Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Zack Greinke, Jeremy Guthrie. These are some of the names making up the trade season wish lists across Major League Baseball. Fortunately for general managers across the league, to get their prized trade deadline present they won’t have to sit on Santa’s lap. They’ll just have to make the right offer – and not all the teams out there can do so. Let’s take a look at the wish lists and who may go where.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox are struggling. Still. They haven’t quite recovered from last season’s collapse. Bobby Valentine’s
calming presence (that’s what it is right?) in the dugout has not improved team chemistry. The team simply doesn’t have the pitching talent to come back in the division as it stands now.
The Red Sox have been linked to both Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. Both would be upgrades in the Beantown rotation, but the Red Sox would be better served pursuing Garza. Garza, as has been pointed out before, has a history of pitching in the American League East. He’s familiar with the Yankees, Rays, Orioles, and Blue Jays. While this may be an overrated quality, it’s one that the Red Sox front office may be considering. Besides his experience, Garza is younger than Dempster and still has one more year before hitting free agency.
Yes, those Orioles. They are going to be buyers at the deadline, unfamiliar territory for a team that has not made the play-offs since 1997. And they could use some pitching help. Guthrie may be the easiest to acquire out of the bunch listed earlier. He has a career 4.34 ERA and is pitching for the woeful Colorado Rockies – a team who will be obvious sellers in July. In addition, Guthrie pitched for the Orioles from 2007-2011. He posted his best ERA in his time with the Orioles. But, it’s not clear how much of an improvement he would be over what the O’s have now.
Besides Guthrie’s less than stellar career numbers, it seems as if the Rockies are close to dealing him to Toronto. The Orioles have been linked to both Dempster and Garza as well, but a wild car may be Zack Greinke. The Brewers have not been able to work out a contract extension and Greinke is a free agent after this season. It would make sense that the Brewers would deal him if they can’t work out a new contract. Greinke has experience in the American League and could help push the Orioles to a postseason berth.
Toronto Blue Jays
According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies have already been in talks with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding Guthrie, and the Jays seem to be the front runners. According to Renck, the proposed deal would look something like this:
In that scenario, the Rockies would receive a minor-league prospect with Toronto absorbing the roughly $4.9 million on Guthrie’s one-year, $8.2-million arbitration contract.
The Blue Jays are looking to stay competitive in the American League East – a division that seems to be getting more competitive every year. Every team in the division is at .500 or better at the time of this article. Guthrie could help the Blue Jays maintain and possibly even challenge in the second half.
These are just a few of the teams that will be in the mix for any of the aforementioned pitchers. Teams across the league are examining their position and determining if they have a real shot. With two additional play-off spots available, more teams could be buyers this year than ever before. So the Christmas wish lists could be growing by the end of July, but for now a few pitchers are attracting more attention than others.