Last week I wrote about the Rays trade deadline strategy, but I wanted to go case-by-case on some popular objects of rosterbation. I’m not covering everyone here, so don’t take this as a shot or non-endorsement of Luke Scott, Michael Wuertz, and countless others, I just don’t care to write about every potentially available player.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $5.5 million
No longer are the Mets generally managed by Omar Minaya or Steve Phillips, instead Sandy Alderson, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi grace the Citi Field offices. Ripping another team off is always an ego-booster, but making a fair deal can be fun too. The problem with Reyes is making a fair deal for him will cost a considerable amount of young talent, and for only a half-season’s worth of work. Reyes will bring back draft picks, assuming something does not change in the CBA by then, but still, such a deal does not seem likely.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $2.93 million
Hardy is more in the Rays price range than Reyes, however he is more in the Orioles price range too, and rumor has it the O’s are interested in extending their shortstop. The Orioles are the same team willing to give $8 million to Vladimir Guerrero, $7 million to Derek Lee, and $10 years over two years to Kevin Gregg, so don’t bet against them overpaying. Besides, if the O’s do look to move Hardy, expect them to seek inflated value based on his 2011 season alone.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $5 million
An old favorite, Pena has been in beast mode since May, hitting 17 home runs in May and June after having zero in April. The Cubs need young talent in the worst way, and most of their worst contracts are going to be difficult to move. At the same time, with a new owner in place, Jim Hendry might be unable to sell off parts due to fear of angering the fan base. Pena’s price tag might not help with a reunion tour either.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $1.5 million
The most affordable designated hitter or first base option out there, Butler is a low-power, high-contact, slow and gloveless righty. Butler is more than a rental, as he has three years at $24 million left guaranteed, and a $12.5 million club option in 2015 (or a $1 million buyout). The Royals probably value batting average as much as anyone in the league, and Butler being a homegrown talent just adds to the likelihood they may overvalue him.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $5.75 million
I cannot imagine a scenario in where the Rays acquire Rodriguez unless the Mets pick up the price tag and slide him into a role where he never, ever is in position to record a game finish. Tommy covered this in-depth during June.
Estimated remaining 2011 cost: $3.75 million
Another big name closer, have to think another team will pay more than the Rays are willing to. As Kyle Farnsworth has taught the world, you just can’t teach the closer mentality, you guys.