On the Block: The 2014 Trade Chips

One of my favorite tools here at FanGraphs is our Custom Leaderboard section, as it allows anyone to create a page to keep track of the performance of any player or group of players, whether it’s just guys on your fantasy team, upcoming free agents, or some random collection of players that you happen to care about. It’s a super helpful resource, and I have a handful of saved reports that I reference all the time.

And for the next six weeks or so, I’ll be adding another one to the list, because now that we’re just a few days away from the start of July, MLB’s trade season is upon us, and I wanted an easy way to keep track of who might be available at each position. So, I made a 2014 Trade Chip custom leaderboard. That links goes directly to the list of position players, but you can just click pitching up at the top to see the available arms as well. And the positional tabs up top will let you view players at various spots around the field.

This list is, of course, speculative, since it isn’t a matter of public record who is and who is not available for trade. To create the pool of potentially available players, I went to our Playoff Odds page included players from 10 of the 11 teams with less than a 4% chance of reaching the postseason; I didn’t include players from the Twins as of yet, as they are hanging around .500 and are unlikely to blow up their roster just yet. As teams move out of the playoff picture, we’ll go ahead and add their trade chips to the list. For instance, the Red Sox probably aren’t active sellers right now, but if their slide continues, they might be in a few weeks, and players like Jake Peavy will get added when it becomes clear what their intentions are.

But keep in mind that this list is is just my list. You can go to that link and add or remove any players you’d like, and then just save it as your own Custom Report for the future. You’re not limited to my selections; this can be the base from which you build your own list if you prefer to make different assumptions, or want to compare players who aren’t listed here. This isn’t the definitive list; it’s just one person’s guesses as to who might be available.

We’ll list the players by position below, but again, if you want to view updated numbers on a regular basis, simply use this link. And then just save it as your own custom report and you won’t even have to come back and find this page again.

For those who prefer a snapshot, though, here are the numbers of each player on the list, by position; note that players who have played 25% of their games at multiple positions will appear in each category.

Catcher Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Carlos Ruiz Phillies 263 0.265 0.369 0.368 0.334 110 -1.5 1.6 3.8 1.4
Jose Molina Rays 120 0.162 0.203 0.171 0.175 6 -0.4 -13.1 1.8 -0.8
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
First Base Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
John Mayberry Phillies 112 0.229 0.339 0.458 0.353 124 -0.1 2.9 -0.8 0.6
Adam Dunn White Sox 268 0.228 0.358 0.438 0.352 120 -3.5 2.6 -9.0 0.2
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Second Base Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Daniel Murphy Mets 344 0.300 0.355 0.419 0.341 120 2.7 10.5 1.0 2.3
Ben Zobrist Rays 283 0.242 0.326 0.363 0.308 98 1.5 0.9 3.3 1.5
Luis Valbuena Cubs 237 0.266 0.359 0.425 0.348 117 0.5 5.1 0.0 1.3
Emilio Bonifacio Cubs 261 0.261 0.307 0.340 0.287 75 2.1 -5.2 6.9 1.0
Gordon Beckham White Sox 237 0.267 0.322 0.429 0.330 105 -0.6 0.8 -1.7 0.7
Cliff Pennington Diamondbacks 83 0.243 0.325 0.324 0.297 81 0.7 -1.1 2.0 0.4
Didi Gregorius Diamondbacks 61 0.196 0.300 0.333 0.289 76 0.9 -0.7 -2.2 -0.1
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Shortstop Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Alexei Ramirez White Sox 320 0.302 0.335 0.425 0.335 109 0.6 3.7 0.8 1.6
Jimmy Rollins Phillies 319 0.249 0.338 0.390 0.325 104 -0.2 1.4 3.9 1.6
Elvis Andrus Rangers 325 0.271 0.319 0.353 0.300 82 3.6 -3.0 4.4 1.3
Cliff Pennington Diamondbacks 83 0.243 0.325 0.324 0.297 81 0.7 -1.1 2.0 0.4
Didi Gregorius Diamondbacks 61 0.196 0.300 0.333 0.289 76 0.9 -0.7 -2.2 -0.1
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Third Base Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Luis Valbuena Cubs 237 0.266 0.359 0.425 0.348 117 0.5 5.1 0.0 1.3
Chase Headley Padres 224 0.201 0.286 0.332 0.281 79 -0.3 -5.5 5.7 0.7
Eric Chavez Diamondbacks 81 0.246 0.346 0.449 0.350 118 0.6 2.3 -1.1 0.4
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Outfield Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Seth Smith Padres 255 0.294 0.402 0.523 0.403 163 -0.7 17.5 -3.7 2.3
Drew Stubbs Rockies 181 0.292 0.322 0.464 0.341 102 2.5 2.9 4.4 1.4
Emilio Bonifacio Cubs 261 0.261 0.307 0.340 0.287 75 2.1 -5.2 6.9 1.0
Dexter Fowler Astros 326 0.273 0.380 0.399 0.351 124 2.7 11.5 -12.8 1.0
Alex Rios Rangers 311 0.316 0.350 0.457 0.349 116 0.2 5.7 -6.7 1.0
Matt Joyce Rays 250 0.262 0.352 0.386 0.323 108 1.2 3.6 -2.7 1.0
Chris Denorfia Padres 197 0.253 0.303 0.346 0.290 86 1.8 -1.4 1.3 0.6
John Mayberry Phillies 112 0.229 0.339 0.458 0.353 124 -0.1 2.9 -0.8 0.6
Marlon Byrd Phillies 312 0.260 0.311 0.474 0.341 115 -4.0 1.4 -7.2 0.4
Bobby Abreu Mets 103 0.281 0.359 0.416 0.343 121 0.8 3.3 -5.3 0.1
Mark Trumbo Diamondbacks 87 0.210 0.264 0.506 0.330 104 -1.3 -0.9 -2.0 0.0
Justin Ruggiano Cubs 106 0.220 0.321 0.352 0.305 88 -1.4 -2.9 -2.0 -0.2
Dayan Viciedo White Sox 294 0.246 0.299 0.393 0.304 87 -0.2 -4.5 -7.4 -0.2
Will Venable Padres 241 0.201 0.266 0.283 0.250 58 1.0 -10.4 -0.5 -0.4
Nate Schierholtz Cubs 258 0.205 0.260 0.308 0.254 52 -0.2 -14.1 2.6 -0.4
Carlos Quentin Padres 96 0.185 0.302 0.333 0.292 87 -2.6 -4.0 -3.9 -0.5
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Designated Hitter Team PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ BsR Off Def WAR
Adam Dunn White Sox 268 0.228 0.358 0.438 0.352 120 -3.5 2.6 -9.0 0.2

