Pitchers who are on the early trading block in the MLB
– With the Major League Baseball trading deadline approaching but still two months away, early names of pitchers are surfacing and we look at which pitchers could be offered to teams wishing to bolster their pitching staff and make a run for a playoff spot. As these names are coming out, a sense of excitement amongst general managers is rising especially based on the fact that some are starting pitchers. Even if some names are generating some buzz around the leagues, some others are considered as traded already. A clear example of that is the acquisition of Bryan Morris by the Miami Marlins from the Pittsburgh Pirates for their 39th pick overall at this year MLB draft.
There are other notable pitchers that could be traded before the trade deadline. The first one who could get a change of scenery is Kansas City Royals James Schields. Schields who’s only been with the Royals since 2013 could be finding himself in a new team looking to upgrade their pitching staff. One team that comes to mind and who could be front runners for Schields are the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays are looking for immediate help and are not looking for the long term solution. Shields would make sense for the Blue Jays because of his contractual situation. He will make 13.5 million dollars this season but is set to become a free agent in 2015.
The Blue Jays who are having surprising success this season at 37-24 and on top of the Eastern Division of the AL with a five-game lead could use a strong pitching arm to complement their devastating offense. Shields has posted a 3.68 ERA and 1.25 WHIP with a 6-3 record this season, so it’s safe to say that he’d be a welcome upgrade in Toronto.
One other prominent trading candidate is relief pitcher Jim Johnson from the Oakland Athletics. He has not proven himself yet this year with Oakland Athletics and that may mean for Johnson that a trade may be imminent. Jim Johnson has had a successful career with the Baltimore Orioles but after a dismal start to 2014, he may be on his way out. Johnson was rumored to be traded earlier this season to the Miami Marlins but these talks aborted and the Marlins turned towards the Pittsburgh Pirates trading for Bryan Morris. The Oakland Athletics are even willing to pick up a part of his salary if needed. Teams may still believe that Johnson can return to form, but, if anyone does end up trading for the veteran reliever, they could be taking a big risk.
One other pitcher who could be moving is the Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija. The Orioles appear to be the leading team wanting to put their claws on Samardzija. The two sides are mutually interested in working out a deal. Baltimore is chasing Toronto in the AL East. By acquiring Samardzija the Orioles would get another strong pitcher in their rotation. His 1-5 record in 12 starts this year is indicative of the bad season Samardzija is having with the Cubs. It is not sure if the Cubs will show the patience in a season that seems already lost.
Samardzija has an ERA of just 2.54 with a 1.15 WHIP and 67 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. They could have Samardzija as their No.2 or No.3 starter and add the depth they need to catch Toronto. The prospects the Baltimore Orioles would be offering are: Eduardo Rodriguez, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. With the Orioles focused on winning, and the Cubs looking to add talent for the future, a trade could be mutually beneficial for both teams.
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