MLB trade deadline: Orioles' Adam Jones, Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo among the best of a weak outfield market
Surveying the trade market for outfielders ahead of the July 31 deadline
Now that it's July, it's time to start thinking about Major League Baseball's trade deadline. Per usual, teams have until July 31 at p.m. ET to make deals without needing to resort to waivers.
As part of our deadline coverage, we'll be previewing the market in a variety of ways -- that includes a positional overview. For now, let's take a look at the potentially available outfielders. Spoiler: There aren't going to be many good outfielders available this summer, in all likelihood.
Yeah, so it's not a huge group of available center fielders this trade deadline. It works out fine, though, because not many contenders are looking for a starting center fielder.
The former All-Star, Adam Jones, would be the best available and only sure-fire starter around if the Orioles choose to make him available. He's hitting .287/.311/.436 with 10 homers. His power is down and so are his walks, which were always too low, so his OPS isn't near where a player better than slightly above average should be. He's also lost several steps in center and defensive metrics have him as greatly below average out there. It makes sense, as he turns 33 soon.
Jones hits free agency after this season and will be owed less than half of his $17.3 million salary this season by the time he's traded. Would the Diamondbacks make sense here? He could play center if A.J. Pollock is out or slide to a corner on other days. Just to throw one team out there.
Jones does have 10-and-5 trade veto rights, keep in mind.
Again, not a great CF market out there for buyers. Leonys Martin is hitting .257/.327/.431 with nine homers, seven stolen bases and excellent defense this season and we know the Tigers will be sellers. He'd be a nice cheap add for someone seeking outfield depth, actually. Alas, he got hurt on Sunday. He'll need to heal quickly for the Tigers to capitalize to the fullest extent.
Worth a call
Look, it's not working with the bat and he's had more than enough chances in Cincy. It's time for a divorce. He's hitting .213/.295/.297. He's never been close to an average hitter and he's now 27 years old. It's his sixth season. Again, it's just not working here.
Hamilton hits free agency after next season, so maybe a contender who could use a pinch runner and late-inning defensive replacement rolls the dice and then hopes maybe they help him get on base at like a .330 clip next year.
The Rangers are reportedly willing to eat some of the remaining money on Shin-Soo Choo's deal (there are two years and $42 million left after this season), so that might perk some teams up as Choo is having an excellent season. He recently had a 41-game on-base streak broken and is getting on at a .399 clip this season. That works in the leadoff spot if need be, but it's plays anywhere. He's also racked up 18 doubles and 15 homers. Choo could DH or probably get by at either corner.
Corey Dickerson is awfully hot and cold and he's been cold, but he was an All-Star last season, was outstanding in April and very good in May. He's on a cheap deal this year and under team control for one more year before free agency. Overall, he's at a .303/.382/.449 clip this season, which is above average. He's been good in left field, too.
Worth a call
Obstacles galore here. The Mets signed Bruce to a three-year deal this past offseason, he's hurt, he's north of 30 and hitting .212 with a .613 OPS (72 OPS+). He's also a poor defender.
The A's have been red-hot and might not sell, but if they get to that point, perhaps it's time to part ways with Davis. He's now 30 and hits free agency after next season. He seems likely to top 40 homers for the third straight season, so there would be at least a small market for him.
Dietrich is only making $2.9 million this season and is controlled through 2020, so it's not like the Marlins have to deal him. He is putting together a great season (.287/.346/.459 with 11 homers), so maybe they strike while the iron is hot? He's 28 and might be washed up before they are next ready to compete.
The Royals would surely love to get rid of as much of the $20 million due Gordon next season as they can, but it's hard to see anyone giving any value for him. He's hitting .247/.327/.342 after two terrible seasons and is 34 years old.
The long-time veteran is well-known as an excellent clubhouse guy. He's still getting on base (.356 OBP) and has nine homers. He hits righties well and could either platoon or be a good bench bat.
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