And now for the pitchers. For this breakdown, only innings thrown as a starter or a reliever are included in their respective total, so a pitcher’s overall line won’t match either if he’s split time between SP and RP.


Starters Team IP ERA- FIP- xFIP- WAR RA9-WAR
David Price Rays 115.2 101 83 67 2.5 0.9
Jeff Samardzija Cubs 103.0 67 74 86 2.3 2.3
Jason Hammel Cubs 96.1 79 79 88 2.0 2.5
Cliff Lee Phillies 68.0 86 70 77 1.7 0.7
Ian Kennedy Padres 97.0 112 85 84 1.7 0.9
Bartolo Colon Mets 100.2 105 98 98 1.2 1.0
Edwin Jackson Cubs 84.1 135 100 98 1.0 -0.4
Erik Bedard Rays 63.2 116 99 115 0.8 0.0
Brandon McCarthy Diamondbacks 97.0 141 105 80 0.8 -0.5
John Danks White Sox 93.1 106 113 127 0.7 1.0
Kyle Kendrick Phillies 94.1 114 113 117 0.7 0.5
A.J. Burnett Phillies 104.0 106 113 114 0.5 0.6
Carlos Villanueva Cubs 17.2 255 93 112 0.3 -0.8
Daisuke Matsuzaka Mets 22.2 91 96 128 0.3 0.5
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Relievers Team IP ERA- FIP- xFIP- WAR RA9-WAR
Joakim Soria Rangers 25.2 42 19 49 1.4 1.0
Neal Cotts Rangers 31.0 83 56 80 1.0 0.6
Joaquin Benoit Padres 31.2 41 51 75 0.9 1.2
Jonathan Papelbon Phillies 30.1 40 70 118 0.8 1.4
Chad Qualls Astros 26.1 52 67 66 0.6 0.8
Ronald Belisario White Sox 37.0 130 79 86 0.5 -0.7
Tony Sipp Astros 19.0 48 57 51 0.5 0.7
Huston Street Padres 28.0 28 74 77 0.5 1.6
Carlos Torres Mets 46.2 94 81 85 0.5 0.5
Mike Adams Phillies 17.0 57 73 79 0.4 0.3
Oliver Perez Diamondbacks 30.2 62 82 109 0.3 0.4
Antonio Bastardo Phillies 35.0 77 88 112 0.3 0.4
Matt Belisle Rockies 32.0 107 85 96 0.2 0.1
Wesley Wright Cubs 21.0 68 82 95 0.2 0.5
LaTroy Hawkins Rockies 27.0 64 91 119 0.2 0.4
Scott Downs White Sox 23.2 139 88 101 0.2 -0.5
Carlos Villanueva Cubs 23.2 90 94 105 0.2 0.1
Brad Ziegler Diamondbacks 40.1 64 94 90 0.2 1.0
Dale Thayer Padres 32.2 55 107 96 0.0 0.6
Juan Oviedo Rays 27.0 62 109 130 0.0 0.6
Erik Bedard Rays 2.0   124 167 0.0 0.0
James Russell Cubs 20.1 58 106 116 0.0 0.5
Daisuke Matsuzaka Mets 24.1 63 110 123 -0.1 0.3
Grant Balfour Rays 29.1 147 117 121 -0.1 -0.6
Matt Lindstrom White Sox 19.0 81 117 121 -0.2 0.1
Addison Reed Diamondbacks 32.1 109 119 82 -0.3 -0.3

