Will the addition of the second Wild Card change the way baseball teams conduct their business heading toward the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline? As of June 27, only five teams were out of either their division or Wild Card by more than double-digits. Could it mean less potential trades in the next few weeks? Over the next couple weeks, we’ll look at some players who could be on the move to a contender.
Candidate: Ricky Nolasco, Marlins righty starter.
Team Position: 27-50; 17 games out in NL East and Wild Card.
Why Marlins would trade him: Nolasco is in the last year of a three-year $26.5 million deal, he’ll be dealt sooner rather than later, possibly today or tomorrow.
Who Would Want Him?: The Giants, Dodgers, Diamondbacks or Rockies. There are reports the Dodgers are on the verge of acquiring Nolasco.
Pros: Nolasco is a proven starter and won’t cost a team much or lock them into a long commitment. He’s been a little better this season, pitching to a 3.68 ERA. Surpringsingly, his road ERA is .328, about seven-tenths of a run lower than at cavernous Marlins Park.
Cons: Trading for Nolasco is basically adding a third or fourth starter to your rotation, not a difference maker. Until this season he’d posted four straight years with an ERA 4.48 or higher. Nolasco isn’t a strikeout-per-inning guy, either.
Verdict: Various reports have the one-time pitching-rich Giants making a run at Nolasco to help a rotation that’s missing Ryan Vogelsong and has Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain each throwing to an ERA over the 4.50 mark. The Dodgers, winners of six straight, haven’t thrown in the towel either and are making a hard run at the righty, too. The Marlins might be in good shape since they can play the NL West rivals off each other to get a little more value than Nolasco is probably worth. He’ll be traded, most likely well before July 31. So long as you don’t give up very much for a four-month rental, Nolasco should help his new team.
[Photo by Getty]