The July 31 non-waiver trade deadline is upon Major League Baseball front offices and fans, and with less than one week before the “make it or be left behind” end of July date the second place franchises in the AL East and Central, the Yankees and Royals respectively, have made moves.
The Bronx Bombers made a seven-player trade with the White Sox adding depth to their bullpen while the Royals added capable arms to the front and back of their pitching staff. Kansas City added three arms to their pitching staff in a six-player swap with the Padres.
CBS Sports reported today that the “Kansas City Royals may not be done dealing after acquiring Trevor Cahill as part of Monday’s trade with the San Diego Padres.”
Royals get: RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Brandon Maurer, LHP Ryan Buchter.
Padres get: LHP Travis Wood, LHP Matt Strahm, IF Esteury Ruiz, cash considerations.
Cahill, by default, is now the Royals’ fifth starter behind Danny Duffy, Jason Vargas, Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel.
According to CBSSports.com “Rumor Central Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweets the Royals are “looking around for another starter” and are open to using Cahill in a relief role. Without offering specifics, Royals general manager Dayton Moore said Monday he would “continue to monitor” additional trade options.”
While many MLB pundits believed that Kansas City would be sellers despite being in the AL Central and Wild Card races the Royals are hanging onto a group of core players (Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar) that will hit the free agent market at the end of this season.
Kansas City has won six straight games to move within 1 1/2 games of first place in the AL Central and heading into tonight’s action own the second Wild Card slot a half game behind the other Card-holder, the Yankees.
The Red Sox are in desperate need of a power hitting third baseman. The club called up top prospect Rafael Devers to address their season-long hole at third base. Devers, 20, is arguably the clubs top infield prospect. Devers is slashing .311/.377/.578 with 20 home runs in 86 Double and Triple-A games. Without making a deadline move to fill the left-corner of the infield the 2017 Red Sox are not quite as formidable as many would like you to believe.
Boston ranks 27th in all of baseball in home runs this season. The Sox have hit just 99 dingers against the American League average of 127 and have recorded only eight steals more than the league average of 52. The Sox don’t hit for power and while they are not a station to station team on offense they don’t have a top-to-bottom lineup with speed and only the Cleveland Indians have a higher team earned run average than do the Sox.
A third baseman with Fenway Park power isn’t readily available in the trade deadline market and the MLB rumor mil has reported that the front office have inquired about San Francisco Eduardo Nunez and the Mets’ Asdrubal Cabrera. There has been some talk that the powers that are in Boston front might consider making offers for the Reds shortstop Zack Cozart before the July 31 cutoff and moving Xander Bogaerts to third base.
According to ESPN before Monday’s trade deadline right-handed starter Sonny Gray won’t be a part of the Athletics roster. Several teams, including the likes of the Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Brewers and Astros, have expressed interest in acquiring Gray.
The Cubs reached out in mid-July and acquired lefty starter Jose Quintana from the Chicago White Sox but according to the Chicago Tribune have made inquiries about both Tigers catcher Alex Avila and starting pitcher Justin Verlander. Adding Verlander to their current roster could be as much of a move to block the Los Angeles Dodgers from gathering the former Cy Young winner from Detroit due to the recent injury to Clayton Kershaw (back) as it is player personnel interest. Currently the Cubbies sport a rotation of Quintana, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, John Lackey and Kyle Hendricks. The latter duo are in reality the only pitchers that could be moved to the pen making a spot for Verlander.
The Texas Rangers are sellers despite being less than four games out of one of the two AL Wild Cards. The “seller” theory is obvious as they have talked with a number of clubs about the availability of staff ace Yu Darvish who is in a free agent season. The Dodgers appear to be the logical choice for Darvish. Los Angeles can not only afford to look at Darvish as a rental they have the wherewithal to sign him long term, as well.
The Brewers came into the 2017 campaign with the thought they were in rebuilding mode but exited the first half of the season with a 5 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. Now that that lead over the Chicago Cubs has disappeared will the Brewers be active in this weekend’s trading game or will they stand pat and take their chances with their current roster?
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