Buyers and Sellers At the Trade Deadline: American League East

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With 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. Really, every dang team with a winning percentage over .300 will tell the press it wants bullpen arms. As such, I apologize if that becomes redundant.

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.

First up, the American League East:

Red Sox
Status: Buyers
Wanted: Relief help and, possibly a starter. They have some minor league arms to deal to get that help, but when you’re on a 116-win pace, you can afford to be choosy and to drive a hard bargain. There are not glaring needs here outside of a non-closing bullpen arm.

Yankees
Status: Buyers
Wanted: Starting pitching. Look for them to be the first team mentioned in any rumor about a starting pitcher. They have major league-ready talent to deal for it too, including outfielder Clint Frazier, among others. If either Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard became available, the Yankees might consider trading A LOT of their top prospects from their deep farm system for one of them, but it’s hard to see the Mets wanting to make a trade with the source of their inferiority complex.

Rays
Status: Both?
Wanted/For Sale: The Rays are looking for good deals above all else, and if a given deal is characterized as an “acquisition” or a “selloff,” well, that’s just you failing to think outside of the box, man. If they do buy it’s because they improve their shot at the second Wild Card position in the next couple of weeks, but they won’t buy big regardless. If they do decide to sell they have a lot of potential candidates, inclduing Nate Eovaldi, Wilson Ramos, Sergio Romo, Adeiny Hechavarria, and the perpetually-rumored-to-be-dealt, Chris Archer.

Blue Jays
Status: Sellers
For Sale: Starter J.A. Happ, reliever Tyler Clippard and possibly John Axford. They had big dreams of flipping Josh Donaldson at the deadline but his health won’t cooperate. It’s a reload situation for Toronto, what with some good prospects, including Vlad Guerrero Jr., poised to join the club in the near-to-mid future, so pieces that can complement that are what they’re after.

Orioles
Status: Sellers
For Sale: Everything that isn’t nailed down, but mostly Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Adam Jones. They may be willing to trade the big brick building in right field. While we’re at it, how are ya fixed for harbors?

 

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.