Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trade Deadline Rumors

So far this season, the Orioles have been a major disappointment. The starters have been horrendous, the batters have been below average, and the defense has been mediocre (aside from Matt Wieters and Adam Jones). Players like Wieters, Jones, JJ Hardy, Jim Johnson, and Koji Uehara are the only exceptions. The O's have plenty of guys that they are willing to give up for younger talents.

Hardy can be great trade bait to teams like the Cincinnati Reds or the San Francisco Giants, who are both fighting for playoff spots and are in need of a talented shortstop. Hardy is in the midst of an excellent season, both defensively and offensively. He is hitting .278 with 13 home runs and 33 RBIs at the All Star Break. Also, he is fielding .993 percent, which is a career high. The Orioles expressed interest in retaining Hardy and signing him long-term, but I don't see that happening with top-prospect Manny Machado flying through the minor leagues. Also, both the Reds and the Giants have plenty to offer. The Reds are willing to trade their top youngster, Yonder Alonso. The 24 year old first baseman would be a great fit in Baltimore. Derrek Lee will hit the free agent market after this season, leaving the O's first base position vacant. Unless the team signs Milwaukee superstar Prince Fielder, that position would be open to anyone. Also, Alonso is hitting .298/.372/.490 with 11 home runs and 48 RBIs in Triple-A Louisville. The Giants could give up Francisco Peguero, a player who was ranked their No. 4 prospect by ESPN. This 23 year old outfielder has natural talents, is crazy fast (40 steals in 10') and is hitting .329 this year in High and Double A ball.

Starter Jeremy Guthrie has been a player that many teams want to help their playoff pushes. The Boston Red Sox in particular is the one team that has expressed major interest in Guthrie. Though they have arguably the best starting three pitchers in the AL (Beckett, Lester, and Buchholtz), Guthrie could help revive a struggling back end of their rotation that includes John Lackey and Andrew Miller. He is 3-12 with a 4.18 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. Hopefully the O's can get some solid young starters in return for this 32 year old veteran.

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