The trade MLB Deadline is now hours away and a flurry of action will surely take place before 4pm Monday. Here’s five deals that are too good, make too much sense, are just way too juicy to actually really happen. But if they could…..
Justin Verlander to the Dodgers
This deal makes too much sense on multiple levels. First — the non-baseball reason, Verlander’s engaged to supermodel Kate Upton. Where do supermodels like to hang out? New York and L.A. sound about right? Show me a model who doesn’t like Hollywood and I’ll show you some beachfront property in Nebraska. With the Yankees selling this year and the Mets being fully stocked at the starting pitcher position, we are left with the Dodgers, who just happen to be minus their ace lefty Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers are chasing the Giants in the division and are probably not as good as the Cubs or Nationals — and without Kershaw they may not even be a Wild Card team. Go get a former AL MVP and Cy Young winner. Verlander was viewed as all but washed up this time a year ago; but since has slowly returned to ace status in the Tiger rotation and has been lights for most of this season. In 21 starts, Verlander has allowed less than 4 runs 18 times and has a 1.63 ERA in his last 5 trips to the mound.
The Tigers are riding a 6-game win streak so good luck convincing anyone that the team is selling. But it sure does make sense.
Chris Sale to the Cubs
Let me begin by saying that Sale should be going nowhere. The fact that he is owed so little money over the next three years of his contract — average of about $12.5 million thru 2019 — makes him a bargain for the Southsiders. But the clubhouse unrest and Sale’s frustration over the years with management have placed the lanky lefty square on the trading block. The more you listen, the more it sounds like the White Sox are asking for too much. But if the All-Star went across town and joined the Cubs, wouldn’t we all have quite a story?
Seems nuts — and probably is — but hear me out for just a second before clicking elsewhere. Cubs GM Theo Epstein wants to add more depth to the starting rotation. More specifically, he’d like long-term depth — add it and reap the benefits this season, but also have it for the coming years because reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta still hasn’t quite been consistent enough the last few months, and, oh by the way, he’s only under contract thru 2017. And Epstein has been reluctant to show his cards when asked about Arrieta’s future with the team.
Sale would provide both the short-term and long-term help that the Cubs are seeking.
Jay Bruce to the Blue Jays
It’s surprising that the outfielder is still in a Reds’ uniform to be honest. And there’s been talk of Bruce going to the Mets, the Indians, the Rangers, the Giants. But what makes better sense than another big bat joining the already-big bats north of the border? Bautista, Donaldson, Incarnation, and Bruce. What pitcher wants to see that lineup?
Toronto has already climbed side-by-side with Baltimore as the drivers of that division — a tough Red Sox schedule over the next 3 weeks would seem to take them out of contention. The Blue Jays are a home run hitting team, like it or not. They will live or die on their ability or inability to score a lot of runs — they aren’t all that interested in getting into 2-1 pitchers’ duels with anyone.
The addition of Bruce would have Jays’ fans drooling all over themselves well into October, you’d have have to think. And even if they missed the playoffs, what fun would that lineup be to watch?!
Sonny Gray to the Pirates
The Pirates spent some time scouting the righty recently so this one may be realistic. And it should be. The Pirates have been piece-mealing their staff together for much of the year due to injuries to Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon. Led by the likes of Francisco Liriano, Jon Niese, and Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh’s rotation is sorely in need of an ace and some stability.
Behind an offense led by Andrew McCutcheon, the Buccos are in the Wild Card hunt. Imagine if they add a starting pitcher who can get them 7 innings every 5th day. Gray’s young, but he has been tested in multiple playoff series in the last few seasons, before Oakland hit their current rough patch. The Pirates are looking to set a franchise-best by making the postseason for the fourth consecutive year. If they are going to, Gray would be a big step in that direction.
Jonathan Lucroy to the Mets
The Mets are the one team that seems to have been in this thing for the longest. Yes, the Rangers showed interest, the Tigers put out an offer, the Dodgers dabbled in talks with the Brewers, and the Indians even MADE the deal for the all-star catcher — and then he vetoed it. But after it all, here the Mets still stand, hoping, wanting to make a deal.
By the 4pm deadline on Monday, I fully expect this deal to be done — which means it probably won’t. But it really does seem to make sense. And for the Mets to not back off and not pursue other trade partners tells me that they sense something can be worked out out here.
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