MLB Trade Deadline: Stroman Recap, Preview and Predictions

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Jul 24, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) follows through on a pitch to the Cleveland Indians during the third inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

The first domino in the MLB Trade Deadline saga fell Sunday night, as Marcus Stroman was dealt to the Mets for #4 prospect Anthony Kay (LHP) and #6 prospect Simeon Woods-Richardson (RHP). Stroman has been stellar this year, as the All-Star posts a 2.96 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 14 Quality Starts, and a 56.3% ground ball percentage (2nd best in the MLB).

This was an unexpected move, as the Mets are 11.5 games back of the Braves in the NL East and 6 games back of the Wild Card spot. New York is far from a World Series contender, so at first look this is a puzzling move. However, Stroman is under contract through next season, and perhaps they’ll make a push for the title next year with their loaded rotation or potentially sign him to an extension?

There are still several major pieces on the trading block, and there are several World Series contenders in need of assistance. Let’s take a look at the major factors to keep an eye on for the 2019 Trade Deadline, which is effective at 4:00 PM on July 31.

STARTING PITCHING MARKET

When it comes to starting pitchers there are multiple playoff contenders that could use assistance, most notably the: Yankees, Astros, Brewers, A’s, Twins, Phillies, Braves and Cardinals. With the plethora of pitchers on the market, this is sure to be a hectic deadline. No team may be under more pressure to trade for a starter than the Yankees, as their rotation has been suspect over the past month, and the staff’s weaknesses were exposed over this past weekend in Boston.

As for players on the block, it will be very interesting to see who teams are willing to part with. Many teams are in that in between area of buyers and sellers for the deadline, and as the Mets proved yesterday, this time of year can be very unpredictable.

Here are the main players to keep an eye on for a potential location change.

  • Madison Bumgarner, LHP, 29, San Francisco: 3.74 ERA, 1.153 WHIP, 129.2 IP, (Exp. 2019)
  • Trevor Bauer, RHP, 28, Cleveland: 3.79 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, 156.2 IP (Exp. 2020)
  • Zack Greinke, RHP, 35, Arizona: 2.87 ERA, 0.943 WHIP, 141.0 IP (Exp. 2021)
  • Noah Syndergaard, RHP, 26, New York Mets: 4.33 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 126.2 IP (Exp. 2021)
  • Luis Castillo, 26, RHP, Cincinnati: 2.71 ERA, 1.146 WHIP, 123.0 IP (Exp. 2023)
  • Matthew Boyd, 28, LHP, Detroit: 3.94 ERA, 1.126 WHIP, 132.1 IP (Exp. 2022)
  • Zack Wheeler, 29, RHP, New York Mets: 4.71 ERA, 1.271 WHIP, 124.1 IP (Exp. 2019)
  • Robbie Ray, 27, LHP, Arizona: 3.91 ERA, 1.302 ERA, (Exp. 2020)

PREDICTION: Madison Bumgarner becomes a New York Yankee. This trade makes sense for both sides. Although the Giants went on a remarkable run in July, they’re still 14.5 games back in the NL West and 2.5 games back of the Wild Card. San Francisco would be foolish to pass up on the opportunity to be sellers and improve their future, clinging on to the hope of a miracle World Series run. The Yankees would add a veteran presence to their staff, a guy with proven success in the postseason, and improve this glaring hole in their roster. Keep an eye out for this move.

RELIEF PITCHER MARKET

Relief pitchers are going to be a valuable commodity at this deadline, as teams have seen the impact pitching depth and shutdown relievers provide to playoff contenders. There are plenty of great teams that could use bullpen arms: Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston, Atlanta, Washington, Philadelphia, Minnesota, etc. All of these teams will have plenty of options to choose from as they look to address their needs. These are the main players to keep an eye on at this year’s deadline.

