Bernie on the Scene: Trade Deadline Edition

Bernie on the Scene: Trade Deadline Edition

This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.

I'm going to depart from reviewing prospects this week to weigh in on trade needs for contending teams.

The names I list are pure speculation; few have inside information regarding the direction teams will take in trades. So, while I have no idea what will happen, I want to discuss each contending team and list the players I believe will be made available, as well as identify their own team needs.

By the time you read this, some of the players may have been traded, as I file early for Monday publication.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CONTENDERS

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have to be disappointed in the performance to date of Bobby Dalbec. I thought this was his year. I thought he would bring a power bat to a position of need for Boston. However, his strikeout rate and lack of home run power have not only hurt Boston, but they have killed virtually all my fantasy teams. 

The club could play Michael Chavis at first, or it may rely more on Danny Santana. However, if the Red Sox could pry Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs, that would help them in the postseason.

Available Red Sox players: 

Infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez may be a perfect utility piece for a contender. Injured now with a strained hamstring, Gonzalez could fetch some relief help or a better, younger spare part.

Infielder Christian Arroyo may be attractive in helping to pry a reliever. Arroyo has a nice bat and can play third,

I'm going to depart from reviewing prospects this week to weigh in on trade needs for contending teams.

The names I list are pure speculation; few have inside information regarding the direction teams will take in trades. So, while I have no idea what will happen, I want to discuss each contending team and list the players I believe will be made available, as well as identify their own team needs.

By the time you read this, some of the players may have been traded, as I file early for Monday publication.

AMERICAN LEAGUE CONTENDERS

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have to be disappointed in the performance to date of Bobby Dalbec. I thought this was his year. I thought he would bring a power bat to a position of need for Boston. However, his strikeout rate and lack of home run power have not only hurt Boston, but they have killed virtually all my fantasy teams. 

The club could play Michael Chavis at first, or it may rely more on Danny Santana. However, if the Red Sox could pry Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs, that would help them in the postseason.

Available Red Sox players: 

Infielder/outfielder Marwin Gonzalez may be a perfect utility piece for a contender. Injured now with a strained hamstring, Gonzalez could fetch some relief help or a better, younger spare part.

Infielder Christian Arroyo may be attractive in helping to pry a reliever. Arroyo has a nice bat and can play third, short or second.

Reliever Matt Andriese may be an aging right-hander, but there is a club out there that may want to bolster the pen and take a flyer. The Red Sox are not using him on their 26-man roster.

Outfielder Franchy Cordero could offer a left-handed bat to a team in need.

Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays needed an impact bat to drive in runs. To date, Randy Arozarena has not provided the type of firepower the team and fantasy managers thought he would deliver. He is, however, beginning to heat up a bit. Well, Nelson Cruz is on his way to Florida to give the Rays that offensive firepower they were looking for. And he homered in his first at-bat with the Rays.

But maybe they aren't done dealing.

Available Rays players:

Center-fielder Kevin Kiermaier still has appeal as a good defender. Teams like the Yankees want to nail down a good defensive outfielder. Especially one that hits left-handed.

First base/third baseman Yandy Diaz. I can't help but feel the Rays would like to get more offense fro their corner swing player.  My hunch is they would like to find a young, inexpensive replacement for Diaz.

Pitcher Rich Hill. I really believe if a contending team like the Yankees came calling for Rich Hill with a player like Clint Frazier as the base of a trade, the Rays may have listened. With their strong bullpen, they can afford to lose Hill for a promising bat, as long as there is some power in that lumber. But another club, the Mets beat them to it.

Diego Castillo, Pete Fairbanks, Andrew Kittredge or Collin McHugh could be available to a reliever-thirsty club willing to pay the price. There are plenty of contenders who are looking to add to the pen. In fact, all of them are.

Chicago White Sox

The pending returns of Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert will give the club the increase in firepower that could well exceed what they could fetch in trade.

That said, the team needs to replace injured Nick Madrigal at second base and possibly fortify its catching position with the torn knee tendon sidelining Yasmani Grandal.

Available White Sox players:

Third baseman rookie Jake Burger would make for a superb trade chip. Burger has some pop in his bat, but he has missed almost two development years with serious injuries. Now healthy, Burger could fit nicely as a spare part third baseman for a team like the Brewers.

