The Cubs kicked off the garage sale last night, sending Joc Pederson to the Braves. More trades are coming, and while the Trade Deadline will probably be necessary to generate the market for most of the moves, others could come because of a perfect fit/need like that one. If you’re scanning the landscape and thinking about urgency for contenders who don’t want to miss a moment, it would probably be the Padres quickly trying to get back Zach Davies for their injured rotation. Stay tuned, and don’t forget that the Blogathon will definitely be a good one this year – please consider supporting Make-A-Wish to make the Trade Deadline Blogathon as long as possible!
• In advance, I hadn’t thought much about how the All-Star break, paired with rising COVID cases in the United States, could lead to a lot of positive tests as players come back. That appears to have happened with the Yankees (scuttling their showcase game last night with the Red Sox), and I wonder if we’re about to find out that more teams are dealing with it today, what with the other 28 teams returning to action. Hopefully it’s just a fluke.
• I think a lot of us had the same stray reaction/question with the Joc Pederson trade happening on the same day as the Yankees outbreak: it’s gonna be a lot harder to trade unvaccinated players, isn’t it? I really hate that this is even a talking point, because it feels off – not the part about vaccination status, because the vaccines are good and safe and protect you and your teammates; the part about commoditizing humans in this way. I guess we consider it with other health factors (i.e., injury status), so maybe it’s not that off?
• Anyway, given that we know front offices view vaccination as a competitive advantage, do we really think a lot of teams are going to risk introducing another unvaccinated player to the mix? Unless it was a monster impact player for a super cheap price or something? Among the known unvaccinated Cubs, this would seem to impact only Anthony Rizzo, but I’m not sure he was realistically going to be traded anyway. Guys like Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Javy Báez, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras have confirmed publicly that they are vaccinated, but a whole lot of other guys are simply unknown. This is going to become a factor this trade season, I suspect, and not just on the Cubs.
• Also: the clubhouses where more players are vaccinated will be at a lower risk of a poorly-timed outbreak in the weeks ahead. Just another one of those competitive disadvantages of being one of the few teams that hasn’t reached 85%. (Yes, the Yankees’ situation happened despite them being over 85%, but we’re not talking about absolutes here. We’re just talking about what is more or less likely.)
• Meanwhile, in the KBO, they are NOT MESSING AROUND with protocol violations – these guys got suspended for the rest of the season:
These 4 #NCDinos players have been suspended for 72 regular season games for violating league’s COVID protocol. In addition, the Dinos have been fined 1억원 (approx 100k USD).
— Daniel Kim 대니얼 김 (@DanielKimW) July 16, 2021
• I like this, not only because you never know if Jason Adam might get it back, but also because I like the idea of him getting to rehab that serious ankle injury with the Cubs:
#Cubs have re-signed RHP Jason Adam to a minor league contract.
— MiLB-Transactions (@tombaseball29) July 15, 2021
• Hector Santiago, who was ejected and suspended for sticky substances – which he claimed was just rosin – has had his suspension upheld:
Seattle Mariners pitcher Hector Santiago’s 10-game suspension for foreign-substance use has been upheld after an appeal, sources tell @kileymcd and me. He will be the first — and, so far, only — player to miss time.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 15, 2021
• Four examples here, but really, this plate should be taken in every single state:
View this post on Instagram