One Player each team should trade for – or trade away -as the Deadline approaches

AL East

Blue Jays – Gabriel Flores, CL, Baltimore Orioles – The Jays are one of the most well-rounded teams in MLB Pro, with their only main weaknesses being speed on the basepaths (though this is likely an intentional choice by GM Mitch) and their pen.  Flores actually addresses multiple issues for the Jays, adding an anchor to their pen, where Wilson, Bongers, and Jansen have been good, not great, and giving them the freedom to bring in a strong left-handed presence.  With Venters and Dunn both struggling hard in the role of left-handed specialists at the moment, this would be invaluable down the stretch.  Flores is also on an extremely team-friendly contract for the next few years, and the Jays still, somehow, have interesting pieces to acquire a bullpen arm.  It’s a no-brainer.

likelihood – 70%

Rays – Ed Palmer, C, Washington Nationals – Tampa has been competitive all year long, despite getting subpar production from some major positions (C, 2B, DH).  With their budgetary constraints, Tampa has to be smart about who they bring in, especially realizing they have to compete with the Jays for the next few years.  Palmer makes sense as a late blooming hitter who, at age 26 is still a rookie, but looks to be a legit power threat.  Bringing in Palmer allows the Rays to slide Nicholas over to DH, and get an upgrade behind the dish as well.  Palmer has many years of team control left, and would be a great fit into this lineup.

likelihood – 45%

Red Sox – Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Miami Marlins – Boston has been chasing a power bat for a while now, and while Cabrera is likely older than the bat they had in mind, he would probably come cheaper than a young player, and will still be hitting next year when Boston has a lineup featuring Kuhn, Allen, and Stanton.  If they can add a legit power threat in the middle of this lineup, Boston could compete for a WC spot in 2020…. which would be an astounding turnaround from the way things looked in 2018.

Likelihood – 13%

Orioles – Cameron Gallagher, C, Baltimore Orioles – The O’s have come back to earth since their meteoric rise last year.  The sell off has begun, and amongst the remaining pieces, Gallagher has to be the most intriguing.  26-year-old catcher who plays + defense and can swing the stick very well, he slots into multiple teams around the league.  I would expect the O’s to hold tight to him until the deadline, and send to him to a team looking for a middle of the order bat at a premium position.

likelihood – 90%

Yankees – Tommy Joesph, C, New York Yankees – Joseph is a little older, a little more expensive, and a little less talented than Gallagher, but he is still a great hitter at a tough position to fill.  The Yanks are done this year, and with Joseph entering a walk year in 2020, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Empire flip him to a contender for some pieces who can help in 2020 and beyond.

likelihood – 50% (who knows with Rhett)

 

AL Central

Cleveland Indians – Ryobe Kamida, 1B, Philadelphia Phillies – The Phils have recently made it known that they would entertain offers on their young Japanese star, and the Indians are chasing a big bat.  Kamida is currently 5th in MLB Pro in home runs, with a wonderful .322 average.  He has struggled a bit in the field, but in the AL, his bat could hide from time to time in the DH spot.  I would not expect him to be cheap, but the Indians have a chance to win the division and make a run at the title, adding a power bat like Kamida to this lineup would be a huge step in that direction.

Likelihood – 35%

Minnesota Twins – Walker Buehler, SP, Miami Marlins – The Twins have been a contender for the last few years, winning a title in 2017.  This year, they are struggling to keep up with the Indians, and a big reason for that has been the pitching.  They have been actively shopping the bargain bin, but as the deadline approaches, the brass in Minnesota would likely like to see a bigger splash made.  Buehler has ace stuff and would be the pitcher that the Twins always hoped Keyvious Sampson would turn into.  While it may seem unlikely that the Marlins would actually deal WB, looking at their rotation tells you why they would consider it.  This team is flush with plus arms.

Likelihood – 5% (I dont expect Twins front office to pay the asking price)

Chicago White Sox – Gio Gonzalez, SP, White Sox – The southsiders have already madea few splashy moves sending out a pair of young arms in return for prospects, so
I do not expect much more to come down.  One peice that does make sense to move though is Gio Gonzalez.  Signed to a sub 1mil contract, the 33 year old lefty is off to a blistering 7-1 start with a 2.00 ERA.  Much of that has been influenced by specatular defense behind him, but a left handed pitcher who is throwing the way he is will certainly draw some attention.  I expect a few suiters to come calling in the final days before the deadline.

Likelihood – 90%

Royals – Alberto Madrid, OF, Kansas City Royals – The Royals have finally given up the dream of competing this year, and have publically stated that Madrid is on the block.  He has been remarkably consistant for the Royals, even posting modest results playing well out of position at first base.  He could be a great 4th outfielder/utility man for a contending team.

Likelihood – 80%

Tigers – Joey Votto, 1B, Detroit Tigers – This one was obvious.  After pulliung off the impossible in dealing JJ, they now look to conquer another tall task, trading away the still mildly productive Joey Votto.  His defense has taken a large step back, but Votto still gets on base regularly, and could likely see a spike on power if he had some protection surrounding him in a real lineup.  Obviously his contract and defensive limitations make him a tough fit for some teams, but there are enough potential suiters out there that I would imagine the dynamic duo leading Detroits front office get something done over the next few weeks.

Likelihood – 87%

AL WEST

Angels – Shleby Miller, SP, Milwaukee Brewers – The Angels can fucking MASH.  Their +165 run differential is over 74 runs better than the closest team (Toronto).  This is despite having a starting rotation with a collective ERA flirting with a 4.00 number.  They were rumored to be pursuing Mark Appel prior to the injury that derailed his season, so making a move on Miller makes sense.

Likelihood – 60%

Mariners – Armando Cabannas, OF, Atlanta Braves – The leagues worst kept secret is that the M’s have been chasing Cabannas for years now.  The team is consistently playing second fiddle in their own division, despite being the #2 team in the whole league by many accounts.  Cabbanas fills a major need on the team as a great defender in the outfield, a terror on the base paths and a menace with the bat.  It has been rumored that they have made a strong offer, but the question remains…. will the Braves pull the trigger.

Likelihood – 50%

Rangers – Juan Ibara, RP, Philadelphia Phillies – 6.5 back of the best team in baseball, and they are in 3rd place.  The Rangers have to find a way to keep the ball in the park in Arlington.  Ibara is a great candidate for them, as the young righty misses bats to the tune of 11k/9.  He is also rocking a 56% GO rate, so keeping the ball on the ground of the 214 batters he has faced this year, only 58 have put the ball in the air.  If he can continue that rate in Arlington, he would be a godsend.

Likelihood – 45%

Astros – Shoa-Qi Fung, SP, Houston Astros – The team of the future isnt far from being the team of now, only 5 games out of a wildcard spot.  Unfortunately, they reside in the league’s best division and are staring at three top clubs ahead of them.  I really wanted to pick a player for the Astors to potentially target, but it got really complicated, so for now…. let’s stick with the obvious.  Fung is going to move, as the Stros need to make room for Davilla. Matt has shown patience in the past, but I would bet he moves Fung for some offensive specs and makes his run in 2020.

Likelihood – 79%

Athletics – Taylor Sparks, 3B, Oakland Athletics – As much as they don’t want to, the A’s need to move Sparks.  The 26-year-old at the hot corner should fetch a nice haul, and the A’s won’t be competitive at any point during his peak.  While they have some exciting pieces, they need more in the cupboard to hope to catch the guys miles above them.  Oakland brass has been adamant that they are not moving him, but I think the right offer pries him away.

Likelihood – 21%