Trade Market For Left-handed Starters

For most of the last two seasons Cliff Lee has been on the trade block. Now that he's safely on the free agent market, teams can only hope to trade for less accomplished southpaws. More options will likely surface this winter, but here are some names to consider for now:

Bad Contracts

Barry Zito has three years and $64.5MM remaining on his contract, but Giants GM Brian Sabean says he doesn't intend to trade him. Something tells me that Zito could be acquired if someone chipped in enough money, but a deal seems unlikely. Randy Wolf  ($20.5MM remaining), Scott Kazmir ($14MM remaining) and Paul Maholm ($6MM remaining) could potentially be moved for the right offer.

Probably Not Available

Wandy Rodriguez and John Danks could sign extensions with their respective clubs this winter. They are not likely to become serious trade candidates, but it wouldn't be shocking to see them on the block. The same goes for Joe Saunders, who earned $3.7MM last year and is becoming expensive through arbitration. Jerry Dipoto, who traded for Saunders as interim GM this summer, is still in the D'Backs front office, so it would be surprising to see Saunders hit the trade market this winter.

A Prince's Ransom

These pitchers wouldn't normally be trade candidates, but their clubs could dangle them in talks for Prince Fielder: Jonathan Sanchez, Derek Holland, Brett Cecil and Felix Doubront. That's a speculative list, of course, but the Brewers are presumably going to ask for arms if and when the Fielder trade talks begin.

Non-Tender Candidates

Zach Duke, Brian Tallet, Scott Olsen, John Lannan, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Andrew Miller could be traded before next month's non-tender deadline.

Summary

Some pitchers under bad contracts are presumably available, but the trade market for left-handed starters doesn't offer up much beyond that. There's the usual assortment of non-tender candidates and players who won't get traded. The free agent market, which features Lee and Jorge de la Rosa, may be more appealing, especially for clubs willing to spend.


Full Story | 30 Comments | Categories: Trade Market

30 Responses to Trade Market For Left-handed Starters Leave a Reply

  1. While I could see Lannan as a trade candidate I don’t think he is at risk at all for being non-tendered, so I doubt that will have an impact. Lannan is just entering his first Arb. year (and coming off a disappointing season) so his price tag won’t be too high.

    If the Nats add a starter or two, Lannan could be moved for a promising (i.e. a older/blocked prospect) or as part of a deal for a pitcher.

  2. WTF is Brian Tallet doing on this list?

  3. Hermie13 5 years ago

    I think Cecil is a very fair arm to ask for in a Fielder deal….but don’t see why the Blue Jays would do it. Still think they’re a year or so away from really challenging in the East. Why trade for Fielder who is 1 year away from free agency….especially when you only have 1 guaranteed year of Bautista left?

    If the Blue Jays really are considering moving Cecil to get a bat or something….go younger/more controlable than Fielder.

    • When there’s so many 1B/DH types hitting the free agent market, it doesn’t seem likely that the Brewers will be able to ask for the moon and the stars.

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        Not right now they can’t. But it’ll be different at the deadline.

        And yeah Jays won’t trade for Fielder and Cecil is am emerging arm who is young and cheap so there really is no reason to trade him for a rental.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          I’m a believer that any player having Scott Boras as their agent lowers their value. Fielder isn’t worth trading for. I think they may inquire on Gonzalez, but ultimitely do nothing big for 1B. Lind is still my guess as of right now.

          • Matt Holliday illuminated that very well last offseason. Teams have to know by now that if they are doing business with Scott Boras, they are probably going to be overpaying for an impact player that still won’t be worth the last 3-4 years of whatever ridiculous contract that Boras will demand.

          • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

            Not attacking you but what do you mean? Boras did a great job of getting Holliday a great contract despite there being a limited market for him and he rewarded the Cards by having a great season.

          • cubfan4life 5 years ago

            Yes Holliday had a good year. But that wasnt his point. He was saying that by the end of his deal he will be more of a liability than anything. He turns 31 in January and by the end of the contract he will be 37. Those last 2-3 years could be brutal depending on how well he takes care of himself. But considering he isnt a great defender now its not likely that he will greatly improve as he gets older.

          • I will not deny that Holliday has been extremely valuable to the Cardinals thus far – FanGraphs WAS has him rated at worth over 12 wins since the start of 2009, easily worth the $17 million a year they are paying him. But will he be worth $17 million next year? In 2012? 2013? 2014? 2015? Meanwhile, what is his contract doing to their flexibility when the time comes to resign Pujols, Carpenter, or Wainwright?

