The non-waiver trading period in Baseball ends this Thursday and many teams have already invested and traded as they look to make a push for the play-offs. Some deals however, are simply destined to go down to the wire and given that in this particular case it is fast approaching, here are some of the more likely candidates to jump franchise ship before the non-waiver period finally slams shut.
David Price is just one of the few sublime pitching options that are currently an option for teams in need of some help with the ball going into the business end of the season. Price has played for the Tampa Bay Rays for the entire duration of his career – which began six years ago – but it seems that time may finally be coming to an end. He is now 28 and should sufficient prospects come along the Rays may be tempted to part with him, but if not, then he is surely a shoe-in to feature in Tampa Bay’s Wednesday game with Milwaukee, given his career-high is averages of 10.1 strikeouts per nine innings and has a sterling ratio of 8.71 strikeouts for every walk. The Rays are resounding favourites at a price of 8/13 to overcome the challenge when they slug it out on the baseball field and the addition of Price to the line-up will only add to their chances of winning.
It’s unlikely that Price will actually go unless a serious last minute offer comes in that is suitable enough for the Rays’ future – and hopes of reaching the post-season will only provide more reason for Tampa to simply refute any offers – but one thing is certain; there is definitely a chance that a bumper deal may be offered in the eleventh hour, as many teams look to strengthen their pitching areas.
Another possible trade candidate is Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has was recently spotted at a New York Yankees game as speculation continues to surround his immediate future in the world of baseball. The Rockies also play on Wednesday evening – taking on the Chicago Cubs in an evenly matched tie – but it is perfectly logical to assume Tulowitzki won’t be there to support his team and that a trade may have been agreed by then.
He is currently on the disabled list after suffering a hip flexor strain, but has attracted major interest in his services from New York, from both the Mets and the Yankees. Given that his favourite player is current Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter – who Tulowitzki wears the number two shirt in homage two – it could be a fairytale for the 29-year old to fulfill the responsibilities of the ageing 40-year old currently in the Yankees number two shirt.
A player who would no doubt appreciate a change of scenery is Ryan Howard. The first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies used to be the prized possession of the league, having hit 198 home runs in just fours seasons. Fast forward to July 2014 however, and it seems that we may have seen the best of him. His .685 O.P.S. this season is tied for 122nd, which is a shade of what he was capable of in previous years. A further problem is that Howard is owed as much as $60 million for past season’s exploits – and it’s hard to deny that amount of money, even if he is under-performing.
Having represented the Phillies for the duration of his career – which began ten years ago, the five-time all-star representative is likely to slug it out and try to get back to his best upon the Philadelphia bases rather than move to an alternate franchise, but it doesn’t mean a trade wouldn’t be in his best interests given his current season.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki could also be on the move, after displaying a career-defining year for the Minnesota Twins. Having only landed in Minnesota in December 2013, this may seem like a silly option for the 2014 all-star representative, but it could be best time for all parties should Suzuki eventually leave. The Twins will get the best deal possible for him, while Suzuki will likely move to a team making a play-off push, such as the St. Louis Cardinals.
Should he stay, then Suzuki will definitely feature in Wednesday’s crunch match with Kansas City. Kansas are the resounding favourites at a price of 1/2, while Minnesota are priced at 13/8 to score an away win against the Royals. Kansas are, however, in a battle with Detroit in the race to top the Central Division of the American League, so it is likely that Minnesota will need Suzuki as catcher – whether a franchise makes a late move or not.