For how bad the Orioles have been, they actually have some good assets that could be available in a trade. Mychal Givens still has something in him, and Trey Mancini, should he be dealt, should command a pretty penny.
The Orioles are in no rush to deal Mancini, who is under team control until 2022. He’s also been one of the hottest hitters in baseball the past week, going 9-29 with a wRC+ of 254. Should Mancini get dealt, the Orioles are looking to get back a package consisting of at least one of the top prospects in baseball, and there aren’t many teams that will be willing to give that up for a guy with only 1.5 good years under his belt.
The same goes for Givens, who is under control through 2021. Baltimore could sell both and have one of baseball’s best farm systems, complete with future star Adley Rutschman, but they could also bet on both guys and revisit this in the offseason. I’m guessing they go with the ladder.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox have had a 21st birthday party in Vegas type of hangover this year, and are ten games out of the division lead to show for it. They are definitely still in the Wild Card hunt though, only two games back there, so they aren’t going to sell unless they lose every single game the rest of the month.
They need bullpen help very badly. The Nationals bullpen laughs at how bad Boston’s has been, which says all you need to know about this bullpen. Contrary to a lot of people, I still believe they should be all-in on adding the massive bullpen names, even if it means playing for the Wild Card game. Sure, the Yankees are good, but in a five game series, the Red Sox are going to, at the very least, make them work for a victory. Go for it.
Chicago White Sox
One year away.
This team is going to be so good in a couple years, and will realistically be division contenders in 2020. However, 2019 is not their year, and it should be looked upon now as the last season as sellers.
The huge name here is Jose Abreu, but I would be stunned if he is traded. GM Rick Hahn sees Abreu as the South Side version of Anthony Rizzo, a player who paid his dues during the bad years to become a team leader in the good ones. He is a free agent this offseason, but there isn’t any indication he will leave Chicago then.
Their biggest name who is probably gone is Alex Colome. Colome does have one year of arbitration remaining, but given Jerry Reinsdorf’s historical reluctance to spend money (*cough* Manny Machado *cough*), he may not even be tendered. As is, he is probably gone at the deadline for a hefty return.
Larry Dolan does not deserve a baseball team. The Indians are good, having won the pennant just two years ago, and instead of adding talent, they have seemed content trying to blow it up.
Corey Kluber was almost traded to San Diego this past winter. That didn’t happen, he got hurt, and now Trevor Bauer is seemingly on the trade block. On one hand, I understand wanting to move a guy who has publicly said he will never sign a long-term deal. However, when you are sitting in the first Wild Card spot, just three games out of the division, trading a top-level arm should never be in your mind.
The Indians should be filling massive lineup holes, which they have almost everywhere, with cheap assets, something more than doable. However, I have zero faith in this organization and they are almost certainly going to mess this up. Hey, at least they came within one swing of the bat a couple years ago, because Cleveland is staring down the gun of another 70 years of irrelevance.
Perhaps more than any American League team, my eyes are peeled on just who Al Avila decides to sell.
Nicholas Castellanos is almost certainly gone. A rental who has been open about how much he hates the outfield dimensions of Comerica Park, it’s very tough to see any possibility he is a Tiger beyond 2019. For that same reason, it’s tough to see a return for Castellanos being anything close to what Tigers fans think it should be. And by that, I mean it will not be anywhere near Ian Happ.
As for the other key pieces, Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene, they may not be dealt. Reports are that Avila wants a “Quintana-like” return for Boyd, and asked the Nats for Carter Kieboom in exchange for Greene. Neither of things are happening.
Boyd has the same control Quintana did, but Quintana was one of baseball’s best pitchers back in 2017. Boyd’s been really good, he hasn’t been Quintana good. Another complication with Boyd is that he doesn’t have a set contract, and arbitration is going to make him really expensive should a team get what they would expect if they traded for him. That wasn’t the case with Quintana.
Greene has the lowest ERA in baseball right now, the peripherals are screaming that won’t last. He will command a pretty good return, better than Colome on the same control, but it’s not anywhere close to a Kieboom level of value. Should he be packaged with Castellanos, you are maybe looking at Drew Waters or Nico Hoerner, though that would mean a pretty heavy bidding war occurred before that.
Best team in baseball? Maybe. However, just like every contender at the deadline, they should be adding bullpen help.
Who? I’m not exactly sure. And they probably don’t either. But it won’t be someone too expensive. Given his curveball is already the spinningest (yes, that’s totally a word now) pitch in baseball, Seth Lugo would be an ideal target. Josh James, a fireballing youngster, is one guy rumored to be going the other way in any potential trade, due to the overabundance of guys like that in the organization.
Kansas City Royals
Dayton Moore reportedly wants three MLB players for Whit Merrifield. In other words, Dayton Moore needs to get better at his job. The Royals aren’t winning any time soon, so what logic is there to get guys who are currently in the majors? Either you don’t trust your player development, in which case that needs to change, or you are just clueless.
