Ricky Nolasco has been the hottest name on the trade market thus far and represents one of the better starting pitching options available. After a pair of rocky outings on June 21 and June 28, he righted the ship Wednesday against a tough Braves lineup when he allowed two runs on six hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings. That start brought Nolasco's ERA to 3.85 with 7.1 K/9, 2.0 BB/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate. He's not an elite starter, but Nolasco is a solid middle-of-the-rotation arm who can upgrade just about any rotation in baseball.
So far, the Dodgers are said to be the frontrunners for his services because they're willing to absorb the roughly $5.5MM he has remaining on his contract. Another suitor, the Rockies, have offered a pair of "pretty decent" prospects, but they don't want to take on the remainder of his contract. The Marlins are currently seeking both salary relief and solid prospects, so a deal has yet to occur.
Nolasco has also drawn interest from the Padres, Giants, Rangers and Orioles, though Baltimore recently acquired Scott Feldman from the Cubs, so their level of interest isn't as clear as it once was. Nolasco, a southern California native, could be particularly attractive to the Padres as they may feel there's a better chance at extending him before he hits the open market.
Recently, the Dodgers, Rockies and Rangers were all said to be "in heavy pursuit" of the eight-year veteran, who is the Marlins franchise leader in wins, starts and innings pitched. At this point, as many have noted, it's no longer a question of if Nolasco gets traded, but rather a question of when he gets traded and where he lands. All of this begs the question...