The MLB trade deadline…
…for deals to be made without players having to go through waivers is right around the corner (Friday, July 31) and teams are shaking and baking trying to position themselves for the second half of the baseball season and the drive to be alive for the MLB tournament that decides who gets to go to the World Series and ultimately become the champion of the world… and the MLBRT crew chimes in with their thoughts are who needs what and why.
Plus… Greinke and Kershaw… the best one-two punch?
And… some thoughts about David Wright… can he return to the game and be the player he once was?
1) David Price, Tigers ; Yovani Gallardo, Rangers; Jeff Samardzija, White Sox; James Shields, Padres; Andrew Cashner, Padres; Cole Hamels, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and the Marlins‘ trio of Dan Haren, Mat Latos and Tom Koehler are all possibly available prior to the MLB trade deadline without having to go through waivers… if, you are the GM of your favorite team which if any of these pitchers would you try to get and what would you be willing to “pay” for that pitcher, or, would you be willing to just stand pat?
Remember, you are playing GM for your favorite team… be it the Braves, Yanks, Met, Jays, Cubbies, etc…
And, then the ultimate question for either choice is… why?
(Editor’s note: Johnny Cueto was traded to the Astros)
They are rebuilding and do not look to take on top talent and top dollars at this point. I am hoping that they are not looking to drop some of what we alrady have.
Dan: My favorite team is the Milwaukee Brewers and I really want Yovani Gallardo back on the team. I feel, he was a big part of the rotation, so, I would make a trade to get him back. If, I can’t acquire him, I’ll just stand pat.
The Brewers really aren’t going to make a push for the World Series this year and are not hopeful for the play-offs. Really, there isn’t anything major that I’d do in order to get him. What my main focus would be, is improving the team through the minor leagues as the Brewers have rated as one of the worst minor league systems in the majors the last few years. In order for Milwaukee to go to the top of the NL Central, they need to follow the KC/TB/Oakland/Baltimore route and build their system.
Earl: I claim two teams, and I have ever since I was young. The Toronto Blue Jays did make a move and picked up Troy Tulowitzki. Although Tulo has faded some, I think it’s a great all-in move on the Blue Jays part. Hopefully it works out.
My second team is my hometown New York Mets and they desperately need a big bat or two. I wish Sandy Alderson would go all in and target a rental like Justin Upton. The Mets need someone who can put the ball out of the park and Upton is a name that is available and would be reachable if Alderson actually takes the gamble.
Other GM’s want to rob me blind is my attiude and any offer they might make that seemingly overwhelms me needs to be looked at with a fine tooth comb. So, unless someone wants to give me a second baseman that is signed for more than just this year… who can field and hit some… for say Stephen Drew and my 6th best starter (or a couple of minor leaguers that are not g
oing to be ready for prime time in the next three or four years) then I stand pat.
Or, unless one of those pitcher mentioned in the question becomes available on the real cheap side of things then, again I stand pat.
As constituted, the Yankees are a playoff team.
Yeah, they coudl use some tweaking… A nice #2 or # 3 pitcher would be a nice addition but at what cost from the “A” level prospects from the minors? An ace would be nicer, but, again, at what cost…. And, forget about any pitcher not signed beyond 2105, or, what is euphemistcally referred to as a “rental”.
The areas the Yankees are looking are second base and starting pitching…
At second base there are no players avalible that are better than what the Yanks presently have in Stephen Drew… who is excellent defensively at both shortstop and second but can’t hit lick except for bopping a HR every now and then… he has 13 as I write this. So, unless the Minnesota Twins want to gift rwrap Brian Dozier for me… the need ain’t that urgent.
Besides, the Yankees have Rob Refsnyder who impressed in a short cameo before the All-Star break… not flashy at second but has a decent bat.
Adding a top starter would, again, be nice but at what cost? The top prospects… pitcher Luis Severino (considered maybe MLB ready late this year or in 2016), outfielder Aaron Judge (already being written in as the starting right fielder for 2017 if not sooner… presently blocked by Carlos Beltran’s contract) plus first baseman Greg Bird (Mark Teixeria’s understudy by next year?) and shortstop Jorge Mateo.
