As the trade deadline approaches, are the Braves buyers or sellers? What if they're both? It appears that assistant GM John Coppolella might be trying to tow the line between trying to make the club immediately better while also building for the future. On one hand, he has veterans like left fielder Chris Johnson, closer Jason Grilli and others that would surely get the attention of contenders who are looking for some help. But Coppolella was recently quoted as saying "we don't want to lose 100 games or put our fan base through any type of extended suffering". So if that's truly the case, it's hard to really get a read on exactly what Atlanta will do come July 31.
It's been two starts for Jose Fernandez since his return from Tommy John surgery, and it's like he never left. The 22-year-old righty is 2-0, allowing a combined three runs while striking out 15 and walking none. His velocity was consistently in the 95 mph range and his command was about as good most baseball fans remember. Of course, the shame of it all is that Fernandez' return comes when the Marlins are already down for the count for the season, as they're at 36-50 and without their best player in Giancarlo Stanton. If Miami fans are looking for a silver lining for 2015, Fernandez' reemergence is just about all they got right now.
NEW YORK METS
So much for the euphoria of the Steven Matz era in New York. Just two starts into his big league career, the rookie left hander partially tore his left lat muscle, sidelining him for several weeks. He became the fifth pitcher in franchise history to win each of his first two starts, and managed to collect five RBIs. As weird as it is to say, the Mets might miss Matz' bat more than anything; that goes to show just how starved New York is for some offense.
Speaking of which, baseball pundits are debating whether or not GM Sandy Alderson should make a big splash at the trade deadline. While some are arguing that the Mets -- who sit three games back of the Nationals in the NL East -- are a big bat away from being a playoff team, others are saying this roster simply isn't ready to contend just yet, and that trading prospects would endanger vying for a postseason berth in 2016 and beyond. Despite their recent struggles, it's clear that the Mets are (for the most part) on the upswing as an organization, and are probably one offensive-minded offseason away from becoming a serious threat in this division.
At this point, it's almost futile to discuss what the Phillies are doing on the field on a day-to-day basis; they have the worst record in the game with a interim manager and a GM in Ruben Amaro Jr. who is in serious danger of losing his job at the end of the season. That being said, the trade deadline does represent a bit of an oasis for Philly fans as the club will try desperately to get whatever it can in return for Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon and other veterans. It's been said that the Phillies have previously been asking for a little too much for their players, but you wonder if that's about to change as the deadline draws closer.