July 12, 2012
SPECIAL UPDATE: TRADE DEADLINE BUY/SELL (PART 1 OF 2)
BUY+: This player has a large chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
BUY: This player has a small chance of becoming a closer by the trade deadline.
SELL: This player has a small chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
SELL+: This player has a large chance of losing his closer job by the trade deadline.
BUY+: Brandon Lyon, Francisco Rodriguez, Luke Gregerson.
BUY: Jose Veras, David Hernandez, Dale Thayer.
SELL: Frank Francisco, John Axford, Jason Motte, J.J. Putz, Huston Street.
SELL+: Brett Myers.
Atlanta Braves – Atlanta is still in the playoff hunt and could look to add an arm down the stretch. This is unlikely to mean much to their bullpen hierarchy, however, as no one they could possibly acquire could threaten Craig Kimbrel. BUY/SELL: None.
Miami Marlins – The Marlins need bullpen help, but are several games under .500 and are unlikely to make any moves either way. They have former closer Juan Oviedo (Leo Nunez) returning from suspension soon, and will hope to rally with the staff they have. BUY/SELL: None.
New York Mets – The Mets may look to add an arm in the bullpen– Grant Balfour’s name has been bandied about– and that’s actually bad news for their current crop of relievers. Frank Francisco, due to return from the DL after the All Star Break, has been far from solid, and any new acquisition could push him for the closer’s job. BUY: None. SELL: Frank Francisco.
Philadelphia Phillies – Despite the Phillies’ struggles, they’re unlikely to sell off any valuable bullpen assets. Jonathan Papelbon has a long term contract, and they value Antonio Bastardo too highly to move him. BUY/SELL: None.
Washington Nationals – Even without Drew Storen– who is expected back in a few weeks– the first place Nats have one of the strongest bullpens in the NL. They’re unlikely to make any moves that would affect their hierarchy. BUY/SELL: None.
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs are selling anything and everything, but they may not have many takers for the top arms in their bullpen. Carlos Marmol has a big contract and is far too volatile to generate any interest. Meanwhile, Shawn Camp, James Russell and Rafael Dolis are unlikely to affect the 9th inning role if they do end up landing anywhere else. BUY/SELL: None.
Cincinnati Reds – Aroldis Chapman, despite some recent road bumps, is locked in to the closer role for the remainder of the year. Sean Marshall has also been rock solid in the 8th inning role. If the Reds look to make a trade, it won’t affect the bullpen. BUY/SELL: None.
Houston Astros – The Astros are looking to move Brett Myers, whose has a $10 million option that will kick in if he finishes 45 games. This makes him an interesting trade acquisition, as cash-strapped teams may be reluctant to move him into the closer role if they acquire him. Unfortunately, this also hurts his value, as it further decreases the chance that he’ll close wherever he lands. Brandon Lyon would inherit the job if Myers is dealt, which seems likely at this point. BUY+: Brandon Lyon. SELL+: Brett Myers.
Milwaukee Brewers – Brewers GM Doug Melvin said he would like to see how the team performs in the weeks after the break before deciding to sell. But if they do, they have several players in the bullpen that could interest contenders. John Axford has blown a handful of saves this year, and like most closers on bottom feeders, could see his value drop if he is dealt and moved into a set-up role. Francisco Rodriguez and Jose Veras have also been mentioned in trade talks, though their values are likely to rise if they (or Axford) is moved. BUY+: Francisco Rodriguez. BUY: Jose Veras. SELL: John Axford.
Pittsburgh Pirates – The first-place Pirates are buyers, but most media reports have them seeking a bat, not an arm. Even if they were to tack on in the bullpen, an acquisition would probably inherit the 7th or 8th inning role, as Joel Hanrahan has been solid all year. BUY/SELL: None.
St. Louis Cardinals – The Cardinals need some bullpen help, as Jason Motte has been shaky for much of the season. The St. Louis Dispatch reported on Tuesday that Huston Street could be an option, and Street expressed the desire to close if he moves elsewhere. Such a deal could hurt Motte’s value. BUY: None. SELL: Jason Motte.
Arizona Diamondbacks – They haven’t performed as well as expected, but the Diamondbacks are only four games out of first. But as of right now, they’re sellers, reportedly listening to offers to Justin Upton. J.J. Putz is an interesting trade target, and though his name hasn’t surfaced in trade talks yet, but he’s in the last year of his contract (the D’Backs have a club option) and could generate interest from contenders. However, this might be more likely to hurt his value than help it, as he could land with a team that puts him in a set-up role. David Hernandez would inherit the role if he gets traded. BUY: David Hernandez. SELL: J.J. Putz.
Colorado Rockies – ESPN’s Buster Olney has reported that the Rockies would have to be overwhelmed in a deal for either Rafael Betancourt or Matt Belisle, so there isn’t much chance that either will move before the trade deadline. At 32-51, the Rockies are obviously not buyers, either. BUY/SELL: None.
Los Angeles Dodgers – The Dodgers’ bullpen is solid, with Kenley Jansen still racking up strikeouts at an absurd rate. They’re unlikely to be factors in the bullpen market at the deadline. BUY/SELL: None.
San Diego Padres – Huston Street is a great bet to move somewhere else before the All Star Break, and a trade would either cause his value to rise slightly (if he goes to a contender and continues to close out games) or plummet (if he becomes a set-up man). But a definite beneficiary is Luke Gregerson– or possibly Dale Thayer– who could see saves once Street lands elsewhere. BUY+: Luke Gregerson. BUY: Dale Thayer. SELL: Huston Street.
San Francisco Giants – The Giants proved last year that they’re willing to make a splash at the deadline, but they’re unlikely to make any moves, bullpen-wise, as they have two solid top-tier relievers in Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo. BUY/SELL: None.