So, I will say this, the Cubs have to make a deal for David Price. While the price may be as high as Kyle Schwarber, you have to make this deal as long as you can lock up Price for the next few years. Price is going to be a key piece to an already solid pitching rotation. The Cubs were probably a year or two away from competing for a World Series championship, but with a guy like Price, who has playoff success in his past, Lester, who also has playoff experience, throw in Arrietta who is having a great year, and Hammel in the four spot. T
There are not a lot of teams who can say they have a better playoff rotation than that. Basically what I am saying is that if the Cubs land Price, they are contenders right now!
2) Let’s stick to pitching for a moment… Grienke and Kershaw… are they right now the best 1, 2 punch in MLB? Assuming both pitchers are available… who do you take in the deciding game of a playoff series?
They are both that good.
Dan: Yes, Greinke & Kershaw are the best 1-2 punch in baseball. I can’t see a better duo out-pitching them especially this year with the insane numbers Greinke is throwing out there and he’s really a leader for the NL Cy Young. And, Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in the league overall as some have compared him to the next Sandy Koufax.
I gotta take Kershaw, he has proven reliability, he’s a better pitcher in my eyes and I think he’s going to bring my team the win. Greinke isn’t known for the spotlight and is kind of shy. I think Kershaw can get the job done a little better. But I’m not taking anything away from Greinke.
Joe: Right now, I can’t see any other duo that would be better than these two pitchers at the top of a team’s rotation. Greinke is having a career year and is the big favorite to win this year’s Cy Young, and, while, Kershaw has shown he is human after all with a few blips earlier in the season he seems to be back on track and once again pitching like the sound coming of Sandy Koufax or maybe Pedro Martinez.
My pick in a deciding playoff game is to flip a damn coin….
But, if, you put a gun to my head… Grienke is my choice only because this year he does seem to have developed some kind of attiude that when he goes out to the mound he is going to be dominant. Whether that translates to dominance in the playoffs is another thing, but, hell… “Ya rolls the dice and ya takes yer chances.”
Steve: Yes, 100% yes. These two are probably the two best pitchers in baseball. That said, in a playoff game, do or die, You go with Grienke, only because Kershaw has proven to choke in the post season.
3) Even if, you didn’t consider Grienke and Kershaw the two best 1, 2 pitchers in the game admittedly they are two excellent pitchers to head up the Dodgers rotation… with Brett Anderson, Carlos Frias and Mike Bolsinger as their back end of the rotation guys and Kenley Jansen as the closer and Yimi Garcia as the 8th inning guy… are they set with their pitching staff to make the playoffs and be a World Series team? Or, do they need to make a move or two to add some better arms?
Samardzija or Hamels would be a good fit.
(Editors note: Cole Hamels is now a Texas Ranger.)
Dan: I think the Dodgers are set to the make the play-offs with their staff and make a fantastic run at the World Series, but, they do have the Cardinals & Giants who will bring a large fight. And, don’t forget the Nationals who are also lurking with a solid pitching rotation.
But, I do think that the Dodgers are set and don’t need to make a move to add a pitcher or better arms. I think the Dodgers are a World Series team, but, I also think St Louis is too. Both stay put, it’ll be a 7-game series and whoever loses can’t be upset since they’re both extremely deserving with how they’re playing this year.
Be it for Cole Hamels or Jeff Samardzjia. They need one more ace type to ensure that they can compete once they reach the postseason.
Joe: A lot of so-called experts say that the Dodgers need at least one other starter… maybe two.. and a better clsoer but from what I see, I think, they are fine and to overpay for any additions to their roster makes no sense.
They should stick with what they got and just roll the dice.
The problem lies with the St Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers cannot beat this team in the post season, and Kershaw has proven to be vulnerable in the playoffs. So, no, the Dodgers will not make the World Series, despite how well Kershaw and Grienke are pitching right now. Unfortunately, there isnt much they can do to overtake the Cardinals. Until they prove to me otherwise, they won’t be in the World Series.
4) And another pitching question… Scott Kazmir got traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Houston Astros for two minor leaguers…. Rate the deal.
I give it a B+ for Houston and a C for Oakland.
Dan: I’m going to rate the Scott Kazmir trade a 9 for Houston and a 7 for Oakland.
Oakland is going to get the 19th and 22nd rated prospects in the Astros organization and give up a very solid starter who’ll help the Astros make their playoff push. Oakland did a solid job at getting 2 solid prospects in return for a great pitcher who will become a free agent at the end of the season.
I rated Houston a 9 because they have great intentions of making a playoff push and acquiring a solid #3 and will provide quality innings.
