Which Starting Pitchers Will Be Traded This Summer?

Five veteran starting pitchers were traded last summer: Edwin Jackson of the White Sox, Jason Marquis of the Nationals, Erik Bedard and Doug Fister of the Mariners, and Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies.  Jackson, Marquis, and Bedard were in contract years, while Fister and Jimenez are under control through 2015 and 2013, respectively.  The White Sox were 3.5 games out in the division, the Nationals 12 out in the wild card, the Mariners 15 out in the division, and the Rockies 10 games out in the division.  

These five deals demonstrate the difficulty of predicting summer trades — we don't know at which point each team considers itself out of contention, and there are always a few surprising non-contenders.  By normal criteria of long-term value, no one thought prior to the season that Jimenez would be dealt, regardless of the Rockies' fortunes.  The new collective bargaining agreement adds another wrinkle, in that players traded midseason are no longer eligible for draft pick compensation.  Even if they're not contending, the Nationals have added incentive to retain Jackson this summer, because they could make him a qualifying offer and potentially receive a draft pick, while another team cannot.

All that said, assessing potential non-contenders is a good starting point in predicting trade candidates.  It can be an offensive exercise, given the optimism spring training brings.  Still, the Orioles, Athletics, Mariners, Royals, Mets, Pirates, Astros, and Padres are unlikely to be popular preseason picks for the postseason.  The Blue Jays, Indians, White Sox, Cubs, Dodgers, and Rockies also have more than their fair share of question marks.

That pool covers half the teams in baseball.  Cross-reference that with starting pitchers who may be eligible for free agency after the 2012 season, and you get Scott Baker, Bedard, Bartolo Colon, Kevin Correia, Jorge De La Rosa, Ryan Dempster, R.A. Dickey, Gavin Floyd, Jeremy Guthrie, Francisco Liriano, Derek Lowe, Paul Maholm, Marquis, Brandon McCarthy, Kevin Millwood, Brett Myers, Carl Pavano, Jonathan Sanchez, and Jake Peavy as names to watch.  The Mariners will continue to receive inquiries on Felix Hernandez, though a deal involving Jason Vargas is more likely.  The Mets' Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey will generate interest if they're pitching well, though Jonathon Niese is the long-term target.  We'll hear plenty more about the Astros' Wandy Rodriguez and the Cubs' Matt Garza.  The Padres' Tim Stauffer is an interesting under-the-radar target, as someone under control through 2013.  Similarly, the Indians could move Jimenez in the right midseason deal if they're out of contention. With a strong first half, perhaps the Pirates' A.J. Burnett could be flipped.  We haven't gotten much into contenders with rotation depth, but rumors involving Braves righty Jair Jurrjens could resurface.

If Felix remains unavailable, should we expect any true aces to hit the market?  The Giants have a pair in Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, if they dig a huge first-half hole.  The Rays could check the market on James Shields, and David Price is under control only for one year beyond Shields.  The Brewers and Marlins appear primed to contend, but if either team bombs, impending free agents Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, and Anibal Sanchez will be popular names.    

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41 Responses to Which Starting Pitchers Will Be Traded This Summer? Leave a Reply

  1. bigpat 3 years ago

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see Bedard, Jackson, and Marquis traded yet again. The season isn’t official until Edwin Jackson gets traded. 

    • Stuart Brown 3 years ago

      You have to think he’ll get traded three times in a day this year to one up last year.

  2. FrnchDp 3 years ago

    Even with a “huge” first half hole (unlikely), I just don’t see the Giants trading either of their aces.  At best, maybe Vogelsong hits the list.

  3. carlpavanosmustache 3 years ago

    If the Twins aren’t close at the deadline Liriano will be traded for a struggling AA reliever.

    •  liriano wont get traded, the twins have three of their five starting pitchers that are going to be free agents, I could see him getting traded but they wont because they need him.

      • Too Many Idiots 3 years ago

        The fact that three of their five are FAs makes it more likely he gets traded for prospects.

  4. NYBravosFan10 3 years ago

    It blows my mind that Jair Jurrjens was talked about literally ALL WINTER and he is nowhere on this list lol.

    • coreybishop 3 years ago

       That was my same exact thought. He’s probably going to be the first guy to be traded on our staff before any one else. Mike Minor could be going as well.

    • Blue387 3 years ago

      Maybe the Braves should trade away a starter for a shortstop.

    • Devon Henry 3 years ago

      Minor for Aybar?

  5. Add Dice-BB to the list of free agents

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      My shocker? Him and Bobby V hit it off and he actually stays in Boston past the season on a 1 year deal.

      Valentine has allowed him to actually use his routine that he’s used to (ala Japan) because he understands it and supposedly.. Matsuzaka is well ahead of schedule on his return.

      For some here who didn’t know (not saying you here) they played catch after his arrival and had a very long conversation.. All in Japanese. Evidently the 2 will be getting along much better than previous management.

      • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

        “they played catch after his arrival and had a very long conversation.. All in Japanese.”

        That’s actually really cool. What better way to win over a player?

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

          This has -0- to do with this topic, or much of anything really with regards to the site.. Just mention that everytime see your username (and the picture) it brings back fond memories of when Jimmy managed the lakeland Tigers..

