For the first time in a while, the MLB Trade Deadline falls on August 1st, giving teams an extra day to determine their status as to whether or not they are going to be buyers or sellers this year. There have been some serious mixed signals, especially on the Chicago White Sox with their ace Chris Sale after being sent home for slashing the throwback jerseys. We've also seen mixed singles in the Yankees camp, after trading their all-star firearm (pun intended) Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs for prospects but now are within 5 1/2 of first in the East.
In this installment of "BBS Roundtables," we are going to look at the top 5 potential players switching uniforms, and predicting where they'll wind up and if they are even going to be traded.
1. SP Chris Sale - Chicago White Sox - (Linked to the Red Sox, Rangers, and Dodgers)
Jordan: Like mentioned above, there really are some mixed signals coming out of the White Sox camp. It's really hard for me to gauge whether any of the three names mentioned from the ChiSox are going to be moved. Now Sale seems like he is totally done there, but he's under team control until after 2019, so he's kind of stuck there unless they can get a monster return. The Red Sox have the most to give and the Dodgers seem terrified about Kershaw's back, making them a potential landing spot. But ultimately, I see the White Sox being unsatisfied with all offers and wind up not trading Sale at the deadline.
Matt: There have been a million different rumors surrounding Sale. He had the flu, he got traded, he took out his frustration on those poor, innocent uniforms. Even with all the buzz surrounding him, I dont' believe he's going anywhere, he will remain with Chicago. He is under team control through 2019 at a very team friendly contract. It's not as if the White Sox need to sell him now or risk letting him walk for nothing. Their asking price is sky high, rightfully so, and if they don't get what they want and more, they're just going to keep him.
Pete: To quote Danny Ainge, the White Sox would need a "Godfather Offer" in order to move lefty Chris Sale. However, who the hell would not want this guy? He is easily the best pitcher in the American League, and should be labeled as a top three pitcher in all of baseball. He has had some off-the-field issues, but I talked at length about my feelings on Chris Sale today on The Report. This isn't a bad guy, he just wants to win. If a team blows the White Sox away with an offer, then they will move him. Unfortunately, I don't see a team that is willing to make that type of move in-season. Sale will be staying in Chicago.
2. C Jonathan Lucroy - Milwaukee Brewers - (Linked to the Indians, Red Sox, Tigers, and Mets)
Jordan: Here is the guy, in my opinion, that has the greatest chance of being dealt next Monday. He's been an all-star twice and is having a really solid year on a bad Milwaukee team. The team that most likely will acquire him is Cleveland because they are in terrible need of a backstop. Yan Gomes has been a major disappointment there and Lucroy can mash, as well as hold his own defensively, making him a perfect fit for a contending Indians team.
Matt: Lucroy is going to cost a pretty penny, because catchers that can hit are very rare in the MLB. A team that is always willing to pay the price to improve their team is the Dodgers. The Dodgers currently have Yasmani Grandal as their catcher, who is hitting .210, and Austin Barnes as the backup hitting .130. Needless to say, they could definitely improve at the catcher position, and they have the assets to do so. Only 2.5 games behind the Giants, the move makes sense for them.
Pete: I can't help but look at all of these rumors with a Red Sox-biased lens. Sure, Lucroy would be a good addition for the Sox, but there is just no reason to pay the price that it will take to get him when there are so many other glaring needs on this team. However, I believe that the Cleveland Indians make all the sense in the world. With a lack of depth at the catcher position and a stacked starting rotation, Lucroy-to-Cleveland makes too much sense.
3. LHP Andrew Miller - New York Yankees - (Linked to Nationals and Indians)
Jordan: Ever since trading Chapman, and even the week prior, the Yankees have really started to play some good baseball and have pulled to within 5 1/2 of first place In the AL East. Because of that, I find it hard to believe that Miller will be dealt this season. It all depends on how Brian Cashman views his ball club. We aren't used to seeing the Yankees sell at the deadline, and in a division that is still wide open, I see Miller staying in New York.
Matt: I would have bet good money that the Indians were the team that landed Chapman. They are one piece away from being a serious contender, and that piece is a closer. Since Chapman signed with the Cubs, I would have to think that the Indians will now be in on Miller. However, I truly believe that the Yankees are going to re-sign Chapman when he becomes a free agent, therefore, they will also hang on to Miller. Like Sale and the White Sox, I think Miller stays in New York.
Pete: If you thought the price of landing Chapman was high, double that for Andrew Miller. The lefty closer has two years of control and could really put a team over the top. MAYBE the Nationals decide to throw their hat in the ring and make a big move, but my money has him staying in New York, unless a massive overpayment occurs. Look for the Nats to keep an eye on Wade Davis of the Kansas City Royals and David Robertson of the Chicago White Sox.
4. RHP Wade Davis - Kansas City Royals - (Linked to the Red Sox, Dodgers, Nationals, and Indians)
Jordan: Baseball is a weird game; the hardest to consistently be good at. The Royals are a prime example of that. After winning the World Series last season, they looked poised to be the next MLB Dynasty, only they are under .500 to this point in the year, making them potential sellers this August 1st. After seeing the return on Chapman, the Royals have to believe they can get more for Davis, who has statistically been better than Chapman and also has another year under team control. So for that, I believe the Red Sox are the favorites to acquire him. The bullpen has been putrid in Beantown and they need another power arm back there, making Davis a great guy to look at.
Matt: Davis is probably the best available bullpen arm on the market right now, with the White Sox' Robertson a close second. Over the last few series, the struggles of the Red Sox rotation and bullpen have been very apparent. Dombrowski is too smart to let the pitching remain as bad as it is right now, and I think he will make a move. With a lack of heart and guts in the rotation, I can see the Red Sox making a move to package Davis along with righty Yordano Ventura. The Sox can fill two needs with one move, and make the playoff push even more interesting towards the end of the season.
Pete: Again, with my Red Sox goggles on, I would LOVE if they were able to trade for Davis. He is arguably one of the best relievers in the American League and has contractual control after this season. Unfortunately, he is going to cost the Red Sox a pretty penny if they want to acquire his services. Like Matt mentioned above, if the Red Sox are able to get a package deal of Ventura and Davis, then I am willing to give up some serious prospects. However, at the end of the day, I think Davis will stay in Kansas City.
5. RF/DH Carlos Beltran - New York Yankees - (Linked to Astros and Indians)
Jordan: Another Yankee cracks the list because we aren't sure what team the Yankees are this year. Beltran has been by far the best player in the Yankee lineup this season, making him an eye-opener around the league. He's an absolute monster and is pushing 40 years of age. He's a guy that a team like the Astros should look at. He's a veteran, making him cheaper because he is nearing the end of his career. And on a young team like the 'Stros, adding a elder could be really beneficial. Plus his production at DH could be huge.
Matt: It's a lot easier to look at which teams need pitchers, and a lot harder to see who is struggling with outfielders. The Yankees almost need to trade Beltran, who is an aging player, and a free agent after this season. Looking through the league, between Werth, Harper, Revere and Heisey, the Nationals outfield has a combined average of .231. Werth and Harper aren't going anywhere. I'm not quite sure who Chris Heisey is, and Ben Revere is not irreplaceable. Beltran would definitely be an upgrade in the outfield, and a veteran presence for a playoff team.
Pete: I hate agreeing with Jordan, but I am going to have to do so again. I think that Carlos Beltran would be a great fit in Houston, as the veteran could share some serious knowledge with that young and talented Astros squad. He may not get a ton of playing time, but I doubt Beltran is thinking long-term at this point in his career.