It wouldn't be surprising to see any contender other than the Padres (and perhaps the Rays) acquire bullpen help before July 31st. Here are the options teams will consider between now and July 31st, sorted by 2010 salary:
- Kerry Wood, $10.5MM ($11MM vesting option for 2011) - There doesn't appear to be much interest in Wood now, but he will be an August trade candidate, since he will likely clear waivers.
- Trevor Hoffman, $7.5MM ($7MM mutual option or $500K buyout for 2011) - Hoffman's season numbers are ugly: an 8.33 ERA and a walk rate (4.3 BB/9) that nearly doubles his career average. If would be surprising to see the all-time saves leader traded, but his last ten innings have been quite good.
- Kyle Farnsworth, $4.5MM ($5.25MM club option or $500K buyout for 2011) - Some fans find Farnsworth frustrating, but his strikeout to walk ratio and 95 mph fastball should have appeal as the deadline nears.
- Chad Qualls, $4.2MM (free agent after 2010) - Qualls has good strikeout and walk numbers, but has been extremely hittable and has already allowed more runs than he has in any season since 2006.
- Scott Downs, $4MM (free agent after 2010) - The Phillies have interest in Downs who, like two other Toronto relievers, is available. He should have trade value because he induces ground balls, limits walks and throws left-handed.
- Matt Capps, $3.5MM (free agent after 2011) - It would be a surprise to see the Nationals trade Capps, since they have limited bullpen depth and can retain the righty for 2011. He has 23 saves and a lower walk rate than he had in 2009.
- Octavio Dotel, $3.25MM ($4.5MM option or $500K buyout for 2011, option becomes mutual after a trade) - The Marlins have inquired on Dotel, who is striking out and walking lots of batters, as usual.
- Joakim Soria, $3MM ($4MM for 2011, club options through 2014) - Something tells me it'd be tough for the Royals to trade away 25 saves, 11.1 K/9 and a deal that provides lots of flexibility for the team.
- David Aardsma, $2.75MM (free agent after 2012) - Aardsma's peripherals aren't as good as they were last year and his season ERA is 5.40.
- Jason Frasor, $2.65MM (free agent after 2010) - Frasor is available, and continues to be an effective middle reliever, though he is walking more batters than usual.
- Aaron Heilman, $2.15MM (free agent after 2010) - Heilman, who has already been traded three times in the past two years, has been one of the few somewhat effective relievers the D'Backs have had this season.
- Kevin Gregg, $2MM ($4.5MM club option for 2011 or $8.75MM for 2011-12 with $750K buyout) - Like Downs and Frasor, Gregg is available. He has 20 saves for a fourth consecutive year in spite of his usual high walk total.
- Leo Nunez, $2MM (free agent after 2012) - We haven't seen a clear indication that the Marlins would move Nunez. They were looking for relief help recently and Nunez is under control for two more years, but they could consider a trade.
- Will Ohman, $1.35M (free agent after 2010) - Ohman leads the league in appearances and should have appeal, partly because he's left-handed. He can strike hitters out, though he will walk his share, too.
- D.J. Carrasco, $950K (free agent after 2012) - Carrasco has value as a cheap option who can go more than one inning at a time. He has 7.1 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 midway through another solid season.
- Bruce Chen, minor league contract (free agent after 2011) - The 33-year-old has been a swingman of sorts for the Royals and could become a long reliever for a contender.
- Teams could always call the Padres to see if they'd part with any of their relievers, but as Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out (via Twitter), the Padres seem more likely to hold their relievers now that Mike Adams is going on the DL.
- Free agents like Chad Cordero and lefties Alan Embree and Scott Schoeneweis are also available.
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