Teams looking to boost lineup have options on trade market
By ROB MAADDI
AP Sports Writer
Teams looking to boost their offense have plenty of options on the trade market.
Need a slugger? The NL East has a few.
Need a catcher? A two-time All-Star could be on the move again.
Veterans, role players, pinch-hitters are all available at the right price before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
The American League should have more buyers because no team is worse than 7 1/2 games behind in the wild-card standings.
Expect more National League teams to sell since only five clubs have a winning record.
Here are 11 hitters who could be switching teams before the end of the month:
Jay Bruce, New York Mets, RF: Bruce is hitting .265 with 23 homers and 59 RBIs and is in the final season of a seven-year, $63 million contract. The Mets acquired Bruce last July and tried to move him in the offseason. The three-time All-Star is a high-priced rental, but he could carry an offense for long stretches when he’s hot.
Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates, OF: McCutchen has bounced back nicely after a subpar year and is hitting .295 with 17 homers and 50 RBIs. He’s in the final season of a six-year, $51.5 million contract, though the Pirates hold a $14.5 million option for next season. He’s only 30 and could anchor the middle of a team’s lineup.
J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers, RF: Martinez is a costly rental because he’ll be a free agent after the season, but the power hitter could improve any lineup down the stretch. He’s batting .298 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 5 games.