  • Felipe Vazquez, LHP, 28, Pittsburgh: 21 Saves (95.5%), 1.87 ERA, 1.062 WHIP (Exp. 2023)
  • Edwin Diaz, RHP, 25, New York Mets: 23 Saves (85.2%), 4.95 ERA, 1.450 WHIP (Exp. 2022)
  • Kirby Yates, RHP, 32, San Diego Padres: 31 Saves (93.9%), 1.02 ERA, 0.818 WHIP (Exp. 2020)
  • Will Smith, LHP, 30, San Francisco: 26 Saves (92.9%), 2.72 ERA, 0.906 WHIP (Exp. 2019)
  • Brad Hand, LHP, 29, Cleveland: 27 Saves (93.1%), 2.47 ERA, 1.008 WHIP (Exp. 2021 Team Option)
  • Shane Greene, RHP, 30, Detroit: 22 Saves (88.0%), 1.18 ERA, 0.868 WHIP (Exp. 2020)
  • Ken Giles, RHP, 28, Toronto: 14 Saves (93.3%), 1.54 ERA, 1.057 WHIP (Exp. 2020)

PREDICTION: Felipe Vazquez becomes a Los Angeles Dodger. Pittsburgh has no need for Vasquez to sit on that roster, as they are second to last in the NL at 46-60. Vazquez has been an All-Star the past two seasons, and Los Angeles could use a left handed arm to pair with Kenley Jansen in the back end of the bullpen. The two teams have reportedly been “haggling” over a deal, and no one should be shocked to see this happen by Wednesday.

POSITION PLAYER MARKET

This year there are not a ton of talented position players on the market, but there are definitely some that can make an impact given the right opportunity. Teams like Tampa Bay, Cleveland and the Chicago Cubs will all be looking to add someone to provide depth to their lineups. Any of these players listed below could find themselves on the move.

  • Yasiel Puig, RF, 28, Cincinnati: .785 OPS, 0.9 WAR, .255 BA, 400 PA (Exp. 2019)
  • Nicholas Castellanos, 3B/RF, 27, Detroit: .790 OPS, 1.2 WAR, .273 BA, 435 PA (Exp. 2019)
  • Justin Smoak, 1B, 32, Toronto: .783 OPS, 0.8 WAR, .215 BA, 359 PA (Exp. 2019)
  • Trey Mancini, RF/1B, 27, Baltimore: .873 OPS, 1.5 WAR, .280 BA, 434 PA (Exp. 2022)
  • Domingo Santana, RF, 26, Seattle: .817 OPS, 0.8 WAR, .273 BA, 446 PA (Exp. 2021)
  • Hunter Pence, DH/RF, 36, Texas: .902 OPS, 1.1 WAR, .290 BA, 253 PA (Exp. 2019)
  • Nomar Mazara, RF, 24, Texas: .768 OPS, 0.2 WAR, .264 BA, 393 PA (EXP. 2021)

PREDICTION: Hunter Pence becomes a Cleveland Indian. Cleveland knew their lineup was going to be a problem entering the season, and besides Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor, no one has had major contributions. However, Jose Ramirez and Oscar Mercado are heating up and Cleveland finds themselves just 2 games back of Minnesota in the AL Central. Pence would provide right handed power to the Indians lineup, and he’s on a cheap expiring contract. Texas has an uphill battle to even enter the postseason picture, and a deal for Pence would make sense for both sides.

All of these players will likely find themselves as a part of trade talks over the next two days, and it is going to be fun. One player that I find especially intriguing is Trevor Bauer. In 2018, Bauer posted a 2.21 ERA, 1.089 WHIP, and league bests in FIP (2.44) and HR9 (0.5). He finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting, a breakout year for the Cleveland starter. Bauer is still having a solid 2019 and even with the Indians primed for another playoff run he finds himself in the midst of trade talks. I’m sure hurling a ball over the center field wall in his last outing didn’t help his relationship with the front office.

I don’t think the Indians should part with Bauer, but if they do I would love to see him end up as a Yankee. Bauer has a huge personality, experience in the postseason, and has proven that at his best he can compete with anybody. It will be interesting to see what happens with this situation, but New York’s GM Brian Cashman would most certainly be on the phone looking to scoop up Bauer. 

Now all we can do is sit back and enjoy the next 24 hours, as they’re sure to be hectic!