Pitcher Reynaldo Lopez may be a spare arm on the White Sox, but he could probably help a contender lengthen their rotation. Currently used out of the pen, the right-hander could start at the back end of a contending rotation.

Outfielder Blake Ruterford is a solid left-handed hitting, 24-year-old prospect that a team in need of outfield depth could covet. I think there could be plenty of interest in Rutherford if the club made him available.

Pitcher Jimmy Lambert is getting to the age where he has to get his chance. At 26, the righty has potential as a starter and could offer good depth for a club willing to trade a second baseman to Chicago. (The Pirates.)

Houston Astros

The Astros should be very content with their offense, but they could use more bullpen depth.

Unlike most contending teams, the Astros have enough starting pitching to go deep into the postseason. If Jose Urquidy returns to the rotation, they will have a formidable staff down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Available Astros:

I can't identify any Houston Astro players I believe to be on the trading block. This is a solidly balanced team with few needs and few players they could lose and still improve.

Oakland Athletics

Imagine if the Athletics could have gotten Nelson Cruz for the middle of their lineup? He would have been ideal. Word is, they tried to pry him from the Twins, and lost to the Rays. Now they still need to improve upon Mitch Moreland in the middle of the order.

The Athletics could use another bullpen arm, and maybe one more starter to stash. Mike Fiers has a sprained elbow, and he would be the spare part starter if he can get healthy.

Available Athletics:

Outfielder Stephen Piscotty has not won a full-time job with Oakland, and I believe there are clubs out there that could stick him in the lineup and see if he has any of the spark left.

First Baseman/outfielder Greg Deichmann has some surprising power, but he's never been given a chance. This could be an under-the-radar prospect who might intrigue a team in need of a left-handed bat. It doesn't seem Oakland is interested in giving him a chance.

Left-hander Jesus Luzardo has fallen off the radar. Injured early this year, it would be interesting to see what the Athletics could get for a once promising lefty who is still only 23. The A's are the type of team that may trade a pitcher like Luzardo for a hitter if they think the World Series is an actual option.

Left-hander A.J. Puk was a can't miss prospect who just can't stay healthy. Like Luzardo, some team may want to pay the price for Puk and take their chances. I think I would.

Seattle Mariners

I can't rule the Mariners out of contention in the American League.

They are on the verge of starting an outfield of Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis and Julio Rodriguez sooner than later. That makes Mitch Haniger a DH or expendable.

The basic need of the Mariners has been pitching. If they can upgrade their pitching, they may be able to stay in contention.

Available Mariners:

Outfielder Mitch Haniger would make a great addition to the depth of most big-league outfields.

Third baseman Kyle Seager may fit very well in Milwaukee. A left-handed hitter, Seager would really help the team that needs that additional corner weapon.

NATIONAL LEAGUE CONTENDERS

New York Mets

With Jacob deGrom a true question mark, the Mets are in dire need of shoring up their starting pitching. He joins several other less impactful pitchers sitting on the injured list. I clearly don't see Rich Hill as being enough of an upgrade.

Given the strained oblique for Francisco Lindor, the team may also want to invest in a rental shortstop for the remainder of the year. Trevor Story comes to mind. He can come over and fill in at short or even at second base. And then, why not sign Story long-term with Steve Cohen's unlimited checkbook?

Available Mets:

First baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith has outstanding trade value. He's versatile and has a strong left-handed bat. I would guess they would weaken their offense by trading Smith, but without pitching, they could soon be toast.

Atlanta Braves

It remains remarkable to me that the Braves have stayed close in the race. They have lost Ronald Acuna, Marcell Ozuna and Travis d'Arnaud from the offense, and Ian Anderson and Mike Soroka, among others, from the rotation. Those are devastating injuries.

They need pitching and they need a loud, reliable bat.

Available Braves:

Catcher Alex Jackson may interest a team or two. He isn't getting a chance in Atlanta, even with d'Arnaud out. But I still think this guy can help a team.

Reliever A.J. Minter has a history in the game, and some club may want to take a flyer on the lefty for their bullpen. Stranger things have happened.

Cristian Pache has long been seen as a superb defense outfielder, but he is still almost an automatic out. A team with a solid offense that is in search of a defensive center fielder may want to look at Pache. 

