.
  • White Sox.  If the Sox quit on the season, they could consider dealing Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, or even John Danks.  Buehrle is well-paid and will get 10-and-5 rights on July 6th.  If dealt, his contract is expanded to cover 2012 at $15MM.  Garcia hasn't shown much promise this year.  Danks has been dominant and is under team control through '12, but the Sox would presumably need a ton to cash him in now.
  • Mariners.  They'd have the best rental trade chip of any team: Cliff Lee, being paid just $9MM this year.  The Ms would also want to dump Ian Snell, who is likely to be non-tendered after having his '11 option declined.
  • Astros.  They could market three veteran starters, led of course by Roy Oswalt.  We've discussed Oswalt quite a bit at MLBTR, but the Astros may also trade Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez.  Myers is having a resurgent season and has only a mutual option for '11.  Rodriguez has slipped from his breakout '09 and is under team control through '11.
  • Brewers.  They can offer up veterans Dave Bush, Doug Davis, and Jeff Suppan, if anyone will have them.  The goal here would be just to free up a few million bucks.
  • The Pirates, Cubs, and Diamondbacks could become sellers, with Brandon Webb the most interesting potential name.  The Athletics, Angels, Braves, and Padres could offer a few arms if things head south.

The starting pitching trade market may feature a pair of aces in Oswalt and Lee, with the cost-conscious buyers gravitating toward Lee.  Millwood, Westbrook, and Myers are three likely veteran rentals.  The undefined segment of the market is those under team control beyond 2010 – we don't know whether Guthrie, Bannister, Danks, and Rodriguez can be had.

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