So this is my first time writing down my thoughts on the trade deadline that is fast approaching. The layout will be simple, I will start from the top of the division and go down. Will they buy, sell, or stay pat? Here is my thoughts with the latest rumors.
Here is the surprise team of the year. Even if the Padres fall off and finish last in the NL people will still say "Man remember when they were in first and no one could say why? That was cool." Well I'm here to tell you why they are winning, pitching. They have the best starting pitching and a shutdown bullpen that has carried them so much with some nice timely hitting to go along with it.
Now to the breakdown: The Padres are in a position to buy when the ownership thought they would be selling. What does this do for them? When all the experts were talking about San Diego it was talking about where Gonzalez would end up. Well, now if they move him the fans of San Diego would riot. I seriously think if the Padres look to sell people would take to the internet in a fury we have never seen out of them before. The Red Sox are rumored to still want Gonzalez but I don't think they will land him. Ownership wants to cut payroll and get younger but they are winning so what do they do? They contacted the Mariners about Cliff Lee and got laughed off, so they got that going for them to start. They really need another bat to help Adrian and help score some runs for the pitchers. I would think they would look more for a power hitting outfielder like Hart or Guillen. The question is would ownership want to take on a contract that they do not want? They have been in sell mode for so long that I do not think much thought has gone into what they will be doing this year, and this will burn them. In the end I think they hesitate on pulling for the bigger name free agent and do not land one.
Prediction: They buy, but nothing special. They will try for a good player who is going for cheap and they will not have to lose any pieces.
Colorado - (49-39) T-2nd
Is anyone surprised that the Rockies got on a nice roll and ended up in 2nd place with a nice stretch of games? I do not think I am. The Rockies are a good team that plays tough especially when they start stringing together the wins. It also helps that a true ace has emerged big this year for them in Ubaldo Jimenez. I know he has been good before but not like this. He is the true key to thier success this year, especially if they plan on making yet another deep run in the post season.
Breakdown: The Rockies are interested in Dan Uggla. That is about all I need to write. Uggla would be a great fit for them, but the only problem is the Marlins have said they are not interested in trading Uggla for now. If they fall out of contetion before the deadline then they might, but as of now they are saying no. If Uggla is not available when they look to make a move they might decide to go with Ty Wiggington or Jose Lopez for middle infield relief to help fight the injury bug. I do not think they will be aggressive at them but they might look to add another bat to an already potent offense. I think they will make a push at a low level starter to help with the rotation, although I do not think it is on the top of the list for them, so they will not want to trade a high prospect for one.
Prediction: Buy. And they will add a bat to make the rest of the West sweat thinking of how to pitch to them, from 1-8.
Los Angeles - (49-39) T-2nd
The Dodgers have been buyers for many years now. Why you ask? Because they have had the money to be. Now with the McCourts in a divorce the question becomes: Will they make the move to take the division? They have talked about getting Lee when it became apparent he would be traded, they didn't. So now they are thinking about looking elsewhere for a nice cheaper option to compliment the rotation. They also have put Sherrill on outright waivers which means they could look for bullpen help as well. In a season with some holes around the lineup in the pitching sense this divorce is not helping at all for them. They have fielded some calls about Jamey Carroll but no major word yet about what they are looking in aquiaring for him. Word is that Fausto Carmona is someone the team seems to really like to become the ace of the staff.
Prediction: They stand still and look at the farm to fill holes they need in the bullpen. I do not see them adding a big salary this year. Trading Carroll might land a pitcher for the bullpen but maybe not a top starter.
San Francisco - (47-41) 4th
The Giants are in a very tough spot. Do they buy big or expect someone in the system to step up? Pablo Sandoval has slumped badly in the first half and was expected to carry the offense. That was before Huff had a resurgence and there is something else I might be forgetting..... oh yea. There was a trade that sent Molina to Texas and gave the starting job to a rookie named Buster Posey who has done a great job swinging the bat. So now, do they go after a proven bat or hope Pablo re surges and Huff and Posey keep up the amazing play? I think they go with the first. This team is full of surprises including Andres Torres who is a good leadoff guy and a plus fielder due to his speed and good arm. But what happens when he gets hurt or needs a day off? Rowand then gets the start and leads off. He played well in the last part of the first half, a very small part, so he could be turning it around. The Giants have been linked heavily to Hart of the Brewers and rumored to like DeJesus of the Royals
Prediction: Buy small. I think they target DeJesus because he is a left handed bat that will help in the outfield and push either Huff or Burrell to first base.
Arizona - (34-55) 5th
Last and least it is the Diamondbacks. A team with good young talent in some spots but mostly filled with bench players this year with some performances. The bullpen is filled with garbage that can't hold down a lead even if the lives of puppies and kittens relied on it. To add insult to injury their first round draft pick failed his physical. Things are not good in the D-Backs camp right now. I like Upton and Young but not much else. The starters have been passable but the bullpen has been a disaster. Haren appears to be on the trade block and I expect him to be gone. This team needs a lot of help and don't be surprised to see the rebuilding begin before the deadline. Other then that there is not much else to say but.......
Prediction: Sell hard and fast. This team will become younger and look to start developing the young talent hoping to find a new ace and first baseman as LaRoche will look to be moved as well.
If you have any thoughts please feel free to share them. The West is about to get wild and I can't wait for some good baseball.