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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.

 

 

 

For the second straight year, Chris Sale, Max Scherzer match up as All-Star Game starters

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For the second year in a row, the All-Star Game will feature a starting pitching matchup of Chris Sale vs. Max Scherzer. The two were just announced at a press conference at Nationals Park.

This, in fact, will be Sale’s third straight start of the Midsummer Classic, as he faced off against Johnny Cueto of the National League in 2016. It’s Scherzer’s third start in an All-Star Game overall, as he got the starting nod for the American League back in 2013 against Matt Harvey.

Sale is 10-4 with a 2.23 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 188/31 in 129 inning pitched. He leads the American League in ERA, strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings pitched, with 13.1.

Scherzer is 12-5 with a 2.41 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 182/34 in 134.2 innings pitched. He leads the National League in wins, complete games, shutouts, strikeouts, innings, batters faced, WHIP, hits per nine innings allowed and strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Because it’s the All-Star Game neither will notch a win, even if one could get a loss. Still, it’s a matchup of the two best pitchers going in 2018 and, with a tip of the cap to Clayton Kershaw, the two best starting pitchers of this era.