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Teams may target these under-radar starters

Rumors focus on deGrom and Hamels, but other options are available
MLB.com @RichardJustice

You're likely to be reading a lot about Jacob deGrom over the next few weeks. Will the Mets trade him? Sure, they've said they're willing to consider anything, but that's a far cry from pulling the trigger on dealing a 30-year-old ace. In a trade market woefully thin on starting pitching, deGrom is the most intriguing name.

Can you envision him pitching for the Yankees, and what his arrival would mean for the postseason? Think Justin Verlander 2.0. Whether deGrom is dealt or not, it's a great topic for discussion.

You're likely to be reading a lot about Jacob deGrom over the next few weeks. Will the Mets trade him? Sure, they've said they're willing to consider anything, but that's a far cry from pulling the trigger on dealing a 30-year-old ace. In a trade market woefully thin on starting pitching, deGrom is the most intriguing name.

Can you envision him pitching for the Yankees, and what his arrival would mean for the postseason? Think Justin Verlander 2.0. Whether deGrom is dealt or not, it's a great topic for discussion.

You're also going to be hearing a lot about two left-handers -- Cole Hamels of the Rangers and J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays. Both are being shopped, both are almost certain to be traded.

Run your finger down the list of contenders. They would make a long list of teams better: Dodgers, Nationals, Phillies, etc. You get the picture. It's a seller's market whether deGrom is traded or not.

What about some under-the-radar pickups? Not bargains exactly -- there may not be any of those -- but smart pickups who aren't being discussed, but who still could have a significant impact on the postseason races.

Here are 10 names to keep in mind.

1. Tyson Ross, Padres
He's going to end up being a hot commodity. First, there's the salary: less than $1 million remaining on a $1.175 million deal. Second, he has been healthy. As for everything else, he's good enough to make a significant impact on a playoff run: 3.32 ERA, 1.189 WHIP and 119 ERA+ in 16 starts.
Potential fit: Mariners, Dodgers

2. Ivan Nova, Pirates
He has been excellent the last month (1.75 ERA) and is averaging more than six innings a start. His fastball still hits 93-94 mph with a workable curve and change. Salary? No problem there, either, with around $4.5 million left on his contract.
Potential fit: Brewers, Braves

Video: ARI@PIT: Nova K's 8 over 8 shutout frames vs. D-backs

3. Clayton Richard, Padres
He's 34 years old and has about $1.5 million remaining on his contract. For that, you get a guy who has averaged almost seven innings a start with a 3.27 ERA the last two months. He's not unlike former Padres teammate Wade LeBlanc, in that what he lacks in velocity, he makes up for in control and changing speeds.
Potential fit: Giants, Angels

4. Marco Estrada, Blue Jays
Another smart veteran with a team-friendly contract (around $6 million remaining). He has a 2.35 ERA in five June starts and has failed to finish six innings just once in that span, against the relentless Astros offense.
Potential fit: Yankees

Video: TOR@LAA: Estrada K's 7 over 7 innings of 2-run ball

5. Mike Minor, Rangers
After a career rebirth out of the bullpen in Kansas City in 2017, the Rangers gave him a three-year, $28 million deal to return to the rotation. He has a solid 1.172 WHIP and a 4.16 FIP. His ERA+ is 97 (slightly below league average). This month has been his best: 2.08 ERA in five starts while averaging 6 1/2 innings per turn.
Potential fit: Braves

6. Matt Harvey, Reds
How about Harvey to the Yankees? Wouldn't that be fun? OK, we kid. That's not going to happen because we're still not sure where Harvey is in his comeback. That's the gamble. He has the stuff to succeed, especially now that he has dropped his curve and leans on a fastball-slider combination. He has strung together three decent starts in a row, offering plenty of hope that he can still contribute at a high level.
Potential fit: D-backs

7. James Shields, White Sox
He was once a guy virtually every contender coveted. At 36, he's not that guy anymore. But he competes relentlessly and will get your team into the seventh and eighth inning with a chance to win. He has a respectable 3.59 ERA the last two months. Remove two tough starts, and the number is 2.60. For the remaining $5 million or so on his 2018 contract, he could be a bargain.
Potential fit: Phillies

8. Zack Wheeler, Mets
One theory is that the Mets are listening to offers for deGrom and Noah Syndergaard to start a conversation about Wheeler. If that's the case, he might be the most intriguing player traded other than, well, that certain former teammate (Harvey). He has touched 99 mph this season. He is healthy. He's also wildly inconsistent: either very, very good or not so good. He's also only 28 years old and still a year away from free agency. In other words, worth a gamble.
Potential fit: Dodgers

Video: PIT@NYM: Wheeler tosses 7 shutout innings vs. Pirates

9. Nathan Eovaldi, Rays
He's 28 years old, has undergone two Tommy John surgeries and is six starts into his latest comeback. He's also throwing 97 mph consistently again and has added a cutter that is potentially a career-changing pitch. Two numbers stand out: 0.821 WHIP and eight home runs in 35 1/3 innings.
Potential fit: Nationals

10. Francisco Liriano, Tigers
He has reinvented himself again at 34, leaning more on a slider than ever before, now that his fastball barely ticks above 91 mph, at times. Six innings may be his limit for most starts these days. But his 3.94 ERA and 110 ERA+ are enough to improve a contender.
Potential fit: Giants

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.