Trade Market For Relievers

The free agent market is packed with useful relievers, especially from the right side.  Today let's survey relievers who may be available in trade this offseason.

Closers

Heath Bell, Jonathan Papelbon, David Aardsma, and Leo Nunez could be made available if their teams seek cheaper replacements.  All four could earn $4MM+ as arbitration eligible players; Papelbon will jump past $10MM.

Joakim Soria can be retained affordably by the Royals through 2014, and he's only earning $4MM in 2011.  In the unlikely event the Royals trade him, it'll be because they were bowled over by an offer of multiple young players.  He can block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals, or Cubs.

Bad Contracts

Francisco Cordero ($13MM through '11), Francisco Rodriguez ($15MM through '11 or $29MM through '12), and Scott Linebrink ($5.5MM through '11) are overpaid and likely immovable right-handed relievers.

Setup Arms

Brandon League and Joba Chamberlain are a couple of arbitration eligible late-inning guys who could be available.  League seems less likely to be dealt than Aardsma, and the Mariners probably wouldn't move both.  Chamberlain could be acquired by a team looking to use him as a starter.

Non-Tender Candidates

Plenty of relievers are non-tender candidates, meaning they could be trade bait prior to the December 2nd deadline.  Gustavo Chacin, Tim Byrdak, Brian Tallet, Jeremy Accardo, Todd Coffey, D.J. Carrasco, Blaine Boyer, George Sherrill, Chris Ray, Joe Smith, Sean White, Jim Johnson, Matt Albers, Dustin Nippert, Lance Cormier, Hideki Okajima, Jared Burton, Manny Delcarmen, Zach Miner, Pat Neshek, Tony Pena, Bobby Jenks, Dustin Moseley, and Sergio Mitre comprise this huge group.

Summary

The list of relief trade candidates is lengthy, but closer types such as Aardsma and Nunez are the most likely to go.  A few more trade candidates could surface if certain free agent relievers accept arbitration offers.  Teams are unlikely to overpay in trade with so many interesting free agents out there.


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60 Comments on "Trade Market For Relievers"


4 years 9 months ago

“He can block trades to the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers, Phillies, Cardinals, or Cubs.” Seriously, did Soria really write into his contract “I don’t want to play on a good team”?

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

So the Cubs are a good team? And the Rangers, Giants, Braves, Twins, Rays (who would be a great fit), and Padres aren’t good teams?

But the Royals will be in the world series by ’15 and will be a great team in a few years, so he doesn’t have to worry.

jwsox
4 years 9 months ago

but soria will be gone by ’15 to a big time deal or out of baseball its not like closers stick around long..

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I dont see why he would be out of Baseball. And I dont get why you’re saying that closers “are out of Baseball because of their position.”

jwsox
4 years 9 months ago

wow if your going to use quotations at least be correct in the quote…I never said they are out of baseball because of thier position. I meant it as they are out of baseball because closers tend to stick around for like 4-5 years then either lose one pitch and cant close anymore or are wayy to over paid..

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

Yeah just look at Billy Wagner, Trevor Hoffman, Mariano Rivera, etc.

jwsox
4 years 9 months ago

so you got 3 long time closers…nice list

BaseballFanatic0707
4 years 9 months ago

we’re gonna do this? Okay. Go to any baseball website that keeps historical stats, go to pitchers, set it to minimum 1000IP, put the saves in order from most to least, and have fun. Limit yourself to 150 saves, I suppose.

There are plenty of them. Sure it’s not frequent, but it happens.

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

yeah I guess I should have included 100 examples instead of just 3…oh well.

gornie
4 years 9 months ago

we’re nitpicking now of course, but the point is that soria is the real deal, not some random arm that was lucky enough to be in a bad bullpen and became a closer for lack of ther options. soria is a top-10 closer at least, and a pretty good argument can be made for top-5. rather than jump on this guy’s obviously irrational comment, why not post your top 5 list for active closers instead?

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

That’s a tough one, but my top five would probably look like this:

1. Heath Bell
2. Soria
3. Mo Rivera
4. Marmol
5. Wilson

Can make an argument for: Papelbon, Feliz, Soriano, Kuo (if he’s even closing going forward)

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

That’s a tough one, but my top five would probably look like this:

1. Heath Bell
2. Soria
3. Mo Rivera
4. Marmol
5. Wilson

Can make an argument for: Papelbon, Feliz, Soriano, Kuo (if he’s even closing going forward)

4 years 9 months ago

He blocked trades to rich teams because they’re the ones most likely to want to trade for him, which means he can demand compensation for waiving his no-trade.

