With another wild card added to the MLB playoff format, one could have guessed the weeks leading up to this years trade deadline would be a little crazier than years past. Teams that normally would be sellers are now in position to possibly make the playoffs and therefore have become buyers. The predictions have rung true with a few notable trades already having happened and one bizarre almost-trade involving Chicago and Atlanta.
It also seems there are, in general, more rumors this season than in recent years. Each team in the National League East, in fact, has been mentioned in various deals with each club with different reasons to trade.
Here is a roundup of what has been mentioned so far:
With the expected shutdown of Stephen Strasburg, the Nats have been linked to several starting pitchers. Zack Greinke is the biggest name out there, but according to a recent report, the likelihood of him coming to D.C. is dwindling.
The possibility of a catcher has also come up with the absence of Wilson Ramos and the uneven play of Jesus Flores. A report last week mentioned Ramon Hernandez as a possibility and the Nats have been linked to Kelly Shoppach in the past. Catcher would seem to be a need for Washington, but nothing specific has been reported of late.
The other position thought to be on the Nationals radar is a middle infielder. Ian Desmond recently went to the disabled list, but they have Danny Espinosa and Steve Lombardozzi to hold down the fort. CSNs Mark Zuckerman has heard the Nationals may just stay put, here is his report.
The Phillies continue to be among the most popular teams expected to be sellers at the deadline. Cole Hamels and Shane Victorino and been obvious names with expiring contracts, but now Hunter Pence is reportedly available.
Hamels and the Phillies continue to work through contract talks with their latest offer a reported 137.5 million. It would seem that if he is dealt, it will be a last minute move.
Miami sent Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez to Detroit for a top prospect earlier in the week, but that was just the beginning of their dealing. Early Wednesday morning they traded Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers who is due 31.5 million over the next two seasons.
The Marlins may also trade the underachieving Josh Johnson if the price is right. The hard-throwing right-hander is the teams ace, but with the team trying to shed payroll could be a casualty.
The Braves were involved in the Ryan Dempster almost-trade that left them feeling rejected by his 105 rights. It was reported that Dempster wants to go to the Dodgers instead and turned down the offer to go to Atlanta. The Braves were offering one of their top pitching prospects in Randall Delgado.
New York has been sliding lately and is still without the injured Johan Santana, but still GM Sandy Alderson wont commit to being sellers. The Mets plan to keep their options open and may not make a deal bigger than the small one they made last week.