Note: This article was posted after all of the games were over on Sunday, July 30th, 2023.
TRADING BEFORE THE ELEVENTH HOUR
A few days ago the Los Angeles Angels made a deal with my home town Chicago White Sox for Lucas Giolito and Renaldo Lopez. At the time the rumors of this deal started it was very confusing because of the fact that they were listening to offers for Shohei Ohtani. Many fans in Chicago were asking if this was the start of a bigger deal that would actually be a multi-team deal allowing the Angeles to rebuild their minor league system. Nope, this was the Angels saying “We are buyers, and we are all in!” They want are doing everything they can to make a playoff run and keep Shohei around by resigning him this coming winter. Once free agency begins it will be very interesting to see what happens because many analysts and reporters are now saying that Shohei’s market is down to three teams… those teams are the Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers. Some of them say the Cubs will be serious players for Ohtani. I am still hesitant to believe they will be though.
Late yesterday the Mets threw up the white flag and got serious about trading Max Scherzer. They finalized a deal sending him to the Rangers late this morning. Now rumors are ramping up that they will also trade veteran starting pitchers José Quintana and/or Justin Verlander. With an 8-6 record after the All Star break Mets GM Billy Eppler threw in the towel on this season because the team has not made an honest effort to get back to .500 since the break. As a baseball fan… I understand why die hard fans, like my fellow writer Steve Leblang, are pissed off with this decision. However, the team has been sitting in fourth place most of the season and the Braves have not been pushed out of first place by them or any other team in the division. There was almost a zero chance the Mets will even be able to make the playoffs as a wild card being 17 games back in the division going into today.
Last weekend there were a number of rumors out of St. Louis and New York that the Cardinals were listening to offers for Arenado and Willson Contrares. By Wednesday evening those rumors were shot down by Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort. Then after today’s game they traded Chris Stratton, Jordan Hicks, and Jordan Montgomery. I do not think they are done yet though. I think they will make at least one more trade before the deadline on Tuesday.
WILL THERE BE ELEVENTH HOUR DEALS?
My guess is yes there will be and at least one of them will involve the Cubs getting a left handed relief pitcher in excahge for Kevin Alcántara (who the Cubs got for Rizzo two years ago) or Drew Smyly who does not appear to be able to pitch well under the pressure of being in a big market. It is also quite likely that we will see the Mets, Blue Jays, Rockies, and a couple other teams make some eleventh hour deals. The next two days will be very interesting to say the least. Especially since there waiver deals in August are a thing of the past.
With that… let the playoff races start heating up.
If you cannot play with them, root for them!