Three Post-Waiver Trade Targets: Pitchers

Dave Cameron already covered the best and most obvious candidate in Cliff Lee here. Here are three more pitchers who could get moved as a post-waiver deal:

Brandon McCarthy

McCarthy could potentially pass through waivers due to the shoulder injury he suffered back on June 24. Although he’s already in the middle of a rehab assignment, he was crushed (six runs in 3.2 innings) in his first start. As such, he could potentially slip through waivers.

Although it would seem odd for the A’s to deal a pitcher of McCarthy’s caliber — 2.54 ERA, 3.39 FIP and coming off a similar season last year — they have much bigger needs than starting pitching right now. Oakland starting pitchers notched a 3.60 ERA and 3.26 FIP with McCarthy out.

Instead, the Athletics have major needs on the left side of the infield. Brandon Inge (.221/.278/.398, 82 wRC+) has somewhat stabilized the position, giving them at least some pop and a good glove. But shortstop remains a disaster, with Brandon Hicks‘s .183/.246/.417 in 65 PA the best hitting performance the club has seen at the position this season. Cliff Pennington and Eric Sogard own wRC+ marks of 51 and 42 respectively.

McCarthy’s is eligible for free agency after the season. He is clearly good enough to help the A’s win in 2012, but if the A’s can fetch a reasonable shortstop for him, the upgrade could be bigger than the upgrade he presents over Bartolo Colon or A.J. Griffin or recent callup Dan Straily. The shortstop market was so rough prior to the waiver deadline, though, so there just might not be a match out there.

Josh Beckett

Beckett, due $31.5 million over the next two seasons and having his next start skipped to boot, should have no trouble clearing waivers. He’s having his usual even-year bad season (at least in terms of results), posting a 4.54 ERA. His strikeout rate is a career low 6.81 per nine innings and injuries have limited him to just 18 starts. Still, he has a FIP- of 82 and showed as recently as last season he can still put up elite results with his solid peripherals, notching a 68 ERA- to go with an 84 FIP-.

The Rangers were among the teams to show interest in Beckett prior to the trading deadline and could remain on the Rangers’ radar should he clear waivers, although the Ryan Dempster . However, despite classic media-driven issues such as those surrounding a round of golf in May, Beckett likely hasn’t done enough to force himself out — the Red Sox likely aren’t willing to take a discounted price just to get rid of him.

Randy Wolf

The Brewers would love to get rid of Randy Wolf not only because of the price tag — he has just over $3 million remaining on this year’s deal as well as a $1.5 million buyout of next year’s option — but also because the Brewers may want the opportunity to give their younger players some chances in the major leagues. The Brewers are trying to see what they have in players like Michael Fiers, Marco Estrada, Mark Rogers and also minor leaguers like Wily Peralta and Tyler Thornburg. Once Shaun Marcum returns from his injury, there will only be two spots for those youngsters (after Yovani Gallardo, Marcum and Wolf).

Wolf has been horrible this season, with a 5.45 ERA and 4.78 FIP. His 2.10 K/BB is actually slightly better than last season, when he notched a 98 ERA-, but the home run issues have returned, as Wolf is allowing 1.36 HR/9. The upside is minimal, but ZiPS projects a 4.29 ERA the rest of the way, which could be an improvement on a few fifth starters for contending teams. Jayson Stark said the Brewers would trade Randy Wolf “for nothing if you take the money,” so the risk for an acquiring team would be minimal. A team with a fly ball friendly park might be able to make it work for a tiny cost.



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ralph
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ralph
3 years 11 months ago

I predict a Joe Blanton trade.

Barnard
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Barnard
3 years 11 months ago

He just got picked up by the Dodgers

B N
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B N
3 years 11 months ago

His amazing powers of prognostication are so powerful they can even see into… THE PAST!

hk
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hk
3 years 11 months ago

I can’t see McCarthy slipping through waivers with only $1.4M due on his deal. Contenders with money would be crazy not to put in a claim.

ralph
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ralph
3 years 11 months ago

I think the unknown injury status makes passing through waivers a little more likely, but it seems like a small risk to take for a team really looking for starter.

That doesn’t stop him from being a a good trade candidate, of course.

