With a week to go before the trade deadline, the rumors are flying fast and furious. Several big-name starting pitchers may soon be on the move. ESPN's resident general manager, Jim Bowden, has evaluated a number of big-name trade candidates, naming likely suitors and attempting to construct a package of prospects that he believes would get the deal done. Some of those suitors are better fits than others, with certain pitchers making sense for one contender or another because of their home park, defense or use of the shift.
Before teams ship off their valuable young talent to fortify their rotations for the playoff push, let's run through those starters to determine which potential trade partners are a match made in heaven, and which ones teams are likely to regret.
Price is the most prominent name rumored to be on the move, and with his track record the former Cy Young winner is likely to command a massive return if the Rays do decide to deal their ace. Price's strikeout rate this season is easily a career best, and he is also limiting the free pass more effectively than ever before. Price is inducing grounders at a lower rate than he has in the past, instead relying on his outfield to convert additional fly balls into outs. Everything about Price's stats suggests a career year, except for his results, which have been negatively impacted by Tampa's uncharacteristically poor defense. The Rays have totaled minus-26 runs saved, which would be the worst total for the franchise since they put up an MLB-worst minus-81 runs saved total in 2007.