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.