Friday, July 27, 2018

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: American League Central

The July 31st trading deadline is fast approaching here for the 2018 MLB season, so let’s take the chance to post a few bold predictions for every team in the American League Central before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.


The Chicago White Sox will trade Jose Abreu, James Shields, Joakim Soria (traded to Milwaukee after this was written), and Avisail Garcia. The day the White Sox move Abreu will be a sad day for all their fans involved as he has become a fan favorite of the fans for his tenure with the team. Chicago is in the midst of a rebuild though and there are plenty of teams looking for first base help making a trade to a contender likely. While there are many teams that are looking for help at first there are even more teams looking for help with their pitching staffs, specifically in the starting pitching variety. James Shields won’t net the White Sox a Top 10 prospect by any means, but he could be a good consolation prize for the team’s that miss out on Chris Archer, Jacob deGrom, JA Happ (Yankees) or any other pitcher that could possibly be moved. Teams are always looking for bullpen help and Soria, a proven veteran closer, will be dealt to a contender either as a closer or as a setup man (ultimately went to the Milwaukee Brewers). The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers could be in on Soria’s services. Avisail Garcia is unlikely to be moved as many teams are set on outfield help, but the White Sox will most certainly be fielding calls and offers for him in the meantime.

The Cleveland Indians need an outfielder and a fifth starter, and it makes you wonder if two names I just mentioned would interest them, Avisail Garcia and James Shields. While both names would make sense on paper I cannot see the Indians settling with James Shields in a potential playoff rotation. Instead I could see Cleveland going after Zach Wheeler of the New York Mets to fill their void. Wheeler will likely cost the Indians a Top 10 prospect or more but would propel the team into the American League pennant conversation along with the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and the New York Yankees. Cleveland could also take a waiver on Garcia of the White Sox, but it seems more likely that the team would go outside the division and acquire someone like Curtis Granderson from the Toronto Blue Jays instead. That seems like a similar deal to the Jay Bruce deal that the Indians pulled off with the New York Mets circa 2017.

The Detroit Tigers could trade Nick Castellanos, Mike Fiers, Shane Greene or Leonys Martin as we inch towards the July 31st trading deadline. Greene, the team’s closer, is fresh off the disabled list and will likely come attached to many doubts as to if he can hold up for the rest of the season, but ultimately a team like the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies will likely take a waiver if the price is right. I am leaning towards Castellanos remaining with the Tigers past the July 31st trading deadline, but I would not put it out of the realm of possibilities to see him traded before the August 31st waiver wire trade deadline. Fiers and Martin will be moved in lesser deals, but Michael Fulmer will remain with the organization at least through the end of the season after landing on the disabled list earlier this month.

The Kansas City Royals will trade Mike Moustakas, Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy before the trade deadline as the team continues to revamp their farm system and rebuild from within. Moustakas could draw trade interest from any team that needs either third base or first base help and, in my opinion, will ultimately end up with the Colorado Rockies as a first baseman. Meanwhile, any team who needs bench and utility help will likely be in the market to acquire a player like Whit Merrifield. Teams that come to mind include the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs, and the Philadelphia Phillies to name a few teams. Duffy has not been stellar, but I truly believe the Royals will benefit from the lack of strong starting pitchers in this year’s market. Duffy will be a team’s second or third option, but a switch to the National League and a switch to a pitcher friendly ballpark like the one out in Arizona could make all the difference for both the Diamondbacks, and for Duffy himself.

The Minnesota Twins will trade Brian Dozier, Kyle Gibson, Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke. I already predicted that the New York Yankees would acquire Gibson, but there would be plenty of teams lining up for his services and his extra year of team control if he were to be made available like we are hearing. Dozier is a true rental and a veteran second baseman that most teams would like on their team for the playoff stretch run, but ultimately, I see the Los Angeles Dodgers winning in a bidding war for his services. Every contender for the most part needs bullpen help, and I can see a veteran like Fernando Rodney helping a young team in the National League, see the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies as good examples of potential landing spots, while Duke, a left-handed reliever, could land with a team like the Chicago Cubs.

Disclaimer: BOLD predictions are meant to be BOLD for a reason. Keep that in mind before directing hate mail towards me or any of my writers on the blog or on Twitter. Thanks in advance. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)