The non-waiver trade deadline is not until July 31, 2012, 4pm ET, but I figure it's worthwile talking about the possibilities for now.
We don't know if we're going to be buyers or sellers yet, so feel free to speculate either way.
If we are sellers potential trade candidates could be:
Kelly Johnson, 2B/LF, 6'1 180, L/R (30)
(2012) .252/.336/.388 9hr 30rbi 5(2b) 1(3b) 31bb 83so 7sb 1cs
(2011) .222/.304/.413 21hr 58rbi 27(2b) 7(3b) 60bb 163so 16sb 6cs
Why? Unrestricted free agent after the season. Could be valuable to a number of teams looking for a secondbaseman or left fielder who can hit for power and take the odd walk. Decent defender and smart baserunner.
Edwin Encarnacion, 6'2 230, 1B/DH/3B, R/R, (29)
(2012) .283/.351/.574 20hr 48rbi 13(2b) 24bb 49so 6sb 1cs
(2011) .272/.334/.453 17hr 55rbi 36(2b) 43bb 77so 8sb 2cs
Why? Unrestricted free agent after the season. Having a career year. Trade value may never be higher, as he could arguably be the best power bat available at the trade deadline. Might bring in a good return from a team in the hunt.
Francisco Cordero, RHP, 6'3 235, (37)
(2012) 2-4 5.08era 2sv 28.1ip 36h 13bb 21so
(2011) 5-3 2.45era 37sv 69.2ip 49h 22bb 42so
Why? Blue Jays fans can barely stomach seeing him come out of the bullpen with the game on the line. Unrestricted free agent unlikely to be brought back. Some desperate team, may trade a bag of balls for him. Getting rid of the remainder of his salary this year would be a bonus.
Yunel Escobar, SS, 6'2 210, R/R, (29)
(2012) .249/.302/.633 4hr 21rbi 8(2b) 1(3b) 20bb 30so 1sb 1cs
(2011) .290/.369/.413 11hr 48rbi 24(2b) 3(3b) 61bb 70so 3sb 3cs
Why? No reason to trade him, but he would have trememdous value on the open market despite slow start to year. Is coming off a very good season in 2011 in which he posted a +4 WAR as a shortstop. Steady defensively, and capable of more offensively than he's done this year. He's still technically in his prime and is signed to a very cheap, team-friendly contract, which only increases his value. The pressence of the slowly improving defensive stalwart Hechavarria at AAA, allows for some flexibility.
Darren Oliver, LHP, 6'2 200, (41)
(2012) 28g 1-2 1.48era 24.1ip 16bb 7bb 26so
(2011) 61g 5-5 2.29era 2sv 51ip 47h 11bb 44so
Why? No reason except that he'd have tremendous value to a contending team. Has been an excellent lefty reliever out of the pen over the last two years with Toronto and Texas. 3million club option for 2013 looks like a bargain, and increases his value.
JP Arencibia, C, 6'1 205, R/R, (26)
(2012) .224/.261/.400 9hr 33rbi 9(2b) 9bb 63so 1sb 0cs
(2011) .219/.282/.438 23rbi 78rbi 20(2b) 4(3b) 36bb 133so 1sb 1cs
Why? No reason to trade him right now, but the right offer came along he could be expendable. Has value as a young power-hitting catcher, who is cost-controlled for at least 4 more years. With uber-prospect Travis D'Arnaud knocking on the door, we have a replacement ready and waiting.
Rumored or speculated to be available for the right price:
Carlos Quentin, OF, 6'2 235, R/R, (29)
(2012) .367/.486/.767 6hr 13rbi 6(2b) 9bb 12so
(2011) .254/.340/.499 24hr 77rbi 31(2b) 34bb 84so
Why? Impending unrestricted free agent. Padres are said to be considering signing him to a longterm extension. If that doesn't happen, he would be an attractive target for teams looking for a big bat in the outfield. Quentin would solve the Blue Jays left field problems, and could see time at DH as well. His ability to hit for power and take the odd walk would fit well in the middle of the Jays lineup. He's still only 29, and should have 3-4 prime years left, so it could take a solid package of prospects to acquire him.
Matt Garza, RHP, 6'4 215, (28)
(2012) 3-5 4.07era 77.1ip 64h 22bb 72so
(2011) 10-10 3.32era 198ip 186h 63bb 197so
Why? Garza is one year away from free-agency, and the Cubs are in rebuilding mode. At 28, he has about 5 prime years left, and the Cubs are unlikeyly to be contenders for at least anothe 2 or 3 seasons. They could expediate their rebuild by getting 2 or 3 very good prospects for Garza. A team like the Jays could be interested in Garza, as he's not making too much money right now at about 12-13m in 2012. He has also shown in the past that he can pitch in the tough AL East. Still, it might be hard for them to give up very good prospects for a 1 1/2 year rental, especially if they fall out of the race by July 31st this year.
