It’s that week of the year — perhaps the very best week in which to be a very good pitcher.
The Major League Baseball trade deadline is Thursday, with teams taking stock of their rosters for the postseason and pitchers hoping to land on contenders. Expect any number of fits and starts as general managers work the phones for that One Perfect Trade. Here are five teams and players to keep an eye on:
The Boston Red Sox, Jon Lester and John Lackey. Sox General Manger Ben Cherington is, according to Ken Rosenthal’s sources, “getting hit hard” by most of the contending teams’ general managers, on Lester from most contenders. Count the teams ahead of the Red Sox in the American League East among the interested parties. The Seattle Mariners also are interested in Lester, MLB Trade Rumors reports.
The Philadelphia Phillies are open for business. Want a pitcher? There’s Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee or perhaps Jonathan Papelbon or A.J. Burnett. Need a first baseman? How about Ryan Howard? The catch with Hamels is that, according to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, the Phillies’ asking price is way too steep.
Who gets David Price? He may be the most frequently mentioned name in free agency, but it isn’t a lock that Tampa Bay will make a deal. The Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports are the front-runners now, with the Cards more likely to get Hamels. The Cards must sit down and decide how much of their future talent to risk for a present payoff.
Maybe Troy Tulowitzki really just wanted to watch Derek Jeter play. The Colorado Rockies may not be able to spell his last name, but they said their shortstop isn’t available. This, of course, came after he created a firestorm when he took in a New York Yankees game, conveniently located not far from his home, while he recovers from a hip injury.
What about Matt Kemp? He may want the Dodgers to trade him to a team that will allow him to play center field, but that seems unlikely at this point.