High-priced, established pitchers could be on the move soon


By ROB MAADDI - AP Sports Writer



From aces to closers, pitchers will be on the move this month.

Teams trying to make a push for the postseason are always looking to add new arms. There’s some big names available on the trade market who can make a difference in the starting rotation or bullpen.

Here’s 10 pitchers — five starters and five relievers — who could be changing uniforms before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline:

COLE HAMELS: The MVP of the 2008 World Series and NLCS has been through this before, going from the Phillies to the Rangers in July 2015. Hamels has a career-worst 4.36 ERA and he’s already allowed 21 homers but he’s a proven lefty who could benefit from pitching away from a hitter-friendly ballpark. Hamels has a 2.93 ERA in 10 starts on the road. Texas may have to eat some of his salary, however. His contract includes a team option for $20 million next year or a $6 million buyout. Hamels also has a no-trade clause for 20 teams.

J.A. HAPP: Another former Phillies lefty, Happ is in the final season of his contract with Toronto. He had three rough starts leading to his first All-Star appearance but has been a consistent starter in baseball’s toughest division for a few years. Happ is 10-6 with a 4.29 ERA and is averaging more than one strikeout per inning for the first time in his career in a season in which he’s pitched at least 100 innings.

MATT HARVEY: After rejuvenating his career in Cincinnati following his release from the Mets earlier this season, Harvey could find himself back in a pennant race. The righty is 5-3 with a 3.64 ERA in 12 starts.

JORDAN ZIMMERMANN: He’s 4-1 with a 3.79 ERA in 12 starts after an atrocious 2017 season. Zimmermann has the highest strikeout percentage of his career (23.6 percent) but he’s owed $50 million over the next two seasons so the Detroit Tigers might have to pay some of his salary to deal him.

NATHAN EOVALDI: Back on the mound after missing 2017 following Tommy John surgery, Eovaldi is 3-4 with a 4.59 ERA in nine starts for the Rays. The righty was roughed up in his final start before the All-Star break, but pitched well in his previous three starts and is only making $2 million this season so he’s a cheap option for budget-conscious teams.

ZACH BRITTON: The hard-throwing lefty had 120 saves between 2014-16 before injury cut his season short in 2017. He’s back healthy and hasn’t allowed a run in 13 of his 15 appearances. Britton is making $12 million this season and the Baltimore Orioles will have plenty of suitors.

BRAD HAND: The two-time All-Star, Hand is signed through 2020 with a team option for 2021 and will be one of the most pursued relievers. He has 24 saves with 65 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings and the San Diego Padres will be asking for a lot in return.

RAISEL IGLESIAS: The Reds have no urgency to move a 28-year-old closer who won’t become a free agent until 2022 but Iglesias can net solid prospects in a trade. He has 19 saves and a 2.36 ERA.

JOAKIM SORIA: After returning to closing, Soria is having his best season in his first year with the White Sox since 2015. He has 14 saves and a 2.75 ERA for a team that should be a seller.

KYLE BARRACLOUGH: He has a 1.28 ERA and nine saves for Miami in 44 appearances and is under team control for multiple years so the Marlins will get plenty of calls for the tough righty.

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By ROB MAADDI

AP Sports Writer