This baseball season, the crop of available MLB pitchers is beginning to look like a list of Cy Young candidates. In fact, the injuries that devastated Tampa Bay have left the team with few options other than trading David Price, himself a Cy Young winner in 2012. Meanwhile, another Cy Young winner from 2008 and a leading candidate in the National League are said to be pacing the league in trade requests.
It may be another year of the pitcher in Major League Baseball, but teams pondering a run have to consider potent offenses like the ones in Detroit, San Francisco, and Oakland to get deep in the postseason. It will be impossible without a stocked rotation. Here are five pitchers drawing the most interest ahead of the July 31 MLB trade deadline.
1. Jason Hammell, Cubs
The Cubs are getting a lot of calls about Jason Hammel, who has had an excellent bounce-back year in Chicago. Hammel has posted a 6-4 record with a 3.02 ERA and 1.02 WHIP through 89.1 innings, which are career bests in limiting baserunners and runs. Teams interested in Hammel have no commitment to make, as he is signed with the Cubs for a one-year deal worth $6 million.
As with any trade scenario, the question is what teams are willing to spend, talent-wise, on a half-year rental. Hammel would provide a strong back-of-the-rotation figure with the potential for impact in the playoffs. Expect him to be dealt.