Friday, July 27, 2018

BOLDLY Predicting the MLB Trade Deadline: American League West

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 West before the deadline next Tuesday. Enjoy, and leave your comments and thoughts below in the comments section.

The Houston Astros will acquire a left-handed reliever Adam Conley from the Miami Marlins to solidify their bullpen after losing out on Zach Britton to the New York Yankees. After acquiring backup catcher Martin Maldonado from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim I believe the Astros are set and ready to try to defend their American League pennant, unless of course a deal comes up that they just can’t pass up.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will not make a single move. Again. Well, unless you count moving Martin Maldonado to the Houston Astros as a legitimate move. I guess it counts. Let me rephrase then, the Angels won’t make any major or significant moves. Better?

The Oakland Athletics will not make another move. The team is young and exciting, but they are not close enough to being real and legitimate contenders in 2018 in my opinion. The team also doesn’t have many veterans that they can unload for prospects either unless the team decides to move Jed Lowrie or Jonathan LuCroy, but I just can’t see it given how close they are to a potential second Wild Card.

The Seattle Mariners will acquire Chris Archer from the Tampa Bay Rays to help bolster their starting staff and to potentially take some innings off of a taxed, but albeit great, bullpen out inside Safeco Field. Also, I find it interesting what the Mariners will do with their whole Robinson Cano situation. Cano is ineligible for the postseason after failing a test for performance enhancing drugs this season, so will the team merely plug him back in at second base when he returns? Will they let him split time with Nelson Cruz as the primary designated hitter? Will they move him to first base to learn a new position on the fly in the midst of a pennant race? And will this lead the team to enter the outfielder market? So many questions, not enough answers, but one thing is for sure… even if Cano didn’t have a no-trade clause written into his contract you have to think his trade value is as low as it has ever been and will ever be. Comes with the territory I guess.

The Texas Rangers will trade Cole Hamels, Shin-Soo Choo, Keone Kela, Jake Diekman, and Alex Claudio. Cole Hamels is doing the team no favors by struggling at the worst possible time for the team, but thankfully for Texas the starting pitching market is that dire and barren right now that they could still get a decent return for him. Given the state of his hefty contract and the looming option that his contract holds for the 2019 season the Rangers may have to eat some of his salary to move him and depending on how much they eat will determine how good of a prospect or prospects that the team gets back in return. There is zero chance that Hamels is not traded in my opinion, of course barring an injury (Hamels was traded after this was written to the Chicago Cubs). The Rangers will likely look for a suitor for Choo as well, but again they may have to eat some of his remaining salary to make a trade work. Keone Kela is the team’s closer and seemingly has come out of nowhere here in 2018 which could lead to a decent haul in terms of prospects from a team like the Atlanta Braves who are in need of some bullpen help before the deadline. Diekman and Claudio are both left-handed relievers that have not had stellar results this season, but both could benefit from the constant need for left-handed relief pitching from basically every contender not named the New York Yankees.

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 :)