In Some Depth: For Sale

In Some Depth: For Sale

This article is part of our In Some Depth series.

It's officially summer. That means the trade deadline is just five weeks away, and the rumor mill should be rotating in earnest in the not-too-distant future. Rather than wildily speculate at which teams may be buyers and which may be sellers, I decided to take a look at FanGraphs' playoff odds, and take a deeper look at those with a sub-four percent chance of making the postseason. Specifically, I took a look at the guys with contracts expiring in the next few offseasons (thanks Cots!), and who their replacements could/should be. Lloyd Christmas may think some of these teams have a chance, but it's only a matter of time before they realize they're playing for next year.

Without any further ado...

Brewers (zero percent)

According to Cots, the Brewers fielded their most expensive Opening Day roster ever in 2015. Unfortunately for them, that $104 million roster has not yielded fruit. The only everyday free agents heading into 2016 are Aramis Ramirez and Gerardo Parra. The more attractive Carlos Gomez will follow after the 2017 season. Parra would take over in center field if Gomez departs, and guys like Shane Peterson and Logan Schafer could also be in line for more playing time in the outfield if either/both Parra and/or Gomez end up in different organizations. Tyrone Taylor, one of the club's top hitting prospects, has a sub-.700 OPS for Double-A. Hernan Perez or Matt Dominguez could see time at third base if a contender decides Ramirez's experience outweighs

It's officially summer. That means the trade deadline is just five weeks away, and the rumor mill should be rotating in earnest in the not-too-distant future. Rather than wildily speculate at which teams may be buyers and which may be sellers, I decided to take a look at FanGraphs' playoff odds, and take a deeper look at those with a sub-four percent chance of making the postseason. Specifically, I took a look at the guys with contracts expiring in the next few offseasons (thanks Cots!), and who their replacements could/should be. Lloyd Christmas may think some of these teams have a chance, but it's only a matter of time before they realize they're playing for next year.

Without any further ado...

Brewers (zero percent)

According to Cots, the Brewers fielded their most expensive Opening Day roster ever in 2015. Unfortunately for them, that $104 million roster has not yielded fruit. The only everyday free agents heading into 2016 are Aramis Ramirez and Gerardo Parra. The more attractive Carlos Gomez will follow after the 2017 season. Parra would take over in center field if Gomez departs, and guys like Shane Peterson and Logan Schafer could also be in line for more playing time in the outfield if either/both Parra and/or Gomez end up in different organizations. Tyrone Taylor, one of the club's top hitting prospects, has a sub-.700 OPS for Double-A. Hernan Perez or Matt Dominguez could see time at third base if a contender decides Ramirez's experience outweighs his .651 OPS.

Phillies (zero percent)

This exercise kind of fails when you get to the Phillies. The Phillies' key free agents for 2016 include Chad Billingsley, Jerome Williams, and Jeff Francoeur. Chase Utley may also be a free agent if he fails to reach the 500 plate appearance plateau. He is already halfway there, but that number could dwindle if he continues to cede time to Cesar Hernandez or he ends up in a bench role on a contender. An Utley departure would open up more playing time for Hernandez, and possibly lead to the team recalling Chase d'Arnaud or Cord Phelps from Triple-A. In fact, there is not much to discuss until 2018, when Ben Revere is slated to hit the open market.

Rockies (0.2 percent)

The Rockies have a better record than other teams ahead of them on this list, but they play in the wrong division and in the wrong league. Forget their forthcoming free agents (Nick Hundley, Class of '17, could be one of the better catching options on the market, and classmate Daniel Descalso could be bench fodder for a contender), the Rockies' attractive trade position players start and end with Troy Tulowitzki. Who might be next at short? Cristhian Adames entered 2015 with something of a glove-first reputation, but he currently sports a .759 OPS at Triple-A Albuquerque. Trevor Story has had an inconsistent minor league career, but he is currently slugging .528 with 15 steals for Double-A New Britain. If the Rockies go a less-drastic route and simply unload Hundley, then that would afford more playing time for Mike McKenry in the short-term, and possibly open the door for Ryan Casteel to make his MLB debut.