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Merrifield isn’t getting dealt because no contender wants to tear apart their major league roster to get him. Moore already traded away both Homer Bailey and Martin Maldonado, and unless he is willing to eat a portion of Ian Kennedy’s contract, there’s a possibility that is all.
Billy Hamilton does have some value to a contender, given his speed and defensive chops, but it’s probably not going to be a big return. The same can be said about Jorge Soler and his light tower power.
Los Angeles Angels
Nothing to see here, move along.
The only thing to note is the possibility that Kole Calhoun can be traded, and that still is very up in the air at this point. I’m willing to guess they do make a minor trade, either buying or selling for a non-prospect, but this will not be a memorable deadline in Anaheim.
The best story in baseball. Minnesota has been so much fun to watch this year, smoking baseballs all over the park to the tune of a (relatively meager) three game division lead. Any team with this type of power can never be counted out in a playoff series, but their pitching, specifically the bullpen, isn’t anything to write home about.
Many have speculated that the Twins could be interested in Toronto’s Ken Giles, and that seems to make a lot of sense given their needs. So would any of the controllable late-inning relievers available, such as Colome or Greene. As for the return? Former Oregon State product Trevor Larnach seems to match up in value better than anyone else does.
New York Yankees
Perhaps the only contender ever that doesn’t need to add to their bullpen, the Yankees lineup isn’t going to really get better either. The only thing stopping them from being the undisputed best team in baseball is their starting rotation, and boy has that been *bad*.
The ironic part is that they could use a guy like Sonny Gray to spark their rotation. He’s the all-star with a low acquisition cost. However, just imagine the callers into Mike Francesa’s show if that happens. Just that reason alone makes it not worth the deal.
Marcus Stroman is the cream of the crop here, but it’s tough to imagine Toronto moving him to the Bronx without getting either Estevan Florial or Deivi Garcia in return, and the Yanks may not want to do that (which is the incorrect mentality.) My guess? It’s going to be a rental. Zach Wheeler makes the most sense, but then the Mets are making a trade with the Yankees, and Francesa’s callers may be even more insufferable.
The A’s already added to their rotation, getting Homer Bailey from Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. That being said, they shouldn’t be done.
Oakland’s main trade deadline additions should come from within the organization, with both Sean Manaea and Stephen Piscotty approaching returns from injury. That’s not to say they shouldn’t look to upgrade weak points outside the organization, but giving up top prospects to do so may not be in their best interest. The Reds seem to be an ideal trade partner, with both Alex Wood and Tanner Roark seemingly available.
I don’t know who is going to get traded, or for what, but it is very safe to say Jerry Dipoto will make at least five trades before July 31. I feel very confident in saying that.
As for the big fish, Mitch Haniger, he probably stays put. He’s coming off of a long-term injury, plus the Mariners are not going to come anywhere close to just giving him away. Does the potential prospect loss justify the potential of getting a broken Haniger in return. In my eyes? No. I don’t see any GM giving up anywhere close to what it will require to get him.
Tampa Bay Rays
Just read the Red Sox section again. Virtually the same record and playoff position (that tends to happen when you have similar records and play in the same division), same glaring need. The Rays think this team is good enough. They aren’t going to sell. Expect those two teams, along with the Dodgers and the Braves, to be on the same types of rental arms until the deadline.
Just two weeks ago the Rangers were probably buyers. Now? Tear it apart.
All their expiring contracts will probably be gone. Logan Forsythe, who is having a really good year, is going to be headed to a team that needs a bench bat who can play all over the place, including shortstop. The Cubs seem to be an obvious fit for Forsythe, and those teams have made a ton of trades recently (including two at this time last year).
Hunter Pence, who was an all-star this year, will be headed to a team that needs a depth OF. This can be said of almost every team in baseball right now, so there isn’t an obvious perfect fit, but Pence should command a good return. Shawn Kelley, who has gotten a lot of saves for them, is currently hurt, but makes a ton of sense for contending teams like Boston or Minnesota who just needs quality arms in the pen.
Then there’s the issue of Mike Minor and Lance Lynn. Both have been way better than expected this year, and both are under control for at least another year (two for Lynn.) I think the Yankees, should they choose to not pursue only rentals, are the obvious fit here, but the prospects may not match up unless Brian Cashman really hates Clint Frazier.
Toronto Blue Jays
Will they or won’t they deal their franchise player? Perhaps no team faces this question more than the Blue Jays, who have to deal with the conundrum of potentially trading Marcus Stroman. Barring something unpredictable, Stroman will be dealt, along with relief stalwart Ken Giles.
As to where? The leading guess right now for Stroman is probably San Diego. Not only do they need starters, but they need guys under control. They also have a GM who loves to make big moves, and a farm system which allows it. Atlanta also makes a ton of sense for Stroman, though Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal have both reported that there haven’t been discussions about this.
Those same teams make sense for Giles, as do the Dodgers, who have a really good expendable prospect catcher in Keibert Ruiz. If I had to guess, and this is truly just a guess, the Dodgers end up with Giles.