I recently took a look at some position players that could get more playing time after the trade deadline and now it’s time to look at some pitching options that could benefit from their team making trades.
Here are two MLB relievers and two starters who could get an extended look over the final two months.
Scott Effross, Chicago Cubs
The Cubs showed last year that were willing to blow up a bullpen and trade every asset when they dealt Craig Kimbrel, Andrew Chafin, and Ryan Tepera. Although David Robertson, Mychel Givens, and Chris Martin aren’t the same caliber as last year’s group, they all have trade value and the Cubs will likely get what they can.
In the past, Rowan Wick looked like a late-game reliever and possible future closer but his 4.55 ERA and 94 ERA+ over the past two seasons are more fit for mop-up duty than high-leverage situations. Effross, on the other hand, has been stellar this season and has an MLB-leading 43 appearances to go along with a 2.93 ERA and 49:9 K: BB in 40 innings. The soft-tossing sidearmer has had little trouble baffling hitters since joining the Cubs while demonstrating excellent control and has kept the ball in the park with only two homers allowed this year.
Justin Dunn, Cincinnati Reds
Dunn and pitching prospect Brandon Williamson were two of the three players that Cincinnati received in return for trading away Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez in March. Dunn has been on the injured list all season with a shoulder injury but is nearing the end of a rehab assignment.
While he may end up being optioned to Triple-A when he’s activated, there’s a very good chance he will join the Reds shortly after the August 2 MLB trade deadline as both Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahle are likely to be dealt. Dunn is no stranger to the big leagues and has a 3.94 ERA in 102.2 across 25 starts from 2019 to 2021 but has struggled with his control, walking a whopping 6.0 batters per nine innings compared to the more manageable 3.5 BB/9 he’s compiled in the minors.
Alex Lange, Detroit Tigers
Lange is already a key part of the Tigers’ bullpen and is being utilized in high-leverage situations due to his 2.29 ERA, 44:16 K:BB, and allowing only one homer through 35.1 innings. Detroit is firmly out of contention in the American League and both Chafin and Michael Fulmer are fairly likely to be traded. Gregory Soto still has three years of team control left and will be a little hard to pry from the Tigers, but has surfaced in trade rumors.
Whether all or some of these three are traded, Lange will likely see an increased role and could be called upon to close out games on occasion before the season’s end.
Zach Logue, Oakland Athletics
Logue has bounced back and forth between Triple-A Las Vegas and Oakland and is likely the next in line should the A’s trade Montas or there’s an injury. The 26-year-old Logue has made seven appearances, six starts, in the majors this season and has an unflattering 5.16 ERA in large part due to two consecutive bad starts at the end of May where he allowed 11 runs in seven combined innings. In his other four starts, he’s allowed two runs or less each time and pitched at least five innings three times.
Oakland will probably need to fill a spot in the rotation soon and Logue is the most likely option to get a chance to prove himself over the final two months.