Under-the-radar trade targets

Yunel Escobar, others could provide good return at low cost

Updated: July 27, 2012, 10:21 AM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
Yunel EscobarSteve Mitchell/US PresswireYunel Escobar could help a contender down the stretch.

This has already been an active week leading up to next Tuesday's trade deadline, with Hanley Ramirez, Ichiro Suzuki, Zack Greinke, and Ryan Dempster hogging the headlines. However, while the big names get all of the attention, there are going to be some under-the-radar moves made in the next four days that could provide significant upgrades for teams down the stretch. Here are four players who might not have the name value of the guys dominating the rumor mill, but could be impact pickups for teams in contention.

Yunel Escobar, SS, Toronto Blue Jays

Escobar hasn't hit well for the Blue Jays this year, slumping to just a .250/.299/.342 line that adds up to just a .283 weighted on-base average (wOBA), but he could still be a major upgrade for several teams in the race. His career history suggests that he's got more offense in his bat than he's shown the last few months, as his career line of .285/.357/.393 is actually quite good for a shortstop, and ultimate zone rating (UZR) has rated him as an above-average defender at the position every year since 2008. A strong finish to the year is certainly possible, but even without a huge rebound, Escobar could still represent a vast improvement for both Bay Area teams. The Giants are currently leaning on Brandon Crawford and his .269 wOBA, while the A's have had to suffer through Cliff Pennington's .245 mark.


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