Earlier this morning, I reset the Cubs roster relative to the trade market, and what might be coming down the pike. Naturally as part of that, there are a number of Cubs relievers who might pop up in trade discussions, from the obvious to the less obvious.
What I neglected to point out, and what Ken Rosenthal reminded us all of this morning, is that the reliever market gets flooded at the last minute EVERY year. After explicitly noting that the market is again “flooded” with relievers this year in connection to his Cubs section, Rosenthal writes separately this about relievers in general:
A number already have been traded (Chafin to the A’s, Clay Holmes to the Yankees, Mychal Givens to the Reds; Kendall Graveman and Yimi García to the Astros). One of the best available, Twins lefty Taylor Rogers, went on the injured list Tuesday with a left middle finger sprain that effectively took him off the market. But given the supply — and the demand — one exec joked that approximately 43 bullpen arms might be moved in the final hours.
Among those being discussed, non-Kimbrel division (this is by no means a complete list): The Rangers’ Ian Kennedy; the Marlins’ Richard Bleier; the Diamondbacks’ Joakim Soria; the Rockies’ Daniel Bard; the Twins’ Alex Colomé and Hansel Robles; the Pirates’ Richard Rodríguez, Chris Stratton and David Bednar; the Orioles’ Paul Fry and Tanner Scott; the Nationals’ Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson.
A few things should jump out at you: (1) There are so many names that you weren’t necessarily thinking about yet, (2) Ryan Tepera (let alone any other non-closing Cubs) isn’t even mentioned; and (3) Craig Kimbrel is expressly in a tier of his own, because obviously.
That is all to say, it’s easy enough to say what Tepera should generate in trade, but when there are SO MANY options out there, a team may very well decide they want Tepera-lite for a lower price.
Keep in mind, though: there is no August waiver trade period this year. Tomorrow’s Trade Deadline is a HARD DEADLINE for trading anyone on the 40-man roster. So it’s possible that pushes teams to make sure they get that one extra relief arm by tomorrow, and that might mean more Cubs relievers – aside from Kimbrel and Tepera – are dealt, even if surprisingly in a flooded market.
One last thing to remember as we sort through deals: a reliever’s season numbers are going to be potentially VERY misleading this year. You basically have to analyze before and after early June (sticky stuff announcement and then enforcement) to see if there are any STARK drops in spin rate AND corresponding rough patches in performance (Richard Rodriguez is a particularly serious example that no one seems to be talking about – his spin rates fell off a cliff, and his results went to crap, all after being considered a top option before June). That has not been an issue with at least Kimbrel and Tepera. Just sayin’.