Brian McCann big again with bases loaded

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Brian McCann didn’t start Wednesday’s game against the Astros, but he did finish it, delivering a grand slam in the top of the 10th inning to expand Atlanta’s lead from two runs to six runs in the Braves’ 8-2 win.
It was the seventh career slam for McCann, who is one of the best in baseball with the sacks jacked. He’s one of eight active major leaguers to slug at least .700 with the bases loaded (minimum 50 plate appearances):
Jason Kubel – .403/.387/.839, 7 HR, 77 RBI in 62 AB
Albert Pujols – .395/.382/.798, 11 HR, 152 RBI in 114 AB
Travis Hafner – .289/.354/.776, 10 HR, 90 RBI in 76 AB
Alex Rodriguez – .353/.402/.720, 21 HR, 242 RBI in 207 AB
Brian McCann – .360/.389/.709, 7 HR, 97 RBI in 86 AB
Matt Holliday – .386/.418/.705, 4 HR, 93 RBI in 88 AB
Matt Stairs – .345/.401/.703, 12 HR, 162 RBI in 145 AB
Manny Ramirez – .332/.379/.702, 21 HR, 252 RBI in 235 AB
David Ortiz – .359/.374/.697, 9 HR, 163 RBI in 145 AB
Ryan Braun – .354/.365/.688, 3 HR, 49 RBI in 48 AB
Carlos Pena – .326/.426/.686, 7 HR, 107 RBI in 86 AB
OK, so he’s no Jason Kubel. Kubel’s slugging percentage ranks third over the 37 years of data provided by baseballmusings.com. Tops on that list are John Milner (.875 in 48 AB) and Chris Hoiles (.842 in 57 AB).

Buyers and Sellers at the Trade Deadline: National League Central

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Manny Machado’s trade completed, the rest of baseball can now turn its attention to the non-blue chip players on the market.

Yesterday, in our look-ahead to the second half, we mentioned some of the top players likely to be made available. Today we look at each team to see who is buying, who is selling, what they’re seeking and what they have to offer. Note: almost every contender, always, needs relief help.

As a reminder, the non-waiver Trade Deadline is July 31. Players traded after that date but before August 31 need to pass through waivers unclaimed before they can be traded. All players traded before August 31 are eligible to be on their new team’s playoff roster should they make the postseason.

Next up, the National League Central:

Cubs
Status: Buyers
Wanted: They could use a lot of pitching. They could get in-house help in this regard with Yu Darvish coming back, but they have no idea what they’ll get from him at this point. You have to assume they’ll be in the conversation for any starter out there.

Brewers
Status: Buyers. They were another of the finalists on Manny Machado.
Wanted: One of the few teams who does not need bullpen help, the Brewers could really use a bat, either at short or in the outfield.

Cardinals
Staus: I have no idea
Huh?  I mean, they just fired their manager which suggests the season is kind of a loss, but they’re only four games out in the Wild Card race which suggests that, no it is not. On one, vague level they’re like the Rays, who will likely seek good deals regardless of whether they are short term or long term. On another level they’re the Cardinals, and the Cardinals are almost always in win-now mode. If a pitcher can be had, figure they’ll try to grab one.

Pirates
Status: Sellers. They finished hot in the first half and are only 5.5. back in the Wild Card, but this front office does not strike me as one that’s gonna go for broke here.
For Sale: Assuming they fall out of contention, they’ll likely accept offers for any number of veterans, including Jordy MercerDavid FreeseCorey Dickerson and Ivan Nova.

Reds
Status: Sellers, because that awful start kind of buried them, though can we tip our cap to them for the run they’ve been on of late? *tip*
For Sale: They’ve done a pretty good job of making Matt Harvey look respectable, so flipping him seems to make sense. Any number of relievers would make sense. Billy Hamilton seems like a good change-of-scenery candidate who could be a lethal weapon for a playoff contender if judiciously deployed.