“Trade Deadline Day–Make or Break Time”
They’re on the clock, the teams trying to make their season, or save their season.
The baseball trading deadline is 1pm on Wednesday, and the dominoes have started to fall in baseball, with the July 31st trading deadline straight ahead.
Deals at the deadline have become part of baseball lore, but this is a different time in baseball. This year, there is just one deadline, Wednesday. After that teams can no longer make trades, different than years gone by, where you could put players on waivers in August, and trade them to another team if they cleared waivers. Not part of the game now.
There are sellers, and there are buyers, team that are in a pennant race and those falling out of the race.
Teams are always in need of pitching, so there will be moves to rent starters, about to become free agents, or deal for relievers who can make a difference. There will be teams dumping bad contracts in return for a bunch of prospects.
Out of the pennant race, in last place, no problem, move an arm and get young players in return so today’s bad team might be better next year.
The New York market is the focal point of all things baseball right now. The Yankees, with all those bats, but with a horrid starting rotation (7.09-ERA) since the end of June. A deep farm system, they will be a buyer, trying to stay infront of the Red Sox and Rays in the AL-East and be ready for the postseason.
The other team in town, the Mets, made the first big acquisition of the deadline, getting frontline starter Marcus Stroman from Toronto for a package of players, including 2-top pitching prospects. The Blue Jays future is down the road..
The Mets could likely make the second big deal of the final hours, shopping frontline starter Noah Syndegaard for hot prospects, though it is stunning you’d want to subtract his talent. The Mets won’t play in October this year, but think about a rotation of Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, plus Syndegaard-Stroman Why would you break that up? And though closer Edwin Diaz has not been the dominant pitcher of a year ago, why move him too?.
The Padres, Angels, Houston, could all be in the mix for Syndegaard. Diaz could be a Dodger, if teams are willing to overpay.
The Giants, in the midst of an amazing hot stretch, 18-wins in 24-games, are listening to offers for ace Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith. But San Francisco has made itself a wild card team, so why give it up now. They haven’t signed Bumgarner to an extension though, so who knows what they are thinking.
Arizona is shopping big money pitcher Zach Grienke, but no one wants that contract, but will take a run at younger starter Robbie Ray. The D-Backs look like they are in strip down mode. Atlanta might be where Roy goes.
Cleveland is hot, and chasing down Minnesota in the pennant race, but is considering moving Trevor Bauer in an ever-continuing move to pare payroll. Closer Brad Hand could be on the move again.
Pittsburgh, which doesn’t have much talent, is shopping its closer Felipe Vasquez, but wants a truckload of talent. The Dodgers are interested there too.
Texas is shopping left-hander Mike Minor, and maybe his value helps Houston or even the Angels.
The Tigers headed for a 100-loss season, are willing to move starter Matt Boyd and closer Shane Green, but want multiples of players in return. Tampa Bay is interested.
.The Padres have closer Kirby Yates and teams are calling, but why would San Diego create a hole of massive proportions in the bullpen, if they hope to have all these young pitchers as part of a playoff team next year?.
There have been great baseball trades at the deadline that made a big difference for franchises in the pennant race.
In recent years, the Indians sending pitcher CC Sabathia to Milwaukee, to get them the pennant.
Manny Ramirez from the Red Sox to the Dodgers created a huge uproar.
Randy Johnson went to the Houston Astros and got them to the World Series.
Curt Shilling wound up a Diamondback and headed to a World Series too.
But there have been failures.
Back in the day, the Red Sox dealt a prospect, Jeff Bagwell to Houston for pitcher Larry Anderson. Bagwell became a Hall of Fame star for the Astros. Anderson became a journeyman.
Atlanta wanted a minor league pitcher, and was willing to give up a veteran starter. Doyle Alexander, at the end of his career, went to Detroit. We all know what John Smoltz became in Atlanta.
Toronto shipped an aging David Cone, who wasn’t done, as he pitched the Yankees to a World Series.
Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop both wound up with the Cubs while Baltimore got Scott Feldman. Look where the Cubs are, what the Orioles have become.
The next 3-days become ‘Risk & Reward” time in baseball, for pennant contenders.
Here comes the trading deadline. There go the pitchers and the prospects.