Let’s make a deal!
Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is approaching fast. Already some blockbuster deals have been made.
The Cincinnati Reds traded away pitching ace Johnny Cueto to the Kansas City Royals for three pitching prospects. The Colorado Rockies dealt star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays for shortstop Jose Reyes. But they aren’t the only stars on the trading block.
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Here are a few big name players that should be on the move before Friday’s July 31st deadline.
DAVID PRICE - LEFT HAND PITCHER - Detroit Tigers
With the Tigers falling out of the AL Central race thanks to the loss of superstar slugging first baseman Miguel Cabrera, rumors have been swirling that Detroit might be willing to trade away their other high-end players.
That includes star pitcher David Price. The veteran lefty is a free agent after this season and could help a team make a big push for a playoff spot. Price has a 2.31 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 140 innings this season, helping the Tigers stay somewhat afloat.
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Price has been linked to teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and even the Houston Astros.
I think Price will go to the up and coming Cubs to stabilize the young team.
JUSTIN UPTON - LEFT FIELDER - San Diego Padres
All the glitz and glamor of the last offseason for the San Diego Padres has gone away fast. San Diego sits eight and a half games out of their division, and eight games out of the second wild card. Justin Upton was one of a group of brand new players brought in to dramatically improve the Padres and contend for a playoff spot.
A free agent at the end of this season, Upton would be a rental to whomever he is traded. Upton has not worked out in San Diego. The veteran outfielder’s batting average of .251 is not quite what GM AJ Preller expected, but Upton also has 16 home runs and 50 RBIs.
Upton has been linked to the New York Mets and more recently the Baltimore Orioles. Both teams need help offensively, especially from an outfielder. Upton has been considered the one that got away twice from the Mets.
But my gut tells me the Orioles swoop in and get their man.
CRAIG KIMBREL - CLOSER - San Diego Padres
Kimbrel was another one of the Padres splashy offseason acquisitions and while Kimbrel has a solid 2.75 ERA this year, it is well above his 1.61 mark last year for the Atlanta Braves.
The righty closer has 27 saves this year and could be a huge help to a contending team. Because the Padre 2015 season has been a bust, expensive players like Kimbrel are being shopped around. The Washington Nationals are reportedly deep in the hunt for Kimbrel’s service.
After the Mets acquired Washington’s former closer Tyler Clippard from Oakland, Washington needs a legitimate option for the back-end of their bullpen, especially long-term. Kimbrel has two more seasons on his deal and could help Washington during that time.
With no other reported candidate for Kimbrel, the Nats return the closer to his NL East roots.
CARLOS GOMEZ - CENTER FIELDER - Milwaukee Brewers
Gomez is an intriguing player for the Brewers. The 29-year-old star outfielder has one more year left on his contract after this season and is relatively cheap, getting $9 million in 2016.
Gomez hasn’t played up to his All-Star caliber level in 2015, hitting for just a .266 batting average with eight home runs and 42 RBIs. Gomez’s speed has also taken a dip this year, stealing just seven bases in 13 attempts.
Last year Gomez swiped 34 bags in 46 attempts and the star outfielder hit for a .284 average with 23 home runs and 73 RBIs. The New York Mets, Texas Rangers, and Cleveland Indians are each reportedly in the mix for Gomez.
I believe the Mets will land Gomez before Friday’s deadline.
COLE HAMELS - LEFT HAND PITCHER - Philadelphia Phillies
Hamels has been subject to trade rumors for years now, yet was never moved. This year is likely different. The Philadelphia Phillies have the worst record in all of baseball at 37-63. Hamels has been one of the very few bright spots for the Phillies.
Hamels has three years left on his contract after this year, and is owed about $66 million during those years. The lefty ace’s numbers are up from last year; posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 2015. But Hamels just tossed a no-hitter this past Saturday, against a very potent Chicago Cubs lineup. He still has it. That should raise his already high value to extraordinary levels.
The Dodgers appear to be in on every big name pitcher potentially available, and Hamels is no exception. The San Francisco Giants are also reportedly making a hard charge for Hamels’ services.
My prediction is the SoCal kid returns home to the Dodgers.
Expect most, if not all of these players to be in a new uniform by the end Friday.