The trade deadline is quickly approaching. We asked our experts to weigh in with their thoughts on three pitchers.
1. Felix Hernandez will be a member of ___________ on Aug. 1?
Richard Durrett (@espn_durrett), ESPN Dallas: Seattle Mariners. They can't just deal the best pitcher they've got at this point when he still has some years left on his contract. You keep Hernandez and hope you can build a little something around him in the coming years.
Hudson Belinsky (@hudsonbelinsky), Halos Daily: The Mariners. It would take a massive haul for someone to get their hands on King Felix, especially given that he's under team control through 2014. Seattle could have an outrageously awesome rotation by this time next year with three top pitching prospects in the upper minors (Taijuan Walker, Danny Hultzen and James Paxton), so trading Felix would be a bit premature.
Evan Brunell (@evanbrunell), Fire Brand of the AL: The Mariners. There's no reason for Seattle to trade its ace. Not only is Hernandez just 26, but he's locked up for two more seasons. The Mariners already traded one of their best young pitchers in Michael Pineda to get slugger (Jesus Montero), and Seattle is already expected to deal Jason Vargas. Seattle has been trying to build itself into a contender and has a couple more pitching arms on the way that could give the team a scary rotation as early as 2013.
2. Francisco Liriano will be a member of ___________ on Aug. 1?
Durrett: Boston Red Sox. They are poised to make a move and who couldn't use a starter this time of year? Boston is right in the thick of the wild-card race and could be active at the deadline.
Belinsky: The Red Sox. Bobby Valentine's rotation is desperately thin right now. Liriano's erratic nature makes him risky, but also drives down his trade value. Boston has the prospects to make a deal that could tickle the Twins' fancy, so this seems like a very possible avenue for both teams.
Brunell: The Baltimore Orioles. The O's have been searching high and low for pitching help in an attempt to stay afloat in the AL East and have been linked to virtually every name on the market. Liriano has the stuff to succeed in the AL East and won't require Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado as a return. Liriano is a far better gamble to take than someone like Jason Vargas.
3. Jonathan Broxton will be a member of ___________ on Aug. 1?
Durrett: New York Mets. My bet is you'll have a handful of teams interested, but I'll go with the Mets. They are still in the playoff race and their bullpen is a big mess. Broxton would sure help things.
Belinsky: The Mets. The Amazin's have stuck around all season long despite unimpressive bullpen performances. Frank Francisco isn't the type of closer to entrust with the ninth inning down the stretch, and a pitcher like Broxton could be a solution to that problem. Plus, fans can get excited over the team going for it, while general manager Sandy Alderson and company hang on to their top prospects.
Brunell: The Mets. It's no secret the team needs a closer, and Broxton might fit in perfectly. He would be a low-cost alternative to some other closers hitting the market and doesn't have an onerous contract pulling him down, allowing New York to retain financial flexibility. I also like the Giants getting Broxton, especially because he is familiar with the NL West. But will Royals GM Dayton Moore go back to his counterpart with the Giants, Brian Sabean, so quickly after the Melky Cabrera/Jonathan Sanchez fiasco?