trading deadline is approaching and so are the monumental decisions that
numerous General managers will have to make soon. The pool of ‘game changer’
talent is somewhat small this season with the real prize being the Philadelphia
Phillies left-handed Cole Hamels.
After last night’s horrid loss to
the Mets in which elite closer Papelbon gave up a bloop single to right field for
the walk-off, the Phillies are one step closer to being sellers and there will
be plenty of American league teams looking their way. This is what makes this
time of year enjoyable for baseball fans as we speculate on what some of the
best moves would be for our favorite teams.
Hamels to Detroit?
The Tigers have two elite
prospects in right-hander Jacob Turner, who at 21-years old, is a rising
through the ranks of Triple-A baseball. He was drafted ninth overall in the
2009 draft and would be an immediate starter for the Phillies in 2013. Don’t
forget, too, that the Phillies already have four ‘baby aces’ in the minors and
the addition of Turner would only help them retool the big club that much
The second blue chip prospect is
one that fits perfectly into the Phillies' future plans. The Phillies need to
get a marquee third baseman soon, and the Tigers have arguably the best prospect
in all of baseball in Nick Castellanos. He is 22-years old, is hitting .369 on
the season and was recently promoted to Double-A action. The addition of these
two prospects to the Phillies, and extrapolating them to starters, would not only
make the team better in 2013 and beyond, it would reduce the payroll by nearly
$40 million depending on who else (Victorino) may be involved.
Zack Greinke and the Texas
The Brewers are in the same
position as the Phillies and need to decide whether to move starting ace
Greinke or not. They are eight games out of the division lead and 6 ½ games
from the wild card position. So, they are in modestly better shape than the
Phillies and as a result can afford to wait and see what the Phillies may do
with Cole Hamels. This is one of the best sellers markets in years and adding Greinke to a pool of talent that includes Hamels would reduce the
returns for each team respectively. Supply increases with demand the same, prices
decline. It is that simple sometimes.
I believe Greinke will be moved.
Texas has a very deep farm system right now and the acquisition of Greinke to
the top of their starting rotation would certainly distance themselves from the
Yankees and other contenders. Texas already has a solid bullpen that ranks 12th
in MLB with a 3.31 ERA and the addition of Greinke would take even more
pressure off the bullpen. Texas ranks first in several offensive categories and
have the core players to be one of the top offensive teams for years to come.
So, using some of their prospects to get Greinke, makes complete sense.
Texas third base prospect, Mike
Olt, is said not be be on the list of prospects available to complete a trade.
However, if Texas would offer him as part of the deal, I believe Milwaukee
would not have any choice but to say ‘yes’ to the deal.
Anaheim Angels and Cole?
The Angels would love to have any
one of these three names as they climb the rungs of the American League
standings. Angels starter Dan Haren is on the disabled list for the first time
in his career, and the Angels will be buyers. I do not believe they have enough
prospect talent to be able to compete evenly with other buyers. As a result,
they may have to settle on getting Phillies starter Joe Blanton, who would do
well with the backing of the Angels offensive lineup.
Blanton is an intriguing move, one that is
flying under the radar. He is a pitch to contact type of starter and can
dominate any lineup on any given night. Typically, though, he allows four or
more earned runs, but on this team, he will keep the Angels in games he starts
and give them a chance to win.