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What to watch for on Trade Deadline day

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Today is Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. 4pm Eastern is the deadline by which players must be traded without going through the waiver process.  Players who clear waivers can still be traded through August 31, by 6pm Eastern and will be eligible for postseason rosters. Players traded after that cannot be on postseason rosters.

There have already been a number of trades. Here are the major ones, with links to our breakdown of each deal:

There are, of course, still a number of players who are available or who have at least been rumored to be so. These are the ones we’ll watch most closely today:

  • Yu Darvish, still being shopped by Texas, and rumored to be on the radar of the Dodgers and Indians, among others;
  • Sonny Gray, coveted by any number of teams, but with the Yankees and Braves mentioned as a suitor most frequently;
  • Relievers, relievers, relievers: Now that Justin Wilson has been traded, Zach Britton of the Orioles, Addison Reed of the Mets, Brandon Kintzler of the Twins and Brad Hand of the Padres are the most highly sought after relief pitchers. The Astros have been linked to Britton, as have the Dodgers. Really, though, any contender would consider bullpen help, not that the fashion is stacking the back end of the bullpen with two or perhaps three relief aces, with an eye toward shortening playoff games;
  • Beyond Kintzler, the Twins — having fallen out of contention in the AL Central — could deal any number of players, including Ervin Santana and Brian Dozier. Really, they’ll listen on probably anyone not named Jose Berrios, Miguel Sano and Max Kepler;
  • The Tigers will likely listen on Justin Verlander, but his price tag — in either salary or prospects, take your pick — may be too high for current buyers;
  • There are a lot of rental/role players who could be had, including Mike Napoli and/or Carlos Gomez of the Rangers, Randal Grichuk and/or Tommy Pham of the Cardinals and David Freese of the Pirates. Offense is not likely to be a top ticket today, however, as position player value seems to be at an all-time trade deadline low.
  • That said, the A’s will still listen on Yonder Alonso, even if there doesn’t seem to be a perfect landing spot for him at the moment;

Obviously any player who isn’t a key contributor to a contender could be moved, so even if we’re watching those, we’ll be seeing all and will update you as the deals happen today.

 

 

 

Rumor: MLB execs discussing 100-game season that would begin July 1

David Price and Mookie Betts
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Matt Spiegel of 670 The Score Chicago heard from a source that Major League Baseball executives have been discussing a 100-game season that would begin on July 1 and conclude on October 15. It would essentially pick up the second half schedule, eliminating the All-Star Game while hosting the World Series at a neutral warm-weather stadium — ideally Dodger Stadium.

In the event the Dodgers, who won 106 games last year, made it all the way through the playoffs, the World Series would be hosted in Anaheim or San Diego. The earlier rounds of the playoffs would be played in the cities of the teams involved, which might be tough since the postseason would extend into November.

Spiegel went on to describe this vision as “an absolute best case scenario,” and that’s accurate. In order for the regular season to begin on July 1, the players would need to have several weeks if not a full month prior to get back into playing shape — more or less an abbreviated second spring training. And that would mean the U.S. having made significant progress against the virus by way of herd immunity or a vaccine, which would allow for nonessential businesses to resume operations. The U.S., sadly, is faring not so well compared to other nations around the world for a variety of reasons, but all of which point to a return to normalcy by the summer seeming rather unlikely.

Regardless, the league does have to plan for the potential of being able to start the regular season this summer just in case things really do break right and offer that opportunity. Commissioner Rob Manfred has stated multiple times about the league’s need to be creative, referring to ideas like playing deep into the fall, changing up the location of games, playing without fans in attendance, etc. This rumor certainly fits the “creative” mold.