4 years 9 months ago

Yep. That’s all there is to it.

4 years 9 months ago

He doesnt want to play for teams who have established closers.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

Joakim Soria is in my opinion, the top 3 closers in Baseball…He’s also cheap as Tim said until ’14 potentially. I don’t even think the Royals should listen to offers, especially with the great young bunch of guys coming up in what is the best farm system in Baseball and maybe the best in Baseball history.

4 years 9 months ago

so your top three closers are as follows:
1. Joakim Soria
2. Joakim Soria
3. Joakim Soria

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

yes

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

they have to listen to offers. I mean if a team gets desperate and foolish and they can land a montero or another stud prospect that will play everyday and help the team win every day I’d do it in a heart beat.

I mean I think a good closer is essential to winning, but they don’t help you get better. . Its like a virgin with a condom, nice to have but until he starts getting it in, he won’t ever get to see how important that condom is.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I still wouldn’t make that trade. You wouldn’t just trade mo rivera would you?

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

if i was the gm of the yankees and we were in last place, yes i would. . in heart beat

4 years 9 months ago

We shouldn’t listen to offers. Who do we have to fall back on if Joakim leaves? Robinson Tejeda? No thanks.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

an everyday all star 1b or starting pitcher is worth more then a closer. any day.

4 years 9 months ago

We shouldn’t listen to offers. Who do we have to fall back on if Joakim leaves? Robinson Tejeda? No thanks.

derekbellstutu
4 years 9 months ago

Joel Hanrahan could be seen as trade bait since the Pirates have a potential closer in Evan Meek.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

They also have a potential closer in Joel Hanrahan.

derekbellstutu
4 years 9 months ago

Correct, the Pirates could use Hanrahan or Meek as trade bait as relievers with closing experience. I’d like to see the Bucs use either one in a package for a proven starter or a 1B or RF.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I disagree. Both are cheap and very effective. Both have some team control left I don’t see why they should be moved…Especially when some good young starters like Wilson, Owens, Locke, Morris, and Taillon coming up.

bigpat
4 years 9 months ago

I agree. While it would be nice if one of them can be packaged for a young starter with experience, like Shields, Garza or Davis, it’s not likely to happen. They acquired these guys hoping they would become this good, and it would be pointless to trade them once they reach their potential. Like it or not, having a good bullpen is such a key aspect of a successful team. When you take a look at teams records throughout the league, usually the worst teams have inconsistent bullpens and it’s no coincidence.

derekbellstutu
4 years 9 months ago

Bigpat, I too don’t think the Pirates will land Matt Garza or Gavin Floyd even though I think it would be a great move. The price for landing either of these guys won’t be cheap and will probably involve one of Hanrahan or Meek. But improving the rotation must be the #1 priority this offseason, and if it costs one of these relievers, then so be it. The free agent market isn’t great and I don’t think it’s the right time in the Pirates plan to be going after free agents. The time for the Pirates to sign free agents is when they are close to, or in contention, and need that guy to help them get over the top.

Span, it’s true that the Bucs have as many as 4 pitching prospects (Rudy Owens, Jeff Locke, Bryan Morris, and Justin Wilson) with the potential to pitch on the major league level as soon as 2011, and Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, and Luis Heredia will be there before too long. However, there will be a learning curve for these guys and having a proven starter like Garza would help make the transition smoother. Maholm is not that guy and will be gone after 2011 if not sooner. Garza is under control for 3 more seasons. By the time Garza hits free agency, these guys should be ready to make the Pirates serious contenders.

4 years 9 months ago

I think a Heath bell to Arizona trade will happen since Towers has a few friends in the padres front office.

GasLampGuru
4 years 9 months ago

This is probably pretty likely. I’ve been beating this drum for a while, but I think the Padres should explore a trade for Mark Reynolds. His stock is down considerably, but I think he rebounds in 2011. If I were Jed Hoyer, I would reach out to Towers about a deal of Bell and Headley for Reynolds and a prospect or two – fill a need now and restock the system a little.

There are probably still some talent people (Towers included) who are foolish enough to believe Headley can be a 25 HR guy. It will never happen, but I’d rather some other team waited for it to happen than the Padres. Time to get some thump at 3B.

