One of the most notable deadlines on the yearly baseball calendar is fast approaching, it’s the in-season trade deadline, July 31. Now every general manager understands that the real deadline is August 31. That is the day 40-man rosters for the postseason must be finalized. But waiver wire deals are a little more tricky to do. The trade season has already gotten started with some big deals. Todd Frazier and Daniel Robertson went the Yankees. J.D. Martinez went to the Diamondbacks. Jamie Garcia went to the Twins. Jose Quintana was sent to the Cubs, and there are more names on the way.
The first two players that come up are the big names from the Oakland Athletics roster that are on the trade block, starting pitcher Sonny Gray and first baseman Yonder Alonzo. Gray is having a decent season, as he currently sits with a record of 6-5 and an ERA of 3.43. Meanwhile, Yonder Alonzo is having one of the best seasons of his career. Alonzo currently sits with a .264 average, 21 home runs, and 45 RBI’s. The Yankees had interest in both before the Todd Frazier trade, but the team could still pull off a move for Gray if they wanted to. Also in on Gray could be the Twins, Astros(Although trades within the division rarely ever happen,) Brewers, and Rockies. Looking across the list of contenders, an Alonzo trade looks unlikely for now, but it’s still possible. Another name on the Athletics roster that could be moved is the 34-year-old relief pitcher John Axford. The former Brewers closer could help a lot of contending bullpens down the stretch.
Next up we have the Phillies. They have a mix of smaller names that could be moved, and probably will be. Relief pitchers Pat Neshek and Joaquin Benoit could both help many a contending bullpen. Second basemen Andres Blanco could provide good spot starting and bench play for many teams as well. Veteran outfielders Daniel Nava and Howie Kendrick could both be on the move. Nava might have just a little more value because he is a left-handed hitter. I don’t list specific teams here because these are the types of players who would come cheap, and could end up with just about any contending team.
Then we have the Reds. Over the last couple of years, the Reds have made a lot of moves as they have gone into a full blown rebuild. But, they still have a couple of contracts they would like to get out from under. Those two players would be starting pitcher Homer Bailey and first basemen Joey Votto. Bailey is not having a good season at all, so that one might be tricky to work out. Votto has, simply put, the worst contract in baseball. He would like to play for the Blue Jays, but they are not in contention this season, so that move may have to wait at least until the offseason.
Finally we have the Giants. What a mess this team is in right now. They are old, overpaid, and underachieving. But, they do have a lot of big names they could move, including several pitchers, Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore comes to mind when we talk trades. They are both having bad seasons statistically, as many players on this team are, so we would have to rely on their past track record here. Moore could be affordable for smaller payroll teams like the Astros, Twins, and Brewers. Samardzija could be had by larger payroll teams like the Yankees. Another name on the move could be outfielder Hunter Pence, who could end up with the Red Sox, Indians, or Nationals among other teams.