It’s time for Julio Teheran to go. I’m not going to harp on it, he’s been awfully inconsistent and Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright, Touki Toussaint, Newcomb, and Gausman need innings. Folty is the new alpha dog of this rotation. I threw together a few ideas of teams who are looking to trade for a controllable starter who have relief arms and catchers to spare: Atlanta’s two biggest needs. Take these with a grain of salt, they’re just rough ideas.
Teheran can fit right into the Houston rotation if Dallas Keuchel or Charlie Morton walk in free agency, and Teheran’s team friendly contract will appeal to a club that has to pay their other stars. Stubbs is the prize of this haul, slashing .315/.474/.853 in AAA Fresno. He’s a bit undersized for a catcher, but he has a short left-handed stroke and is an above average athlete. His caught stealing rate of 41% should assure Anthopoulos that he will stick behind the plate. Dean Deetz is a former starter converted to the bullpen. Deetz has a 0.93 ERA and 33 K in 19.1 Innings in AAA, so he’s very close to being a major league reliever. Stubbs ranks as Houston’s #15 prospect and Deetz comes in at #18. This is my favorite package and I also think it’s the most realistic.
The only trade that doesn’t involve a catcher is also my least favorite. Bedrosian, son of former Brave Steve Bedrosian, is a strong bullpen arm. Alvarez is a lefty with tantalizing upside. Jackson is a throw-in to add depth at shortstop in the system, he’s Los Angeles’ 15th best prospect and was a 2nd round pick this draft. Los Angeles will be looking to make a move with Mike Trout‘s free agency coming sooner rather than later and looking up at 3 teams in their division.
Like Atlanta, expect Milwaukee to make a push for Realmuto. This would be a sell-low trade on Julio. Nottingham is a former top prospect ranked #10 for Milwaukee, hitting .286 with 10 HRs. He’s a question mark defensively behind the plate. Ponce is a relief arm that’s almost MLB ready and ranks as the Brewers 18th best prospect. His numbers aren’t great, but the upside is there.
This one is a bit of a stretch and would be an overpay for St. Louis, but Atlanta would come out with a ransom on this deal. If the Houston deal is my favorite, this deal is 1b. Hudson has moved to the bullpen but profiles as St. Louis’ 4th best prospect. Hudson has a 0.96 ERA in the majors this season over 9 innings. A former starter, he could potentially be a shutdown relief arm. Kelly has gotten lost in the clutter, with catching prospect Andrew Knizner on the fast track to the majors and Yadier Molina locked up until 2022, Kelly needs a new home. This trade is a match, but it’s doubtful the Cardinals would give up this much for Julio without another player.
Dodgers – C Will Smith
This is the only player for player deal. Smith is LA’s #3 prospect, so this could require another sweetener to complete this deal. Packaging another pitching prospect could be required to finish this deal. Smith is a very athletic catcher, he threw out 48% of would-be base stealers last season and his bat is slowly coming along. Slashing .251/.498/.839 between AA and AAA with 19 HRs, he doesn’t fit into LA’s future plans with their #2 prospect also being a catcher. Keibert Ruiz isn’t as major league ready and it likely depends on if Grandal walks this offseason. Like the last trade, this one is doubtful but would be an excellent get for Atlanta.
Not crazy about this trade, but this would provide a lot of bullpen help and a backup catcher with power. Hedges is having his best season so far hitting .257 with 9 HRs and playing solid defense, however top prospect they acquired in the Brad Hand deal, Francisco Mejia, is knocking at the door. Munoz, Lucchesi, and Strahm have ERAs of 0.96 (AA), 3.45, and 2.30 respectively. With Julio’s declining value and San Diego in buy mode this deadline, it’s a match.