Yesterday at MLBDD, we covered the top center fielders to watch at the trade deadline, and today it's time to check out the players that surround the captain's of the outfield. There unfortunately isn't much to choose from, and the top two performers in terms of fWAR might not be available now that their teams are playing well.
Player fWAR Team
With Oakland and Cincinnati in the midst of a resurgence, their front offices are in a holding pattern on the trade front until they can better assess their standing in the playoff race. Josh Reddick and Jay Bruce could undoubtedly fetch a better than average prospect package, but as of this moment, they aren't going anywhere.
Who are the likely candidates to get traded?
The next player on the list after Reddick and Bruce is Cleveland Indians' outfielder, Brandon Moss. He's a free agent at the end of this season, and with just under $3 million left on his contract, Moss won't be a financial burden to whatever team acquires him. He hasn't been as productive as he was with Oakland, but in 270 plate appearances, he's posted a slash line of .233/.307/.438 with an ISO of .204, and a wRC+ of 108. The power is still there, and teams like the Angels, Rays, Cardinals and Giants could all find a place for him on their roster.
Ryan Braun could potentially be moved, but with his massive price tag, the Brewers probably wouldn't receive many impact prospects back in a hypothetical trade. Getting his contract off the books would be the major motive behind a deal for Milwaukee, as it would allow them much more flexibility in their rebuilding process. However as one of the few star players on their roster, it's much more likely that GM Doug Melvin will hold onto him unless a team comes calling with a deal he can't refuse.
Diamondbacks outfielder Ender Inciarte doesn't have much offensive value, but he could become a great fourth outfield option for a team looking for a complimentary piece. Sam Fuld also fits the mold of a defense first player, but like Reddick, Billy Beane might be unwilling to entertain any thoughts of trading him until he's 100 percent sure his team is out of contention. Unfortunately for other teams, that might not happen until after July 31st passes, at which point it would be too late to target him, as the chances of Fuld making it through waivers unclaimed is difficult to imagine.
The last two players on the list are Carlos Gonzalez and Avisail Garcia. It seems that Gonzalez's name comes up every year before the trade deadline, but nothing has ever materialized. The Rockies have been unwilling to move him, but with a new general manager in Jeff Bridich, their stance on that could change. Gonzalez's trade value has never been lower since joining Colorado, and with a contract that will pay him $37 million over the next two seasons, they'd be lucky just to get rid of his future salary obligations.
Garcia on the other hand is very cheap in terms of money owed, but has yet to prove that he's an offensive threat. His minor league numbers have been great, but that has yet to translate to the major league level. A change of scenery could benefit Garcia, and with the White Sox looking to rebuild, he could find himself in a different uniform come August.