The first big block fell last night. Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were shipped from the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland A’s last night, in return for top prospect Addison Russell, former top prospect Dan Straily and 2013 first rounder Billy McKinney. In short, both sides brought in quite a haul.
This deal sure has rebuilding teams salivating with the chance of lining their farm systems with elite prospects in return for their soon-to-be free agents. Teams like the Dodgers, Blue Jays, Orioles, Angels, Braves and Cardinals are still looking for some pitching. The Yankees are still interested in infield depth, and have been linked to Chase Headley. And there’s also a bunch of other teams right on the bubble that will look to improve in any area to transform into a serious contender.
With the Padres’ recent hot streak, there’s still some thought that a playoff appearance could be in the cards. But this would require a Herculean level of effort from the team, and the same amount of luck just to have a shot. They’re still projected at just a 0.4% chance to win the division, and 1% to make playoffs.
So it looks like the smartest move here is to sell. Now that the market is open, who is first to go?
It looks like Chase Headley is the obvious option. The Yankees have been linked to him ever since his hot start in 2012, and even though he’s been disappointing since, there’s still rumored interest. Headley continues to play fantastic defense and there’s hope for his power to come back in the hitter’s haven that is Yankee Stadium.
It also wouldn’t be surprising to see a team trade for Cameron Maybin. Even though he’s a middling player locked up until 2016, with a $1MM buyout of his 2017 team option, Maybin is the kind of player we see traded almost every year. He’s never quite lived up to the mammoth potential he showed in the Tigers’ minor league system, but he has had a couple productive years, namely his 4.2 fWAR 2011 season. A team looking for another outfielder who finds themselves on the bubble will be interested in any improvements, and Maybin will be a cheap acquisition. The best fit for a landing spot could be back with the Tigers, as they’ve had the third least productive outfield in the majors, have some outfield pieces leaving at the end of the season and could afford to continue to pay Maybin.
And of course, Huston Street is on the market, flaunting his goodies hoping for any potential contender to take a look. There’s no point for a bad team to have a good closer, and Street has been electric this year; 0.83 ERA and 28.3% strikeout rate. Every team will look towards fortifying their bullpen, even if Street isn’t used as a closer with them. The Tigers have the most glaring holes in their relief corps, and Street could be packaged in with a Joakin Benoit deal that management looks to already be laying the groundwork for. The Orioles might be in an even bigger position of need, with an open closer spot since Long Ball Tommy Hunter has been terrible, and they don’t have many other replacements.
The Padres are a collection of a bunch of interesting players who could be shopped at the deadline. The team at the beginning of August projects to be vastly different than the one we have now. So turn on your twitter feeds, grab some popcorn and strap yourself down, because this is going to be one deadline you don’t want to miss.