Top Hitters on the Trade Market: 1B and OF
1. 1B Prince Fielder- Fielder isn’t fully on the market, but if so would be the best power bat available. His defense is suspect and he might be a DH long term, but for right now he could still fill the need for a first baseman. Fielder has one more year of Arbitration, so he has added value of not being a rental (for some teams), but it should be a hefty price tag, probably north of $14 million for next season, which could eliminate some suitors. All in all though, Fielder is the best hitter on the market, if the Brewers decided to sell.
2. 1B Adam Dunn- Dunn doesn’t get the credit he deserves, but he is one of the best power hitters in the league, and he is having a great year at the plate overall. He is an impending free agent, so he probably won’t be as expensive to acquire. He does project to be a Type-A free agent meaning any team would receive two picks for him if he left this offseason, which does increase his value. Dunn has a played the outfield in the past, but he has seemingly found his home at first base, and should be viewed strictly as a 1B/DH. It’s not a 100% certain the Nats make him available (they are talking extension), but if they do he will greatly improve one team’s pennant race aspirations.
3. OF Jayson Werth- Werth is an odd name to be on the list since the Phillies are in the middle of a playoff race, but they have their top prospect Dominic Brown waiting in the wings and could use Werth to acquire a top pitcher. Philly knows Werth will be playing somewhere else next season, so if they can get a return that can help them this year they may pull the trigger. The only problem is Brown would need to produce from day one, and that plan could easily backfire. I think it is far from certain that Werth is dealt, but the possibility is there.
4. OF Josh Willingham- Willingham has one more year of arbitration after this season, and will probably get something in the $8-10 million range. Considering he has just over $2 million left on his contract this year, and he is in the midst of a career year that’s a pretty good price to pay. Willingham is about a .280-25-90 guy, but has shown some flashes of improving on those numbers. His defense has also been much better this season, making him a good buy for N.L. teams as well. It still remains to be seen in the Nationals will trade him, but it is likely in their best long term interest to move him while his stock is so high.
5. OF Corey Hart- Hart is in the midst of a career season and is the only All-Star on the list, but is ranked below the others because his production screams of a fluke. It’s not to say that Hart doesn’t have value, but his 22 home runs and .928 OPS seems unsustainable. Especially for next year, Hart’s last under team control. The past two season’s Hart’s OPS has been in the .750’s, which puts his numbers this year in serious question. Hart does have value, and I get why the Brewers want to sell high, but he comes with a buyer beware tag.