4 years 9 months ago

Headley might be able to hit 25 homers in Chase field. I don’t think anyone thought Kelly Johnson would hit 25 homers but he did. And if Headley can just hit the ball in the gaps, Towers might be happy with him he did draft the guy so he must see some potential in him. Plus he’s a switch hitter which the Diamondbacks could use.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

I would love to see Nunez get traded. I think a trade back to the Royals would make sense. I would also like to see the Red Sox and Astros get in on him. Great guy one of my favorite pitchers in Baseball.

johnsilver
4 years 9 months ago

Nunez has really been abused by the Fish and it showed late the last 2 seasons for people fans of them. i would be hesitant to give up a lot for him at this point for a wiry guy. He had to be given extended time off the last 2 years to get a ‘breather” and reclaim his stuff and lost velocity both years late, but do agree he would be a perfect set up guy for a contender if the price is right.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

He’s much better than people make him sound, you’re right. I agree with you.

jwsox
4 years 9 months ago

I would not be surprised to see joba non tendered if the yankees get lee to be of serious intrest…I also would not be surprised to see joba be the plan c of pitchers for them with Lee being plan A and petit being plan B…At the same time I would like to see the whitesox make a move for joba…he could be very useful for them…1 turn through the line up joba is unhittable…so he would be a good closer….Also i just like him and his fat ass for some reason…Wouldnt mind seeing him in black at the tail end of the rotation or as a long guy and some work with cooper he could turn into a darn good pitcher

4 years 9 months ago

They’ll be able to find suitors for him. They should be able to trade him if they want. They won’t let him go for nothing.

Potrzeba
4 years 9 months ago

I wonder what papelbon could bring us in a trade? I bet boston would be better to wait until the trade deadline to deal him.

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

I think he sticks for the year and then the Sox collect draft picks. It’s pretty clear the Sox are going to spend this winter, and that should be enough to keep them in contention by the trade deadline.

BWOzar
4 years 9 months ago

My bad (thanks rffr and SPAN) – Gaudin = free agent already.

Dave_Gershman
4 years 9 months ago

He already elected Free agency.

4 years 9 months ago

Chad Gaudin was released

woadude
4 years 9 months ago

wow i just heard Cliff Lee’s agent is mulling an offer from the Red Sox!!! what pitcher are they going to trade in order to have him, Wakefield is gone, but does that mean Bucholz, or Matsuzaka?

vtadave
4 years 9 months ago

Pretty sure Buchholz isn’t getting traded.

nesportsfan
4 years 9 months ago

I’m almost positive he isn’t.

4 years 9 months ago

I am POSITIVE they don’t trade Wakefield, Dice-K, or Buchholz.

moonraker45
4 years 9 months ago

1 because they dont want to, 2 because they cant!

4 years 9 months ago

I am POSITIVE they don’t trade Wakefield, Dice-K, or Buchholz.

4 years 9 months ago

woadude,his agent is not mulling an offer from the red sox…dont know where you heard that

woadude
4 years 9 months ago

from a rumor

woadude
4 years 9 months ago

its probably just to spike the price for the Yankees but i heard it was in the 100 million range

4 years 9 months ago

Hoping White Sox go after K-Rod or Fracisco Cordero if they get some cash as well. They would fill a virtually empty right handed setup/ closer role (don’t think Sergio Santos is ready yet).

4 years 9 months ago

I’m a Twins fan. I hope you guys get both of them and waste your money. Then the Twins will still come away with the division.

4 years 9 months ago

If I wasn’t clear, I was trying to say the other teams would eat salary so that the Sox would pay around 5 Million annually for one of them. That would be a good deal for the sox if they could work it out.

4 years 9 months ago

I’m a Twins fan. I hope you guys get both of them and waste your money. Then the Twins will still come away with the division.

4 years 9 months ago

If the White Sox want K-Rod.. as a met fan, please PLEASE be my guest ha

4 years 9 months ago

Hoping White Sox go after K-Rod or Fracisco Cordero if they get some cash as well. They would fill a virtually empty right handed setup/ closer role (don’t think Sergio Santos is ready yet).

jimboslice9
4 years 9 months ago

Just curious if anyone knows what happened with the K-Rod Mets voiding the contract debacle. I believe I heard they reached an agreement, but I’m not sure what the terms of the agreement were. Anyone that knows would you care to inform me?

crashcameron
4 years 9 months ago

can’t believe nobody has jumped all over Spandexmania for saying KC’s farm system “maybe the best in Baseball history.”
no matter how good it is at the moment, that’s some serious beer-gogglage worthy of yankee and red sox fans at their woodiest