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Four Teams That Need To Make A Move At The MLB Trade Deadline


Four teams can clearly upgrade their weaknesses to solidify their status as contenders.

The trade deadline is in 15 days. With the addition of the second wild card, there are more contenders now than ever. Among the teams not currently holding a playoff spot in the standings, eight are still within five games of a playoff spot. With the standings so tightly packed, there are four teams that clearly need to make a move at the deadline. Let’s take a look at the teams who need to make moves in order to make a push for the playoffs.

The New York Mets

The Mets sit one game out of a wildcard spot in the NL and boast one of the game’s best young pitching staffs. The Mets’ team ERA of 3.23 ranks third in baseball. The Mets’ offense, on the other hand, is one of the worst in baseball. The team has scored only 310 runs, which ranks 28th in baseball, only above the Phillies and White Sox. Despite this, the Mets are still five games over .500. The Mets clearly have a need for offense, so where can they upgrade?

The most obvious place is the infield. David Wright is sidelined indefinitely with spinal stenosis. At shortstop, the Mets are trotting out a combination of Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores. So the Mets need to buy two infielders. Luckily for the Mets, the Brewers are sellers this year. The Mets need to make a deal for Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura

Ramirez is a solid insurance policy for David Wright and allows the Mets to move Daniel Murphy back to second base. Segura would be a nice long-term piece for the Mets. The Mets have the prospects to make a deal like this happen. Some combination of Amed Rosario, Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith and Gavin Cecchini should be acceptable to the Brewers. Should they make this deal, it would greatly increase the Mets’ playoff chances this year and in the future.

Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto finds itself in a strange place. They are currently 45-46, yet sit just four games out of the American League East. The Blue Jays have the best offense in baseball and have scored 87 more runs than the next best offense. The Blue Jays’ pitching staff has held the team back. It ranks 23rd in baseball with a 4.18 ERA. If the Blue Jays solidify their pitching staff, they should be able to make a stretch run to win the division.

The Blue Jays’ needs are a top of the rotation starter and a late inning reliever. Luckily for them, these types of players are on the market. Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon are available. Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman should be available. James Shields and Craig Kimbrel could be available. 

The Blue Jays have the prospects to trade for these types of players, but it is going to take a lot out of their farm system. Look for the Jays to go all in and turn some combination of Jeff Hoffman, Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Max Pentecost and Dalton Pompey into a top of the rotation starter and established closer.

Houston Astros

The Astros are a surprise contender this year. The team has matured into one of the best offensive teams in the game. They have scored the fourth-most runs in baseball. The Astros’ weakness is starting pitching. The team’s starters have an ERA of 4.02, which ranks 17th in baseball. The Astros, a team with a young offensive core, should buy a starting pitcher that can be controlled beyond this year.

With this in mind, perhaps the target that makes the most sense for the Astros is Cole Hamels. Hamels is 31 years old and under contract through 2018 with an option for 2019. The end of the prime of Hamels’ career lines up with the peak of the Astros’ core players. The Astros have a deep farm system that would not only allow for a Hamels trade, but remain strong after such a trade. 

The Phillies would likely want some combination of Mark Appel, Brett Phillips, Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Tony Kemp, Jonathan Singleton and Domingo Santana. A deal of Mark Appel, Brett Phillips and Tony Kemp for Cole Hamels and $15 million is fair for both sides.

New York Yankees

The Bronx Bombers currently lead the AL East, but have the rest of the division closely following. The Yankees have a 3.5-game lead thanks to the strength of their offense. The Yankees are second in baseball in runs scored. Like the Astros, the Yankees have a below-average starting rotation. The Yankees’ starting rotation has a 4.24 ERA, which ranks 22nd in baseball. The Yankees need to upgrade the rotation in order to remain at the top of the AL East.

The target that makes the most sense for the Yankees is Johnny Cueto. Cueto is under contract for just the rest of this season and should be purely a rental. Because he is a rental, he shouldn’t cost as much in terms of prospects. This should be appealing to the Yankees, as the team’s farm system is not particularly deep. 

While the Yankees shouldn’t need to include Luis Severino or Aaron Judge to acquire Cueto, they could still include some combination of Jorge Mateo, Nate Eovaldi, Jacob LindgrenLuis Torrens, Eric Jagielo or Gary Sanchez to get a deal done.

Edited by Emily Berman.

Which team was the second wildcard team in the NL in 2012?
Created 7/15/15
  1. Philadelphia Phillies
  2. Atlanta Braves
  3. St. Louis Cardinals
  4. Los Angeles Dodgers

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