On the last day of June, the Padres traded their closer, Fernando Rodney, to the Marlins, essentially handing the surprising Fish a fourth All-Star to go with Marcell Ozuna, Jose Fernandez, and A.J. Ramos. But Rodney is far from the only All-Star who will be changing hands before the Trade Deadline on August 1. Indeed, we could see any of the following players featured in the Summer Classic on the move in the coming weeks.
Definitely Will Be Traded
Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers*
I wrote about Lucroy yesterday in the catchers who will likely be on the move at the deadline. Which means that I totally forgot to include him here the first time around. Everything I said yesterday still applies. He’s a dynamic player on offense and defense, who has put to bed any concerns about his long term health by hitting .304/.361/.491 with 11 homers, and he rightfully will command the strongest return of any player at this deadline.
*An earlier version of this omitted Lucroy because the writer is an idiot who, because he wrote about him yesterday, assumed that he had also written about him today.
Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
Bruce is having, perhaps, the best season of his career at the right time, hitting .267/.315/.538 with 18 homers and a 122 OPS+, after two years of struggle. He’s also a very fine defensive right fielder, meaning he’s one of the best two-way players available. Bruce can be let go at the end of 2016, or retained for a perfectly reasonable $13 million. But he’s relatively useless to the rebuilding Reds, who should cash in on the urgent needs of clubs at the deadline to get something valuable for their slugger.
Eduardo Nunez, Minnesota Twins
Many Twins analysts were baffled as to why the club would keep Nunez around at the start of the year, after six years of underwhelming utility work. And while he’s still an adventure on defense at shortstop, Nunez continues to rake, hitting .321/.347/.489 on the year with 12 homers and 22 stolen bases. He has one more year of arbitration eligibility, but the hapless Twins will trade him now to a club who has an opening at second base, third base, or shortstop, and probably get a surprisingly decent return for him. Not bad for a guy who was an afterthought three months ago.
Stephen Vogt, Oakland Athletics
As we discussed yesterday, Vogt is one of the top catchers who could be available on the market, but it will take a significant return to reel him in. Vogt combines acceptable defense with an offensive profile that is very good for a catcher. He’s hit .277/.320/.442 for the year. And he’s already 31, so the A’s might be tempted to deal him before he starts to decline. But, with three more years of control and so few quality catchers in the league right now, they shouldn’t be in any hurry to do so.
Drew Pomeranz, San Diego Padres
The A’s could have had two guys on this list, but they dealt Pomeranz for Yonder Alonso this winter. I bet they’d like that one back. Pomeranz, who has a 2.47 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 102 innings, has proven to have ace-caliber, bat-missing stuff when he’s healthy, which he’s been all year. Like Vogt, there’s no hurry to trade Pomeran, who will be a Padre for two more years. But he’s going to get more expensive, and there’s the risk he could break down under this heavier workload. Any return for him should, by rights, be pretty spectacular.
Andrew Miller, New York Yankees
Miller has proven to be one of the most dominant relievers in the game again in 2016, posting a 1.37 ERA and an eye-popping 69 strikeouts in 39.1 innings. He has a 316 ERA+, a 11.50 K/BB ratio, and has struck out 46.6 percent of the batters he’s faced. But he would be an extravagance, and one of the most valuable resources, on a Yankees team that might not sniff the postseason. Whether he gets traded or not probably depends on how the Yankees come out of the break.
Carlos Beltran, New York Yankees
Ditto for Beltran, who could help some team as a corner outfielder or a DH if the Yankees stumble. Honestly, I hadn’t realized what an excellent offensive campaign Beltran was having until just now (.299/.338/.550 with 19 homers), a pretty remarkable accomplishment for a 39 year old who, by rights, should be a Hall of Fame inductee in a few years. Plus, Beltran has done this kind of thing before, jumping both to the Astros and the Giants in deadline deals that helped jumpstart those clubs to playoff berths.
Probably staying put
Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies
It’s weird that we haven’t heard anything about Gonzalez, but I’ve kind of given up on trying to figure out what the Rockies are doing. Perhaps clubs are skeptical about his performance away from Coors Field, especially after the collapse of Troy Tulowitzki in the last year. And certainly, Gonzalez’s contract is a big impediment. If the Rockies threw in a lot of money, however, they could surely get something for a guy who has hit .318/.367/.557 with 19 homers, but may be inclined to just hold onto their star.
Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
After a brief hiccup last year, Teheran is back to being the dominant young starter a club like the Braves can build around. He has a 2.96 ERA in 118.2 innings, with 107 strikeouts against just 25 walks. With an exceptionally team-friendly deal that keeps him locked into Atlanta for another four years, the Braves can afford to keep him, and should keep him for anything short of a monster package full of MLB-ready prospects.