The Chiefs and the Trade Deadline, Part 1

The Chiefs and the Trade Deadline, Part 1

It’s that Fleetwood Mac-esque time of the year again…when rumors fly left and right and the trade winds pick up.  Everyone’s concerned with what their favorite major league team will do – but what of the clubs down below?  Let’s take a look at how some rumored wheelings and dealings could affect Syracuse:

*Ian Desmond

The skinny: They’re shopping him, they’re not shopping him.  They’re actively trying to trade him, he’s part of the core.  It seems like there are two conflicting schools of thought around Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond these days, and nobody’s 100% sure what to believe.  But multiple reports have cited interest from other teams regarding Desmond.

The stats: The Nats’ starting shortstop is at .226 with 3 home runs and 20 extra-base hits in 94 games.  It’s been a tough year at the plate for Desmond, whose OPS (on-base plus slugging) is 37 percent worse than a league average hitter.

The Syracuse impact: If Desmond was to go, the likely move up would be Steve Lombardozzi.  In just 32 Triple-A games, Lombo’s at .343 with 14 multi-hit games and 9 three-hit games.  IL All-Star Matt Antonelli could also be a possibility to move.  Neither Lombardozzi nor Antonelli is currently on the 40-man roster, but a trade of Desmond would leave an open spot.  One more note: a Lombardozzi call up would likely bump Danny Espinosa to shortstop.

*Tyler Clippard

The skinny: The Nationals’ lone All-Star, Clippard has had a career year in 2011.  There’s certainly not a team in the league that couldn’t find a spot for Clippard in their bullpen – but that, of course, includes Washington.  Odds are the Nats would need to be blown away to let go of Clippard, but his name’s popped up at times.

The stats: Clippard’s 1-0 with a 1.73 ERA in 45 games.  He’s allowed just 28 hits in 57.1 innings – that’s less than a hit per every TWO innings – and struck out 72.  Those are astronomical numbers – which means the price on Clippard would also be astronomical.

The Syracuse impact: Collin Balester’s already bounced back and forth between the Nats and Chiefs a few times this year.  He’s already on the 40-man roster and would almost surely be the next reliever up.  The only other reliever on the 40-man is left-hander Atahualpa Severino, who’d probably only go up if a left-hander was injured or sent down.  Josh Wilkie’s had the best full year of any Syracuse reliever, but a 40-man spot would need to be cleared for him.

*Jason Marquis

The skinny: The Nationals suddenly find themselves with 6 starters for 5 spots with Chien-Ming Wang’s impending return to the major leagues.  Wang’s currently taking Tom Gorzelanny’s spot and bumping Gorzelanny to the bullpen as a short-term solution.  In the long term?  Marquis is a free agent after this season and the Nationals won’t receive any compensation if he leaves after the year, making him a logical candidate to at least have his name tossed around in rumors.

The stats: At age 32, Marquis is enjoying one of his best seasons.  He’s 8-5 with a 3.95 ERA in 20 starts.  However, he’s allowed 132 hits in 120.2 innings and only struck out 71.  He also has a career 4.52 ERA, so this could be a case of selling Marquis when his value’s at a high point.

The Syracuse impact: Minimal, likely.  Wang’s scheduled to start on Friday for the Nationals, which means Washington would need to send a player down to Syracuse anyway.  That could be Ross Detwiler, whose long reliever spot seems like it’s going to Tom Gorzelanny soon.  If Marquis is traded and the Nats need a pitcher back, they’d likely move Gorzelanny back into the rotation and recall Detwiler or Balester.

Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at potential trade targets for the Nats, where they’d fit in with Washington, and the trickle-down effect it could cause for the Chiefs.  Please feel free to shoot over any story ideas or thoughts – kevinbrown@syracusechiefs.com is the address.

Kevin

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