With June quickly approaching, it is time to play the game: who is moving at the deadline. While it is way too early to tell, there are already many names being tossed around baseball that could be moving from underperforming teams. With how successful the trades of Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller were, many teams are looking to solidify their bullpens for a deep post season run. Some teams, however, need to look at other options because they do not have the prospects to trade for the high end relievers. Here are some of the more under appreciated arms on underperforming teams that could be on the move this summer.
Ryan Madson: Oakland Athletics
When Madson signed with the A’s two off seasons ago, he was to be the new face of the Oakland bullpen and take over as the closer. While Madson has pitched well, things have not gone as planned. The A’s offense has struggled and starting pitching has sputtered out leaving the right hander to pitch meaningless innings. This season, Madson has only 20 strikeouts and 1 save. He is, however, sporting a 1.77 ERA and a WHIP of .98 in 20 innings pitched. Given his recent track the last few seasons, the 36 year old should be able to give a team an ERA around 3.25 and 55-60 innings of work. While he is not the high velocity pitcher he was in Philadelphia, he still is a serviceable option and Oakland is looking to rebuild its team from the ground up. He could bring a nice prospect back in return in a trade.
Bud Norris: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
What a find for the Angels. With so many holes in their organization, they went on a hunt for veteran players to come in on minor league contracts and see if they could give them some help. Norris is outperforming all expectations. After an several injuries in their bullpen, Norris was name the Angels’ closer and has racked up 33 strikeouts, 10 saves an ERA of 2.84 and a WHIP of 1.03 in 25.1 innings of work. Because he has been a starter for his entire career until this season, Norris is primed to have the durability to survive an entire season in the pen. The 32 year old could be a great piece for a team looking for an arm that can pitch in many different situations. Because he was only on a minor league contract, the Angles would be smart to trade him for a prospect and maximize the return they got on the right hander.
Kelvin Herrera: Kansas City Royals
After sending Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs this past offseason, Kelvin Herrera became the new closer in Kansas City. The flame throwing right hander had had a successful run as a setup man in the pen for the Royals for the last several seasons, creating a three headed monster in Kansas City with Wade Davis and Greg Holland. With Herrera in a new role, he has struggled a bit this season with a 3.68 ERA, 12 saves, and 24 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched. The past two season, however, he has averaged a 2.73 ERA with 75 strikeouts and 70 innings pitched. Herrera was a stud in the setup role, and a team looking for a new arm would be wise to buy low on him into his accustomed role. With the window of contention quickly diminishing, the Royals would be wise to sell off their their impending free agents and prepare to rebuild.
Addison Reed: New York Mets
After being the closer for the White Sox and bouncing around to the Dimondbacks and then the Mets, Reed has finally become the plus arm that scouts had projected him to be. This season, Reed has taken over the closers role after Famila went out with a blood clot in his throwing shoulder. With 7 saves, 32 strikeouts, a 3.25 ERA, and a 1.12 WHIP in 27.2 innings of work. Combine that with the success he had after being traded to the Mets last season, he has proven that he can be a consistent arm in the back end of a team’s bullpen. The Mets are trending downwards. With the mismanagement of the injuries to Noah Syndergaard and Yoanis Cespedes and the poor play on the field, the Mets would be wise to trade Reed and other pieces to retool for next season.