With the Trade Deadline coming up next Friday for Major League Baseball, many teams are faced with the idea of, “Do we buy or sell?” The trade deadline is a huge deal for teams because it can either help get them that playoff spot, or even help them prepare for next year. Last year we saw David Price go to the Detroit Tigers, Jon Lester to the Oakland Athletics and Joakim Soria, who also went to the Tigers. These deals helped those teams reach the playoffs, while the teams at the opposing end received early help to rebuild for next year. Here, we’ll look at some teams that should buy & sell.
Los Angeles Dodgers
For the Dodgers to make a deep playoff run, they need to get deeper at the Starting Pitcher position. The Dodgers have arguably two of the best arms in baseball right now in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. But as we’ve seen the past two postseasons for the Dodgers, these guys aren’t enough to win it all. Because of that history that they’ve lived, I fully expect them to make a move. They have one of the most crowded teams in history, with many players having the ability to start for any team in the league. The Dodgers should wisely part ways with Andre Ethier, Alex Guerrero or Carl Crawford. This would help get continuity going in the lineups and could provide for some serious pitching help. It would make a lot of sense for the Dodgers to go after Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. The Phillies could use the offense, while the Dodgers would gain a great pitcher with 3 years left on his contract. If the Dodgers promised to pay out Hamels’ contract, that would be a huge win-win for both clubs.
Like the Dodgers, the Astros are in the need for some starting pitching. The Astros did acquire Scott Kazmir yesterday from the Athletics, but they also need to look into some more deals as well. The Astros have a very good young core, including Lance McCullers and Vincent Velasquez. These guys have been good for the Astros, but like most teams and their young pitching, they are expected to put them on an innings limit. If this is the case, the Astros will only have two established pitchers during the postseason in Dallas Keuchel and Kazmir. You can expect the Astros to make a late run for someone else to put in their rotation.
The future has arrived and the Cubs couldn’t be any happier. We are approaching August and the Cubs currently have a playoff spot, isn’t that weird to say? The Cubs offense is currently driving their postseason efforts, but how long can they keep it up? Jake Arrieta has been nothing short of dominant so far this year, while Jon Lester is slowly improving. But like the other two teams I mentioned, two starting pitchers is not the answer. Luckily for the Cubs, they have a great farm system that can give them the opportunity to make a big move. We can expect the Cubs to be buyers at the deadline, but at who’s expense? It wouldn’t shock me to see shortstop Starlin Castro get moved, or one of their top outfield prospects like Albert Almora or Billy Mckinney for maybe David Price? Price was quoted last year saying, “it would be cool to bring a championship to the cubs.” so who knows, maybe he can.
The Tigers are in big trouble for the future, so this might be difficult for them to come to terms with. The Tigers do not have a promising farm system and have managed to tie down Miguel Cabrera for 10 years, 292 million dollars; so their options are kind of limited. Now, I’m not saying the Cabrera deal is a terrible one, I mean he is one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. But, with the aging of Justin Verlander, Victor Martinez and Ian Kinsler, it’s now or never. The Tigers will not have the money to resign David Price, so why not sell for some good prospects? They are 4 games out of the Wild Card, while the Kansas City Royals are walking away with the division. It’s time Detroit, just sell! Build around Cabrera, Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose, then call it a day.
I have to say that as a Braves fan, I’m extremely proud of this team. They committed to the tank and are still sitting 6 games back of a postseason spot, now that’s amazing. The Braves have completely rebuilt their farm system, which is now 2nd the MLB according to Keith Law. Pretty impressive, right? They also struck gold with Cameron Maybin, who was originally just a throw in on the Craig Kimbrel deal. So my advice to the Braves is to stick with the program and just keep tanking away. Players like Juan Uribe, Jim Johnson and Maybin should be on the block for more farm system help. This season has been a success Atlanta, so just finish it off the right way.
Boston Red Sox
Like the Braves, the Red Sox have built up one of the top farm systems in the MLB. Now the only difference, the Red Sox were not prepared to tank. The Red Sox had a busy offseason, acquiring the likes of Hanley Ramirez, Rick Porcello and Pablo Sandoval. The Red Sox are 9.5 back of a playoff spot and have a lot of money committed to players all across their system. The Red Sox best option at this time is to sell on their mistakes and prepare for next year. If they can sell Ramirez to a playoff fringe team, they could get a lot back. They have a great international pool of players, so waiting until the future could be the right move for them. Expect the Red Sox to sell this deadline and rebuild, it only makes sense in the war zone that is the AL East.