Thursday, July 27, 2017

Teams looking to boost lineup have options on trade market

New York Mets' Jay Bruce (19) and Yoenis Cespedes (52) celebrate after scoring on an RBI double during the third inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Friday, July 14, 2017, in New York.

AP LogoBY ROB MAADDI

Teams looking to boost their offense have plenty of options on the trade market.

Need a slugger? The NL East has a few.

Need a catcher? A two-time All-Star could be on the move again.

Veterans, role players, pinch-hitters are all available at the right price before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

The American League should have more buyers because no team is worse than 7 1/2 games behind in the wild-card standings.

Expect more National League teams to sell since only five clubs have a winning record.

Here are 11 hitters who could be switching teams before the end of the month:

Jay Bruce, New York Mets, RF: Bruce is hitting .265 with 23 homers and 59 RBIs and is in the final season of a seven-year, $63 million contract. The Mets acquired Bruce last July and tried to move him in the offseason. The three-time All-Star is a high-priced rental, but he could carry an offense for long stretches when he’s hot.

___

Curtis Granderson, New York Mets, OF: Granderson has rebounded following a poor start and has 13 homers and 37 RBIs along with a .232 average. He’s also a free agent after the season. Granderson has plenty of postseason experience and is an excellent clubhouse presence.

___

Lucas Duda, New York Mets, 1B: Like Bruce and Granderson, Duda is a free agent after the season and the Mets aren’t going anywhere. Duda has 14 homers and 30 RBIs. He’s a career .246 hitter.

___

Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF: McCutchen has bounced back nicely after a subpar year and is hitting .295 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs. He’s in the final season of a six-year, $51.5 million contract, though the Pirates hold a $14.5 million option for next season. He’s only 30 and could anchor the middle of a team’s lineup.

___

Tommy Joseph, Philadelphia Phillies, 1B: Joseph has 15 homers and 43 RBIs in 298 at-bats, a year after hitting 21 homers in 315 at-bats. Joseph is only 25, so interested teams could look at him as a first baseman for the future. He’s available because the rebuilding Phillies have big-time slugger Rhys Hoskins waiting for an opportunity at Triple-A.

___

Jonathan Lucroy, Texas Rangers, C: Milwaukee tried trading Lucroy twice last July, though he refused a trade to Cleveland before agreeing to move to Texas. His .256 batting average is the lowest since his rookie season in 2010 and he’s a free agent after the season, but Texas is right in the mix in the wild-card race.

___

Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds, SS: Cozart is having a career year — .311, nine homers, 35 RBIs — and was an All-Star starter, but he’ll be 32 next month and becomes a free agent after the season. Most contending teams don’t need a shortstop, but things can change quickly.

___

J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers, RF: Martinez is a costly rental because he’ll be a free agent after the season, but the power hitter could improve any lineup down the stretch. He’s batting .298 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 5 games.

___

Melky Cabrera, Chicago White Sox, LF: Cabrera is in the final season of a three-year, $42 million contract. He’s hitting .283 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs. The White Sox might have to pay some of Cabrera’s salary to make a deal.

___

Daniel Nava, Philadelphia Phillies, OF: Nava has been a pleasant surprise for the Phillies after getting an invitation to spring training as a non-roster player. He’s hitting .297 with a .389 OBP in a limited role. Nava won a World Series with Boston in 2013 and the switch-hitter is a valuable bench player.

___

Yonder Alonso, Oakland A’s, 1B: Alonso is having a breakout season — .275, career-high 21 homers, 44 RBIs — and was an All-Star. He’s also a free agent after the season.

___

More AP Baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball


Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



X