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The Aug. 31 MLB commerce deadline is quick approaching. The 16-team playoff format and COVID-19 considerations may make this yr’s summer time swap-a-thon much less eventful than traditional.
Nonetheless, a number of contenders have holes. And a commerce is commonly the easiest way to fill them.
Primarily based on credible rumors and a wholesome dose of knowledgeable hypothesis, let’s parse eight offers that will be win-win propositions for each the client and vendor in query.
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Atlanta is within the thick of the Nationwide League East race and will make a deep postseason run if star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. returns from a wrist ailment.
However with burgeoning ace Mike Soroka misplaced to season-ending Achilles surgical procedure and veteran lefty Cole Hamels out indefinitely with a forearm damage, the staff ought to improve a beginning rotation that ranks 24th with a 5.27 ERA.
Ace-level arms will probably be exhausting to come back by on the commerce deadline, however Atlanta may take an opportunity on Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd.
The 29-year-old has posted an ugly 9.64 ERA in 5 begins. However he is amassed 27 strikeouts in 23.1 innings one yr after averaging 11.6 K/9. And he is controllable by 2022, that means he’d be greater than a rental.
Atlanta ought to hold outfielder and high prospect Cristian Pache off limits from the highest of a farm system we ranked No. 3 after the 2020 draft. However it may construct a package deal round outfielder Drew Waters, an expendable piece of organizational depth who could be a boon for Detroit.
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The Chicago Cubs sit cease the Nationwide League Central and have an actual shot at a deep postseason run. Any discuss of dealing stars comparable to third baseman Kris Bryant will probably be delay till the offseason.
However the Cubbies may enhance a bullpen that ranks 23rd with a 5.50 ERA.
The North Siders are at an obstacle with a ho-hum farm system we ranked at No. 26. However this appears like a win-now second.
Chicago may hyperlink up with the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s are shock postseason contenders within the odd 2020 season, but they need to set their sights on a rebuild after shedding 108 video games in 2019.
Particularly, the Orioles may dangle right-hander Mychal Givens, who has fanned 13 in 9 scoreless innings and is controllable by 2021.
In change, the Cubs may supply left-hander Brailyn Marquez, whose electrical fastball may make him a sterling late-inning reliever.
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Shortstop Francisco Lindor can grow to be a free agent after the 2021 marketing campaign and low-budget Cleveland will in all probability be unable to pay what it takes to maintain him.
Severe Lindor commerce talks will wait till the offseason, nonetheless. The membership is in competition behind a pitching employees fronted by ace Shane Bieber, who has struck out 54 in 34.2 innings.
Cleveland must improve an offense that ranks final within the AL with a .640 OPS. Not one of the staff’s outfield regulars has posted a .700 OPS.
The San Francisco Giants, in the meantime, are in final place within the NL West and within the midst of a rebuild. Heart fielder Mike Yastrzemski is slashing .311/.436/.656.
He’ll flip 30 on Aug. 23, however is controllable by 2025. Cleveland may supply outfielder George Valera to deepen the Giants’ MiLB stash whereas including a confirmed bat that would assist this season and past.
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The Los Angeles Angels sit at Eight-16 with a minus-19 run differential. In addition they make use of Mike Trout, arguably one of the best participant on the planet.
Trout has performed in a scant three postseason video games, which is against the law towards each logic and the sport.
If the Halos hope to enhance upon that ignoble document, they will want to reinforce a pitching employees that ranks 23rd with a four.93 ERA.
The Angels ought to name the Giants and inquire about right-hander Johnny Cueto.
He threw 69 innings mixed by 2018 and 2019 whereas getting back from Tommy John surgical procedure. Thus far this yr, he is tossed 25.1 innings with a four.62 ERA. He took a no-hitter into the sixth inning towards the Dodgers on Aug. Eight and logged seven innings of three-hit, two-run ball towards the Oakland Athletics on Aug 14.
He is owed $21.Eight million in 2021 with a $5 million buyout and a $22 million membership possibility in 2022. Meaning the Giants would wish to eat some money.
If San Francisco is prepared to offset the monetary burden, nonetheless, Cueto is a difference-making arm with postseason expertise.
The Halos may dangle high-upside outfield prospect Jordyn Adams and take again cash to make this work for either side.
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The Dodgers are a largely full staff with an actual probability to assert their first title since 1988.
They may enhance at second base, nonetheless, the place Enrique Hernandez and his .685 OPS tops the depth chart with Gavin Lux nonetheless marinating within the minors.
After main MLB in hits in each 2018 and 2019, Whit Merrifield is hitting .300 with an .876 OPS for the Kansas Metropolis Royals, who’re in final place within the AL Central and at the very least a number of years away from competition.
Merrifield is signed at the very least by 2022 with a $10.5 million possibility for 2023. However the 31-year-old will doubtless be previous his prime earlier than Okay.C. is once more a full-fledged contender.
Proper-hander Josiah Grey has a robust fastball/slider combo that provides him front-of-the-rotation potential. With a depth of younger arms together with Dustin Might, the Dodgers may deal him and add an skilled hitter to their already robust assault.
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The Philadelphia Phillies are within the combine in a wide-open NL East at 9-10. Bryce Harper leads the offensive assault with a 1.141 OPS, and Zack Wheeler has upgraded a beginning corps that already included Aaron Nola.
Nevertheless, Phillies aid pitchers rank final in MLB with an Eight.11 ERA. Except Philadelphia reinforces its bullpen, its postseason foray will probably be truncated (if it occurs in any respect).
We already established that the Royals must be sellers. Depend right-hander Greg Holland amongst their property. An All-Star as lately as 2017, Holland has a three.09 ERA with 10 strikeouts in 11.2 innings.
The 34-year-old is an impending free agent, which suggests he will not break the Phillies’ farm system and sure may very well be had for a projectable arm comparable to right-hander Enyel De Los Santos, who noticed large league motion in each 2018 and 2019.
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The San Diego Padres are authentic contenders within the NL West behind an offense led by celebrity shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
However it is time to sound the alarm on a bullpen that ranks 27th with a 6.08 ERA and misplaced nearer Kirby Yates to season-ending elbow surgical procedure.
Just like the Phillies, the Friars can flip to the rebuilding Royals and goal right-hander Trevor Rosenthal, who owns a zero.90 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 10 innings.
He is an impending free agent and would subsequently be a rental, however San Diego may doubtless purchase him for a package deal headlined by 20-year-old left-hander Joey Cantillo, who has the stuff to fit in as a mid-rotation arm.
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The Tampa Bay Rays are 15-9 and full-fledged contenders within the AL. However they may use an infusion of thump right into a lineup that is tied for 15th in residence runs.
The Rays will not commerce any top-shelf blue chips from their No. 1-ranked farm system, nor ought to they. However they may give up somebody comparable to infielder Xavier Edwards to focus on a package deal for a expertise like Josh Bell.
The 28-year-old Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman hit 37 residence runs with a .936 OPS in 2019 and is controllable by 2022.
The Bucs would add an MiLB chip, whereas the Rays would achieve a switch-hitter with fence-clearing talents now and for the foreseeable future.
All statistics present as of Wednesday and courtesy of Baseball Reference.