I’d previously discussed seven players teams should consider grabbing before the MLB trade deadline and hinted at several teams who’d be major players during the next six weeks. However, MLB seasons and Midwestern weather share one common trait: What you experienced yesterday shouldn’t be expected to happen today. With massive minor league promotions and demotions happening over the last several weeks, including the call-up of highly-touted prospect Byron Buxton, it’s pretty obvious which teams will probably make the strongest MLB trade deadline push.
Los Angeles Dodgers
More A-list talent sits on the bench in L.A. than most teams have on the field every day. However, with two solid starters and several maybe’s, Los Angeles will focus on starting pitchers close to their free agency campaign, namely Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels. Hitting isn’t problematic, so when Los Angeles is active during the MLB trade deadline balderdash, it will be strictly for starting pitchers and perhaps long relievers.
Chalk up either Los Angeles or San Francisco for one wildcard spot, Chicago for the second. If Theo and Jed are serious about giving Maddon something to work with, they’ll shop Starlin Castro around for someone more reliable in that position, or move Addison Russell over to SS and concentrate on getting that workhorse starter who could give Pedro Strop and James Russell some down time. As we know David Price won’t move until the postseason pandemonium is over, expect the Cubs’ scouting team all over Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Arizona.
New York Yankees
Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller form the most dangerous game clinching duo in the AL, period. Productive hitting and starting pitching are immediate needs in the Bronx, so expect Yanks execs to bang the phones (if they haven’t started already) since they’re positioned nicely in the East, good for no less than Wild Card #2. Bring Odrisamer Despaigne into Yankee Stadium and watch his career takeoff, perhaps even grab Taijuan Walker before his arm becomes an epic fail in Seattle. Maybe it’s time New York goes back down the Robinson Cano path?
St. Louis Cardinals
Losing Adam Wainwright undoubtedly hurt, but with a comfortable six-game lead in the Central, it’s time to add some insurance despite the Cardinals’ sustained pitching group. Even if St. Louis isn’t prepared to commit long-term, renting the services of some B-grade starter may be just enough to push the I-70 powerhouse back into the World Series. Think Josh Collmenter, Scott Kazmir or Jerome Williams.
This season is about redemption for such ridiculous mistakes as not keeping Nelson Cruz or spending too much for the now ruined Yu Darvish. Hitting is pretty stellar, but starting pitching could be problematic (as with most teams). Texas will run neck-and-neck with Los Angeles to add Grade-A pitching to their high ERA staff of youngsters. Should any bats get added to the Rangers’ nucleus, expect high-average guys similar to Troy Tulowitzki or CarGo to draw serious attention.
As the MLB trade deadline nears, the Inquisitr will have more information including rumors, trades and all the hype.
[Photo by Jared Wickerham / Getty Images]