As the Trade Deadline Looms: Bats on the Bubble
Wilson Betemit, 3B, Royals
An underrated hitter who blasted 13 home runs with a .297 average last year in part-time duty, Betemit is struggling a bit this season, perhaps frustrated by the fact that he is not an everyday player. At 29 years old, Betemit can provide instant offense to a competitor. There’s no room in Kansas City for him with rookie Mike Moustakas on the roster.
Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets
One of the most sought after sluggers on the market, Carlos Beltran is having a heck of a season with 13 home runs and 58 RBI. He could end up being a difference maker in San Francisco, where they are desperate for offense. His numbers, however, will spike if he ends up with the Texas Rangers in a very favorable ballpark plus a stacked lineup, very different than what we’ve seen in New York.
Aramis Ramirez, 3B, Cubs
After a sensational June, Ramirez is having an even better July with five home runs and 11 RBI through 10 games. He does have some leverage, as he can veto some trades, but it would strange for a slugger now 33 years old to reject a trade to a contender. After all, the Cubs are way out of contention once again.
Jose Reyes, SS, Mets
He is the NL MVP who is bound to make his fortune this off-season, but yet again, the one thing that can slow him down has done exactly that: a hamstring injury. Reyes should return in the coming weeks, and maybe it’s just optimism, but I think the move to shed the salary of K-Rod was done with full intentions of using that money on Reyes. On the other hand, if the Mets get a sense that Reyes will not re-sign, he will be the biggest name moved by the deadline.
JJ Hardy, SS, Orioles
Now on his third team in three seasons, it is possible that JJ Hardy may find a fourth if he cannot come to terms with the Orioles for an extension. The 28-year-old Arizona native is having a solid season with 13 home runs and a .278 average. He has also offered the team a lift defensively. Again, Hardy will only get traded if the O’s don’t lock him up to an extension.
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