Reds (0.3 percent)

The Reds' free-agent-to-be bounty starts with their pitchers - Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake. On the position player side, the only impending guy is Brayan Pena, who has been thrust into starting action for the Devin Mesoraco-less Reds and could be a nice No. 2 elsewhere. Tucker Barnhart could see more action if Pena departs after the All-Star Break, and their minor league options are pretty uninspiring. Former first round pick Kyle Skipworth has finally reached Triple-A, but he has started his tenure at Louisville on a 4-for-25 stretch. Jay Bruce and Aroldis Chapman are free agents after the 2016 season, and Brandon Phillips, Zack Cozart, and Todd Frazier follow after 2017. Frazier would probably yield the highest return in a trade, and he might be the toughest for the front office to psychologically move on from. Ivan De Jesus or Eugenio Suarez could benefit from a Frazier or Phillips trade.

Marlins (2.2 percent)

The Marlins' young core was part of the reason many picked Marlins to be a surprise playoff team in 2015. Well, the Marlins' season will probably end in September, but the presence of that young core means that virtually no one will be a free agent until after the 2017 season (when Dee Gordon kicks things off). Ichiro Suzuki and Jeff Baker may no longer be Marlins next year are both free agents, and Mike Morse and Martin Prado may follow the year after. Derek Dietrich and/or Donovan Solano would be the primary beneficiaries if Prado and/or Gordon get dealt. Reid Brignac is somehow still in this system/still in baseball, and he could be an infield option later on.

Braves (3.7 percent)

The Braves only sit two games behind the first place Nationals at the time of this writing, but apparently the projections do not like their chances of leaping over both the Nats and the Mets, especially if/when the Nats play up to their true potential. They have a few potential rental players in the freshly-acquired Juan Uribe, A.J. Pierzynski, and Kelly Johnson. A Uribe trade could allow Jace Peterson to move across the infield and open a spot at second for Jose Peraza? Of course, Chris Johnson's return from the DL could spoil those plans if the Braves want Peterson to get everyday AB's. Pierzynski's departure could force the Braves to recall Christian Bethancourt (who has had a strong first week back in the minors), or give Ryan Lavarnway his first shot at regular playing time since 2012. The recently-resuscitated Cameron Maybin could be available for slightly more than $17 million through 2017 (assuming he is still healthy enough to earn his 2017 option). Openings in the outfield would facilitate playing time for guys like Todd Cunningham or former top-100 prospect Joe Benson.

White Sox (2.8 percent)

The White Sox only have a few position players that might get moved before the end of July (in addition to starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija). Adam LaRoche looked like a sign, then trade kind of guy before the team's "revamping" effort started in earnest this past winter, and they may look to trade him this summer with only a year and a half left on his contract. Conor Gillaspie could replace him at first, which could open up third for Matt Davidson later this season. Emilio Bonifacio has not hit much since joining the Sox, but he is cheap, can run, and plays multiple positions. The same can be said for Gordon Beckham, minus the running fast part. The departure of either could lead the team to recall a utility guy like Tyler Saladino or Leury Garcia.

Want to Read More?
Subscribe to RotoWire to see the full article.

We reserve some of our best content for our paid subscribers. Plus, if you choose to subscribe you can discuss this article with the author and the rest of the RotoWire community.

Get Instant Access To This Article Get Access To This Article
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only MLB Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire MLB fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Eisner
Ryan has been writing for Rotowire since 2007. He currently writes about baseball and covers the White Sox.
College Baseball Betting: Expert Picks for Saturday, March 2
College Baseball Betting: Expert Picks for Saturday, March 2
Spring Training Job Battles: NL Central
Spring Training Job Battles: NL Central
College Baseball Picks Today: Best Bets for Friday, March 1
College Baseball Picks Today: Best Bets for Friday, March 1
Six Mid-Round Pitchers with League Winning Upside (Video)
Six Mid-Round Pitchers with League Winning Upside (Video)