Ladies and gentlemen, I have returrrrrrrrrrrrrned! Yes, your beloved Sportznutt is back from his vacation in Mexico. Good times, good food, good drinks and great people were the themes of my all inclusive, but I am glad to be back as well.
When you’re on vacation, there are two different paths you can take: do nothing or go all out. Both are viable solutions for the parties at hand, and both are tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of the people. For instance, while I was at the resort, I exercised everyday, swam everyday, ate healthy and got a heavy and healthy does of sun. My wife, on the the hand, sat around the pool and read, relaxed and got some R&R. Both are great examples of opposites and both of us felt that we got the most out of this vacation.
Baseball continues to have a trade deadline, but it’s for players that clear waivers that nobody else would want. While some teams have prepped themselves for the playoffs and/or 2018, other teams stood pat and were minimalists at the deadline, believing in the status quo (see how I made the segway into this?😉). Anyways, here are your actives and inactives, as we head into the playoffs:
Boston – For a team with a somewhat comfortable lead in their division, the Red Sox shouldn’t feel too happy going forward. David Price continues to be hurting while Dustin Pedroia is going back on the DL. Their biggest move was calling up rookie phenom Rafael Devers, which, while a big move, isn’t impactful for the playoffs. This team needs pitching badly. They did get Addison Reed to compete with the Yankees, but he’s not going to win you a World Series.
New York Yankees – No team was as aggressive as the Yankees, as the Bronx Bombers traded for Adam Frazier, Greg Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, Sonny Gray and Jamie Garcia before the break, and ending any inclination of a promised rebuild from one year ago. They made themselves significantly better for a stretch run, though they have been sliding for awhile (road games will do that to a club). This team has a legitimate shot of winning the division and competing for a title.
Cleveland – Already a strong team with capable talent, the Indians didn’t make a splash at the deadline….but with recent injuries to Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley resurfacing, the Indians traded for Jay Bruce, which should provide instant pop for the club. Cleveland should win the division, as no other team seems to be on their level, and they have a legitimate shot, like the Yankees.
Kansas City – For a team making a push before their trade, the Royals have squandered any chances they may have had with a recent 2-8 run. They did shore up their bullpen, but this is a team that should have been sellers, as their under performing club isn’t getting any younger. They need a rebuild. Trust me.
Houston – Here’s a team that was the opposite of me. They went in needing something and got nothing. What they did get is Liriano from the Jays, who will go to their bullpen, but now have but one starter worth using, and he’s injured (Keuchel). I don’t understand their reasoning. They have prospects ready to play and change the face of a(ny) team, yet, they can’t call them up because they have just as good players in their places. Now, they play merry go round with these prospects, morale in the clubhouse is down, and they have no viable starters for the potent offense. They literally just wasted a productive year from a young upcoming team. They could still trade for Verlander, and he could very well save this season.
Seattle – Nothing the Mariners do ever seems to work, and this year seems like no exception. They trade for Phelps, and he goes down. They traded away an elite power prospect in Tyler O’Neill for a pitcher in Marco Gonzales, who, by all accounts, has been bad. They’ve made other moves too, and find themselves one game above .500 in a fight for a Wild Card spot. This team isn’t good.
Washington – Here’s an example of resort folk who come to relax, while residing in the luxury villa, and while they’re there, happen to win $500 at the casino and hook up with the hot lady at reception. They’ve been playing the NL East all year, which means I could have pitched for them and succeeded, and then, at the deadline, they bolster their bullpen with options from Minnesota and Oakland, giving them four legitimate options for closer. Rich get richer.
Chicago Cubs – The Cubs, this year, got aggressive again, trading for ace Quintana and catcher Avila and reliever J. Wilson, all of which are depth for the slyest manager in the game, Mr. Maddon….who can put anyone in any position and make it work. They gave up on their prospects for another run, and….it may just work.
Los Angeles Dodgers – The best team in baseball got some nice insurance in case the best pitcher in baseball needs time off for an injury. Dipping into their rich prospectus resources, the Dodgers sent away a nice prospect who was pros-blocked in their system for ace Yu Darvish who could be considered a rental. This team is damn good and has a great shot of not just representing the National League, but winning a title.
It’s really a 3 horse race in the National League, as no other team really could/should compete. I like the progress of the Diamondbacks and Rockies, but they’re probably a year away. The Cardinals have made a nice push recently, but it’ll take a lot more to unseat the Cubs. Same with the Pirates who probably should have sold at the deadline.
So, what do you think? Anything contradicting your thoughts? Let me know.
And there you have it.