Prior to the David Lough trade, the Orioles had two players that could only hit effectively against left handed pitchers. Danny Valencia and Steve Pearce figured to be a part of a designated hitter and a left field platoon, respectively. However, trading Danny Valencia for David Lough gives Baltimore one less platoon player, and one more full-time player. Pearce will not be needed in the outfield anymore, at least not unless there's an injury. But, he presumably still could transition into Valencia's old role as the right handed complement to the designated hitter position. Obviously things can change, but signing Kendry Morales or trading for Billy Butler seems unlikely. As for now, Pearce needs to be paired with a left handed complement that can really only be found on the trade market, with the exception of Wilson Betemit and Chris Coghlan. Here are some expendable trade candidates thorough the MLB;The Better Fits
1. Brett Wallace- With Jonathan Singleton creeping to the majors, Matt Dominguez holding down third, the new presence of Jesus Guzman, and the continued presence of Chris Carter, it’s only a matter of time until Wallace is thrown out of Houston’s plans. The former first round pick is losing his chance to play with the Astros. Although failing expectations, he has managed to stay about average against right handers, hitting .249/.324/.413/.737 against them. That batting line comes with potential upside too.
2. Adam Lind- Lind’s name has bounced around as a trade candidate every once in a while this off-season, although it appears he has a role at first base and/or designated hitter. Anyway, Lind is one year away from free agency, and hits right handed pitching to an outstanding .286/.343/.508/.850.
3. Taylor Green- One of the Brewer’s underwhelming in-house options at first base, the left-handed corner infielder missed all of the 2013 season due to injury. With Juan Francisco, Hunter Morris, and Sean Halton to compete with, and no designated hitter position, Green may not have the chance to show off his bat in the majors. Although unproven and inexperienced in the majors, Green has hit to a .900 OPS
in the Pacific Coast League.
4.Andre Ethier- The Dodgers’ outfield has been prone to much trade speculation ever since Yasiel Puig’s emergence in the majors. Although Ethier contains a massive contract, Baltimore may not have to give up too much prospect wise if they were to eat the money. From statistics alone, Ethier seems like an identical copy of Nick Markakis, and is definitely the best player on this list.
5. Justin Smoak- Another former first round pick in Seattle on this list, Smoak’s role on the team has come into question with the new faces signing with Mariners. The center piece of Seattle’s 2010 Cliff Lee trade, Smoak has been unable to put it together at the major league level. Although his total batting line looks bad, keep in mind that Smoak hits better against right handed pitchers and hits better away from Safeco Park. Add that to the potential upside, and Baltimore may be looking at an expendable attractive piece.
6. Ike Davis- Subject to trade rumors all off-season, the Mets are clearly shopping Davis in favor of Lucas Duda. One of the better players on this list, Davis comes with significant potential upside, and has already shown the ability to hit right handed pitchers. The 26 year old contains a solid .256/.356/.471/.827 batting line against right handed pitchers. The Mets have stated that they want a return similar to that of the Marlins’ Logan Morrison trade, in which Seattle gave away young reliever Carter Capps.
7. Chris Parmelee- The former first round pick has failed to produce in Minnesota. The first baseman and corner outfielder appears to be running out of chances with the twins. His struggles can be partly due to his atrocious production against southpaws, as he has kept an average .252/.327/.410/.737 batting line against right handed pitchers.
8. Conor Gillaspie- The Whitesox seem to have found their third baseman for the present and future in the newly acquired Matt Davidson. With Jeff Keppinger’s continued presence, Paul Konerko’s return, and Jose Abreu’s entrance, Gillespie should be available. He hit a .261/.324/.414/.738 batting line against right handed pitching in 2013.The Imperfect Matches
1. Daric Barton- Although an on-base machine, Barton lacks in every other facet of his game. The first baseman has long been the odd-man out in Oakland, but may get a few at-bats at designated hitter, due to an outstanding September. However, even if Barton was available, he surprisingly hits left handed pitchers significantly better than he hits right handed pitchers. There isn't really a fit here.
2. Daniel Descalso- After watching Johnny Peralta and Mark Ellis sign with the Cardinals, Descalso may have seen any chance he had at semi-regular at-bats diminish. With the surplus of infielders in St. Louis, Descalso may be deemed available. This light-hitting flexible infielder is hits left handed pitching and right handed pitching nearly the same, so Descalso doesn’t really fill the specific hole.
3. Dustin Ackley- Seattle’s recent splurge into outside position player markets may have just booted the former first round pick out of the Mariner’s plans. The super utility may not be able to get consistent at-bats with Corey Hart, Logan Morrison, Robinson Cano, and Franklin Gutierrez added into the mix. Any team would love to have Ackley, but he fills a want rather than a need in Baltimore, as he hits left handed pitching and right handed pitching practically the same.
4. Mike Carp- Nearly putting up a .900 OPS in 2013 with the Redsox, Carp has bounced back from an ugly 2012. However, even after rejuvenating his career, it still appears Carp is not in line for regular at-bats in Boston, as he has David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava, and Jonny Gomes to compete with. Carp hits left handed pitchers slightly better than he hits right handed pitchers, so he isn’t the best economical choice.
5. Alejandro De Aza- Chicago’s acquisition of Adam Eaton most likely will make De Aza transition away from center field, at least for the Whitesox. Even if De Aza had a better split against right handed pitchers, he likely can just fill a corner outfield spot in the Windy City.
6. Marc Krauss- Likely an unknown to most fans around the league, Krauss debuted with the Astros in June of last year. Although failing to impress in the majors, the left handed hitting outfielder has been an on-base machine with power in the minors. Although he may begin the year in Oklahoma City, Krauss likely has a place in Houston’s future.