An Analysis Of The Trade Deadline
As the August 1st rapidly approaches and deals have already been done, let's take a look at some of the trade pieces and potential trade partners we might see in the next week. Starting Pitchers: Sonny Gray - Oakland A's Yu Darvish - Texas Rangers Both these starting pitchers are some of the best arms and the league. Because Gray doesn't have much of a future in Oakland due to the team being in a rebuilding phase, and Darvish being a free agent at the end of the year both teams are trying to ship their star pitchers. The sweepstakes for Gray has already begun with teams like the Astros, Yankees, and Cubs have already been in contact with the Athletics, but Darvish has been a little more confusing than that. Although Darvish is a free agent at the end of the year, the Rangers are still in a wild card race so if the Rangers are going to move Darvish it would have to be a very attractive offer from the other team. That is why I believe the big starting pitcher deal this deadline with be Sonny Gray being traded to the Houston Astros. The Astros are almost certainly going to the playoffs this year as they've already run away with the AL West and the one thing keeping them from a deep post season run is starting pitching depth. Gray seems like a shoe in for the 'Stros because pitching is the Astros number one problem, and because they have the prospect stockpile to interest the A's enough to make a deal. RHP: Pat Neshek - Philadelphia Phillies Several deals have already gone down for relief pitchers, so guys like David Robertson, David Phelps, and Ryan Madson are off the table. This means the only really big name left is Phillies side armed Pat Neshek. Neshek has been solid all year and is on a team that is stockpiling prospects so he's a prime piece to be moved. Many teams also are looking for a solid reliever so the Phillies are most likely going to move Neshek soon. I believe by the deadline Pat Neshek will have been traded to the Brewers. This year the Brewers are in first place and are looking to make a post season run, but they're still stockpiling their prospects to make a championship run in the future. Because of this I don't expect the Brewers to make a big move and that's why I think Neshek is the perfect pick for the Brew Crew. The Brewers are looking for one more bullpen arm and they have the means to get the sidearmer. This is why I think the Brewers will land Pat Neshek by the deadline. LHP: Zack Britton - Baltimore Orioles Brad Hand - San Diego Padres Justin Wilson - Detroit Tigers Even with Sean Doolittle off the market after his recent trade to the Nationals, there are still several solid lefties. After his great year last year Zach Britton has been in serval trade talks this year but it's very unlikely to see a move because of his club control and high value. Hand and Wilson however are prime trade targets for serval teams this year. Hand who was elected to the all-star game this year has been great out of the bullpen, and the Padres would enjoy the prospect return to prepare for the future. Wilson has also been solid this year for the Tigers and after the Tigers shipped J. D. Martinez they are in full sell mode. The hard throwing lefty would make a great fit for serval teams but I believe the deal that will go down will be the Yankees getting Brad Hand. The Yankees are in a strange spot right now where they have a big group of prospect, but one too big that protecting them from the rule 5 draft so they're open to trading, as seen in the deal the Yankees did with the White Sox earlier this week. This makes the Yankees a prime candidate to send one or two of their prospects to San Diego for a solid lefty in the bullpen to complement Aroldis Chapman. Catcher: Russel Martin - Toronto Blue Jays A move for a catcher this deadline is highly unlikely. All of the contending teams who are expected to make a splash at the deadline have a solid catcher, or are at least content with their current catching situation. This year there are also not a lot of catcher going into free agency making this a very week deadline season for catchers. I feel if a move will be made it will be a team trading for Russel Martin from the Blue Jays. Martin is aging and it looks like his best years won't be had in Toronto. A change of scenery could help Martin a lot, and although that contract is a lot, baring an injury a team like the Red Sox or the Diamondbacks could really use the Canadian backstop. There are no teams specifically scouting Martin, or shopping for a catcher but if a contending team's catcher goes down before the deadline look for Martin to be on the move. First Base: Eric Hosmer - Kansa City Royals Yonder Alonso - Oakland Athletics Lucas Duda - New York Mets This year there are a few good first baseman on the market, but I believe a blockbuster deal for one won't really happen this season. The big piece that could be moved this year is Eric Hosmer, and although he's a free agent this offseason the Royals are making a post season push so a deal for Hosmer is unlikely. Alonso is another big piece that could be moved, but contending teams aren't really looking for a big upgrade at first base this year. The only team in heavy pursuit of a third baseman was the Yankees but after acquiring Todd Frazier the Yankees are most likely out of any first baseman trade talks. This leaves the Mets' slugger Lucas Duda as the odd man out. Duda is a solid first baseman who's main attribute is his power. Because of this I believe if there is going to be a big first baseman deal this year it will be Lucas Duda going to the Boston Red Sox. Despite that fact that the Red Sox have Mitch Moreland as their full time first baseman, the Red Sox are last in home runs in the American League, and although it hasn't halted their run production greatly (as shown by their first place position in the AL East), if the Sox want to go deep in the postseason they need a power bat. This is where Duda comes in, with his power he might be able to give the Red Sox the boost they need to make a deep playoff run. Middle Infield: Asdrubal Cabrera - New York Mets Wilmer Flores - New York Mets Zack Cozart - Cincinnati Reds The Mets have 2 solid middle infielders who are on the market, and although the Mets are beginning to enter a rebuilding phase I don't believe we will see a big trade out of them. I also don't believe we will see Zack Cozart go anywhere by the deadline despite his amazing season and his pending free agent status at the end of the season. I feel like if we are going to see a move it will be the Red Sox getting Wilmer Flores. Although it's not very likely, the Red Sox could be looking to Flores to fill the 3rd base hole, and despite the fact that his natural position is short stop, he has been playing a lot of 3rd base with the absence of Met's Captain David Wright. If the Red Sox lose out on a player who's primarily a 3rd baseman, the Red Sox could get Flores to either play 3rd, or to be a utility infielder who can play all 4 positions. He would also be a good piece to bundle with if the Red Sox went after Lucas Duda as well. 3rd Base: Mike Moustakas - Kansas City Royals Martin Prado - Miami Marlins This deadline 3rd Base is probably the most important position for teams right now. Because of this several teams are already trying to pounce on a third baseman, as the Yankees already did when they got Todd Frazier. The Marlins might be looking to ship Prado, but the return might not be as great as they want due to Prado's age and contract. This leave the Royals as the big potential trade partner, but it looks as if the Royals might be buyers. The Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas is going to be a free agent in the off season, making him a complete rental if he was to be traded. Despite this many teams have been in contact with the Royals for the player they call "Moose". I believe if Moustakas is going to be moved it will be a blockbuster deal, with the team he's going to giving up a lot to get the Royals to give up Moustakas. This is why the Red Sox are the team most likely to trade for Moustakas. 3rd Base has been a revolving door for the Red Sox this season, and especially after Pablo Sandoval was released the Sox don't have a real 3rd baseman. This is why, even with his big price tag, I believe the Red Sox will go after Moustakas, so they can make a deep playoff run and strengthen their offense. Outfield: Jay Bruce - New York Mets Curtis Granderson - New York Mets Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburg Pirates Outfielders this season aren't on the forefront of deadline news this year. There aren't really any teams who need an outfielder and the market isn't too great either when it comes to outfielder. The Mets are offering up 2 of their outfielders, and the Pirates are listening to offers for Andrew McCutchen. A big deal for an outfielder isn't very likely, especially a deal for McCutchen but if a team were to trade for an outfielder the most likely paring would be Curtis Granderson to the Nationals. The Nationals are likely done this deadline when it comes to big moves but after the injury go Adam Eaton, the Nationals might want a lefty outfielder. With Brian Goodwin filling in for the injured Eaton however a deal is unlikely, but if the Nationals feel the need to get another outfielder, the Grandy man probably would be their best option.