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MLB Trade Deadline: What Moves Need to Be Made
Trading Time Is My Favorite Time
It is that time of year. The first half of the MLB season is over, and we now have an idea of who will be competing for the postseason. Some teams have lived up to expectations, while other teams have disappointed. And then we have a few teams who have surprised us by competing better than predicted.
To me there are three times in MLB that I am very excited for. One is the offseason, especially the Winter Meetings where teams move players or sign free agents to better stock their team. Second, Opening Day where every team has the same record. And finally, July 31 Trade Deadline where teams scramble to make deals to help their team to October playoffs.
No I am surely no analyst, but I do know my favorite sport very well. So I have decided to suggest the trades that I think would be beneficial for each contending to make to better their chances to make it to the World Series. Again, these are just suggestions and I am not saying I am correct.
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There are three division in the American League and National League. The divisions are divided by the East, Central and West. There are also two Wild Card slots in each league for teams to have a playoff berth as well as winning each league. I will discuss each contending team that I feel will make the playoffs and will have a shot at the World Series.
American League East:
Right now it seems like three teams are battling it out for a playoff position. I will talk about each team separately. First team:
Boston Red Sox: We are pretty familiar with seeing the Red Sox being a playoff team every season. Even though they are a good team and are currently leading the A.L. East, they still have room for improvement. The obvious weakness on the team is at third base. And upgrade is definitely needed. I would suggest two players, Martin Prado or Todd Frazier. Frazier would bring a power right handed bat for the team, but Prado would bring more defensive talent plus more of a contact bat rather than a power bat. Prado also brings more postseason experience than Frazier. Either player would definitely be an upgrade. I also believe they could benefit from adding a right handed starting pitcher. There are several players that seem to be on the trading block.
The New York Yankees are the second team that seems to be in the hunt for October. They were leading the A.L. East the beginning of the year but slowed down due to injuries to multiple players. Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez seem to be carrying the team offensively, but there is definitely room for improvement. First base seems to be a main hurdle right now for the Yankees. They could definitely use some left handed power in their line up as well. Players like Yonder Alonso, Justin Bour, Matt Adams and Brandon Belt could be all players that the Yankees may target. All players are first basemen and would bring left hand power for the team. The Yankees are also looking to add some starting pitching as well. Again several starters are out there on the trade block.
The last, but most surprising team has been the Tampa Bay Rays. Battling for second place and most likely a wild card spot, the Rays seem to be contenders this year. Their pitching has been pretty successful, and have had some surprises in their line up, the Rays main area to need an upgrade would be second base. Now, being a low budget team, the Rays will need affordable help. Second basemen like Brandon Phillips, Josh Harrison, and Jed Lowrie all make sense for the Rays. A lot of upside to these players without costing the team a fortune. They may look to add some bullpen arms if the price is right.
American League Central:
Really only two teams seem like they will be contenders in the A.L. Central division this year. Although the Minnesota Twins have been a surprise team, I do not see them contending this year.
Once again, it looks like the Indians are on pace to win their second straight division title. But they could still use some upgrade. The Indians seem to be set on their position players, however they made need some help with pitching especially starting pitching mainly because of injuries. I believe the team could use a starter especially a left handed starter. Jaime Garcia, J.A. Happ or maybe a bigger name like Cole Hamels could fit perfectly for this team.
Kansas City Royals have started to play like contenders after a rough first couple of months. With several of their World Series players hitting free agency next season, the team looks to be all in at making another run at the post season. But they will need to bolster their rotation if they consider making a run for October. The team would at least need two starters to add to the rotation. Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole, David Phelps, Jaime Garcia and several others would make sense for the Royals since all pitchers are pretty affordable and would definitely be an upgrade for the team.
American League West:
The Houston Astros seems to be the only team from this division that will make it to October. The best team in the American League could use an addition to their starting rotation. With the hottest offense, Astros weakness seems to be in their rotation. But the good news is, they really only need to add one start since most of the rotation seems to be doing well but has been suffering with injuries. Sonny Gray, Gerrit Cole and Trevor Cahill are all starters that could help the Astros coast into the post season.
National League East:
Although my Braves are doing way better than expected, the Washington Nationals seems to be the only team in the N.L. East that seems to be on track to winning the division and playing in October. Their pitching has been solid, and most of their line up has produced enough offense, but I still think they could benefit from a right handed outfield bat and an upgrade at closer. Andrew McCutchen, J.D. Martinez and Marcell Ozuna could all have a big impact for helping the team get a division title and have a good chance making it to the World Series. David Robertson would definitely be a great closer to add to the Nationals.
National League Central:
I think all baseball fans can agree that we are shocked by how poorly the Chicago Cubs have been playing. Their main need is to play better baseball. After dominating last season, it is surprising to see the team under .500 with their record. But playoff hopes are not out the window yet, and they have already added an impact starting pitcher Jose Quintana, but the team may need more help. I think adding another starter may be in the near future and I think their target should be Sonny Gray. I guess you can tell he is one of the main starters that seems to be getting a lot of trade talk.
Right now the Milwaukee Brewers own the best record in the N.L. Central, but if they don't make improvement and the Cubs get hot, they will end up being a Wild Card contender at best. Areas of improvement are mainly starting pitching. Their bullpen seems solid and their line up is better than expected, so the team needs to add a starter or two. I would say two starters at least. Once again Sonny Gray would be a great fit along with J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman or Marco Estrada who has once pitched for the Brewers.
National League West:
It is a three way race in the N.L. West. The Dodgers have currently taken first place and are the hottest team in the National League. But they still have a few areas of improvement. Second base, a right handed outfield bat and a right handed starter seem to be where the Dodgers should upgrade. I could list several players for this trade or I could make a trade to one team that could solve all three areas needing to improve. Dodgers should make a trade to the Pittsburg Pirates that would land them right handed starter Gerrit Cole, right handed outfielder Andrew McCutchen and second baseman Josh Harrison. All three would be a huge upgrade and would definitely make the Dodgers the favorite to win the Nation League Championship and go to the World Series.
Second team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. Now this team might have been a surprise team for many, but I felt once their talent was healthy this team could definitely be contenders. The only area of weakness I see with the Diamondbacks is at catching. I think an upgrade would be beneficial to the team. Catchers like Jonathan Luccroy, Tyler Flowers, Kurt Suzuki, and Russell Martin could all be great upgrades for the Diamondbacks.
The last contender in the N.L. West may be one of the most surprise teams this season. The Colorado Rockies are also in the hunt for the post season. They could definitely use some upgrades in the bullpen and pitchers like Justin Wilson, Zack Britton and A.J. Ramos would all be upgrades to help take them to their first post season trip in many years. With Carlos Gonzalez struggling they could definitely use a left handed outfield bat. Nick Markakis, Jay Bruce and Brett Gardner could all be good additions to the club.
I am sure we will see a lot of trade action this season. There will also be teams that will be making moves to better themselves going into the 2018 MLB season. I am sure there will be several more players that teams will consider, but I think the main players I listed would be the biggest upgrades to help teams make it to the postseason. I cannot wait until it is time for teams to be trading. Cubs have already made the first big trade so I think we will see teams get aggressive over the next two weeks.