Decent relievers are always a hot commodity at the trade deadline. The Rangers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Rays, Indians, and Phillies are just a few contenders who might be in the market for bullpen help a few months from now. What will the trade market look like?
- The Padres are in good position to sell relievers, with impending free agents Heath Bell and Chad Qualls prime candidates. You also have to wonder if GM Jed Hoyer will consider trading Mike Adams, who is under control through '12 but will see his salary jump next year.
- If he's healthy, Arizona's Aaron Heilman probably could be acquired easily. Closer J.J. Putz would be tougher to get, but GM Kevin Towers will probably listen.
- Should the Cubs fall out of contention, they'd probably move lefty John Grabow just for a little salary relief. Kerry Wood would make sense too, though he has strong ties to Chicago and took less to sign with the Cubs. Similarly, the Brewers could part with veterans LaTroy Hawkins and Takashi Saito if they're not contending in July.
- If the Pirates receive good offers for Joel Hanrahan, Chris Resop, Jose Veras, or Joe Beimel, will they hold off in the name of finishing above .500? My guess is that Neal Huntington will keep a very open mind.
- The Mets have much to offer. Taylor Buchholz, who is under team control through next year, has been excellent. Veterans Francisco Rodriguez, Jason Isringhausen, and Tim Byrdak should be available as well. The problem with K-Rod: his $17.5MM option for next year vests with 43 more games finished.
- If the Twins' struggles continue, they could save money by trading Matt Capps and/or Joe Nathan. Teams seeking more than a rental could ask about lefties Glen Perkins and Jose Mijares. The White Sox have gotten disappointing results from Will Ohman, Tony Pena, and Matt Thornton, but probably prefer to keep Thornton around for the future.
- I don't see why the Orioles wouldn't offer up most of their veteran relievers, as Koji Uehara, Mike Gonzalez, and Kevin Gregg could hold appeal. Gonzalez and Gregg would involve taking on big salaries, however.
- Toronto's pen ranks third in the AL with a 3.04 ERA, and they've got enticing veterans galore. Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Carlos Villanueva, and Casey Janssen are pitching well; Octavio Dotel not so much. Most Jays relievers can be controlled for 2012 or beyond, which could be viewed as both a reason to keep them and a reason they'll have extra appeal as trade targets.
- Todd Coffey, Brandon League, Jose Valverde, Jonathan Broxton, Mike MacDougal, and Vicente Padilla could also become available depending on their teams' circumstances.