Getty Images

Buyers and Sellers At the Trade Deadline: American League East

15 Comments

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?

 

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series

Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4.

After Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless top of the first inning, the Nationals’ offense wasted no time getting to work. Single, double, sacrifice fly, RBI double, intentional walk, reach on error, RBI single, two-run single, sacrifice bunt, two-run single. That’s how the Nats hung a seven-spot in the opening frame against Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

To the Cardinals’ credit, they cleaned things up from there. The Nationals would not score for the rest of the game while the Cardinals clawed back for a run in the fourth before plating three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina went yard off of Corbin in the fourth. In the fifth, a Tommy Edman ground out and a José Martínez two-run double accounted for the Cardinals’ runs in the fifth.

Corbin ultimately gave up the four runs on four hits and three walks with, impressively, 12 strikeouts across five innings of work. Tanner Rainey worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Sean Doolittle did the same in the seventh.

Doolittle remained in the game in the eighth, getting the first two outs before relenting a single to Marcell Ozuna. Right-hander Daniel Hudson entered for the four-out save opportunity. Hudson hit Molina with a fastball, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Paul DeJong. DeJong worked a full count, then walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter emerged from the dugout to take his cuts against Hudson. After five tense pitches to Carpenter, Hudson got him to ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Nats went down quick in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson emerged from the dugout to send the Nationals into the World Series. He did just that, getting Kolten Wong to fly out to shallow left field for the first out. Matt Wieters popped up to the catcher in fair territory for out number two. At long last, Edman flied out to center field. Nationals win 7-4.

The only other time the franchise reached the Championship Series was in 1981 when the Expos lost three games to two to the Dodgers. The Expos/Nationals then went from 1982-2011 without a playoff appearance. The Nationals lost four Division Series appearances in a row in 2012, ’14, and ’16-17, three of which went the maximum five games. Now they’re in the World Series, improbably. They will await the winner of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead 2-1.