Olney On Maholm, Carmona, Alderson

Spring Training hasn't begun yet, but ESPN.com's Buster Olney gets a head start on the summer's trade rumors by listing some pitchers who could be available this July. James Shields, Joe Blanton and Edwin Jackson are possible trade candidates, but as Olney points out, it's entirely possible that those starters won't be available and others will be on the block. Here are the details:

  • The perception around the league is that the Pirates have been willing to talk about trading Paul Maholm. The left-hander is likely a year away from free agency, so the Pirates could shop him if they aren't interested in keeping him. Maholm earns $5.75MM this year and after the season the Pirates can exercise a $9.75MM buyout for 2012 or pay a $750K buyout.
  • Fausto Carmona is "going to draw a lot of interest," but the Indians would ask for top prospects in exchange for Carmona who is young (27) and signed to a team-friendly contract. 
  • Justin Masterson will "continue to draw interest because of his past success and his versatility," Olney writes.
  • Olney guesses that Mets GM Sandy Alderson would prefer not to talk to the Wilpons about their financial situation. By avoiding those conversations, Alderson can focus on baseball and avoid being drawn into a legal case.