By: Noah Wright
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
We all knew that Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Mike Moustakas, and Brad Hand would be in trade talks around the deadline. Each have had pretty good seasons, and they’re some big names. While there are still some big name guys, now that Hand, Britton, and Manny have been dealt, there are some names that have been tossed around in trade rumors that aren’t widely known around the league. Most of these players will probably go for cheap, and could be real game or even season changers for some teams. With that being said, there are 6 players that I’d like to analyze, and suggest where they could be heading.
1.) Mike Fiers
Fiers has had a solid year in his first season in Detroit. His first 111 innings in a Tigers uniform have produced a 3.49 ERA, and 1.243 WHIP. While his ERA looks good, his FIP is slightly worrying at 4.57. While his home runs/9 rate of 1.5 is also something to note, but he does have a career low 1.9 walk/9 rate, and 5.1 walk %. One team that I know will be interested in starters is The Yankees. However one deterent is the fact that Fires has a ground ball percentage of 39.4% this season. With a fairly hitter friendly park, they might pursue someone who can keep the ball on the ground, and in the park. Another potential suitor for Fires is his former team, The Brewers. The Brew Crew just lost lefty Brent Suter to an UCL injury, and Zach Davies still sits on The DL.
2.) Jose Bautista
4 years ago, you’d think that it would be insane to put Bautista in a list of under the radar and smaller names. However, Bautista isn’t the player he was a few years ago, but still a fairly productive batter. Since coming to The Mets, Bautista has hit .235/.396/.426 in 173 PA’s. While he may not be the power threat he once was, Bautista is still has a 18.8% walk rate between The Braves and Mets. He’s could be a valuable to any team needing a clutch bench bat too. He currently owns a .352/.510/.649 line in all 51 times he stepped to the plate with RISP. His numbers only get better when there are two outs. In his 25 appearances with 2 outs and RISP, Bautista is batting .333/.520/.667. His playoff experience, and corner versatility (RF/LF/3B/1B) will also add value to a contending team. Really any team in contention looking for a solid clutch bat could use him.
3.) Zach Duke
Duke has been a fairly impressive lefty out of The Twins bullpen. While his 3.75 ERA might not be standout, his 2.77 FIP suggests that he could greatly benefit from a better defense. What is impressive is that he hasn’t given up a home run in 36 innings of work. Plus, Duke has struckout 9.3 batters per 9 innings. While Duke struggles against right handed batters, he’s mainly worked as a lefty only, one out guy (LOOGY) this season. And he’s done pretty good at limiting left handed batters. Overall, lefties are hitting .241/.279/.293 in 61 plate appearances against Duke. One team I would like to see get Duke is The Pirates. Their only lefty, besides closer Felipe Vazquez is Steven Brault. An upgrade in bullpen lefty help could help a team on a roll. However, any team that was interested in Britton could be a landing spot for Duke, which could be a nice consolation prize from missing out on the former Oriole left hander.
4.) Jurickson Profar
The former #1 prospect in all of baseball is finally having an OK season after missing large portions of time, and below average play when he was healthy. So far this season, Profar is batting .247/.331/.430 with 9 home runs, 48 RBI, and 104 wRC+. He can also play every infielder along with left field. Another thing that adds to his value is his clutch hitting. With runners in scoring position, Profar is batting .270/.337/.528. He could be on the trading block, for The Rangers are clearly out of contention. However with Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre, with the former likely leaving in free agency, the team may want to hold on to Profar for now. He still has control though 2020. One team that could be involved in trade talks for Profar is The Brewers. Milwaukee will be in the market for a middle infielder, but I could see them wanting to go after a more proven option. (UPDATE: This was written and edited before The Brewers acquired Moustakas)
5.) Tyson Ross
Ross signed a minor league contract with The Padres after struggling for The Rangers, and it’s paid off so far. His ERA/FIP of 4.29/4.48 and 1.288 WHIP may not be too impressive, but if it weren't for 2 bad games in where he gave up a total 15 runs in 7 innings, his ERA/FIP would be about 3.30/3.85. Plus, he’s only limited batters to a .233 average against. What is slightly concerning is that he has a career low full season 8.1 K/9, and career high 38.1% hard hit rate. The same potential teams that were interested in Wheeler, and Fires would probably show some intrigue in Ross.
6.) Kirby Yates
Yates is quietly having an amazing season. The Padres have showed that they’re willing to deal players, as they just dealt recently extended lefty Brad Hand. And Hand is having a season that pales in comparison to Yates. So far, Kirby Yates has a very very low 1.40/1.99 ERA/FIP, along with a .853 WHIP. He also has a 11.6 K/9, and only has walked about 2.6 per 9 in 38.2 innings of relief work. Yates is also good at limiting the long ball, with only 1 home run given up. While he has been so-so against left handed batters, it’s against righties when he dominates. Right handers only hit .075/.138/.213 in 87 plate appearances. Saying that he’s lights out against right handed batters is an understatement. The main contender for Yates I see for Yates, if The Padres decide to deal him, is The Braves. The Braves were connected to many different relief pitchers, and one of the things that interrupted their pursuit for Britton was that they did not want to give up any top prospects for a rental. However, Yates is controllable for the 2019, and 2020 season at a reasonable price. The Braves may be more willing to trade off prospects for a player with more control.
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