The Trade Deadline is Fast Approaching
With the trade deadline less than a week away, there’s been a noticeable silence across MLB from the buyers and sellers. Perhaps the sellers are being too greedy, or the buyers are being too cheap. Or perhaps everyone is waiting until the end of this week to see if their biggest trade bait increases their value. Or maybe they’re wearing rose colored glasses and
hoping waiting to see if they’re actually in the buyer or seller category.
Most of the players on the trading block are going to be pitchers. Let’s look at the biggest names floating around, shall we?
Trevor Bauer (Cleveland Indians)
Ok, can we just stop pretending that he’s going anywhere? The Indians are currently just 2 games behind Minnesota and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Likely home on August 1: Cleveland.
Madison Bumgarner (San Francisco Giants)
San Francisco is among the aforementioned teams that may be wearing rose colored glasses. They’ve stepped it up a bit in the last few weeks, but their chances of making it to post season are slim to none. With MadBum (I hate that as a name, but here we are) being a free agent after this season, it just makes sense for the Giants to get a guy or two in return for him if they don’t want to shell out $25+ million for the next decade for him. I’m not saying he’s still got the stuff to command a $250m deal, necessarily, but that’s the going rate it seems these days to sign a pitcher with his record, despite last year’s injury and slight decline. The big question is, who is willing to give up the most value for a rental player? Likely home on August 1: Yankees or Milwaukee.
Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets)
Perhaps the biggest name on the trade block is Noah Syndergaard. The Mets are definitely square in the seller category, but are hesitant to give up their mightiest arm. And hair. However, the rumor is that they’re entertaining serious offers for Thor. He had a rough start to 2019, but is turning things around since the all-star break. He’s still under contract through 2021, and making just $6 million this year, so he’d be more than just a rental going into the post-season. Syndergaard will either be the most brilliant add to a team or the biggest bust if his post-All Star stats are just a blip in his meh season. No matter which way the trade goes, he’s going to be one of the guys that people will have to be willing to shell out a bit more than they want to for him in the form of top prospects and above-average players that will sting a bit to lose. Likely home on August 1: Minnesota, Philadelphia, or Houston.
Marcus Stroman (Toronto Blue Jays)
Toronto is definitely going to trade this guy. Don’t let his mediocre 6-10 record fool you, he’s good. While he’d be a fantastic arm to add to the starting rotations of the Yankees or Red Sox, I wonder if Toronto is ok with letting him go to another team in the AL East to make them look even worse. The Jays are going to try to rebuild around baby Vlad, and they’re going to let Stroman go for a heap of young prospects that will pan out in 2 years to get them into the wild card race (because let’s face it, they’ll never win that division with Boston and New York buying up all the talent). The Padres, Twins, and Atlanta all have the farm systems to make a trade for this guy.
The Padres aren’t a bad team, but they’re stuck behind the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Giants, and will definitely not be making the 2019 post season. But when they signed Machado, they were looking ahead to 2020/21. Stroman would be a great addition to their big plans. And while the Padres are playing the long-game, the Twins have their sights set on RIGHT. NOW. They’ve seen their All-Star Jake Odorizzi completely crumble after a blister on his thumb put him on the IL, which not only took him out of the All-Star Game, but also out of his pre-break badassery. And despite Pineda and Perez stepping up, their rotation and their bullpen both are in dire need of a boost. The Braves are sitting pretty in the NL East, but might also be looking to solidify their rotation. Likely home on August 1: San Diego or Minnesota.
Mike Minor (Texas Rangers)
31-year-old pitcher Mike Minor signed a 3 year, $28 million deal with the Rangers in 2018, and has a 10-team no-trade clause in that deal. Among the teams included in that clause is the Yankees. (We don’t have the full details on who the rest of his no-trade teams are, so I’ll be purely speculating from here on out.) He’s having a solid year – he made the All-Star Game, has an ERA of 3.00, and a record of 8-6.
Despite their .500 record, the Rangers are out of contention with the Astros being 14 games ahead of them, and are in 4th place overall in the AL West. They are rumored to be gearing up for a fire-sale. But it sounds like Minor is not happy about it:
“It does make us mad. We’ve played well all season, then we lose a couple of games and we’re supposedly ready to deal guys when we have 2 1/2 months left in the season. But that’s the job we have. … I don’t want to go anywhere. My name was talked about in the offseason, so I’m used to it. It seems like ever since I signed, I’ve been a topic. It’s like I signed here just to be traded.Taken from an article last week from T.R. Sullivan on MLB.com
So it sounds like Minor isn’t happy to be dangled in front of teams as trade bait. But if the Rangers are going to be able to get top dollar for him while he’s peak Mike Minor, it might just happen. With 2020 still a real possibility for the Rangers to be contenders, they’ll probably be asking for some serious prospects that are ready for the show, or a player or two that are already showing their stuff on a contending team and just don’t get enough playing time in their current home. Teams that might be interested in Minor would be his old team, the Braves, or the Yankees, or Padres (for reasons I’ve already listed above with the other guys on the block). Again, no word on which teams are part of that the no-trade clause, but no matter where he ends up, they’re going to be getting a steal. Likely home on August 1: Texas, Minnesota, or San Diego.
All of the above pitchers would be a fantastic get for any team, but are their current teams ready to pull the trigger when they’re likely going to come with a high price tag? I guess we’ll find out on July 31.