Jul 20, 2010, 02:08PM

The failed 2010 trading season

Is there anyone left who even matters?

The MLB trading deadline this season looks like a dud. Now that Cliff Lee’s been dispatched to the Rangers, there are few and far between impact players on the market. This could all change as July 31 approaches, but I don’t see it. The only decent pitching that appears available is comprised of Ted Lilly, Roy Oswalt, and Fausto Carmona.

The name of Diamondbacks’ ace hurler Dan Haren, who has an uncharacteristically high ERA right now, has floated around the rumor mill, but it’s illogical to think that the Snakes would trade him while his value is at its lowest. Sliding down in quality, Jake Westbrook, Brett Myers, and Jeremy Guthrie are also up for grabs. Houston’s Oswalt, while the most talented of this mediocre bunch, is getting paid handsomely. A little too handsomely, in fact, which is why he probably won’t get moved. In addition to his salary, Oswalt is injury-prone and has never pitched in the American League. Lilly, on the other hand, was a reliable started for the Blue Jays from 2004-2006, but is having an off year and has also dealt with arm trouble. Carmona was a serious candidate for the 2007 Cy Young Award—the last year the Indians were decent, just falling short of the World Series—but has fallen off track since then. This year he’s pitched inconsistently: a terrific game followed by a clunker and back again.

If Carmona were dealt to a National League team, he’d probably experience at least a temporary rejuvenation—especially if he plays for a contender. Baltimore’s Guthrie is a guy who’s getting creamed in the A.L. East (it doesn’t help that the woeful Orioles’ offense provides him with lousy run support). He doesn’t overpower hitters and is a fly-ball pitcher who plies his trade at hitting-friendly Camden Yards. Again, moving him to an NL team like the Padres or Mets would play to his strengths.

As for position players, the names of Prince Fielder and Adam Dunn are bandied about about, but their respective general managers are asking for too big of a return for a realistic deal to reach consummation. Impending free agents Jayson Werth and Carl Crawford would be intriguing rentals, but both of their teams are in playoff contention.

Back in April, it looked like Aramis Ramirez and Derrek Lee would be viable midseason acquisitions, but since both are having poor years, their value has dipped significantly. Cody Ross, Ty Wigginton, and Miguel Tejada are also available, but really, will any one of them have a significant impact for a contender? Corey Hart and David DeJesus are, at least in theory, better bets. While Hart is in the midst of a career year that scouts and analysts think is a fluke, the Royals are trying to sell DeJesus as a bona fide superstar, which is a stretch. The Giants have kicked the tires on Hart, and they seem like a logical fit for the right fielder. The Brewers are asking for a starting pitcher like Jonathan Sanchez or Madison Bumgarner, but I expect that their price will come down eventually. Jose Iglesias, a top prospect in the Red Sox farm system and often considered the best defensive shortstop in the minors, is the target of Royals GM Dayton Moore. The Bosox aren’t the only team interested in DeJesus; however, considering the rash of injuries that has plagued Boston, GM Theo Epstein might well overpay for the reliable outfielder.


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