Eminor3rd
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Eminor3rd
3 years 11 months ago

Would love the White Sox to do this and dump Humber to the pen

DowntownChico
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DowntownChico
3 years 11 months ago

McCarthy is a legitimate Ace with an expiring contract. There is no way he would pass through waivers.

And though it goes against intuition, his injury may actually lower his chances of being traded. Due to the injury, he will cost less than he would have otherwise, when he signs his contract for 2013. For a small market team like the A’s, he may have just become affordable, making his way back into their long-term plans.

majnun
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majnun
3 years 11 months ago

McCarthy is not an ace

DowntownChico
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DowntownChico
3 years 11 months ago

Majnun: Do you have any reason to believe McCarthy is not an ace?

He was the opening day starter for the A’s pitching staff, which is one of the best pitching staff in the AL. Only if you go by ERA, ERA+, or ERA-… He, personally, would be in the top ten in ERA. He accumulated 1.6 WAR in 78 innings, which would be about a 4 WAR over the entire season.

Just last year, he had a WAR of 4.7, which was good for top 20 among MLB starters.

Just because a guy is currently injured, it doesn’t discredit his “Ace” status.

Paul Wilson
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Paul Wilson
3 years 11 months ago

He was on the cover of ESPN the mag; he must be an ace!

Forrest Gumption
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Forrest Gumption
3 years 11 months ago

McCarthy is simply dominant when he pitches. He’s an ace based off that fact alone.

MauerPower
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3 years 11 months ago

McCarthy isn’t an ace…he’s a number one pitcher, but there’s a difference.

Forrest Gumption
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Forrest Gumption
3 years 11 months ago

His utter dominance on the mound proves he is an ace. Its pretty simple.

tom s.
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tom s.
3 years 11 months ago

why would anybody want randy wolf unless the brewers ate almost all the remaining salary? isn’t shaun marcum the much more interesting waiver candidate in the brewers rotation, if the brewers have sufficient doubt about his health and value that they won’t offer him the $13m+ offer required for compensation? only once in his career has marcum been worth $13m.

the brewers aren’t winning anything this season. wolf makes $2m more than marcum over the whole season, so milwaukee would only save less than a million if a team took on all of wolf’s remaining contract versus all of marcum’s remaining contract. nobody will take all of wolf’s remaining contract, but somebody might take all of marcum’s remaining contract. even though wolf is better-paid, the brewers could probably save more money by trading marcum.

Bob
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Bob
3 years 11 months ago

If the Brewers are going to eat his salary, it would make more sense to just dump Wolf in the BP – where might actually represent an upgrade.

Marcum I think is interesting. He was the brewers most consistently good pitcher the past two seasons. But both were injury-shortened. I think the Brewers would like to bring him back, but certainly not at 13+.

oh Hal
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oh Hal
3 years 11 months ago

The story seems incomplete. As a constant defender of Doug Melvin, dare I say a huge fan, Jack Moore sidesteps the issue that Wolf is yet another bad contract.

Stinky
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Stinky
3 years 11 months ago

um, Cliff Lee…

Pinstripe Wizard
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Pinstripe Wizard
3 years 11 months ago

Did you read the article or just skim the names? He clearly states that Dave handle Lee in a separate piece.

Stinky
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Stinky
3 years 11 months ago

Chris Young?

the sandman
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the sandman
3 years 11 months ago

I dont think of McCarthy as an ace. hes too injury-prone, his mechanics are horrible. hes a solid starter WHEN healthy, which isnt more than20-25 starts per year. Any team taking a chance on him needs to think about that. You will need depth in the minors if McCarthy is in your rotation.

Pat
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Pat
3 years 11 months ago

Aces make 30+ starts a year, McCarthy is not an ace. He pitches very well when healthy, but he’s chronically injured. One of the most important aspects of a starting pitcher is their ability to stay healthy and pitch 200+ innings.

Stinky
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Stinky
3 years 11 months ago

Johan Santana if he comes back and makes a good start or 2? Tigers make that waiver claim? they have no LHer in their rotation.

Anthony
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3 years 11 months ago

No Johan has one of the most expensive contracts in the game right now and to pay 20 million a year for someone who isnt even guaranteed to pitch much better than what they already have isnt worth it

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