Welcome to this weeks issue of The Heat Index! Last week’s piece on prospects seemed to be a hit, so thanks for reading! Baseball is now in one of the most exciting times of the season. As the trade deadline quickly approaches, many teams are looking to either add talent for a playoff push or acquire young new talent in exchange for solid major league players. The “hot” list this week will focus on players who are most likely to be traded in the next 12 days. The “cold” list consists of players who have trade rumors swirling around them but will probably stay with their current club. Let’s dive in.
1. Carlos Beltran – Mets – OF
Beltran is viewed as the best bat available on the trade market. He is a mature hitter and provides adequate defense in right field. He has been linked to many teams, including the Phillies, Pirates, Yankees and Red Sox, just to name a few. Many analysts think the Pirates should go all-in and trade any good prospects they have to land Beltran so they can continue their playoff push. Prediction: Red Sox agree to pick up most of Beltran’s salary and he plays right field for an already stacked team.
2. Hunter Pence – Astros – OF
The market for Pence has never been better. Pence has always been viewed as a game-changer but never more than this year. He is beginning to really come into his own and many teams are in need of a solid outfielder. Prediction: Pence is traded to the Pirates for a ridiculous amount of prospects and cash.
3. Heath Bell – Padres – CL
Bell has said he would not mind going to a team as a setup man, as long as they were a contender. Relievers are a dime a dozen this year, but there aren’t many out there with Bell’s experience as a closer. Bell stated there has been no discussion about a contract extension for him, leading most analysts to believe he will be traded. Prediction: Bell gets traded to the Rangers where he is a setup man until next year when they move Neftali Feliz to the rotation. Bell would then become the closer.
4. Mike Adams – Padres – RP
Adams has been a lights-out reliever the last couple of years. He may be in his prime right now, and the Padres front office has said they want a “very big prospect” in return for Adams. He has a history of getting injured, but that probably will not affect his trade value. Prediction: Adams is traded to the Phillies for 1B/LF prospect Jonathan Singleton and possibly one more minor league player.
5. Jeremy Guthrie – Orioles – SP
Guthrie is a solid starting pitcher who has a decent ERA that hovers around 4.50. He is an innings eater who would make a fantastic three, four or even five starter for a team that needs more stability in the back end of the rotation. Guthrie’s salary could jump up to $10 million next year, and the Orioles may not want to pay that. The Orioles will be looking to get pitching in return for Guthrie. Prediction: Tigers trade one or two top-notch pitching prospects for Guthrie.
Bonus: First of all if you don’t have a Twitter account … get one. When you get that account all set up, there are a several people who are must “follows.” @LoMomarlins, @Kevin_Goldstein and @TheGarfoose should get you started off nicely. I am a little biased, but @Jared_Thatcher is pretty great too!
1. Ubaldo Jimenez – Rockies – SP
Ubaldo is not going anywhere. Let me repeat that: Ubaldo is not going anywhere. The Rockies are merely tossing his name out there to see what he is worth, much like what the Diamondbacks did with Justin Upton last winter. Jimenez would carry a costly price tag to any team wanting to acquire him. In fact, there might not be any team with enough prospects to even think about getting him. Don’t worry Yankees fans, he will be a free agent sometime around 2013-14, and New York can sign him then to the biggest contract ever.
2. Andrew Bailey – Athletics – CL
With Billy Beane running the show in Oakland, it would take a ridiculous amount of prospects for a team to land Bailey. Don’t get me wrong, it could happen. But Bailey is still under team control for a couple more years, and they would be crazy to part with him in today’s “buyer’s market” for relief pitchers.
3. Aramis Ramirez – Cubs – 3B
Do the Cubs really want to piss off their fans? If they do, they will trade away Ramirez. He is a stable and productive third baseman who many teams would love to have this year for their playoff push. The problem is that Ramirez has been the only bright spot in a tarnished year for the Cubs. The Cubs front office will not trade Ramirez this year if they want to keep their jobs.
4. Jose Reyes – Mets – SS
For a minute there, it sounded like there was going to be a fire sale in the Mets organization! Things have calmed down now, and although some pieces will be traded, Reyes will not be one of them. Reyes is the type of player to build a franchise around (as long as he is healthy), and with all the DL stints in the Big Apple, they can’t afford to lose another contributor.
5. Drew Storen – Nationals – CL
Storen is an outstanding talent for his young age and position. He is an absolutely lights out closer and should be for many years to come. Although the Nationals have other great young relievers (e.g., Tyler Clippard), Storen is going to be a core piece in the Nationals upcoming dominance in their division for years to come.