NL Edition – One Player each team should trade for – or trade away -as the Deadline approaches
Carlos Meza, SP, Pittsburgh Pirates – It took me a little while to find a player I thought the Rockies could truly target, but once I landed on Meza, it just made too much sense. He is a flame throwing pitcher with hard sinking action, that doesn’t garner as much attention as he should, as he is currently classified as a stater that only throws 3 pitches. This league (rightly or wrongly) has a huge prejudice against players that fit into the mold, and that is the only reason I can imagine he is not ciurrently playing for a different club. His GO% isn’t as high as you would imagine, but he also doesn’t give up many HR, less than 1 per 9. The Rockies need some arms who can keep the ball on the ground, and in the park, if they are going to hope to end the NLs run of 0 titles.
Likelihood – 65%
Cam Gallagher, C, Baltimore Orioles – The Dodgers are only 1 game back of the Rockies, but have gotten their in a very different fashion. Pitching and defense. That being said, the Dodgers are the only team in MLB Pro* (not fact checked) that do not have a single player with double digit homers to this point. While it isn’t a requirement, having a deep threat come up in your lineup once every few innings is very helpful in October. CG is a great fit here, as he is a defensive upgrade over current catcher Jake Jefferies, and would slot in as their #4 hitter.
Likelihood – 24%
Keyvious Sampson, SP, Minnesota Twins – One way or another, the path back to the NLCS will likely take Ryan Buccholz face to face with his brother Eddie and the mashers in Colorado. While they are a solid club, the Giants need some help in the rotation, and recently falling out of favor Keyvious Sampson fits the bill. Sampson would slide into the #3/4 spot in the rotation, would never have to pitch in Coors (which would likely be a disaster) and could provide some stability to a talented but aging rotation. As much sense as it makes for the Giants, I don’t think they have the pieces the Twins want however, as it has been made clear they are looking for a strong middle infielder.
Likelihood – 5%
Sixto Sanchez, SP, Toronto Ble Jays – It was recently discussed in a podcast by league fanatics Matt Wells and Cole Seltzer the likelihood of Sixto Sanchez finishing the year in Toronto’s system. They agreed that it was all but a guarantee that he would be moved. If I am looking for a landing spot that excites me as a baseball fan, its Arizona. They are flush with hitting prospects, and have a few intriguing arms as of now, but adding a guy like Sixto makes them a threat in 2020 to push for a wildcard spot. I don’t know what they give up to bring him, but I have to believe they have something that would be intriguing enough to pry him for a team loaded with MLB level arms.
Likelihood – 55%
Hiroshi Nakamuri, 3B, Boston Red Sox – The Padres should not be this bad. On paper, they are a solid team, but they can’t score runs. They need an upgrade on the offensive side of the ball, without sacrificing any defensive efficiency. Nakamuri makes perfect sense for them, as he can hit in the top 1/2 of the order, and has a rocket launcher for an arm. The Friars have been quite the whole season on the trade front, and this move by no means solves their whole issue, but I think its a good first step.
Likelihood – 10%
Rafael Luna, SS, Baltimore Orioles – The Cardinals are a team thet no one outside St. Louis seems to believe in, and I imagine they are fine with that. Despite leading their division all year, they do need some help, particularly on the offensive side of things. Ronald Luna is a great for an NL team that focuses on defense and needs help with OBP. I know the O’s organization has been fond of him over the years, but its likely time to move on. Juan Espinoza is currently playing short, and is the heir apparent to Longoria whenever he finally shuts it down, but is struggling with the stick. Lunas presence as a utility guy who can get on base regularly would be a nice lift as Cincinnati continues the chase.
Likelihood – 45%
Carlos Romero, C, Pittsburgh Pirates – Yes I know the Reds just brought in a catcher they assumed would solve their issues at backstop, but Baxter has not been the godsend Scott was hoping for, and Lucroy continues to be useless with the bat. Romero is a great candidate to be a solid contributor in a new city, and I think he could be acquired for a prospect or two. If the Reds could even get a .250 line behind the dish, it would make their chase of the Cardinals a little more believable.
Likelihood – 35%
Paul Hale, SP, Minnesota Twins – Brewers need to deal Shleby Miller, the Twins need help in the rotation. Twins can afford to send off some younger specs to bring in a proven winner as they try to beat off (intentional) the Indians. The Brewers could go grab a guy like Hale and maybe a smaller piece and continue their rebuild.
Likelihood – 19%
Alex Bregman, 3B, Pittsburgh Pirates – I was trying to find a target for them to buy, but it was tough because they have a lot of holes to fill. I have heard from a number of sources that Bregman is not moveable, but if Pittsburgh is planning to compete over the next 4 or 5 years, they need to bolster a weak farm system. Moving Bregman would bring in quite a haul of prospects from a team desperate for a middle of the order bat at the hot corner.
Likelihood – 9%
Mike Franklin, SP, Cincinnati Reds – Cubs need some young arms, and though Franklin is a bit older than a team in this kind of rebuild would be targeting, he will be in his prime by the time they are competing, and they can either use him as their vet presence in the rotation, or flip him along the way for more pieces should he manage to put it all together.
Likelihood – 41%
Tyler Greene, CP, Arizona Diamondbacks – The Braves bullpen has been atrocious all year and they need to fix that if they hope to make a push in the playoffs. Greene has been a productive relief pitcher on a team that is not ready to compete yet. Atlanta would be wise to flip a young piece over to the dessert to grab a reliable set up man, and help close out some games down the stretch.
Likelihood – 55%
Tommy Joseph, C, New York Yankees – For all the talk of the demise of the Mets, they are still only 3.5 games back of the division leading Braves. If they can get on base and drive in some more runs, the Mets could still make a run at this thing. Joseph would be a huge upgrade over incumbent D’Arnaud, who is great defensively, but can’t hit his way out of a paper bag. Adding a bat like Joseph, as small as it may seem, may add some pop to this lineup that has been missing all year long in Flushing.
Likelihood – 5%
Rich Dixon, RF, Arizona Diamondbacks – The Nationals are sneaky good this year. They have a balanced offense and a solid staff. Their one real weakness has been an inability to drive runs across when bases get bodies on them. If they can get a solid bat to drive in these baserunners, the Nats have a real chance to overtake the Braves and Mets in the East.
Likelihood – 10%
John Ballard, 2B, Kansas City Royals – The Marlins need to score runs. They are getting on base just fine, but can’t seem to bring anyone home. Enter John Ballard. Though not historically a huge run producer, he is leading the American league in doubles and is second in OBP. This is a man who could bring in some runs if people were on base ahead of him. Boegarts has struggled at second all year, so adding a real bat there in the lineup, plus whatever they end up getting for Buehller, this team could make a push here.
Likelihood – 25%
Kyle Cody, SP, Seattle Mariners – The Phillies have addressed their offense well, but the pitching still needs an overhaul. The Phils need a high ceiling, low cost pitcher to take a chance on, and Cody makes perfect sense to me. A move to the NL may do him good, and the Phils still have pieces to make something like this happen.