Dan's Dugout: Trade Talk Intensifies as Second Half Opens • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Trade Talk Intensifies as Second Half Opens


Just over two weeks are left before the August 1 trading deadline.

That means many players, including up to a dozen top stars, will be changing addresses soon.

Contenders will be seeking the pieces that can propel them over the top while pretenders will be preparing for future seasons by swapping stars — and their inflated salaries — for prospects.

The Boston Red Sox signaled the start of trading season by landing Drew Pomerantz from the San Diego Padres one day after the lefthanded reliever appeared in the All-Star Game in his home park.

Dave Dombrowski is already making deals

Dave Dombrowski is already making deals

With Dave Dombrowski a known wheeler-dealer at the helm, the Sox may not be done. They’re looking to shed some dead weight (Clay Buchholz) and strengthen a starting rotation led by star southpaw David Price. Boston has shown a willingness to deal from its strong farm system and may need to do so again.

The four other clubs in the American League East also figure to be active. The Baltimore Orioles are desperate to bolster a shaky rotation while the Toronto Blue Jays worry about losing Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion as free agents this fall. One or both could be traded, especially given the team’s history of megaswaps.

Tampa Bay won’t move Evan Longoria, the face of the franchise, and maybe not Chris Archer, their erstwhile top starter, but the other 23 players are definitely up for auction. It’s one of life’s great joys that this cash-strapped franchise has a manager named Kevin Cash.

Cash is never a concern in New York, where the Steinbrenners still control the purse-strings. Age, on the other hand, is a huge burden to a ballclub that may have a hard time staying over .500.

All-Stars Carlos Beltran and Aroldis Chapman can be had by any clubs seeking a switch-hitting slugger or

Is he headed back to the National League?

Is he headed back to the National League?

hard-throwing closer, respectively. That’s because both can wander away via free agency after the season.

The Yankees could also deal Andrew Miller, like Chapman a lefthanded closer who strikes out everything that is not nailed down.

Theo Epstein, realizing this could be the year the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908, has a better chance of dealing with Yankees GM Brian Cashman now than he did during his tenure with the Red Sox. Chicago has an excess of hitting but needs to bolster its bullpen.

New York’s National League team, the Mets, has run-scoring issues despite a plethora of power-hitters. It also has a rotation so riddled with injuries that Logan Verrett has become a regular starter. Trades are a certainty and Sandy Alderson has never shied away from dealing at the deadline (remember the 11th hour swap last summer that brought Yoenis Cespedes?).

All of the Milwaukee Brewers, including former MVP Ryan Braun and star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, are on the bloc and most of the Cincinnati Reds too — especially if Brandon Phillips is so disgusted with the team’s lowly status that he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause.

Rookie GM John Coppolella will shuffle Atlanta's cards

Rookie GM John Coppolella will shuffle Atlanta’s cards

Atlanta has desirable players in Ender Inciarte, Aroldys Vizcaino, and Jeff Francoeur — plus a bevvy of blue-chip pitching prospects that they may be willing to deal in any swap that brings righthanded power. The Braves need a catcher (Lucroy?) and a third baseman.

The Pittsburgh Pirates need pitching in their bid to catch the slumping Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

Both don’t rule out deals from the St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, and Los Angeles Dodgers — all of whom have an eye focused on getting into the playoffs either by winning a title or sneaking past other wild-card contenders in a scheduled one-game playoff.

American League clubs in the same fix include the Texas Rangers, who need catching even more than they need pitching; the Kansas City Royals, bidding for their third straight American League pennant; the Cleveland Indians, coasting to a title with the league’s best pitching; and the Detroit Tigers, where owner Mike Ilitch wants to eat his own pizza at the World Series gala.

Maybe Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will make some trades too — the political conventions are right around the corner. There’s no doubt both candidates will make plenty of deals.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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