HIGH-PRICED VETERANS THE SUBJECT OF SPECULATION
Chances are, if you’re more than 10 games out at the Break and below .500, you are a seller. The objective is to move the high-salaried player whose value is never going to go up for the inexpensive, unproven talent with great potential. Complicating things is the fact that many high-salaried players are ‘Franchise Fives’ and thus can not be traded during the season.
So, who is likely to be moved? The Boom-Sticks are still reeling financially from the J.C. Rodriguez Era, wherein the previous GM always loaded up with too many high-salaried players. So he’s got some pricey talent whose ‘sell-by’ date is approaching: 1B Richie Sexson (making $9.2 million, but not getting much playing time with Todd Helton on the roster); RHP Jason Schmidt ($10 million, and down in velocity), and (most intriguing) LHP Kenny Rogers, who’s making $8 million but has been out most of the year rehabbing. Once activated, Rogers is a veteran lefty with good numbers, always an interesting commodity in a pennant race.
There are three third basemen with big salaries who also might fetch interest on the trade market: Darwin’s Eric Chavez ($7.2 million), San Jose’s Adrian Beltre ($9.2 million) and Black Mesa’s Scott Rolen ($8.8 million). All are excellent defensively, have power but are playing as if their peak was three years ago. Another high-priced player who could be moved is Arizona RF J.D. Drew ($11 million), who has been decent but is blocking the development of younger OF in the D-Backs system.
THE MOST OVERPAID...?
Pottsylvania is expected to make some moves: could one of them be fetching a buyer for Pedro Martinez ($14 million) in the event that the Dominican is able to pitch in September? A long shot! The cost of keeping Martinez under contract has so far gotten the Creepers less bang for more buck than any other pitcher in the league.
THE ALL-BARGAIN TEAM
Each of the following players are unlikely to be dealt, precisely because they deliver such bang for their buck and are likely to do so for several years. All are making less than $500,000 a year:
Starting Rotation: LHP Eric Bedard (Worcester), RHP Justin Verlander (Black Mesa), RHP Felix Hernandez (Arizona), LHP Scott Kazmir (Darwin), RHP Matt Cain (Yuma)
Swing Men/Spot Starters: LHP Chuck James (Las Vegas), RHP John Maine (Black Mesa)
Bullpen: RHP Jonathan Papelbon (Black Mesa), RHP Jonathan Broxton (Darwin), RHP Jose Valverde (S-Mart)
C Brian McCann (Brooklyn)
1B Adrian Gonzalez (San Jose)
2B Robinson Cano (Worcester)
SS Jose Reyes (Arizona)
3B Freddie Sanchez (San Jose)
LF Nick Swisher (Oakeyland)
CF Shane Victorino (Yuma)
RF Jeff Francouer (Darwin)
DH Ryan Howard (Brooklyn)
Bench: SS Jhonny Peralta (Brooklyn), SS Hanley Ramirez (Worcester), C Josh Bard (Frostbite Falls), OF Alex Rios (Worcester) U Mark Teahen (Frostbite Falls)