With the Rangers 11 games behind the Mariners for the final wild card spot and 20.5 games behind the A's for first in the AL West, they will be sellers as the trade deadline rapidly approaches. And the shiniest model on the Rangers' sales floor may be reliever Joakim Soria.
The two-time All-Star seemingly has half the AL teams currently in playoff contention interested in his services, according to Fox Sports' Jon Morosi.
Soria has been a bright spot in an otherwise dim year for the Rangers, posting a 2.76 ERA, 0.818 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 29 innings so far this season. Considering the Blue Jays, Tigers and Angels boast three of the six worst bullpens by ERA in either league, it's likely the Rangers could get a great deal in return for the 30-year-old reliever.
Arizona's long list of untouchables
According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Diamondbacks are making clear that while they are sellers, there will not be a fire sale in Phoenix this year.
The players deemed by Rosenthal's sources within the organization as "untouchable" included Wade Miley and Paul Goldschmidt, with a number of other majors leaguers like Brad Ziegler, Patrick Corbin, Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock and minor league prospects Braden Shipley and Archie Bradley rounding out the quarantined part of the roster. Mark Trumbo, recently acquired from the Angels in a three-team trade involving the White Sox, also appears to be off the trading block, or at least not involved in a previously-rumored trade, according to Rosenthal's Twitter.
Perhaps most important was Rosenthal's final tweet regarding the situation in Arizona:
One thing to keep in mind with ANY player who is deemed untouchable; a team’s plans are subject to change if someone makes knockout offer.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 11, 2014
The poor Mariners
This is because of Byrd's four-team no-trade list, which includes the M's, the Royals, the Rays and the Jays. And the only people less happy about that than the Mariners seem to be Philadelphia-area baseball writers, like the Philadelphia Daily News' Daniel Murphy:
So a four-team no-trade clause was really necessary to get Marlon Byrd to sign that two-year deal? That was a dealbreaker?— David Murphy (@ByDavidMurphy) July 11, 2014