This is the second year two Wild Card teams make the MLB playoffs. Will it change the way teams conduct their business heading toward the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline? As of Wednesday afternoon, only six teams were out of either their division or Wild Card by more than double-digits. Could it mean less potential trades? Over the next couple weeks, we’ll look at some players who could be on the move to a contender.
Candidate: Aramis Ramirez, Brewers’ third baseman.
Team Position: 32-43, 15 games out in NL Central, 11.5 games back in Wild Card.
Why Brewers would trade him: Milwaukee has been pretty awful this season with the fourth-worst record in the National League behind the Marlins, Cubs and Mets. Ramirez is 35 and not exactly the future for the franchise.
Who Would Want Him?: The Red Sox if Will Middlebrooks (sent down to Pawtucket on Tuesday) continues to struggle. The Yankees need a righthanded bat now that Mark Teixeira is done for the season. Perhaps the Braves if they want more pop at third than Chris Johnson.
Pros: Ramirez is locked up for $16 million in 2014 and has a mutual $4 million buyout for 2015, which isn’t exactly cheap but manageable. Ramirez is a career .295/.351/.531 hitter after the All-Star break.
Cons: There might not be a huge market for corner infielders. Ramirez has never logged an inning in the majors at first base, either, so a move to the American League where he can DH is much more likely.
Verdict: Milwaukee will make a move between now and July 31. GM Doug Melvin won’t part with Ryan Braun, Jean Segura or Carlos Gomez but everybody else is probably fair game. The Brewers’ pitching has been woeful and they’re 25th in team ERA, meaning if they want some prospects they’ll have to move a position player like Ramirez, although the market for him might be limited. Still, anything the Brewers could get for Ramirez represents more value that what they’ll get from him for the rest of 2013 and 2014 as they’re now looking up at the Cardinals, Reds AND Pirates in the National League Central.
Previously: MLB Trade Candidate: Jonathan Papelbon
[Photo by Getty]