I rated Oakland a 7 because I feel like they could’ve gotten more or a better prospect in the deal but they didn’t do a bad job in the trade.
It’s hard to rate the trade now though, but this is my initial reaction. We’ll see how it is after the season and again in a couple years when the prospects make an appearance in Oakland.
It’s a good deal for the Astros, and, a deal that has already been paying dividends as Kazmir’s first start with the club was a strong one.
I’ve been a little leery of Kazmir over the years and that’s probably because he is a former New York Met, but, Kazmir has had a solid resurgence the past few seasons and the Astros will benefit from that.
Joe: I have reservations about about Kazmir.. seems to me the guy can pitch almost lights out for a while and then suddenly pitch like a bush leaguer. So, to me, it all depends on which Kazmir the Astros got is the final analysis.
But, if, he can be at least be a #3… and preferably a #2… in their rotation, then, I think, the Asros made a real steal in only gving up two realtively low level minor leaguers who may, or may not, pan out.
Sure, Kazmir has not been at the top of his game in the past several seasons, but, he could be a key element to complement Keuchel if the Astros are to make a post season run.
5) In your opinion, do you think David Wright will ever play MLB again, and, if, yes, will/can he be an effective player in an everyday major league lineup?
Dan: I do think that David Wright will play again, but, I don’t think he’s going to be what he was.
He might step into the line-up as a platoon player again, but, that’s about his ceiling unless he pulls a miracle.
With that said, I am unsure if he will ever play again. His injury is something that is very tough to come back from and still play professional sports.
If, he does come back, I don’t think he will ever be the same and that’s real sad.
I predict that, if it is not by the end of this year, then, it will be very soon after, that he will make the same decision that Don Mattingly once did due to his back problems… retire rather than not be able to play to his full ability and be in constant pain while on the field.
I think, he will find his way back into a major league lineup, and, will be some what productive. I don’t think he returns to an All-Star caliber player, but, he can get back to a good MLB player.
On July 30 in Baseball History…
- 1933 – Dizzy Dean struck out seventeen Cubs as the St. Louis Cardinals beat Chicago 8-2.
- 1947 – The New York Giants beat Ewell Blackwell and the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in 10 innings, ending Blackwell’s 16-game winning streak.
- 1951 – Ty Cobb testifies before the Emanuel Celler committee, denying that the reserve clause makes peons of baseball players. National Association President George Trautman testifies, denying that minors hampered independent teams.
- 1952 – Baseball Commissioner Ford Frick sets a waiver rule to bar interleague deals until all clubs bid, with the club lowest in the league to get first pick. He sets the price at $10,000. He also bars all other deals after July 31.
- 1954 – Against Allie Reynolds, third baseman Bob Kennedy hits the first grand slam for the new Baltimore Orioles. At this game the Orioles surpass the top season attendance the Browns had in their 52 years in St. Louis.
- 1959 – Willie McCovey had four hits in four at-bats in his Major League debut with the San Francisco Giants. He had two triples in a 7-2 win over Philadelphia.
- 1962 – Homers by Leon Wagner, Pete Runnels, and Rocky Colavito power the American League past the National League 9-4 at Wrigley Field in the second All-Star Game of 1962.
- 1968 – Washington shortstop Ron Hansen pulled off an unassisted triple play, but the Cleveland Indians still won the game 10-1.
- 1973 – Jim Bibby of the Texas Rangers pitched a 6-0 no-hitter against the Oakland A’s.
- 1978 – The Expos crush the Braves, 19-0, collecting twenty-eight hits and a National League record-tying eight home runs. Andre Dawson, Larry Parrish, Dave Cash, and Dawson again homer in the fourth inning; The fifty-eight bases break an 85-year-old record held by the Reds.
- 1980 – Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard had a stroke during a workout at the Astrodome, and doctors removed a blood clot behind his right collarbone. Before the stroke, Richard had complained of a dead arm several times.
- 1982 – The Atlanta Braves returned Chief Noc-A-Homa and his teepee to the left field after losing 19 of 21 games and blowing a 10 1/2-game lead. The teepee was removed for more seats. The team recovered to regain first place.
- 1988 – John Franco saves his thirteenth game of July in Cincinnati’s 2-0 win over San Diego, setting a Major League record for saves in one month.
- 1990 – George Steinbrenner was forced to resign as general partner of the New York Yankees by baseball commissioner Fay Vincent.
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