4 MLB Teams That Must Sell At the Deadline
Late July always affords us to witness the greatest flea market in sports, the MLB Trade Deadline. Beg, borrowing and dealing with make its way across the baseball landscape, as contenders seek to stock up before the Fall Classic, while the forgotten admit defeat and trade off assets for magic beans that will hopefully grow into a great baseball player. Here are some of those teams, ready to close the book prematurely on 2016, that will look to get better....by temporarily getting worse.
New York Yankees
The Yankees have won 4 of 5, including starting a 3-1 quartet against the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles, but this team should sell. On paper, a 4.5 game deficit in the early stages of the second half of the season isn't insurmountable at all, but the fact the Yankees have to leapfrog four teams is foreboding enough, not to mention the fact even with the trio of Baltimore victories, they're just 10-18 against the Orioles, Red Sox and Blue Jays, the latter two being the current holders of the AL Wild Card slots. OF Carlos Beltran (.305, 20 HR, 61 RBI) is posting excellent numbers and could drive in young talent. He deserves to get what could be a final shot at an elusive World Series, not playing out the stretch with an inconsistent Yankee team. Closer Aroldis Chapman (20 saves, 2.15 ERA), on a one-year deal may also be up for grabs, as Andrew Miller has been told he's likely staying put.
Chicago White Sox
It feels like only yesterday we were ogling the White Sox for putting that Adam/Drake LaRoche thing in the rearview mirror, getting off to a 23-10 start. Since then, they've gone 23-40, and now sit 7.5 games back in the wild card chase. Chris Sale (14-3, 3.18 ERA) already made his displeasure with the organization apparent during Drake-gate, and it's probably bubbling again after Monday's tilt with Seattle, in which Sale threw an 8-inning one hit shutout in a 3-0 game only to see his teammates cough it up in the 9th. Chicago has reportedly also received calls about other veteran arms like Jose Quintana (8-8, 3.13 ERA) and closer David Robertson (23 saves).
January's champions, the D-Backs were expected to contend with the addition of pitchers Zack Greinke and Shelby Miller, but have wallowed in misery, sitting at 40-56, last in the NL West. Arizona got a bit of a head start on the trading festivities, as closer Brad Ziegler was shipped up to Boston. The pitching exodus may not be complete from Arizona. With the upcoming free agent class weak when it comes to arms, perhaps Arizona could allow starters Robbie Ray (122 Ks) and Patrick Corbin (86 Ks) go. In the lineup, Chris Hermann (.290, 6 HR, 28 RBI) could be a utility man on a contending team.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels may be in for a period of dramatic rebuild, so pretty much everyone in the organization not named Mike Trout is up for grabs. Despite the general feel of gloom around the organization, there are plenty of solid bargaining pieces that can fetch fine prices. It'd be hard for fans to part with them, but guys like Albert Pujols (.252, 19 HR, 72 RBI) and Yuniel Escobar (.316, 3 HR, 30 RBI) don't deserve this. They've paid their dues in the majors and deserve to go on a World Series run (in Pujols's case, it could be his final). The Angels still see great potential in OF Kole Calhoun (.256, 10 HR, 49 RBI), and want to keep him on board, but they need to realize that if the proper price is met, it would be wise to let him go.
Who do you think should be selling at the deadline? Tweet @GeoffMags5490 and continue the conversation.
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