2012 MLB trade deadline: Buyers and sellers, part II

Ryan Dempster

We recently took a look at teams who figure to be in the thick of the buying frenzy as the MLB trade deadline approaches, each seeking that final piece of their playoff or even championship puzzle.  For teams headed in the opposite direction in the pennant race, the July 31 deadline is an opportunity to inject some optimism for the future in what has been an otherwise disappointing season.  Here are a few clubs who could be willing to deal away talented players—if the price is right.

Chicago Cubs

Although he’s been on board since the offseason, now is when Theo Epstein’s rebuilding project truly begins.  Scoring the fewest runs in the NL while allowing the seventh-most is not exactly a recipe for success, as the Cubs 38-56 record clearly reflects.  One thing that the North Siders do have in their favor though is leverage to play in the trading market, with a number of talented veteran players who won’t match up well with the rebuilding process in Chicago but could provide a much-needed boost to teams whose goal is to win now.  On Monday the Cubs closed in on a deal to send star righthander Ryan Dempster, whose 2.11 ERA is tops in all of MLB, to the Braves in exchange for young righthander Randall Delgado, pending Dempster’s approval1.  Dealing away Dempster figures to only be the tip of the iceberg for a team that by its own admission needs more young pitching in its system2.  Right-hander Matt Garza is next in line on the list of most-coveted Cubs players, with multiple teams being mentioned as possible suitors.  Garza could possibly net the Cubs even more in return because he is under contract through 2013, meaning any team that takes him on wouldn’t have the pressure of having to immediately begin contract negotiations to keep him beyond this season3.  On the offensive side of the coin, Alfonso Soriano is a prime trade target for a team looking to add some pop to their lineup down the stretch.  While his high salary may put some teams off as they’d need to commit to paying a significant portion of it to acquire him, Soriano is another veteran who does not figure to be a part of Chicago’s long term plans and will likely find a new home before the deadline passes. Read more here…