What’s your favorite holiday? Some people might say Christmas. Some might say Thanksgiving. You could be a Jahovah’s Witness and miss out on all the fun of celebrating everything… or even anything.
Or... you could be a baseball nerd like me, who’s favorite time of year is the MLB trade deadline.
At the end of every July, trade after trade is made around Major League Baseball, as teams attempt to fix their rosters for making a playoff push. As we covered on Monday on Psycho Sports, some big names might be on the move.
We have already seen a few trades. Jose Quintana is a Cub, Todd Frazier is a Yankee. There are still a ton of big names on the market, though, that could have a big impact down the stretch.
Here are the top 9 most interesting names available on the market (as of July 25th)
Pat Neshek - RP
(pre-deadline team: Phillies)
Neshek is in the middle of a career year. The 36 year old was named to his second all-star team this year; and deservingly so. Neshek has pitched to an outstanding 1.12 ERA so far this season, and has shown no signs of slowing down. His earned run average has not exceeded 3.65 since 2011, and he regularly strikes batters out. With the veteran a free agent at the season’s conclusion, he will be with a new time by the deadline, attempting to win a title.
Justin Wilson - RP
(pre-deadline team: Tigers)
The Tigers are a weak team. Plain and simple, they aren’t what they used to be. While the 29 year old Wilson has one more year of arbitration before his contract expires, Detroit knows it’s in their best interest to deal him. His 2.82 ERA is one of the strongest available. A team that needs a lefty will definitely be able to land him.
Brad Hand - RP
(pre-deadline team: Padres)
San Diego has some beautiful beaches. Too bad their record cannot reflect them. The Padres have a reputation for never being a good team, but their bright spot this season can make another team’s bullpen as appealing as a vacation sounds. Brad Hand was the team’s all-star, pitching to a 2.12 ERA. The second lefty on this list, he is controllable until 2020. A team looking for a cheap, controllable player will find their answer with Brad Hand.
Sonny Gray - SP
(pre-deadline team: Athletics)
Last season Sonny Gray crashed into a brick wall. Hard. A 2015 stud, Gray was trash last season. He has rebounded, lowering his ERA by two whole runs. A young, controllable pitcher with more talent than every New York Jet combined, Gray will come with a hefty price. That might be worth it.
Melky Cabrera - OF
(pre-deadline team: White Sox)
A free agent at the conclusion of this season, Melky has quietly been a huge producer over the past two season. Last year he hit .296, and has been hitting just as well this season. His home run total is one shy of what he produced in a full season last year. He will help a team who needs a bat down the stretch. The White Sox will probably have to eat a lot of his remaining paycheck, but he will be a useful piece for a team looking to contend.
Jay Bruce - OF
(pre-deadline team: Mets)
A strong performer in the first half of last season, Jay Bruce’s name was floated around as the Reds dealt him to his current team. He slowed down after the trade, but has returned to that form this season. Unfortunately for the Mets, they aren’t playing as well as Bruce. With 25 home runs to date, the slugger will provide pop that could come in clutch. Just not for the Mets.
Giancarlo Stanton - OF
(pre-deadline team: Marlins)
Would it be crazy to trade one of the game’s most prolific power hitters that recently received the most lucrative contract in league history? Especially while he is tied for the league lead in home runs. But with the Marlins being sold, and not playing well, trading Stanton might be the solution. The power hitter’s contract is massive. But so are the shots he hits. Someone might be willing to pick up enough of his contract with the hopes of him opting out in 2020. The contract isn’t team friendly, but he is the best player available.
Marco Estrada - SP
(pre-deadline team: Blue Jays)
In 2015 and 2016, Marco Estrada held an ERA below 3.5. He couldn’t be considered anything but a late bloomer… except for maybe a 2017 bust. His ERA currently sits at 5.52. With recent success and his contract expiration at the end of the season, someone will want to take a chance on him. He will be stateside soon enough.
Yu Darvish - SP
(pre-deadline team: Rangers)
He was a star. Every year aside from his first year back from injury, Darvish has participated in the mid-summer classic. Through 21 starts so far in 2017, it appears that Darvish has returned to that form. Unfortunately for Texas, he is a free agent at the end of the season, and they do not appear to be a playoff team. They are very far from eliminated, however with so many teams in front, they’ll likely deal Yu. On pace to surpass 200 strikeouts, Darvish is the best starter that might be bought at the deadline.
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