As we head into Tuesday nights action with the NL teams in contention having between 42 and 46 games left, I felt it was a good time to break down the NL Playoff races both for the division titles and wild cards.
Washington – The Nationals are up 4 games on the Braves and 5 in the loss column. The Nationals play the Braves 6 more times in their remaining 46 games. Recent history has had the Nationals struggle mightily against Atlanta. The Nationals do have some soft games left on the schedule with 6 against the Phillies and 4 against the D-Backs. The Nats who won have played very well against the Mets in recent times play them 10 times in their final 46 games.
Brewers – The Crew is up 2.5 games on the Pirates and 3 against the Cards, although only 2 in the loss column on both squads. The Reds trail Milwaukee by 5.5 games and 5 in the loss column. The Brewers still have to play the Cardinals 7 more times and the Pirates & Reds 6 more times each. That’s 19 games of the Brewers final 43. Keep in mind the Brewers play the Cubs 9 more times and the Padres 3 more times so they have to take advantage against those weak teams. Continue reading
The July 31st trade deadline has come and gone and it was one of the busiest deadlines baseball fans have seen in a long time with several big name players going to contending teams. For the AZ Diamondbacks we saw them make some trades, not a complete revamp of the team, but some key players that are no longer in a Diamondbacks uniform. It started with the trades of Brandon McCarthy, Joe Thatcher and Tony Campana in early July and ended with the trades of both Gerardo Parra and Martin Prado on the last day.
The Diamondbacks were able to free up around $22 million in salary for next season. Arbitration-eligible players, such as Addison Reed (if not traded by August 31st) and Mark Trumbo will influence that $22 million, but the team should come out on the plus side and the Diamondbacks management, with some extra money to spend, should be able to make an upgrade or two in free agency.
It is still possible that they will make more trades to free up more money and contracts, as the August 31st waiver trade deadline approaches. This is how the waiver trade works: the Diamondbacks can put a player on waivers; if that player goes through waivers, he has to be made available to the other 29 teams before he is able to be traded. If he is claimed by a team, the Diamondbacks can choose to either complete a deal with that team or pull him back off waivers. Continue reading
As we are closing in on the July 31st MLB Trade deadline (4PM Eastern Time) one of the big questions is will the Red Sox and Rays trade their aces. For Boston who just traded Jake Peavy the question is are the really willing to pay pending free agent Jon Lester what it will take financially to keep him a Red Sox? Lester who will be 31 in January and being left handed will get a lot of big offers come this off-season. The Red Sox are 10.5 back in the division and 7.5 back in the 2nd wild card race. This is going to take some kind of run for the Sox to be a contender for a playoff spot. The Sox should know if they have a good chance of resigning Lester. If the answer to that question is probably not and if a team is willing to trade a Top Top Prospect or a really strong prospect package that would be far superior to the draft picks of a qualifying offer for Lester, the the Sox have to trade him.
I tweeted the other day a MLB executive told Jason Stark that if the Rays wait until the off-season to trade Price than the return they will get back goes down 30 to 40 percent. That is very significant and a team like the Rays that has limited resources have to cash in trades like this as much as possible. They did so with Matt Garza and James Shields. The Rays still have Price through next season 2015 before he becomes a free agent. Continue reading