The MLB’s annual Trade Deadline is fast approaching, here’s everything you need to know before the craziness ensues later this month.
The Trade Deadline is almost always on July 31 at 4 pm ET, and new this year, the MLB has ended the waiver Trade Deadline so teams will have to make all their moves before the end of July. Prior to 2019, teams could still trade after the July 31 deadline through waivers, but any player acquired after the actual trade deadline would not be eligible for postseason rosters.
This season, the focus is on starting pitching with the Blue Jays and Giants making their aces Marcus Stroman and Madison Bumgarner available this July. However, there is some concern on whether the Giants, who are now just two games out of a Wild Card spot, will still sell despite being so close to a postseason berth.
If the Giants do decide to hang tight through the remainder of the 2019 season, teams will have to switch their focus since San Francisco has not only Bumgarner drawing interest but relievers Will Smith, Sam Dyson and Tony Watson are generating a ton of interest as well.
The Tigers are one of the worst teams in baseball and were obvious sellers from the start of the season, but they have made it known they are open for business. Matt Boyd is the prize in Detriot, a 28-year-old controllable starter who has the potential to be a dominating pitcher with a good offense supporting him. Closer Shane Greene as well INF Nicholas Castellanos have generated interest from teams and could easily make an impact for teams this postseason.
The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks are also in a curious position. Both are in reasonable striking distance for a Wild Card spot but both also could stand to gain a substantial return if they were to move some of their starters. The Rangers’ Mike Minor is having a career season and is coveted by plenty of teams looking for some front-end rotation help. The Diamondbacks have had teams call about veteran Zack Grienke and lefty Robbie Ray, both having good seasons in the desert. It might make more sense for Arizona to sell now to hopefully get some high-impact bats for the future.
And of course, the Mets are fielding plenty of calls about starters Noah Syndergaard and Zach Wheeler, but reports have hinted the Mets are more willing to part with Wheeler than Syndergaard. Wheeler is dealing with some shoulder trouble but that hasn’t stopped teams like the Rays from calling and asking about the 29-year-old righty.
What might be the most interesting storyline of the deadline is whether or not the Indians decide to move SP Trevor Bauer. Bauer has one more year of team control, but it’s unlikely the 28-year-old re-signs with Cleveland. So do the Indians hope their ace changes his mind or do they try and recoup some value now and move the righty now to at least get something in return? If Bauer is available, expect teams to be interested.
There are plenty of buyers this summer, but the teams making the most noise right now are the Yankees and Padres, who seem to be involved in almost every starter on the market right now. The Phillies and Rays have also been active but it’s unclear how seriously they are pursuing the market’s top arms at the moment. Teams like the Cubs, Brewers and Braves all have interest in pitching, but the Cubs may also have interest in adding another reliable bat and it’s never a bad idea to keep an eye on Theo Epstein at the trade deadline.
The dark horse teams who may quietly be in on some top trade targets would have to be the Astros and Athletics, both with excellent farm system options for teams to choose from which should allow both clubs to be able to acquire any player they want. The question is whether or not either front office will want to purge their assets for another starter, but if either were to add someone like Marcus Stroman or Mike Minor it would be hard not to mark them as favorites in the American League.
Regardless of what happens, some MLB stars are going to have new homes come August 1, and we can’t wait to see all the madness unfold.