We’ve reached that point in trade season where I’m checking my phone just about every two minutes, and taking my computer with me everywhere I go, just in case something breaks (currently, I’m typing this sentence at the allergist). The surge of rumors hasn’t built yet, but, despite protestations around baseball that the seller market simply might not develop, I have a hard time seeing things not exploding at some point. It does feel like things might go closer to the deadline than usual, though. Recall, even last year, when the deadline was absolutely bonkers with rumors and transactions, the dealing and heavy rumors started as far back as July 4. This year? Lots of quiet. You can barely believe it’s now just two weeks from the Trade Deadline.
- The Sporting News took the Cubs to win the World Series before the season began, and, with the team still competitive at the midseason point, they’re sticking to that prediction. How the Cubs get there? A one-game, Wild Card playoff against … the Cardinals. Can you even imagine that game, which would probably be in St. Louis, with everything riding on it? Outside of heart-related danger, I think I’d rather see the Cubs in a one-gamer against the Cardinals than the Pirates. With the latter, you get Gerrit Cole. With the former, you get … Lance Lynn? He’s had arm issues this year. Michael Wacha? He’s already over his innings from all of last year, and there’s no telling if he’ll wear down. I know, Cardinals voodoo magic … but there would be something so satisfying and borderline mystical about getting that one-game shot against the Cardinals and winning it.
- With the way the Pirates have been streaking, by the way, and with the Cardinals’ injuries, this is not an unlikely scenario. Brace yourself in advance.
- SI’s midseason power rankings have the Cubs as the 7th best team in baseball.
- Having now reached AAA Iowa (discussed earlier), Rafael Soriano could be up with the Cubs as soon as next week, according to Mark Gonzales.
- Freddie Freeman’s wrist issue is lingering longer than the Braves expected, which means he won’t be rejoining the club out of the break (to face the Cubs).
- Jesse Rogers writes about five storylines for the second half.
- If you are among the folks who like BN on Facebook, but you wish you could see the BN stories there more regularly appearing in your feed, Facebook has just unveiled a way for you to see BN stuff first.
- Wow, the donations exploded yesterday, and now you’ve got me up to 34 straight hours of coverage at the Trade Deadline. Last year, I did 37, and that was not easy. If we get past that $12,000 mark, I’ll be up to 38:
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 17, 2015