By Nathan Petrashek
The last few days have been filled with trade activity, and there’s no sign of that stopping. This will be a running list of trades that potentially impact the market for pieces the Brewers may wish to move (should they ever decide to make that selling decision). Keep checking back throughout the day for updates.
Cole Hamels. Word early today is that Cole Hamels has accepted a 6-year, $144M contract offer from the Phillies, making him the second-highest paid pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia. That would make Zack Greinke the best starting pitcher available at the trade deadline, and in free agency after the season. Greinke was already petty highly sought after, but expect this to bring a modest bump in the Brewers’ asking price. As I said a few days ago, this eliminates whatever slim hope the Brewers have that Greinke will sign an extension.
Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers were interested in Aramis Ramirez, and moving that backloaded contract would be a nice little prize at the trade deadline. But early this morning, the Dodgers acquired Hanley Ramirez and Randy Choate for Nathan Eovaldi and a minor leaguer. That will more than likely fill their need for an impact bat at 3B, though it is worth noting that Ramirez can play short and the Dodgers are not high on their current SS Dee Gordon. UPDATE: According to True Blue L.A., Ramirez is in the starting lineup at shortstop.
Ryan Dempster. It was kind of a crazy day for Ryan Dempster on Monday, as he learned he was being traded to the Braves through media reports. As a player with 10-and-5 rights, though, Dempster did not sign off on the trade, and is now pushing for a trade to the Dodgers. If a deal gets done with either team, the market for Greinke only improves.
Ichiro Suzuki. In the event that the Brewers decide to trade Corey Hart, who is apparently a highly sought after commodity, there will be one less suitor for a corner OF now that the Yankees have acquired the longtime Mariner. Plenty of interest in Hart remains, though.
Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez was sent to the Pirates last night, further slimming the list of starting pitchers available by trade. Greinke is a different caliber of pitcher, but it certainly is encouraging to see starting pitchers flying off the board.
Hunter Pence. The Phillies may have locked up another ace pitcher, but they’re still considering selling other pieces, including OF Hunter Pence. Pence and Hart are remarkably similar players, but I think most teams would prefer Pence (.290/.342/.481 career) over Hart (.275/.332/.488 career), all else being equal. Indeed, most everything else is equal; both are set to become free agents after the 2013 season, and both are set to make around $10M next season (Pence will be arbitration eligible for the final time, whereas Hart will be in the final year of his contract).
Cliff Lee. Lee is not yet formally available, although there is a steadily growing opinion among GMs that the Phillies will entertain offers for the elite lefty in advance of the trade deadline. Lee is still owed about $87M over the next 3 years, so this would be a long-term trade for any interested team and would likely net the Phils top prospects and the salary relief they desperately need after signing Hamels. If he does go on the block, Lee immediately becomes the top pitcher available despite his rather lackluster year (118 ip, 3.95 era, 4.87 k/bb). Lee’s addition to the trade market will suppress interest in Greinke, as Lee’s additional years of control should be very appealing to teams like the Rangers (who tried to get Lee in free agency, but failed).