Wandy Rodriguez, LHP, 5'11 195, (33)
(2012) 6-5 3.29era 95.2ip 99h 22bb 61so
(2011) 11-11 3.49era 191ip 182h 69bb 166so
Why? Astros are in rebuild mode, and taking offers for virtually every player on their roster. They would love to pick up some good prospects for Rodriguez, while also divesting themselves of his contract. Rodriguez is the defacto ace of their rotation. He's a good pitcher, with a solid three-pitch mix (89-92 FB, +CB, CU), but he's owed 13m next year, with another 13m vesting option for 2014. He would help a team like the Jays looking for starting pitching help, though some wonder how he would hold up playing in the American League, where he has not posted very good numbers.
Justin Upton, OF, 6'2 205, R/R, (24)
(2012) .258/.341/.371 6hr 27rbi 8(2b) 27bb 65so 8sb 5cs
(2011) .289/.369/.529 31hr 88rbi 39(2b) 5(3b) 59bb 126so 21sb 9cs
Why? The Diamondbacks already considered trading their star right-fielder over the winter to Boston for Daniel Bard and Jacoby Ellsbury. It seems strange, after he had just led them to the Playoffs the previous season, and also since they just signed him in 2010 to a six-year 51.25m contract extension. Upton has all the talent in the world, but there are some questions about his makeup and work ethic. One also has to wonder how much his numbers have been inflated by playing half his games at hitter friendly Chase Field. His career slash line at home is .301/.385/.537 while on the road he's hitting just .250/.326/.418. Still, he should be a highly coveted player based on his age, and his pure talent level. He's also relatively cost effective as he's making just 6.75m this season and 14.5m in 2015, the last year of his contract. Would take a lot to pry him away, and may not be worth it for a team like the Jays, as he likely would not appreciate a move to left field.
Carlos Gonzales, OF, 6'1 205, L/L,(26)
(2012) .337/.396/.627 17hr 51rbi 15(2b) 3(3b) 23bb 53so 10sb 0cs
(2011) .295/.363/.526 26hr 92rbi 27(2b) 3(3b) 48bb 105so 20sb 5cs
Why? While the Rockies have no reason to trade "Cargo," Joel Sherman speculates, whether it is wise for a mid-market team like Colorado to have so much of their payroll tied into two players (Gonzales and Troy Tulowitzki), something which has not worked out for them in the past. They are second to last in the NL West and it could some time before they compete with the newly stable Dodgers. A number of things might put off certain buyers. One: Colorado would demand a hefty sum for their star center-fielder. Two: Gonzales contract is pretty expensive 80.5m guaranteed over 7 years (5m in 2012, 7.5m in 2013, 10.5m in 2014, 16m in 2015, 17m in 2016, and 20m in 2017). Three: there are questions about his toughness and effort level, as well as the extent to which Coors Field is responsible for his gaudy offensive numbers (Career slash line at home .336/.389/.626 - Career slash line on the road .268/.321/.438).
Jose Altuve, 2B, 5'5 170, R/R, (22)
(2012) .313/.356/.451 4hr 22rbi 18(2b) 4(3b) 15bb 39so 12sb 4cs
(2011) .276/.297/.357 2hr 12rbi 10(2b) 1(3b) 5bb 29so 7sb 3cs
Why? Ken Rosenthal reports that the Astros, in the midst of a long rebuild, are open to offers to everyone on their roster for the right price. Altuve, is the most valuable asset Houston has, and he could easily be turned into two or three good prospects, which would expediate their rebuild. Altuve is one of the best young second basemen in baseball. A sparkplug type of player, with great makeup, he posseses great bat control, and surprising pop for his size. He is maxed out physically meaning this is likely his cieling, and he's still unproven, with just one year and a hafl under his belt, but he's young, cost effective, and talented. The Jays need a second baseman to replace Kelly Johnson, and Altuve would be an immediate fan favourite in Toronto with his style of play. The Astros desperately need young pitching help and the Jays would seem like the perfect team to fill those needs.
Jed Lowrie, SS/2B, 6'0 180, B/R, (28)
(2012) .269/.354/.498 13hr 31rbi 12(2b) 29bb 46so 2sb 0cs
(2011) .252/.303/.382 6hr 36rbi 14(2b) 4(3b) 23bb 60so 1sb 1cs
Why? Like I said, the Astros are in rebuilding mode, and they're listening to offers to everyone on the roster. Lowrie is already 28, and uber-prospect Carlos Correa is the long-term option at short. Lowrie is also arbitration eligible for the first time in 2013, and will be a free-agent by 2015. He would be a nice option for a team either at second or short, but it might require a pretty good package of prospects to get him, and this is really his first very good year in the majors.
If there are any other players you have heard to be possibly available and want added to the list let me know.
(PLEASE RECCOMEND THE THREAD TO KEEP IT ALIVE PRIOR TO THE DEADLINE)