            The big picture is that the in the long run, the Cardinals still overpaid for Holliday’s services, given that they were effectively the ONLY TEAM bidding on him. That kind of leverage should help them lock him up in such a way that he makes plenty of money but they don’t handcuff their payroll. Instead, they’ll be paying him until he’s 40, well past the time that he is worth $17 million a year. Boras got them to bid against themselves, and their organization will suffer for it down the road.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          I’m a believer that any player having Scott Boras as their agent lowers their value. Fielder isn’t worth trading for. I think they may inquire on Gonzalez, but ultimitely do nothing big for 1B. Lind is still my guess as of right now.

      • Hermie13 5 years ago

        Who said the Brewers would be able to ask for the moon and the stars for Fielder? Cecil is NOT that great and doesn’t have that high of value. He is young, controlable, and had a good year…..but one good year doesn’t make you the “moon and the stars” type of player.

        I think Cecil is a very fair asking price for Fielder…..not too mention the irony of Fielder getting traded for a guy named “Cecil” lol

  4. azdsnd 5 years ago

    I could see Arizona flipping Saunders, if not now then at the trade deadline. I think that may have been Dipoto’s intentions in acquiring him – have a piece to deal at next year’s deadline so that we can re-assess what pieces we need.

    • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

      I think he did a horrible job of acquiring Saunders instead of prospects. You have to pray for a much better 2011 inorder to get anything of value for him at the deadline or the trade will look really bad.

  5. Given the pressure put on the Giants by other clubs at the trade deadline to deal either Bumgarner or Sanchez for a “big bat,” the importance of pitching in their playoff success, their relative budget inflexibility, their stated interest to resign Aubrey Huff, and their confidence in 1B prospect Brandon Belt, I would say that the likelihood of Jonathan Sanchez being moved is slim to nil.

    The Giants have no real reason to sign for Prince Fielder, and probably would not want him in their clubhouse at this point anyway. Can we please, please, please put these (insert Giants starter) for fielder rumors to bed? The Giants aren’t desperate enough to overpay for an overweight power bat with little positional value and a track record of behavioral questions. He is a poor fit for the organization, has been a poor fit for the organization, and will continue to be a poor fit for the organization. Move on.

    • While I get what you are saying, I would think Sanchez is movable in the right deal. The Giants have a ton of money tied up in Zito, Linecum, and Cain, that they might not have the money to keep Sanchez and add bats. Maybe it won’t be for Fielder (since he is so pricey) but in the right deal i think he is moveable.

      • I don’t know what commodity is available on the open market that would make Sanchez available. He is still under team control for two more years, and the Giants have no major-league ready starters available in their minor league system at this time. Runzler could be ready by mid-season, though it’s highly unlikely, and even then he’d be more likely to replace Zito than Sanchez.

        I honestly don’t believe there is a bat available to be traded that would make trading Sanchez worth it. A good pitcher is considerably more valuably than a good hitter unless they have considerable positional value… And the Giants are likely to have 15+ HR players at C, SS, and CF.

        Sanchez does not and will not command that much money in arbitration. He will not be traded. Say it with me. Jonathan Sanchez will not be traded.

        • Hermie13 5 years ago

          Kind of overrating a guy who’s FIP and xFIP were nearly a full run higher than his ERA…..

          • His value is magnified by the fact that they don’t have a replacement-level starter in the minors to take his place if he did get traded, and any pitcher with comparable production will be markedly more expensive.And if I’m overrating him, then so is pretty much every other club in the National League. He is a desired commodity because despite his question marks, he has some of the most unhittable stuff in the league, where he had the lowest BAA in 2010.Also, Matt Cain says hi.

          • His value is magnified by the fact that they don’t have a replacement-level starter in the minors to take his place if he did get traded, and any pitcher with comparable production will be markedly more expensive.And if I’m overrating him, then so is pretty much every other club in the National League. He is a desired commodity because despite his question marks, he has some of the most unhittable stuff in the league, where he had the lowest BAA in 2010.Also, Matt Cain says hi.

        • Hermie13 5 years ago

          Kind of overrating a guy who’s FIP and xFIP were nearly a full run higher than his ERA…..

    • While I get what you are saying, I would think Sanchez is movable in the right deal. The Giants have a ton of money tied up in Zito, Linecum, and Cain, that they might not have the money to keep Sanchez and add bats. Maybe it won’t be for Fielder (since he is so pricey) but in the right deal i think he is moveable.

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