Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is “the hot name out there” on the trade market, a National League scout told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The scout listed the Astros, Cardinals, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Red Sox and White Sox as potential buyers for the 32-year-old Braun, who has resembled his past NL MVP-winning self offensively this season in slashing .351/.424/.583 with nine home runs in 170 trips to the plate. Braun is in the first season of a five-year extension that could be worth either $94MM or $105MM, depending on what happens with the contract’s mutual option for 2021.
Here’s more from Cafardo’s weekly column:
- With prospect Blake Snell knocking on the door and Alex Cobb nearing a return from 2015 Tommy John surgery, the Rays could soon have a glut of starting pitching. Thus, they’d be willing to deal southpaw Matt Moore for both a major leaguer and a quality minor league piece. The soon-to-be 27-year-old Moore is controllable through 2019 on a cheap contract, but the former top prospect already has a Tommy John surgery under his belt and has run up a bloated 5.37 ERA in 120 2/3 frames since last season.
- If the Rockies decide to trade right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, one talent evaluator told Cafardo that the Red Sox could be an ideal fit. “Their offense is cranking right now, but there’s an outfield position there that could possibly be enhanced if the Red Sox don’t think Brock Holt or Blake Swihart or Chris Young are the answer. They might be. But Cargo fits them as a top all-around player with power.” After slugging 40 home runs last season, Gonzalez has hit .294/.333/.471 with a somewhat modest seven homers this year. Gonzalez would presumably play left for the Red Sox, whose left fielders have hit .241/.321/.377 with four long balls. Their struggles haven’t exactly crippled baseball’s highest-scoring offense, however. Gonzalez, who will turn 30 in October, is making $17MM this year and will rake in another $20MM next season.
- While Reds right fielder Jay Bruce is available, he won’t come cheap if the team has its way. The Reds nearly sent Bruce to Toronto during the winter, but the deal fell through after Cincinnati got cold feet over the health of one of the prospects whom it was supposed to acquire. The lefty-swinging Bruce was coming off two uncharacteristically subpar offensive seasons at the time, but he has perhaps rebuilt some of his value with an above-average .261/.313/.497 line to pair with eight homers in 176 PAs this year. Bruce, 29, is currently on a $12.5MM salary and has a $13MM club option ($1MM buyout) for 2017.
- Angels left-hander Hector Santiago is a name to watch around the trade deadline if the Halos drop out of the race, though he’ll likely need to start faring better if the team wants to move him. Santiago, who’s collecting $5MM and has a year of arbitration eligibility remaining, has thrown 55 innings of 4.58 ERA ball this year to accompany a 7.04 K/9 and 3.44 BB/9.