Trade Deadline Candidate: Joe Saunders
June 20, 2012 in Major League Baseball
The Arizona Diamondbacks are dieing to make their top prospect, Trevor Bauer, part of their regular rotation. Their best hope of getting Bauer some work lies in a free agent re-signing from this offseason, Joe Saunders. The D-Backs signed Saunders to a $6 million deal in January and could turn him around for a piece of their future or someone that can help them out now. But where could Saunders end up?
The best guess for Saunders trade destination is very close to where he grew up in Falls Church, VA. The Baltimore Orioles, who currently lead the AL Wildcard race, would love to get a hold of the Virginia Tech product to help sustain their postseason push throughout the season. The O's have some old vets in Dontrelle Willis and Jamie Moyer in AAA, but neither can be the solution for the birds. Saunders has been a decent pitcher in the big leagues. His best year came with the Angels in 2008 when he went 17-7 with a 3.41 ERA. Since joining the D-Back in 2010 Saunders has gone 19-25 with a respectable 3.76 ERA.
The Orioles likely won't be the only team vying for the left hander, the Red Sox have also said to be in the mix. There have even been thoughts of a Kevin Youkilis for Saunders straight up trade between Arizona and Boston. The Blue Jays could certainly also get in on the action with their recent rash of injuries in the rotation.
Beyond the AL East arms race their has not been much discussion on a destination for Saunders, but don't be surprised if teams from the AL Central become interested. The Royals, Tigers, and the Indians could use another solid arm in their rotations.