We’re in the thick of now, aren’t we?
Already this season, we’ve seen literally a dozen significant trades – Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Joakim Soria, Martin Maldonado, Sueng-Hwan Oh, Nathan Eovaldi, Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, Brad Hand, Manny Machado, Kelvin Herrera, and Alex Colome – plus a number of other, similarly impactful moves.
If this were August 1st, we’d say “Wow! That was one hell of a trade season!” But it’s not! We still have several days to go and there’s so much more than can happen.
- Starting with the Brewers, for example, who are apparently trying to get TWO big pieces from the Mets, Zack Wheeler and Asdrubal Cabrera. And according to Ken Rosenthal, the extent of their searching doesn’t end there:
#Brewers, after landing Soria, continue to cast wide net in search for upgrades. Per sources, 2B options include Dozier, A. Cabrera, possibly Daniel Murphy (if WAS sells). Team also looking at SPs, including Gausman and Wheeler. Interest in Wheeler first noted by @jonmorosi.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 26, 2018
- So, then, on top of Cabrera and Wheeler, you can add Brian Dozier, Kevin Gausman, and Daniel Murphy to the list. None of those players are as good as they probably should/could be right now, but each would provide an impact with plenty of upside on top of that. But I swear to god, if the Brewers get Murphy and he has *another* career resurgence at just the wrong time, I’ll lose my mind.
- While we’re still with the Brewers, Ken Rosenthal reports that the White Sox sent them just over $1M to cover part of the $3.25M he’s owed the rest of the way (plus $1M buyout). I imagine they still have plenty of money to throw around at the deadline, if need be. Speaking of which, they’ve been connected to just about everyone in baseball. On top of the names we’ve already listed, Jon Heyman adds Whit Merrifield, Matt Harvey, Jonathan Schoop, and Mike Moustakas. And apparently, the Brewers were involved on Brad Hand and Zach Britton, too. What can we say? They’re *clearly* smelling blood in the NL Central waters. Or think they are, at least.
- The Diamondbacks could be close to getting a big infield upgrade:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 27, 2018
- The J.A. Happ deal is done, and you should recognize a familiar name in the package:
The Yankees have acquired LHP J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for INF Brandon Drury and OF Billy McKinney.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 26, 2018
- Billy McKinney was a former Cubs prospect, acquired in the deal that brought Addison Russell over from the Oakland A’s and then shipped to New York in the deal that brought Aroldis Chapman here from the Yankees. Now he’s off to yet another team to see if he can finally plant himself in the big leagues. According to Joel Sherman, McKinney became the fifth left-handed outfield prospect traded away by the Yankees since August 2016.
- After already acquiring catcher Martin Maldonado, the Astros next move might be to trade fr a left fielder, per Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal doesn’t offer any possible solutions, but I’m sure names will begin to trickle out if the Astros’ faith in top prospect Kyle Tucker *this season* continues to wane.
- The Cardinals released Greg Holland today and are 9.0 games out of first, but they’re apparently – adjusts glasses, shuffles papers, re-reads the prompt – among the teams interest in trading for Chris Archer. Now, to be sure, the Cardinals are 1) not entirely out of this thing (especially the Wild Card race), 2) were legitimately interested in Archer before the season, and 3) have withstood a number of injuries in their rotation, but I mean … come on. Derrick Goold makes the case for Archer (and a number of other cost-controlled starters) in a piece at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing the soon-to-be expiring contacts of Adam Wainwright (2018), Michael Wacha (2019), and Miles Mikolas (2019), but I still don’t buy it.
- For one, the Cardinals are better than ANY other team at trotting out (successful) pitching prospect after pitching prospect and this season is no exception: “With Dakota Hudson on deck for a promotion, the Cardinals are about to add a seventh first-year starter to the mix. It has been an impressive display of youth, talent, and organizational depth. One National League scout said it’s unlikely any other team could pull this off.” And for another, despite the idea that they could compete next year (okay, sure, whatever), contending teams this year should be willing to pay more to use Archer in the second half than the Cardinals. I sincerely doubt this one goes anywhere before the offseason, but we’ll see.
- Hey, some international slot money has been moved (still waiting on the Cubs to get some of that):
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 27, 2018
- That’s a nice story, in any case, as Venters came up with the Braves, and then had to work his way back from three and a half Tommy John surgeries.
- Although the Cubs have been connected to ground-ball specialist Brad Ziegler recently, the Marlins have a number of attractive relievers who could theoretically be on the move in the next few days. HOWEVA, as we’ve said before, their better relievers (think Adam Conley and Kyle Barraclough) come with so much team control that acquiring them would be extremely expensive. Indeed, the Marlins have gone as far as to specifically state that “things have changed in Miami,” as the team will, apparently, no longer deal the way they did over the offseason. “I’ve been very clear,” said President of Baseball Operations Michael Hill, “that we are open to listening, but also have been very clear that our relievers … are ultra-affordable, controllable, and talented,” Hill said. I’d go ahead and take Conley and Barraclough off your wish list.
- As for Ziegler, I just want to point out that …
#Cubs relief target Brad Zieger has allowed just TWO earned runs since June 5 (26.2 IP).
The 11 BBs and 20 Ks don't look great, (hence the 3.99 FIP), but an 83.1% GB% and 29.2% soft-hit% is about as good as it gets.
Maybe we should start coming around:https://t.co/CjptItu7nU
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) July 27, 2018
- Separately, and only for whatever it’s worth, Hill seems to be interested in keeping J.T. Realmuto around for the long haul. The catching market is thin, however, so he could bring in quite a return, but at a minimum, the offseason seems like the right time for that.
- The Cubs have already dealt with the Rangers twice this season, but they have other pieces the Cubs could covet: “They are getting interest in their relievers,” writes Jon Heyman, “not just Tony Barnette, Jake Diekman and Jose LeClerc, but also closer Keone Kela. It’s entirely possible that some of those arms switch teams before July 31.” We’ll talk about those names more if any other substantial/Cubs-specific rumors pop up. But, hey, clearly the Cubs love something about Texas pitchers:
Cubs pitching staff has a seriously Texas flavor …
Cole Hamels: from Rangers
Kyle Hendricks: from Rangers
Carl Edwards: from Rangers
Jesse Chavez: from Rangers
Yu Darvish: former Ranger
Jon Lester: wears cowboy hats
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 27, 2018