Trade market is getting ugly
posted: Thursday, July 5, 2007
The cost of veterans has spiraled upward, and simultaneously, their trade value has plummeted -- while the trade value of young players has climbed dramatically. Those factors, plus baseball's improved parity, have dramatically reduced the swap talks we usually get this time of year. "There's just not that much going on," said one NL general manager. "Maybe some stuff will happen after the All-Star break. Maybe not."
But the trade market is absorbing another body blow, as well. Many of the guys who would have been the subject of conversations between teams have been taken down by injury.
At a time when there are few quality relievers available, and Tampa Bay is one of a handful of teams actually ready and willing to talk trade, closer Al Reyes -- a classic sell-high asset -- has landed on the disabled list with a bad shoulder, as Marc Lancaster writes.
There are very few power hitters available on the market, and one of those options might be the oft-injured and expensive Troy Glaus. But Glaus fouled a ball off his foot in Wednesday's game in Oakland, and he was sent out for X-rays; the results were inconclusive.
Mike Sweeney, conceivably a right-handed hitting option for a contender, will miss the next two to six weeks after having knee surgery.
Akinori Otsuka, the middle reliever most preferred by the Detroit Tigers, may be available to pitch Friday, or maybe he won't be, because of forearm tightness. The volume of teams interested in Otsuka won't be diminished by his recent health concerns, but the offers may be. No team is going to give up a top prospect unless it's sure Otsuka will be a rock-solid option.
Add these names to the already long list of guys whose trade value has been damaged by injury:
• Mark Teixeira hasn't played since June 8, and won't be back for another week to 10 days.
• Baltimore's Miguel Tejada is out until early August.
• Jermaine Dye is nagged by a quadriceps injury.
• Brad Lidge won't be back until after the All-Star break because of knee trouble.
• Rich Harden has pitched only a couple dozen innings, and probably doesn't have enough time before July 31 to re-establish his value.
And there's this, as the White Sox consider whether to sign Mark Buehrle, or trade another pitcher: Jose Contreras has been awful of late.
The trade market is getting very ugly.