From the custom leaderboard, you can expand the view to look at more than just 2014 performance, or evaluate them based on split-type, or any other number of fun ways to view the available players. Have fun!




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


59 Responses to “On the Block: The 2014 Trade Chips”

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  1. j6takish says:

    Alexei to Oakland seems like the perfect “most obvious trade that needs to happen but won’t” candidate

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    • Jeff in T.O. says:

      Daniel Murphy to the Jays says hello!

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      • Ballfan says:

        it’s tough to buy high on Murphy

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        • Dayton Moore says:

          It’s easier than you think!

          +21 Vote -1 Vote +1

        • An above-average 2B available for 1.5 years at a significant discount won’t be easy to acquire. Murphy projects for about 4 WAR over that time, and will cost about $11-12M, for a surplus value of $14-19 Million ($6-7M/WAR).

          By comparison, David Price projects for about 6-6.5 WAR over the next 1.5 years, but will cost about $25M in that time, for a net value of $11-20M.

          Not saying that Murphy will command a return anywhere close to Price, but when you’re just looking at the net value on their contracts, they’re pretty similar.

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        • dirck says:

          This is the second year in a row that Murphy has been an above average 2B offensively . Above average looks pretty good next to a black hole .

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      • Balthazar says:

        Valbuena to the Jays might be a winner too. He could back up more than one position, which given injuries in Toronto has it’s worth. Wouldn’t be too expensive to come by, probably less than Murphy (who is better, be it said).

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    • Ruben A says:

      I think Daisuke can help our club!

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      • Murph's biggest fan says:

        what is buying high about murphy? dude’s been doing it for years. guy can hit. it’s what he does.

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  2. Blake says:

    I wouldn’t be opposed to somehow having Alex Rios finding his way to the M’s…but it won’t happen.

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    • Balthazar says:

      Nah, not interested in Rios. Bad defense on a team that needs more of that in the outfield, and a park that will kill what little power he has left for a guy who doesn’t walk to compensate.

      Drew Stubbs, though, seems a good fit for the Mariners. Not so good or having such a good year as to be too expensive in acquisition cost. Good D; good baserunner; has walked in the past. Has some pop, but makes enough contact to contribute if Safeco neutralizes his power, and having a solid year at the plate (although in a hitters’ heaven). Could play multiple positions in the outfield, and if her meshes with the squad and the org he would be somebody to keep around for more than half a season. As an upgrade over Stefen Romero, he would bring some experience to what is still a young squad too.

      Stubbs to the Ms wouldn’t be a sexy move, but would be a smart one. Needs to happen now, the outfield is contributing very little to the team, and the one good player out there—Michael Saunders—is still on injury rehab, and may be iffy going forward. I like James Jones, but the team still needs a RHB who brings some positive upside to the lineup card.

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      • rustydude says:

        I usually look at every suggestion of a trade candidate for the Mariners with extreme skepticism, but your idea and explanation about Stubbs actually makes sense to me. Time to make some small bore moves that won’t cripple the future of the franchise while still representing a slight advance that when combined with some extra luck, might propel them to a one game playoff.

