Wednesday I covered the Angels, Dodgers, Orioles and Mariners. Today I'll look at the Blue Jays, Yankees, Royals and Tigers. The theme of today's post might be slim pickings. Of course, other rumors have started swirling in the ether, so I will do, at least, a third installment adding the Giants, Cards and anyone else that pops up between now and then with needs.
Blue Jays - I'll start by assuming that current Starter Marcus Stroman is off the table. After all trading to shore up your playoff run doesn't work as well when you jettison the guy who might be the 2nd or 3rd best starter in your rotation (especially when the other top Starters are 35+). If you're sending them Byrd or a BP arm you could look at Aaron Sanchez. A Righty with huge stuff and very little control of it. Ceiling is a good #2 Starter, but the floor is a Perci Garner or Brody Colvin mess. Word is Sanchez is off limits though. Daniel Norris is another guy to look at. He's a Lefty who improved his BB rates in High-A. That said, he's 4 starts into Double-A and his BB rate doubled, it's a small sample, but he has a history of shaky control he was starting to iron out, so it's hard to tell if this is something he'll adjust to in Double-A or if he was just getting less experienced hitters out with junk that the more advanced guys stay off. That said, a Lefty with a 96mph Fastball is not overly common.. Next comes Mitch Nay. He's a 3rd baseman drafted two years ago, he's sporting a .283/.348/.371 line with 12.9%K and 8.4% BB rates. He'd be high risk and the power is still missing. Franklin Baretto is an 18 year old Shortstop with a truck bed of tools. Currently in Low-A hitting .304/.407/.413 with 19.4% K and 11.1% BB rates. The BB rate is nearly twice his previous average, so that may or may not be for real. He's shown some pop in the past, but he'll likley end up with passable power. He's built like Rollins and looks to be a good defender with speed and good contact skills. Everything you get from the Blue Jays would be high risk. They have some nice players to package, but no one that makes you say "wow".
Royals - If you like to gamble, you could roll the dice on Kyle Zimmer. Ace ceiling to perhaps mid-rotation type, provided his shoulder doesn't give out, which has shut him down since last fall. His MRI was clean and he avoided the knife, but shoulder injuries are the grim reaper of Pitchers, so you rick that instead of a future Ace you may be trading for a guy who never throws a baseball again. Someone is bound to suggest Hunter Dozier, but especially given the struggles of Moose Tacos to hit, Dozier is probably their Third Baseman of the future now. He's already gotten to Double-A and it's. honestly, hard to find many red flags. His power isn't ideal for the hot corner at present, but he's only 22, so that could still be on the way. The only way to get him would probably involve eating lots of salary and possibly including Franco. I don't see it. There are a few more names you could gamble on. One would be Elier Hernandez a 19 year old playing in High-A. Lot sof tools, very inconsistent production, he's currently middling along in a typically Offense friendly environment. Another name is already with the team: Christian Colon. Colon is a solid contact hitter who will take a walk and has some speed. On the downside, his arm stinks, his range isn't very good, his power is middling and he's pretty much a 2B only guy. As John Sickels noted in his prospect book Colon gets marked down as a bust because he was a fourth overall pick, while if he was a 9th Rounder he'd probably get a lot of praise. Colon has a good glove and can stick at Second, his bat should be good enough to Start, but his floor is AAAA guy since his arm won't work on the left side. The Royals don't have pieces for a blockbuster, sans Dozier, but they have enough to grab BP help or an OF rental.
Tigers - The cupboard isn't quite bare, but there is plenty of elbow room. That said, we'd be trading them a reliver if anything, so there's enough to make that work. One name that could be bandied about is Johnathon Crawford a RHP picked in the First round last year. He's a Ground Ball pitcher with a bit of a control/command problem. His ceiling is a #3 or 4 Starter, could also be bound for the bullpen down the road. If he were to actually iron out his mechanics he could be as good as a solid #2 Starter, as his Fastball and Slider are both Plus when they're near the plate. An even better name would be 20 year old Righty Jake Thompson, who sports a Plus Fastball and enough of a repetoire that would could see him as also a #2 Starter. I like his chances better than Crawford, as he has better control. Julio Felix is a somewhat intriguing relief arm with pretty good control though not great K numbers for a BP Pitcher. Corey Knebel is a guy who both K's and Walks a ton of people, he's made his way to the bigs, but the Tigers may be willing to part with him for a more ready now piece. Of course you could also gamble on flame throwing Bruce Rondon who's shut down all year after Tommy John. He'd be a good buy low and the Tigers have an old core and are in win now mode, so he could be pried loose, I think.
Yankees - As John Stolnis noted the Yankees have needs. What they don't have is much in the way of tradeable assets. Their assets begin, and damn near end, with Gary Sanchez. He's a solid hitting Catcher with above average defense. If you're sending them a Starter (except for KK), Sanchez really needs to be the return. He would immediately be in the Top 5 prospects for the Phillies, maybe as high as 1, depending upon the analyst. You could also try to pry out Luis Severino. I could write a whole article on Luis, he's a max effort Pitcher whose mechanics scare me a little. He reminds me a little of our own Yoel Mecias, as he works mid-90's with a really small frame. He's got good control and very good command of his Fastball which is presently Plus, but could end up Plus-Plus. Given his size, max-effort delivery and mechanics I worry about injury, but I also think he could be a very good bullpen pitcher. You could ask for last year's picks, but I'm not a big Ian Clarkin fan and Judge, while currently doing well is a big (literally and figuratively) risk. Beyond that if you want anyone who may end up with any future value you need to target their young Latin signings. Go for guys like Andy Diaz and Luis Torrens, load up on a bunch of them and hope something pans out. You could make a trade work here, probably in a few different scenarios, but a blockbuster would be tough to pull off and would really gut what is left of their system. That leads me to think they wouldn't do it and just cut their losses this season.