Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has another edition of his 10 Degrees column posted, which focuses heavily on a number of potentially available names. A few highlights from within, though the entire column is worth a look…
- When determining what they should ask in return for Wade Davis, should they make him available, the Royals internally discussed Nationals righty Lucas Giolito, per Passan. That would be a fairly staggering price to pay, as Giolito is, by many accounts, the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. Davis is earning $8MM this season (about $3.06MM of that remains) and has a $10MM option for the 2017 season on his contract as well, so there’s certainly value, but that price would almost certainly strike the Nats as exorbitant. However, as Passan notes, the Yankees plucked Gleyber Torres and three other pieces from the Cubs for a rental of Aroldis Chapman, so the Royals’ lofty asking price is understandable.
- The D-backs are prepared to offer struggling right-hander Shelby Miller to other clubs in trades and are largely open for business overall, though a complete tear-down won’t happen. The D-backs are holding onto Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, A.J. Pollock, Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin and Robbie Ray — a nice core, as Passan notes — but are willing to listen virtually anywhere else. Miller’s acquisition has been one of the most talked-about stories in the game since he was acquired for Dansby Swanson, Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair this offseason, and his 7.14 ERA through 69 1/3 innings and subsequent demotion to Triple-A Reno have only intensified the scrutiny.
- Chris Sale’s trade value hasn’t been hurt by his suspension for inappropriate conduct in this weekend’s bizarre jersey-cutting controversy. Any club wishing to acquire him would need to part with an MLB-ready, elite prospect, writes Passan, who lists Andrew Benintendi or Yoan Moncada of the Red Sox, Nomar Mazara of the Rangers, Alex Bregman of the Astros and Julio Urias of the Dodgers as hypothetical starting points — the White Sox would require another three to four valuable pieces beyond those names — if any of those teams want to make a legitimate run at Sale. I think the White Sox would be well within reason to start by asking for both Benintendi and Moncada from the Red Sox or Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo from the Rangers before moving onto the secondary pieces in each deal. Sale is owed $3.5MM through the end of the current season and can be controlled through 2019, his age-30 season, for a total of $41.5MM. The surplus value there is astonishing, and the dearth of pitching talent on the trade market/upcoming free agent market only adds to Sale’s allure.
- The White Sox are valuing lefty Jose Quintana quite similarly, Passan adds, noting that one executive tells him Chicago is valuing Quintana like a true No. 1 starter. That’s not quite an accurate representation of Quintana’s abilities, but he’s pitched closely enough to that level that it makes sense to ask. Quintana has a 3.32 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 43.9 percent ground-ball rate in 737 innings dating back to 2013. Like Sale, he’s a flat-out bargain for the South Siders, as he’s owed just $39.92MM through the 2020 season.
- Wade Miley has been quietly shopped by the Mariners in recent weeks, per Passan. While Seattle isn’t necessarily selling despite their trade of Mike Montgomery and their shopping of Miley, it appears that they’re open to dealing from the big league roster in the right scenario. The Montgomery trade brought an MLB-ready talent back to the Mariners in Dan Vogelbach, and Seattle probably has the pitching depth to move Miley without subtracting much in the way of big league value from the current iteration of the club. Miley has just a 5.23 ERA in 105 innings for Seattle this season, though his strikeout, walk and ground-ball rates are all respectable (6.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 45.9 percent). He’s guaranteed about $11.55MM through the end of the 2017 season, though $500K of that is in the form of a buyout on a $12MM club option for the 2018 season, so he could be controlled longer if he rebounds.
- The “safe money” is on Melvin Upton Jr. going to the Orioles to play as a corner outfielder/insurance policy for Adam Jones in center field, Passan writes. The O’s and Padres have reportedly discussed a swap of Upton and Ubaldo Jimenez, though the Orioles would need to send some prospect value back to San Diego in that trade. The contracts of Upton ($22.36MM through 2017) and Jimenez ($18.47MM) are similar, and Upton, unlike Jimenez, is providing present-day value. It’s still tough for me to envision the Padres getting much in the way of a prospect back — especially if they do indeed absorb Jimenez’s contract — and the Orioles don’t exactly have a deep farm from which to deal.