MLB Trade Deadline 2012: 10 Last-Second Predictions for 'Deadline Day' Madness
Today is MLB's non-waiver trade deadline, and the league is awash with rumors, speculation and moves.
Almost every team is involved in some capacity, either selling off their older players to rebuild, or looking to acquire that one piece that will push them over the top and into the World Series.
With just under eight hours to go, we make 10 last-second predictions for deadline day.
Matt Garza Will Be Traded
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There will have been a nervous air around Wrigley Field's front office when Matt Garza had to miss Saturday's start. The Cubs' righty was being spoken of in trade rumors, but the fact he might be unavailable for up to a few weeks past the trade deadline could reduce his trade value. He hopes to avoid a DL stint, though.
Yet ESPN Chicago reports that both the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays are looking at a possible move. The same article suggests that the Jays have the better shot, given that the Cubs have scouted three of their pitching prospects at Single-A.
Josh Beckett Will Not Be Traded
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On Opening Day 2008, Josh Beckett was loved by Red Sox fans. He was the man whose clutch pitching performances the previous October had landed Boston its second World Series championship in four years.
Fast forward four years, and the public perception of Beckett has totally changed. Now he's known, rightly or wrongly, as the arrogant guy whose beer-drinking and chicken-eating led Boston to the biggest September collapse in league history.
Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com, has reported that the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves have all called to inquire about the Texas native.
His contract, with roughly $37 million remaining over the next two seasons, and his perceived bad influence on the clubhouse could be sticking points, though. Also, Beckett has 10-5 rights (with 10 years in the big leagues and five with his current club), which means he has an automatic no-trade clause and can veto any deal.
The Red Sox Will Not Be Sellers
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The last three games could have changed this entire season for Boston. Had they lost all three, they would have been 13.5 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East, and six back in the wild card.
They won all three, though, and are 8.5 back in the division and four out of a wild card berth. That changes the whole perception of the 2012 season.
The front office will view their team as being right in the playoff hunt now, and see being "sellers" as too pessimistic.
The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo says that the Sox aren't sure which way to lean, but being only four games behind, it's unlikely they'll blow things up. They might not add a big piece, either, and hope that their rotation can turn things around and carry them up the standings.
The Phillies Will Be Sellers
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2012 hasn't gone the way the Philadelphia Philles thought it would. The team with baseball's second-highest payroll has been one of the worst in the game, lying at the cellar of the NL East for much of the year. They are now 16.5 games behind the Washington Nationals and 13 games out in the wild card race.
Ryan Lawrence, of Montgomery County, PA's Times Herald, says that the Phillies need to be sellers, and Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Shane Victorino will all be jettisoned before the 4 pm deadline. ESPN are reporting that Cliff Lee is also on the trade block, as is Hunter Pence, says Yahoo!'s Jim Passan.
Cliff Lee Will Go Back to Texas
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CBS reporter Danny Knobler tweeted that Texas might view Lee as a backup plan if they didn't manage to land Cole Hamels or Zack Greinke.
Hamels has since signed the second-biggest contract for a pitcher in history to stay in Philadelphia, and Greinke was traded to the Los Angeles Angels.
Anaheim acquiring the former Brewers ace could expedite their pursuit of Lee, as the Rangers fight to remain in front of their divisional rivals.
James Shields Will Not Be Traded
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Despite being one of the favourites for a playoff run, the Tampa Bay Rays are reportedly looking to trade RHP James Shields, says Jon Heyman of CBSSports. They are seeking a package "north of Greinke", i.e. more than the three top prospects the LA Angels sent to Milwaukee for Zack Greinke.
But Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting they are cooler on trading him now, and will likely stay pat, as it's difficult to find upgrades at shortstop and catcher.
Ryan Dempster Will Be Traded to Dodgers
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The Ryan Dempster saga has played out like a soap opera. Every day, it seems there's a new twist, as Dempster went from being traded to Atlanta, to staying in Chicago, to being keen to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Josh Johnson Will Stay in Miami
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The Miami Marlins, 14.5 games out in the NL East, are dismantling their team. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez has gone to the LA Dodgers and the Detroit Tigers took Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. Now the rumors focus on ace Josh Johnson.
The major sticking point appears to be the Marlins' asking price, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN says they are looking for two or three top prospects in return.
Jonathan Broxton Will Be Traded to the Giants
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CBSSports' Danny Knobler has suggested the Royals are looking at shopping closer Jonathan Broxton, and it makes sense why. Kansas City is out of it, with the American League's worst record, and the market for closers is not great.
The San Francisco Giants have serious interest in acquiring him, according to ESPN's Jim Bowden, and with the Baltimore Orioles' interest fading, they might be the favourites. Whether or not he joins the Giants, Jerry Crasnick estimates there's a 60-70 percent chance he wont be with the Royals by Wednesday.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Will Add an OF
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are in a position alien to them for almost two decades. Were the season to end today, they would miss out on the NL Central crown by just three games, but win one of the two wild-card spots. So for the first time in a long time, they will be buyers at the trade deadline.
They are trying to add a right-handed outfielder, says Jon Morosi, which contradicts the report that they might go after the Cleveland Indians' lefty Shin-Soo Choo. CSNPhilly's Jim Salisbury writes that the Phillies are likely to move Victorino, and lists the Pirates as one possible landing spot.
Adam MacDonald is a Scottish journalism student at GCU and has been a featured columnist for the Boston Red Sox on Bleacher Report since October 2010. You can talk to him or follow him on Twitter by clicking here. You can also visit his website here.