Trade Deadline A.L. Central Part 1


The Chicago White Sox lead the division with the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers each four games behind. All three teams could benefit from the right trade, here are the most recent rumors regarding the American League Central.

White Sox

The pitching rotation has now proven that they really are who we thought they were. Even with Jake Peavy out for the season, the Sox pitching doesn’t seem to be top priority as the latest news states their number one priority is adding a left-handed bat to the line-up. They do not need to concern themselves a whole lot with defensive skills because they plan to slot him in as DH.

White Sox General Manager, Kenny Williams, reports on Tuesday,

“Only a handful of players can help us, and if I am being honest and completely transparent right now of the price being asked of some of the players that we’ve acquired about, for us it is more detrimental to our present and our future than we’d like.”

Adam Dunn (1B WAS) People always said that Dunn belongs in the American League because he has never been known as the best fielder. However, his power is exactly what the White Sox are looking for. According to Nationals general manager, Mike Rizzo, it would have to be an overwhelming offer if Dunn were traded, but according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the White Sox are focused on Dunn and have offered “any minor leaguer and are willing to trade Daniel Hudson or Dayan Viciedo.” If Dunn were to be traded look for Josh Willingham or Mike Morse to step in at First Base.

Minnesota Twins

The Twins have been struggling in several areas this season, but the biggest issues are centered in the rotation. Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, and especially Nick Blackburn have been less than adequate, leading the Twins to target a starting pitcher.

Dan Haren (SP ARI) Now that Cliff Lee is no longer on the market, Haren is the best available pitcher and his price tag proves it. His salary is $12.75 million a year for the next two seasons with $3.45 million left in 2010, a team option of $15.5 million in 2013 or a $3.5 million buyout. Jon Heyman from Sports Illustrated says the Diamondbacks would be asking for two starting pitchers and bullpen help. As if that isn’t enough, Haren has a no-trade clause in his contract making it possible for him to reject 12 teams if they offer a trade.

Haren has not had an outstanding season so far, and is well known as a first half pitcher. Home runs and hits allowed are up from last season and after 20 starts he maintains an ERA of 4.60.

Ted Lily (SP CHC) Making $12 million this season, Lilly becomes a free agent after 2010. The left-handed starter is having a nice season with a 4.08 ERA and 2.7 K/BB ratio. Lilly is a Type A free agent, so the Cubs could obtain picks in the 2011 draft if he turns down their offer of arbitration.

Ben Sheets is a potential target even though the A's claim they have no desire to move him. Sheets is owed $4.3 million this year and he is currently on pace to earn the full $2 million in incentives offered in his contract, which are based on the number of innings he pitches. $6.3 million is a big investment for a guy with a 6.66 ERA when pitching outside of Oakland. The Twins already have the problem of bad pitching on the road. If Sheets gets traded, look for Tyson Ross to be recalled as a starter.

Detroit

Now that 3B Brandon Inge is out for the next four to six weeks, and the Tigers have lost six in a row, we can expect to see them take action in the trade market. Tigers may be targeting infielders in addition to bullpen help and a starting pitcher. The Tigers will need Rick Porcello to step up to the plate in the second half and here are some other players rumored to interest the Tigers.

Michael Wuertz (RP OAK) According to Susan Slusser from the San Francisco Chronicle, Detroit sent scouts to watch Wuertz again last weekend, and mentions that Oakland might not want to sell low on Wuertz, who's gone from a 2.63 ERA and 11.67 K/9 rate last year to a 5.30 ERA and 6.75 K/9 this year. Although the numbers look bad as a whole, Wuertz has only allowed one run, four hits, and three walks over his last nine outings.

Craig Breslow (RP OAK).  In 43.2 innings the left-hander has pitched for Oakland so far this year, Breslow has a 3.09 ERA and a K/9 ratio of 9.27. He makes $425 thousand in 2010 and becomes a free agent after 2010.

Dan Haren (SP ARZ) I mentioned Haren and his costs already, but the Tigers may find his high price a bit more do-able than the Twins. About $3.6 million remains on Haren's contract this season and nearly $33 million total. The Tigers will no longer be paying Jeremy Bonderman, Dontrelle Willis and Nate Robertson eight-figure salaries after 2010, so they do have the money to spend.

Leo Nunez (RP FLA) is having a career best season so far with a 2.87 ERA, 9.3 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a 50% groundball rate. He is under contract until 2012 but the remaining salary is only $837 thousand.  The Marlins are already struggling in the bullpen, and their pitching prospects are all starters, so this trade seems unlikely.


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