With a week left until the 2014 MLB trade deadline, teams are running out of time to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers. Several big names have been involved in recent trade rumors, but the teams out of contention must decide if they are willing to unload their top stars.
A few traditional playoff teams could look to make a big splash, as they currently find themselves out of the postseason picture. Trailing the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East, the New York Yankees are looking to upgrade their pitching staff, which has been ravaged by injuries. The St. Louis Cardinals have been linked to a few starters, as they trail the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central.
While some teams are holding out hope that they can make a run in the final two months, others are looking to get something in return for their established stars.
New York Mets
At 48-53, the Mets have very little chance to compete for a playoff spot. While the team isn’t likely to be to make a run towards postseason, they have a few players that could help other contenders.
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Bartolo Colon might be the team’s most expendable asset. He was one of the best pitchers in the American League last year, and has been serviceable with New York, pitching to a 4.03 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP, which is the best of his MLB career. The right-hander is owed $11 million next season, making him tougher to move, but the team will likely do what it can to trade him for young prospects.
Daniel Murphy has been linked to trade rumors, as he’s set to become a free agent at the end of the 2015 season. However, he should finish the year with the Mets, as they look to contend next season. Colon is expendable because of their young pitching staff that will include the likes of Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey and top prospect Noah Syndergaard. Murphy has been one of the few consistent parts of the Mets’ lineup in 2014.
If anyone team should be a seller at the trade deadline, it’s the Phillies. The team ranks last in the NL East, but only the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have a higher payroll. The 2014 season will likely mark the third straight year that Philadelphia has failed to finish over .500, so a few of their older stars have a chance to be dealt.
Cliff Lee has a few suitors, and is one of the few Phillies stars that has lived up to his lucrative contract, pitching to a 2.80 ERA in his first three years with the team. Pitchers A.J. Burnett and Jonathan Papelbon could also be moved. The reliever has admitted that he’d welcome a trade to a contender. Burnett has a limited no-trade clause, and is hoping to be sent back to the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
Teams are also interested in a few Phillies hitters. Marlon Byrd’s 19 home runs could help a team in the pennant race, though ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has reported that Philadelphia’s asking price is too high. Chase Utley has been with the team his whole career and prefers to stay with the Phillies, but the Boston Globe reports that the Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants want the second baseman.