[Note by Tommy Rancel ] The second article in a series prepared by Steve Slowinski, who is away on leave.
DRB Trade Deadline Handbook: Not Interested
When compiling a list of potential trade targets for the Rays, I found it made things easier to start by eliminating all the players I knew the Rays won't be interested in. It's a process of elimination - if you know who doesn't make sense for the Rays, then you have a finite number of players remaining that they may pursue.
Note: This if the format I will be using to preview all players, including trade targets. "Rest of Season Salary" is calculated by simply taking their full-season salary and dividing by two - I know it's not exact, but it's close in most cases - and the "Rest of Season Projection" is based off the ZiPS projections provided by FanGraphs. Again, they shouldn't be treated as gospel, but they are there to help provide a baseline for comparison.
Prince Fielder - 1B
- Rest of Season Salary: $5.25M
- Rest of Season Projection: .401 wOBA, 25 wRAA (~2.5 offensive WAR)
- Contract Status: Eligible for final year of arbitration after 2010 season.
- Notes: He'd be a heck of a player to acquire, but he'd also be crazy expensive. While his salary for this season would be do-able, it's next season that I'd be worried about; Fielder is entering his final year of arbitration and if the Rays didn't offer it to him, he would walk away and the Rays wouldn't get draft picks. Fielder could easily command $15M in arbitration, and the Rays are committed to lowering payroll next season. I don't see it happening.
Lance Berkman- 1B
- Rest of Season Salary: $7.25M
- Rest of Season Projection: .384 wOBA, 15.5 wRAA (~1.5 offensive WAR)
- Contract Status: $15M club option for 2011, $2M buyout.
- Notes: Berkman wants to be traded, but he has a no-trade clause and has stated that he won't accept a trade unless the receiving team picks up his option for 2011. Berkman will probably back off of those demands once he realizes no one wants to trade for him at that cost, but when you include his buyout for next year, that's close to a $10M cost for the Rays to pick him up. The Rays have already publicly said they don't have much wiggle room in their current budget, likely pricing Berkman out of their reach.
Dan Haren - P
- Rest of Season Salary: $4.125M
- Rest of Season Projection: 3.28 FIP, 137 IP
- Contract Status: Owed $12.75M in 2011 and 2012; $15.5M club option for 2013
- Notes: One of the best pitchers in the game and he's relatively cheap this season - why wouldn't we want him? Well, he's under contract for the next two seasons for a much higher cost. And Haren was never particularly dominant in the American League; it wasn't until he got traded into the National League that he took his game to the next level. Coincidence? Possibly, given that he hit his prime years at the same time, but I'd prefer not to risk it for that cost.
Chris Young - OF
- Rest of Season Salary: $1.625M
- Rest of Season Projection: .344 wOBA, 5.4 wRAA (~0.5 offensive WAR)
- Contract Status: Owed $20.5M over next three seasons.
- Notes: Number one, I don't know if Arizona is even interested in getting rid of Chris Young. He's young, signed to a team-friendly contract for the next three seasons (potentially four, with the club option), and he's showing signs of breaking out this season. He would likely command a decent package of prospects, but the Rays don't need to be bringing another outfielder in, especially one signed to a long-term deal. There's also no guarantee that Young is breaking out right now, and he still strikes out in over 30% of his at bats. He's a good player for some team to try and acquire, just not the Rays.
Roy Oswalt - SP
- Rest of Season Salary: $7.5M
- Rest of Season Projection: 3.54 FIP, 117 IP
- Contract Status: Owed $16M in 2011; $16M club option for 2012.
- Notes: He's still a great pitcher, although his numbers have slipped slightly due to aging. The Astros should want to unload him if possible and get some prospects in return, but that contract knocks the Rays out of the bidding. Paying a pitcher $16M next season? No thank you.
Adam Dunn - 1B
- Rest of Season Salary: $6M
- Rest of Season Projection: .396 wOBA, 21.8 wRAA (~2.2 offensive WAR)
- Contract Status: Free agent after season; likely Type-A
- Notes: Adam Dunn would be a perfect fit for the Rays - and the Nationals would make great trade partners - but Dunn has refused to DH in the past. Also, Dunn has played his entire career in the National League. While he is a better hitter than Pat Burrell ever was, you have to wonder if his numbers might slip a bit by moving to the AL East. That said, I would pursue him if he changed his mind about DHing.