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      • r0ry says:

        Hitter’s haven indeed.

        Home: .431 wOBA (150 wRC+)
        Away: .229 wOBA (39 wRC+)

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        • Balthazar says:

          Coors does that to many folks. Balls they wouldn’t swing at go for hits, so they forget about walking and hack away, only for it to catch up with them in a big way on the road. Many Rockies turn to ash on the road, it’s been a problem since the place was built.

          Stubbs has not been so extreme home/road in the past, even when playing in the hitters heaven of the Great American Ballpark in Cincy. Stubbs has shown the strike zone judgment to take far more walks over his career, so I have some confidence he hasn’t forgotten how. The split Stubbs has consistently shown is that he hits better against LHP, but then he would be sought primarily as a platoon bat, so that’s actually in his favor.

          The sad fact is that if we want to talk about home road splits, Stefen Romero has hit at a perfectly acceptable major league level on the road. But as an extreme pull RHB who doesn’t walk, Safeco Field has absolutely destroyed him. He’s the kind of bat that simply can’t play there. The Mariners play half their games on the road, sure, but as a platoon guy on the road Romero is on the roster for 100% of the games, while really only being of use for 20% of them against LHP. The Mariners could trade him to a team in a neutral park, he’ll put up nice counting stats, and everybody will say “The Ms blew it again.” But Romero has very little chance to succeed here.

          Stubbs by contrast can walk and play D and steal a base, park factors notwithstanding. He can pinch run, and pinch hit well against lefties, roles Romero has been asked to do. He has major league experience on a squad still really learning to expect to win. I don’t dislike Romero, but Stubbs represents an upgrade. He’s only signed for the next three months, and the money isn’t large, so he shouldn’t be too expensive to acquire. In fact, a swap of Romero for Stubbs outright could very well work for the Rockies. They like them the Cuddyer types, and Romero might hit very well at Coors for them, if being a significant step down defensively (though Stefen might fill in at non-OF positions too).

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  3. Matt says:

    Is there a way to get a column on there that has their contract details – years left and money owed?

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. RotoSaurus says:

    No Melancon or Uehara on the trade block? Both on 1-year deals and neither team is in the race really right now…

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    • RotoSaurus says:

      ok I just realized you said if Boston’s slide continues then you’d add them… and I suppose Pittsburgh being 2.5 games out doesn’t qualify them as sellers even though they look unlikely to make the playoffs over STL, LAD, ATL

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      • Flokie says:

        Pitt should get Liriano back soon (although he’s been not very good), and they get Cole back for next start. The talent is there to still make playoffs. Perhaps, they will add not sell; but I’m thinking it won’t be adding anything big time.

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      • Roger says:

        ATL has been a train wreck lately. I don’t expect them to sell – the key pieces are young and locked up long-term – but Pitt could definitely give them a run for a wildcard.

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    • Los says:

      Melancon is still controlled through next year and the Pirates have a 30% of making the playoffs. Not sure why they would sell.

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  5. Johnston says:

    You could really shore up a team’s rotation with a couple of those starters.

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  6. Remus says:

    Gotta believe the Yankees will ask about Murphy, I wonder if a sensible deal may be made.

    Buying low on Headley + Kennedy may work too. The Padres should feel bad about not trading him a long time ago.

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  7. Mr. Observant says:

    Okay, okay, got it – David Price, Jeff Sdrrkklmpqrah or whatever his name is, Brandon McCarthy and Zobrilla to the Jays for cash considerations and R.A. Dickey’s missing UCL. Perfect. I love these leaderboards!

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  8. KCDaveInLA says:

    Ben Zobrist seems like a perfect fit for KC, and I’m sure Andrew Friedman will make a fair trade offer….wait.

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  9. M says:

    Rollins on there, but not Utley?

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    • bdhudson says:

      Utley has been emphatic that he wouldn’t waive his no-trade. Rollins said he’d consider it if it came up.

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  10. Jaker says:

    I’d love for the Jays to target Murphy but I’m actually thinking Beckham might be a better acquisition. Younger and on pace for 1.5 WAR. Could he be had for cheaper than Murphy?

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    • Not Captain Obvious says:

      Well yeah, he could be had for cheaper than Murphy. Murphy has produced more WAR in the last 365 days (4.3) than Beckham has produced in the last 5 years (3.7).

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    • dirck says:

      The problem with the Jays getting Murphy is what do they have left to give the Mets ? The Mets need hitting far more than pitching .

