By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on May 29, 2014
The MLB trade deadline is still two months away, but it’s never too early to predict which players will be dealt before July 31. The trade rumors are already beginning to heat up for several positional players. However, this slideshow focuses on the five starting pitchers who will be traded before the All-Star break.
Trading Mike Leake would be a difficult decision for the Cincinnati Reds. However, even worse than deciding whether or not to trade him would be allowing him to walk without getting anything in return once he’s free agent eligible after the 2015 season. The Reds are going to have a difficult enough time as it is deciding which starters to keep. Leake just doesn’t appear to be in their long-term plans.
It’s no secret that the Chicago Cubs are prepared to unload a couple of starting pitchers once the opportunity presents itself. For the most part this season, Jason Hammel has been terrific on the mound. In fact, he’s on pace for a career year. That’s music to the ears of Theo Epstein because that means Chicago could get something decent in return for the right-hander.
There are several teams that could use quality veteran experience in their starting rotation. Cliff Lee is someone who could do wonders on the mound and in the clubhouse for a contender. The biggest issue with him is a team willing to pay his steep salary, as well as, fork over the necessary prospects to make the trade complete. Either way, it’s a near guarantee someone will take a chance to gain the upper hand in the second half of the season.
With the Tampa Bay Rays currently in last place in the AL East, it’s inevitable that David Price will be traded at some point this summer. It’s imperative that the Rays get as much as they can for him considering they are highly unlikely to re-sign him. Several teams have shown an interest for quite some time, which means Tampa Bay could find themselves in the middle of a nice bidding war.
If there’s at least one starting pitcher who will be traded prior to the All-Star break, it will be Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija. He has already made it clear that he has no intentions of re-signing with the club once he becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the 2015 season. For that reason, the Cubs must look for the best deal possible and trade him. Despite a 1-4 record, he has been outstanding on the mound as evidence of his 1.68 ERA.
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