Whether you’re a fan of the New York Yankees or not, a couple things are universally known about the organization: they’ve won a lot of World Series titles and normally do whatever it takes to win. The Bronx Bombers could have an impact on the Fall Classic again come October, but not because they’re participating in it.
Actually deciding to be a seller at the MLB trade deadline wasn’t the shocking part. Given their average play, it made sense for general manager Brian Cashman to trade Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller (among others) when their perceived value was high. However, helping the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians – two teams suffering through very long championship droughts – possibly get over the hump was a rather interesting twist.
It’s been a while since either of these organizations reached the pinnacle of the sport, but they each have reason to believe this is the year it comes to an end.
Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don’t make. That couldn’t ring more true for what we’re about to talk about.
The trade deadline is literally right around the corner and things are starting to get interesting. With new rumors surfacing every 20 seconds, it’s easy to get lost on social media in order to follow along. It’s also harder for teams to keep these negotiations as private as they used to, which makes their jobs a little more difficult.
This couldn’t have been more evident over the past year with potential deals that fell through with the general public looking on. Situations involving Wilmer Flores, Brandon Phillips, Michael Saunders and Jay Bruce were just some of the ones we’ve recently watched break down right in front of our eyes.
After seeing a number of trades fall apart in a short period of time, what about old proposed trades that never happened, but would’ve been ridiculous if they did? I was led to the following five near-deals that had the power to transform the looks of every franchise involved.
Just like beauty, MLB trade value is in the eye of the beholder. What one interested team deems as desirable may not float the next team’s boat and vice versa.
The non-waiver trade deadline is at the end of July (or in this case, the beginning of August) for a reason. Not only does it allow teams to figure out if they have a chance at contending, but it also gives players time to show whether or not they’re worth the inherent risk that comes with acquiring them.
Some players who carried trade value on Opening Day have either maintained or enhancedit – Jonathan Lucroy and Jay Bruce come to mind – while others lost what little value they appeared to have left – like Matt Kemp.
Then, there’s another group of players that already had zero value, but have surprised everyone with their current performance. And since this level of play has been sustained through the first half of the season, there’s a good chance they’ll be wearing a different uniform within the next few weeks.
Outside of relief pitchers, the midseason trade market may not be as robust as in recent years. Teams in need of a boost must overturn every rock to find the value needed in order to reach the postseason and find success. That can lead front office executives down some unlikely paths, but these two players in particular seem more unlikely than the rest.
When it comes to hot streaks, slumps and everything in between on a baseball diamond, there’s not always a good explanation for what we see unfold. Add Matt Kemp struggling mightily in the month of May to that list.
Since getting traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the San Diego Padres two winters ago, the season’s second month has not been kind to the outfielder. What’s even more interesting is Kemp has begun each season hot at the plate, but in very different ways.