With only hours remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline around the Major League Baseball world, one thing is becoming readily apparent. It sure is looking like a sellers market out there.
If that’s the case moving forward, we can expect a ton of moves between now and Monday’s deadline.
Here’s a look at five trades that simply make too much sense not to happen.
1. Chris Sale to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Sale to Southern California should gain momentum in the coming days. The Dodgers have reportedly offered top prospect Julio Urias in a deal for Sale (more on that here).
Not only would that give the Chicago White Sox a prized young player, but it would also enable the team to potentially find an ace for the future to replace Sale.
Urias has struggled to an extent in the Majors this season, but he’s just 19 years old and has struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings during his brief time in Dodger Blue. It’s that type of upside that could very well entice Chicago.
As it relates to the Dodgers, there’s no questioning the team’s intentions right now. They are going big after talent on the trade block leading up to Monday’s deadline. If he’s legitimately on the block, Sale represents the biggest fish.
It’s also a big need for Los Angeles with Clayton Kershaw shut down for the foreseeable future after suffering a back injury earlier in the year.
Adding someone of Sale’s ilk would allow the Dodgers to take it easy as it relates to a return of their ace pitcher. And once Kershaw does return, this would represent the best one-two punch in the Majors.
2. Wade Davis to the San Francisco Giants
The Giants might have added a solid infielder in All-Star Eduardo Nunez earlier this month, but that’s not exactly the area that needs to be addressed here. San Francisco needs an upgrade in the back end of the bullpen to compete for a fourth World Series title in seven seasons.
As of the start of this weekend’s action, San Francisco boasts the 18th-best bullpen ERA and has posted the second-most blow saves in baseball. That’s obviously something Davis would fix. Now that it’s apparent he’s on the block, the Giants should definitely look into this possibility.
While the Giants’ farm system leaves a lot to be desired, there are a couple youngsters Kansas City might be interested in.
Any haul would likely start with 2015 first-round pick Phil Bickford, who has posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 17 starts between two the Giants’ two Single-A clubs this season.
As we saw with the Aroldis Chapman deal, it’s definitely a sellers market for relievers. If that rings true with Davis, then San Francisco would obviously have to add near Major League-ready talent in this deal.
With the likes of reliever Hunter Strickland and catcher Trevor Brown already in the big’s, San Francisco boasts that type of talent right now.
3. Jonathan Lucroy to the Detroit Tigers
Now just 4.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, it appears that Detroit is willing to buy between now and Monday’s trade deadline. If that’s the case, then catcher should be the primary focus here.
The trio of James McCann, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Bobby Wilson have combined to hit .198 with a sub .280 on-base percentage on the season. That’s simply not going to get it done.
Detroit could offer a package that starts with the aforementioned McCann as well as outfielder Christin Stewart and one of the organization’s top starting pitching prospects. That’s the type of haul it would take to nab someone of Lucroy’s ilk from the Milwaukee Brewers.
4. Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians
It seems unlikely that New York would trade Miller after sending All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs earlier this month. Though, it must be noted that the team appears to be in full-scale sellers mode (more on that here).
If so, the thought process wouldn’t be as much about the remainder of the season as it would be about the long term.
In this, there’s definitely a scenario in play where New York could look to sell high on Miller while re-acquiring Chapman as a free agent this upcoming winter. That’s where the Yankees might be able to control the market while yielding short-term success for long-term viability.
For the Indians, acquiring someone of Miller’s pedigree would make the team one of the favorites to come out of the American League this fall.
Despite having one of the top starting rotations in the game, there have been some bullpen issues in Cleveland this year. Bryan Shaw has posted a 4.19 ERA and 1.35 WHIP thus far this season. Meanwhile, the injured Zach McAllister boasts a 5.40 ERA and 1.68 WHIP in 30 appearances.
If the team were able to land Miller, it would shorten the game with the likes of Cody Allen and Dan Otero continuing to pitch at elite levels.
5. Yasiel Puig to the Oakland Athletics
Oakland simply needs to change everything up. What the team is putting on the field right now isn’t working. Josh Reddick hitting .300-plus isn’t changing that. Sonny Gray returning to 2015 form won’t change that either. In reality, the team needs to make a bold move.
Why not buy low on an enigmatic Dodgers outfielder that’s clearly on his way out of Los Angeles? It’s the type of move Billy Beane has been known for — reclamation projects, so to speak.
Oakland could surely give the Dodgers something of substance here. They covet a left-handed hitter, which could put Reddick in play. Heck, one of the multitude of solid late-inning reliever the A’s possess could get this done. It just makes too much sense for both sides.