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Free agency rule means baseball trades rise before July 31

Baseball's new CBA means teams have incentive to trade players before they become free agents.

July 14, 2012|By Phil Rogers
  • Minnesota's Francisco Liriano, who could become a free agent after this season, has garnered quite a bit of interest for a possible trade before the July 31 deadline.
Minnesota's Francisco Liriano, who could become a free agent after… (Marlin Levison / Minneapolis…)

Baseball's new collective bargaining agreement eliminates compensation for teams that lose top free agents, and that could lead to an increase in trades made at the July 31 deadline. "The compensation [change] is big," Minnesota Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "There was no harm in keeping a guy if you think you are going to get compensation. Now that's a more difficult scenario. I would say people would be more apt to find places for those kind of players." … The Twins, who know their future hinges on building a competitive rotation, could trade left-hander Francisco Liriano, closer Matt Capps, center fielder Denard Span or even should-have-been All-Star Josh Willingham. The New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Liriano, who had a 2.74 earned-run average in his last eight starts before the break. … Josh Hamilton continues to talk like a guy who will test the free-agent market in the fall. He could easily hit the market and then wind up back with the Texas Rangers, but keep an eye on Milwaukee and Toronto as possible destinations. Imagine how he'd look sandwiched between Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion or hitting next to Ryan Braun. … Because of Tyler Colvin's emergence as an everyday player, the Colorado Rockies will listen to offers for Michael Cuddyer, who has delivered as expected in the first season of his three-year deal. He could interest the Yankees, who will probably lose Nick Swisher after the season. … The Brewers are opening the second half against the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds and will use that stretch to decide whether to keep Zack Greinke. … With right-hander Felix Hernandez still an untouchable, the Seattle Mariners are shopping left-hander Jason Vargas for hitting. They pushed his first start of the second half back to Monday so it would be in Kansas City, not at home, in an attempt to show his statistics are not a function of the pitcher-friendly dimensions of Safeco Park, a concern of some scouts. … The Miami Marlins arranged their second-half rotation to have Carlos Zambrano sit out this week's series at Wrigley Field. He's scheduled to start Monday in Washington rather than pitching against his former Chicago Cubs teammates.

— Phil Rogers

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