With the first domino of the MLB Trade Deadline having toppled in the deal that sent White Sox ace Jose Quintana to the Cubs, it’s only fair for sports fans to look ahead at some of the trades that might happen in the next few weeks, as teams try to nail down their rosters for the postseason. The key word here is “might” and even though a lot of this is just conjecture, it’s still very very fun conjecture. The trade deadline is one of the best parts of the season and well who doesn’t like speculating about what their favorite team should do? So let’s take a look at a few of the hottest rumors of the week and talk about whether they’re, well, fact or fiction.
- Todd Frazier to the Red Sox
As discussed in the article about the Quintana deal, the White Sox still retain some veteran contracts on their payroll, that likely won’t finish the season in Chicago. 3B Todd Frazier is one of those contracts, despite his relatively inexpensive contract ($12 Million for the 2017 season). Despite a lack of production from Frazier thus far, he’s batting just .210 with 16 home runs through 276 at-bats, he could still provide an upgrade for Boston at third. Third Base has been a black hole for the Sox with Pablo Sandoval doing all he can to prove he wasn’t worth the big contract (he was DFA’d last week), and Frazier’s power from the right side will definitely play in Fenway. Overall, Frazier is a relatively inexpensive rental, who still has a lot of pop even in a disappointing season. In case you needed more convincing, Ken Rosenthal called this trade “almost inevitable.”
Verdict: Almost inevitable.
2. Sonny Gray to the Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers have been one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, in a division widely thought to be the Cubs’ for the taking. It seemed as though, come the trade deadline the front office might stand pat and continue their rebuild, but still holding a 5.5 game lead after the all star break might be enough for Milwaukee to go all in and swing a big trade. The Brewers have a great farm system with 5 prospects in MLB Pipeline’s top 100. Also, the Milwaukee pitching coach, Derek Johnson, was Gray’s pitching coach at Vanderbilt, and the two apparently remain close. A deal for Gray would give the Brewers a very nice piece to add to the top of the rotation that already includes Chase Anderson and Jimmy Nelson. However, Gray has also been linked to several other teams, including the Yankees, Indians and Astros so there is much interest in the A’s right hander. This trade is very possible, but given GM David Sterns reported reluctance to change course on the rebuild, don’t be surprised if the Brewers don’t get Gray, but instead try and add some bullpen pieces around stud closer Corey Knebel.
Verdict: More likely than you think.
3. Yonder Alonso to the Yankees
A’s 1B Yonder Alonso is having a career year thus far, and was rewarded with his first All-Star selection. He’s hitting .272 with 21 homers so far this season, but his production is limited by the fact that he plays in the AL West on a team that isn’t the Houston Astros. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has stated the Bombers would be cautious buyers, not looking to mortgage the future to make a run this season. What a long way from George Steinbrenner they have come. After a very hot start the Yankees have cooled off dramatically leading into the All-Star break, and part of the reason why is injuries across the diamond, but the one to 1B Greg Bird is a big one. The heir to 1B in the post Texiera days in New York, Bird has been injured most of the season, and his replacement, Chris Carter provided very little production. Enter Alonso, who though he is having a career year, the Yankees could probably snag without touching their upper echelon of prospects.
Verdict: The Yankees will more than likely deal for a 1B, call a deal for Alonso very possible.
4. Red Sox Trade for Miguel Cabrera
Current Fox Sports analyst and one time baseball player, Alex Rodriguez, maybe you’ve heard of him, speculated that this would happen. He cited the money at Boston’s disposal and their prospect talent. Moreover, Boston GM Dave Dombrowski is also the man who drafted Cabrera to the Florida Marlins in 1999. Dombrowski also traded for Cabrera in 2007, the deal that brought him to the Tigers, so there is almost definitely interest within the organization to swing a deal. However, this deal seems like BS for a few reasons. 1. Boston already spent a lot in terms of prospects to swing the Chris Sale deal in the offseason losing Michael Koepech and Yoan Moncada. Moreover, Cabrera still has six years and $184 million left on his contract and he is already 34 years old. Cabrera is a generational talent who is still hitting .315, but don’t count on Boston swinging this blockbuster.
Verdict: Interesting, but highly dubious.
5. Jacob deGrom to the Astros
Over the last few weeks reports have been circling that the Astros have interest in dealing for Jacob deGrom to compliment Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. This makes sense given the injuries to the Astros rotation, deGrom’s track record and postseason experience, and also the Mets poor play to this point. However, the interest appears to be fairly one sided thus far, and just about any team in the majors would have interest in trading for Jacob deGrom, he’s a pretty good pitcher, maybe you saw his 2015 all-star game performance. As of right now, the Mets really have no reason to trade him unless a team calls Flushing with a King’s ransom for the righty. deGrom is having a great season and is the de-facto ace in Noah Syndergaard’s absence. The Mets are having a bad year, to be sure, but they still have good pieces in place to play well next year, and deGrom could be a part of that as he is still cheap and under team control for a couple of years. Mets GM Sandy Alderson stated: “I don’t think enough would be presented for us to bite on that.”
Verdict: Short of a huge haul in return, don’t bet the house on it.