Outfielder Drew Waters would be the best bait I would use in trade. He deserves a chance to shine. The switch-hitter is only 22 and has his full MLB life ahead of him. He could fetch plenty.

Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies are among the most inconsistent teams in the game. For me, it is the starting pitching and bullpen that need an injection of new arms.

They have closer options on the club, but this is a team that could use a Kimbrel or Rodriguez to seal the deal in the ninth inning. Then move everyone else back a notch.

They could also use a stronger bench, as I'm not sure a guy like Travis Jankowski has the skills to help in late innings. Defensively, yes. But they need a guy with firepower. Someone like Adam Duvall.

Available Phillies:

Reliever Hector Neris may appeal to some team that likes his arm and wants to use him as a closer. The Phillies have tried him, and they have moved on from him.

Archie Bradley or Jose Alvarado as well. Take your pick from Neris, Bradley and Alvarado and give the Phillies the closer you are losing due to his bloated contract or pending free agency and make a deal.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius could fetch a nice return from any one of a number of teams in the hunt for shortstop help.

San Francisco Giants

Not many people would have predicted the Giants to be at the top of the NL West in mid-July. It really is a good story.

While I think the Dodgers will win the division, it isn't as close anymore due to the Dodgers pitching woes.

The Giants are hitting home runs. They are playing solid baseball. But they could use some help with the left side of the infield with the injuries to both Brandon Crawford and Evan Longoria. Didi Gregorius and Eduardo Escobar make good options, if the prices are fair. Both could be used to shore up the offense.

Available Giants:

Catcher Joey Bart just doesn't seem to be in the Giants plans. There are plenty of clubs that could use the type of catching/hitting help Bart could offer.

Infielder Mauricio Dubon is not on the 26-man. He can be a solid utility player for a team wishing to strengthen the bench.

Closer Jake McGee has had a solid season. But the Giants could rely solely on Tyler Rogers as their closer and still succeed. McGee may be able to fetch enough in return to warrant reducing the bullpen by eliminating McGee from the mix.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Count me among those who thought the Dodgers had a wealth of pitching depth and they could never need another starter. Well, now they have lost Dustin May, Trevor Bauer and Clayton Kershaw — all top-shelf starters. So where do they go?  Enter Max Scherzer, if the Dodgers can pry him out of using his veto power with the Nationals.

Available Dodgers:

The Dodgers have solid catching depth, with Austin Barnes, Diego Cartaya or Keibert Ruiz being attractive options.

Outfield prospect DJ Peters seems to be major league ready and may have some appeal in trade.

Infielder Michael Busch could be a future big time second baseman for a team looking to fill that position.

San Diego Padres

I look for the Padres to do whatever it takes to get a huge player like Max Scherzer

The Padres will trade whomever it takes to make the deal for an impact player. They need a pitcher. The team can't rely on Chris Paddack. Or Dinelson Lamet or even prospect MacKenzie Gore.

Available Padres Players:

I would not put it past the Padres to trade anyone, with the exception of Grisham, Tatis Jr. and Machado. Frankly, I think anyone else is fair game.

Outfielder Wil Myers may make a good trade chip for someone if the Padres pay some of the freight. The overrated Myers can play anywhere on the field.

Outfielder Tommy Pham makes sense for someone looking for a streaky right-handed hitter who could be an upgrade in the outfield.

LHP MacKenzie Gore could be attractive to a club like the Rays, who probably feel they can "fix" him. Favorite trade partner the Indians (Guardians) come to mind as well.

I think these veteran and a couple of top prospect players might be available in trade:

Bold equals my opinion of the most likely to be traded.

