As we fast approach the All-Star game in Major League Baseball, it does also means that we are closing in on the trade deadline of August 1. Most teams will look to solidify their pitching, or their lineup for a deep post-season run.
Of course, others may have an aspiration of chasing down a Wild Card spot or perhaps just want to free up payroll before the off-season. Therefore, we will now look at players and teams looking to make those last minute deals before their rosters are locked for the remainder of the year.
The first and second men to watch for on the trading block are Will Smith and CC Sabathia. While Smith has missed the first two months of the season, he is sitting on a 2.70 ERA from last season and an average of 13 strikeouts per nine innings. This factor could make him a valuable asset to a team looking to fill gaps in the bullpen.
For the Yankees, who have had their share of rotational issues, may seek to trade and build a core of younger players, or free up room within the salary cap for off-season. Either way, CC Sabathia could see himself on the trading block, as the 35 year old, who has had a tough time lately, should be a valuable commodity on the trading block for any team. In both of these instances, I would see the Texas Rangers as the team of interest, as they are trying to improve to have a shot at the World Series title.
For the Indians, whose rotation seems to be playing well, it’s all about offense. I’ll look for them to make a couple of moves to add beef to their batting lineup.
The Angels Kole Calhoun may find himself on the block. Calhoun, who has had descent plate appearances, however, whose contract will be entering arbitration next season; for these reasons could find himself shopped around. I’m picturing him not having to make a lot of travel plans though as the Dodgers would be his likely destination. LA is still trying to catch the Giants, and while that may not happen, a post-season match up may still, as the Dodgers are top of the Wild Card race.
Finally, another player to find his way to the trading block is Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers. Lucroy has had descent plate appearances and is a very solid option at catcher. In addition, Lucroy has an attractive $5 million dollar contract that can up his overall value to a new team. A possible team of interest for Lucroy is the Houston Astros. The Astros are currently looking to be a Wild Card contender, and have a strong farm system of pitching. However, would be looking to solidify a young core in other fielding positions to match the rotation.