This week I will focus on a couple of pitchers who both figure to be among the most sought after pieces this deadline. The first will be a current ace who pitches for a team with a track record of trading their best pitchers. For the second, a left handed reliever who has been one of the most lights out bullpen pitchers ahead of the trade deadline.
Here are some trade proposals will be based off of rumors and speculation around the league in that given week and are not locks to happen nor have they necessarily been discussed imminently or at all.
Chris Archer to Colorado Rockies
Tampa Bay Rays receive: SS Brendan Rodgers, RHP Jeff Hoffman, OF Raimel Tapia
Colorado Rockies receive: RHP Chris Archer
Sometimes you need to go big or go home. The Rockies entered play Sunday leading the NL West by one game over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Rockies have been firing on all cylinders as one of the best offenses in the game and solid pitching led by Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson. However they could use a legitimate bonafide ace at the top of their rotation. Enter, Chris Archer.
Archer is a superior talent and one of the best pitchers in the game at the age of 28. He is under contract through 2021 never exceeding $8.25 million a year. This year he's pitching to the tune of a 3.61 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 72 and 1/3 innings. The Rays are known for trading their pitchers for young talent but have yet to really strike gold, this is their chance.
The Rockies are going to have to give up a ton, and it's going to hurt but it will significantly help their chances of making a deep October run and chasing that coveted World Series trophy.
The deal starts at 2015 first-round pick Brendan Rodgers. The 20-year-old shortstop was the most coveted prep bat in that draft for good reason. He fields his position well with an above average arm and very good power. His natural power causes him to stay within himself instead of overswinging so he can also hit for average. His hitting ability could warrant a switch to 2B or 3B if needed.
Next, Jeff Hoffman who is starting games at Triple-A right now is expected to be in the majors this season. The 24-year-old has all the ingredients to become a frontline starter. His fastball operates mid 90s with a huge breaking ball. The Rockies acquired him for Troy Tulowitzki in 2015.
Lastly, outfielder Raimel Tapia who is also at Triple-A and expected to break the big league roster this season will round out the deal. Tapia is currently hitting .391 in 28 games with 22 runs batted in. His plus arm strength and speed give him the tools to play all three outfield spots.
This is a deal that may hurt the Rockies' future a bit and will definitely hurt the farm as they would have to give up their first, second and fourth ranked prospects. Nevertheless, should they get this done they are getting a solid ace in return and an improved chance at a World Series title. They also could preserve their third-best prospect in right-hander Riley Pint.
Brad Hand to Boston Red Sox
San Diego Padres receive: 3B Bobby Dalbec, RHP Travis Lakins
Boston Red Sox receive: LHP Brad Hand
Former waiver pickup Brad Hand is among the most sought after players as this trade deadline activity seems poised to pick up.
The left handed reliever is enjoying a successful year in San Diego. He boasts a 2.00 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 27 innings thus far. He would easily be a solid addition to a contender's bullpen. Among those looking for help in that area are the Red Sox and the Astros. The latter is focusing strongly on starting pitching therefore Boston has the upper hand.
With the premium prices set on bullpen pieces in this era of baseball, the Red Sox won't get Hand for nothing. Their offer should start with Bobby Dalbec, the 21-year-old third baseman who is currently the fourth-best prospect in Boston's farm system. Dalbec who was taken in the 2016 draft had above average power and has shown an impressive arm at the hot corner.
The deal should continue with Double-A starter Travis Lakins. Lakins showcases a fastball with plus speed with sinking action. His curveball and changeup are considered plus pitches while he also has a low 80s slider. Scouts believe he will be able to remain a starter and a mid rotation starter in the majors after he fixes his consistency issues.
The Red Sox can afford to give these two guys up for one of the game’s best relievers. People may call for more but there is a chance Hand is just having a career year and will be less effective in the coming years.