Red Sox: Michael Chavis, Frenchy Cordero

White Sox: Gavin Sheets, Jake Burger , Adam Engel, Billy Hamilton, Jimmy Lambert, Blake Rutherford, Reynaldo Lopez

Indians: Cesar Hernandez, Eddie Rosario, Yu Chang, Blake Parker, Nick Wittgren

Tigers: Jonathan Schoop, Willi Castro, Daniel Norris, Derek Holland, Buck Farmer

Royals: Whit Merrifield, Jorge Soler, Jarrod Dyson, Mike Minor, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Ervin Santana

Angels: Justin Upton, Adam Eaton, Steve Cishek, Tony Watson, Dylan Bundy

Twins: Josh Donaldson, Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Michael Pineda

Yankees: Rougned Odor, Gleyber Torres, Brett Gardner, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, Zack Britton, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks

Athletics: Mitch Moreland, Elvis Andrus, Stephen Piscotty, A.J. Puk, Mike Fiers

Mariners: Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager, Jake Bauers, Justus Sheffield

Rays: Kevin Kiermaier, Yandy Diaz, Diego Castillo, Pete Fairbanks, Brendan McKay

Rangers: Nathaniel Lowe, David Dahl, Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles, Kolby Allard, Ian Kennedy

Blue Jays: Randal Grichuk, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Reese McGuire, Adam Cimber, Tyler Chatwood

Diamondbacks: Kole Calhoun, Eduardo Escobar, David Peralta, Nick Ahmed, Asdrubal Cabrera, Merrill Kelly, Caleb Smith, Madison Bumgarner

Braves: Abraham Almonte, Pablo Sandoval, Alex Jackson, Kyle Wright, Tanner Roark, Cristian Pache, Drew Waters

Reds: Aristides Aquino, Tyler Naquin, Eugenio Suarez, Shogo Akiyama, Brad Brach, Heath Hembree, Nick Senzel

Cubs: Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, Ian Happ, Craig Kimbrel

Rockies: Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon, Sam Hilliard, Matt Adams, Jon Gray, Mychal Givens, Daniel Bard, Chris Owings, Yonathan Daza

Dodgers: Keibert Ruiz, Austin Barnes, DJ Peters 

Marlins: Starling Marte, Jesus Aguilar, Adam Duvall, Joe Panik, Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, Lewin Diaz, Monte Harrison

Brewers: Jace Peterson,  Keston Hiura, Daniel Vogelbach, Corey Ray

Mets: Michael Conforto, Jonathan Villar, Kevin Pillar, Seth Lugo, Chance Sisco, Albert Almora, Brandon Drury, Khalil Lee

Phillies: Didi Gregorius, Odubel Herrera, Ronald Torreyes, Brad Miller, Travis Jankowski, Vince Velasquez, Matt Moore, Hector Neris, Jose Alvarado, Archie Bradley, Brandon Kintzler, Mickey Moniak

Pirates: Adam Frazier, Gregory Polanco, Ben Gamel, Richard Rodriguez

Padres: Tommy Pham, Eric Hosmer, Wil Myers, Jurickson Profar, Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, MacKenzie Gore

Giants: Steven Duggar, Mike Tauchman, Johnny Cueto, Jake McGee, Joey Bart, Mauricio Dubon

Cardinals: Paul DeJong, Harrison Bader, Andrew Miller, Lane Thomas, Austin Dean

Nationals: Josh Bell, Josh Harrison, Andrew Stevenson, Victor Robles, Jordy Mercer, Jon Lester, Erick Fedde, Patrick Corbin, Max Scherzer, Paolo Espino, Brad Hand, Joe Ross, Carter Kieboom

I do NOT think Joey Gallo or Bryan Reynolds will be available to be traded. Scherzer would have to give his consent to be traded.

HEADING HOME

So the Cleveland Indians are going to become the Cleveland Guardians. As a life-long Tribe fan, here are my thoughts on the new name: I think it was safe. I think they took a very easy road. Very corporate. Very "buttoned down" and very uninspiring.  And the name lacks vigor. I think using a bridge with guardians at the entrance as a tie to Cleveland was a reach. Lame.

I like alliteration. I would have liked Cleveland Clouds — a lot of cool logo options. Also, Cleveland is cloudy. That's the tie to Cleveland. Also liked Cleveland Condors or Cleveland Rocks.

According to reports I have read, choosing Guardians had the fewest hurdles to cross for copyright. That sounds very Dolan like. Costs less. The fewer hurdles, the better.

I'd like to know what you think of the name CLEVELAND GUARDIANS? Like it? Hate it? Why? For me … one word … my favorite word at that, MEH! Let me know below if you like the name.

Thanks for following me on Twitter @BerniePleskoff and for reading my work at Forbes.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bernie Pleskoff
Bernie Pleskoff is a former professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
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