          He had many of the same habits think he still does.. Those steel spiked cleats that could hear walking up from dozens of feet away on the gravel.. The nice, warm demeanor to fans and opposite on the field once the game started. His memory of people from one season to the next and remembering to say “hello”

          the comical also and NO disrespect here as it was another time.. (mid 70’s) like wen a game was in a critical stage and plumes of cigarette smoke would come up from the dugout, you could always tell Jimmy was nervous.. it was on road games also, at Winter haven where the Sox had a A ball team.

          No disrespect there.. just brings back memories (good ones) whenever see that username and photo.

          Shame his old WH Sox cross the diamond manager Rac Slider is no longer in the game..

  6. I’m holding out hope for the Buccos and we see Brad Lincoln, Rudy Owens or Justin Thomas moved for a piece to help this year.

    • A piece to help clean the clubhouse maybe. But they could probably just use those guys to do it. 

  7. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a firesale in Queens. The Mets’ best hope is rebuilding at this point.

  8. DodgersBaseball23 3 years ago

    I could see the Dodgers trying to get something for Billingsley 

  9. Jack Marsh 3 years ago

    If the Royals are in contention midway through the season, they need to trade for one of these guys. 

  10. Jair Jurrjens… sometime between March and July for sure.  With Hudson, Hanson, Beachy, Minor, Teheran, Delgado, with Vizcaino, Medlen, and possibly even Gilmartin waiting in the wings, there’s simply too many arms (can’t believe I just said that) available.  First team willing to trade either prime prospects or a prime major league bat gets him.

  11. Andrew Steven 3 years ago

    Felix won’t be traded hahahahaha. Only way the Mariners let him go is thru free agency.

    • ChiCubs13 3 years ago

      Then that seems really silly to let Felix go through free agency and getting two draft picks for him, instead of trading him for a haul of top of prospects.

      • Andrew Steven 3 years ago

        Which won’t happen either….Which is why i said it….

        • ChiCubs13 3 years ago

          Why wouldn’t that happen. If the M’s aren’t contending, then why not trade Felix for a haul of prospects that could help you contend in the future. Your logic makes zero sense.

    • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

      What? That’s the only way they SHOULDN’T be letting him leave.

       Do you not understand that sucking, then getting a HUGE haul of prospects for Felix, then have that young core anchor the team for years to come>sucking, letting Felix walk, sucking more?

      • Rabbitov 3 years ago

        I don’t know if there are statistics for this, but doesn’t it seem like often these “big hauls” of prospects in exchange for starting pitchers don’t work out any better than getting the draft picks?  This is coming from an O’s fan who saw one of the most successful of these trades ever.  Just wondering really, it just seems that way. 

        • InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

          Yeah I’m not really sure. Just seems like teams would prefer the “known quantities” of players they are getting rather than being at the mercy of the draft with who other teams choose/different sport commitments/etc.

  12. Jesse 3 years ago

    Francisco Liriano would look good in pinstripes

  13. diesel2410 3 years ago

    Davis and Niemann are more likely to be traded over Shields and Price…

  14. I would put money on the Dbacks moving Saunders at the deadline. He was really only signed as a place holder until Skaggs/Bauer are ready, and if they’re tearing up the minors, the dbacks are going to look to move him.

  15. Knowing the Mariners, Vargas will definitely be dealt. They’ll have Paxton and Hultzen ready, and some team will need the depth that Vargas can provide.

  16. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    In my opinion, they should have traded Felix instead of Pineda. Yanks were reportedly willing to deal Montero, Banuelos, Betances++. To me at least, that seems like a better option than trading Pineda and Campos for Montero and Noeisi. It’s not like they are going to compete during the time Felix will be around anyways.

  17. Andrew Steven 3 years ago

    Lets see what Smoak/Montero/Ackley can do first. What i’m saying is i doubt there’s ANY chance they let him go…He’s the face of the franchise now.

  18. When the downside of hardball is keeping a pitcher that’s had excellent results when healthy, hardball probably isn’t going to be terribly effective.

    There are 29 other teams, and 9 of them (the Braves will likely be there) will make the playoffs. Another 5-10 will be in contention at the break. Unless half the league coordinates to play hardball, the Braves shouldn’t have much difficulty getting rid of Jurrjens for a solid package.


  19. Julie Batson 3 years ago

    That’s true, but what happens when and if Jurrjens has another 1st half like 2011 (12-3, 1.87 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .229 BAA)? And that was while some of the offensive stars (Uggla, Heyward, Jones) were either out or struggling. 

    Jurrjens is supposedly 100% and, if the rumors are true, has improved some on his velocity because he has a healthy knee.

    I know there’s a lot of presumption, but if Jurrjens is healthy, which has been reported, why wouldn’t be a leap to see similar results from Jurrjens, who has proven that when healthy, he consistently produces? 

    I predict it’ll be closer to July when Jurrjens is traded, which is what I prefer. At that time, those GMs will be asking themselves why they didn’t buy into the guy, and then they’ll be competing vs. fringe teams in need of pitching with some money/prospects at their disposal.

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