Dan's Dugout: Wave of Waiver Deals Likely • Latino Sports


Dan’s Dugout: Wave of Waiver Deals Likely


BOSTON — So you thought the trading deadline was July 31?

Guess again.

The deadline for waiver deals is less than a week away.

Teams with postseason aspirations – and there are a lot of them – can still tinker with their 25-man rosters before they are frozen at the end of this month.

The betting here is that more than a half-dozen deals will go down.

The Houston Astros still seek Justin Verlander

The Houston Astros still seek Justin Verlander

Consider the Houston Astros, leaders of the American League West all season. They have lots of hitting but not enough front-line pitching – even when staff leaders Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. are healthy.

Only their reluctance to yield top prospects has hampered their ability to land durable righthander Justin Verlander, long-time ace of the staff in Detroit.

The Boston Red Sox, leaders of the AL East, just landed Rajai Davis, a World Series hero for Cleveland last year, but want to bolster a rotation suffering from the season-long slump of Rick Porcello, the defending Cy Young Award winner in the American League.

Rick Porcello has been unable to maintain his Cy Young standards

Rick Porcello has been unable to maintain his Cy Young standards

In the same division, don’t look past Brian Cashman, an active trader who has brought the New York Yankees David Robertson, Todd Frazier, and Sonny Gray, among others.

Andrew Miller, the former Yankee who nearly pitched the Indians to a world championship last fall, has health issues that might convince Cleveland to bolster their bullpen through the waiver wire. It could do worse than Atlanta sinkerballer Jim Johnson, one of many veterans who has cleared waivers and is thus eligible to be traded anywhere at any time.

Bartolo Colon is finally winning again

Bartolo Colon is finally winning again

The Minnesota Twins, already the authors of a worst-to-first season, might complete another if their pitching holds up. They’ve already struck gold with Bartolo Colon, whom everyone thought was finished after he posted an 8.14 earned run average in Atlanta.

In the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers have a lock on the best record and NL West crown. But they’re never done adding pieces, especially now that Alex Wood is on the shelf after starting the season 14-1. They have the money and prospects for Verlander or, failing that, perhaps Julio Teheran, the erstwhile Atlanta ace who went four months without a win at home.

Like the Dodgers, the Washington Nationals know they’re heading into October. And they may not be done adding playoff pieces even after acquiring quality bullpen hands Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. The Nats, who also have money, never sit still.

The same can be said for the Chicago Cubs, hoping to defend a world championship that was their first in 108 years. But first they have to win the Central Division crown, which means holding off the challenges of the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is trying to erase two challengers

Cubs manager Joe Maddon is trying to erase two challengers

All three clubs could be active traders before the waiver deadline expires.

The sudden surge of the Miami Marlins, making an unexpected run at a wild-card spot, negates the team’s desire to dump the contract of Giancarlo Stanton, the odds-on favorite for this year’s MVP award. He’s on track to top the 61-homer season of Roger Maris, which many experts consider the legitimate single-season record. But will he did it in a Marlins uniform?

If the Fish found a taker willing to absorb that contract and surrender a handful of blue-chip prospects, they just might be tempted. And yes, Stanton has cleared the required waivers.

Giancarlo Stanton might be moving out of Miami

Giancarlo Stanton might be moving out of Miami

Veterans most likely to be traded are those who will become free agents after this season or next. In fact, veteran lefthander Jaime Garcia has already moved twice: from the Braves to the Twins and then on to the Yankees.

The same fate might befall Lucas Duda, acquired from the Mets by Tampa Bay before the Rays fell out of the AL East race.

Duda was one of many veterans sent packing by the Flushing Nine, who also unloaded Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Addison Reed, Neil Walker, and Rene Rivera. Bedeviled by injuries, the Mets might still move Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes, though the latter could be pressed into outfield service now that Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto are probably done for the year after suffering injuries on successive days.

If nothing else, it’s going to be an interesting week for those whose eyes are good enough to read the agate type of the transactions box.

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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