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      • Zen Madman says:

        Perhaps they have an Iron Man or Hulk prospect in their system?

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      • za says:

        Alderson would take the pieces. If Pompey and Norris are included in the package, Alderson would do it and put Flores at 2B.

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        • SlickRick says:

          Not so sure AA will jump at the chance to deal with the Mets again.

          And isn’t Murphy to the O’s as good or better a fit? Christian Walker would work for the Mets, not sure for O’s…

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  11. I Put a GM or Player or Manager's Name as My Name says:

    And then commented as if I were really them, saying something absurd! See?

    This is creative and humorous! Let’s all do it on every post!

    +5 Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. Brendan says:

    Dave,

    shouldn’t you include RoS projections in the table of trade targets? Teams should pay for expected RoS performance, not what these guys have already done.

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  13. hittfamily says:

    I’d put Desmond Jennings on this list. Joe Maddon said Kiermaier is the best defensive CF in baseball. Jennings gets a hefty raise this offseason in his first year of arb, and is there any reason to have “the best CF’er in baseball” playing left field when Myers returns next year?

    Guyer is proving he’s MLB talent. The Rays don’t carry even 5 outfielders, yet they have 6 quality Of’ers. 2 of the 6 have to go, and with Myers, Kiermaier, Guyer, and Dejesus, either pre-arb or signed to long term deals, Joyce and Jennings are likely the expendable one’s. A 4 win CF with 3 years of team control should bring a hefty return as well.

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  14. A little surprised not to see Josh Willingham.

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    • jpg says:

      “…I didn’t include players from the Twins as of yet, as they are hanging around .500 and are unlikely to blow up their roster just yet.”

      Come on Warne

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  15. Mr Punch says:

    If the Red Sox do throw in the towel, this list will get a lot longer.

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  16. samyoung says:

    I get a suspicion Oakland trades for McCarthy!

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  17. Antonio Bananas says:

    How much can be gained by a team deciding early whether they are buyers or sellers?

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  18. John Mozeliak please if you read this stuff, get Price. Just don’t make any deal that includes ky jelly. Specifically, Taveras, Adams, as well as obvious. Surely since Cards have arguably deepest organizational talent in all of baseball we could work something out without getting raped for 1.5 yrs of service.

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  19. Grumpy Old Kirk Gibson says:

    I like the list of players you have on the trade block, but I think you need some more of my D-Backs players on the list. Me and KT know our season is over, and we know er have no chance of making the playoffs. At this point, we just want to play hard nosed gritty baseball and hope fans come to our games. After all, fans don’t care about if the team is winning, all they care about is how much grit the team plays with.

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  20. topherdig says:

    Seth Smith looks like a nice get for the M’s. They sure need OF who can hit and LF might be last hole to fill. Except probably need back up behind Michael Saunders for health reasons. Anyway about Smith, seems like good fit except hitters often don’t make transition to AL very well. M’s have seen that many time. Pitcher friendly Safeco wouldn’t be foreign to him thought.

    Any thoughts on this …or other fits better?

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    • Balthazar says:

      The Ms have any number of lefthand batters. I question whether acquiring another one is really the way to spend trade chips. Ackley for Seth Smith? Well I wouldn’t mind, but Ackley apparently has bone spurs in his plant ankle (left) again, and isn’t hitting with authority in consequence. I don’t see SD as interested.

      I’ve mentioned Drew Stubbs above as a less expensive acquisition who would be a good fit. Maybe not the upside, but sill good value. Saunders, Jones, and Stubbs would give real _defensive_, bolstering the Mariners already strong pitching and bringing the scores closer. There’s more than one way to build a win, not that Jack Zd seems to remember where he stashed his Baedecker to that result.

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    • Balthazar says:

      Desmond Jennings was mentioned by a commentor above. Now, he’d be a nice get for the Mariners to play left, yes. I don’t see Tampa swapping him at a reasonable cost, though. And Jenning’s ceiling is really solid regular. Is he _actually_ significantly better than Drew Stubbs? Aside from being a few years younger with a final chance to tick his power up a little, I don’t see it. Stubbs would come cheap; Jennings might help a little more. If he hits in Safeco, that’s always Question One for a RHB coming here.

      It all depends on what the ask was back for Jennings. Stubbs could just about surely be acquired though.

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  21. Valentine says:

    Time to add the Red Sox players to this list?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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