Trade Value Of The Guys That Might Get Sold
After the belly flop the team pulled in Anaheim – corresponding with winning streaks from the Rangers and Angels – the team will be sellers rather than buyers at the deadline. However, in looking at what the M’s have to offer contenders looking to bolster their rosters, it’s not like we’re going to see a bunch of blockbuster deals that reload the farm system here. The M’s have some pieces with a bit of value, but they’re going to have to position themselves as the Wal-Mart of the trade deadline – it might not be the highest quality stuff around, but at least it doesn’t cost much.
Here’s who the M’s will likely be taking phone calls for over the next few weeks:
Brandon League, RHP.
Good-but-not-great reliever with limited track record as a ninth inning guy. He’s got value, especially because his salary is relatively cheap and he’s under team control for 2012, but you’re not going to get the kind of guy that can turn a franchise around for him, and of course trading League depletes an already weak bullpen that doesn’t have a lot of good options going forward. In fact, given that the M’s will control League for next year and the state of the rest of the arms in the bullpen, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Jack Zduriencik just decided to keep League for himself. They’d likely move him if a team overpays, but with guys like Francisco Rodriguez getting dumped for salary reasons and Heath Bell available, I don’t know how much demand for League there will really be.
Erik Bedard, LHP.
We all know the deal here – even though his current injury isn’t arm related, the fact that he’s on the DL isn’t doing his trade value any good. He hasn’t pitched a game in September since 2007. He’s pitched four innings in October during his entire career. Is any contender going to look at Bedard and believe that they can count on him to pitch well not only for the final two months of the regular season, but also be able to take the ball in the playoffs as well? They might be willing to gamble on him, but they’re not going to be willing to surrender a premium young player for the right to hope that this is the year that Bedard stays healthy all season.
Adam Kennedy, 2B.
After a nice start to the season, he’s turned back into the guy who signed a non-roster invite to spring training a few months ago. He’s been a nice player for the M’s, but on a contender, he’s a bench guy. The M’s will be able to move him for a prospect with warts who is years from the Majors or a low-ceiling guy who could be a role player if everything goes right, but don’t get your hopes up that you’re going to be able to get anything significant in return here.
Jack Wilson, 2B/SS.
Look around baseball at some of the players that are starting at shortstop for contending teams – Yuniesky Betancourt, Brandon Crawford, Ronny Cedeno. Jack Wilson has been available for months, and none of these teams have called and said “yeah, he’s better than what we have.” The M’s will be able to trade Wilson if they pick up most of the rest of his contract, but they’re not getting anything back for him. The M’s don’t want Jack Wilson anymore, and neither does anyone else.
So you’ve got one guy who might be able to bring a solid-but-not-spectacular prospect in return, one guy who could bring some unknown thing in return, and two guys the team can give away if they want. That’s not exactly dealing from a position of strength.
While it’s nice to dream about what the M’s can get if they packaged all these guys together, the reality is that the only guys on the M’s roster who would really generate excited phone calls from other GMs are Felix, Pineda, and Ackley, and I’m pretty sure that none of those guys are getting moved in the next few weeks. League and Bedard might bring you an interesting young player or two, but the M’s aren’t going to be able to reload at the deadline this year. Maybe Jack has a trick or two up his sleeve, but overall, I think we’re probably in for a more boring trade deadline than you might expect.