MLB Trade Deadline: 10 Teams That Would Be Crazy to Make a Deal Now
The trade talk halts today—after weeks of speculation, rumors and blockbuster deals; the deadline is here. We've seen aces moved to playoff contenders, big bats traded from cellar dwellers and tons of minor leaguers changing scenes.
Now that the playoff picture has become clearer, we can fully designate who's buying and who's selling in the hours that remain on the clock.
Here are 10 teams who would be crazy to make a last-minute, desperate deal now:
San Diego Padres
This first one might surprise you, but while third baseman Chase Headley has been one of the hottest hitters on the market, there's good reason why the Padres are asking the world for him.
He's a switch-hitter with power from both sides who's just entering his prime and has a very affordable contract. San Diego has already locked up slugger Carlos Quentin and closer Huston Street and have a pretty solid core of young players to build around.
Unless they really do convince a team to break the bank for Headley, the Padres could be legitimate contenders in a few years keeping him around.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And if one of the best players in baseball, the heart and soul of your offense, goes down with an injury, but the team continues to win at a torrid pace? I'd say that qualifies as "ain't broke."
With Joey Votto on the DL over the last couple weeks, the Reds were still tearing it up and actually lengthened their lead in the NL Central. Before yesterday's game against the Padres, the Reds won the previous 10 games.
While Cincy could benefit from one more rotation arm, and according to Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, have been rumored to be pursuing outfielders like Shane Victorino, they're already arguably the best team in baseball.
Don't mess that up.
St. Louis Cardinals
Yes, the Cards could use another arm, and yes, they are pretty far back in the NL Central. I'm not going to bank on another miraculous September run. What I am banking on is the ridiculous offense and impending return of Jaime Garcia.
The rotation is not as bad as the records let on. Just a few days ago, a string of 10 consecutive quality starts was snapped. And St. Louis isn't going to deal Shelby Miller for a back-of-the-rotation rental arm.
Garcia will be returning fairly soon and looked good in his first rehab appearance. That's a huge boost to their rotation when it happens. The Cardinals will be fine; they just need some losses from Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Atlanta really did what they needed to do. They bolstered the rotation by signing Ben Sheets and acquiring Paul Maholm from the Cubs (via Charles Odum, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). They now have the deepest rotation of playoff contenders, albeit not the most talented.
Options are good to have, and the Braves are now rich in that department. As far as I'm concerned, the lineup is solid most of the way through, and if they can get a little more consistency from Tommy Hanson, they are going to be dangerous in October.
No need to panic and go out and trade away any prospects to add one more decent bat or one more average arm.
New York Mets
Scratching your head? The Mets have been in a free fall this second half, but there's no last-minute moves they can make to right the ship this season. Maybe, some minor moves could bolster the bullpen, but there appears to be nothing that would solidify them as contenders this year.
There are some good, young hitters in New York whom the front office can build around David Wright with. And, the starting rotation could use a little bit of help, but again, nothing major right now.
What the Mets need to focus on is continuing to build up the farm system, and maybe, pull off a trade or a free-agency signing this winter to improve the roster.
The Diamondbacks have been very, very sneaky, and it should be making fans in San Francisco and Los Angeles really nervous. Coming into the last day of trade season, Arizona has climbed to within 3.5 games of the division lead.
Offense has never been an issue in the desert, but pitching was a question mark. Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill and Ian Kennedy have started putting those worries to rest, and because of it, the D'Backs are right back in the race.
Arizona already designated two corner infielders for assignment (Ryan Roberts and Lyle Overbay) and brought in Chris Johnson. Justin Upton will be staying put and no major moves need be made for this team to continue its run.
Please, Mike Rizzo—do not shake up this roster. The Nationals have been one of the best stories in baseball all season, largely due to its scrappy, loose group of players.
We know the pitching is set with Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg and company setting the pace. The back of the bullpen has been automatic, and the offense is one of the most clutch in the game.
Ian Desmond will return from injury, and it seems like Michael Morse is just getting started. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the National League come playoff time.
Los Angeles Angels
Is it safe to call the Angels "desperate" yet? My goodness, they have dropped a lot of money on Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson (and presumably, Zach Greinke after the season) only to be sitting in third place this late in the season.
The last thing the Angels need is more quality starting pitching or another bat in the lineup. With Pujols, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo and a four-headed monster in the rotation, the Angels should make the playoffs as is.
If for some reason a Boston-esque collapse occurs, it will be another busy offseason in Anaheim. But for now, they need to stand pat and improve the product they already have.
Kansas City Royals
I mean...what are they going to do? Trade one of their ridiculously good young hitters for a starting pitcher? Ship a young arm to a contender for an outfielder? No.
The Royals are out of it this year, and they need to develop the minor league pitching first and foremost.
The Royals boast guys like Billy Butler, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas—the list goes on. So, the lineup is looking good for the future. But where they have really struggled is in the rotation. Making a play at a free-agent starter is a better plan than trying to wheel and deal at the deadline.
Also, according to a tweet by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, rumor has it that multiple teams are looking at swinging a trade for Jonathan Broxton. All playoff contenders have good closer options, so they likely wouldn't get a great return for him. Plus, with Soria back in the fold for 2013, Broxton goes back to the setup role—a spot he's even better in.
Detroit swung the first noteworthy trade of the deadline period, acquiring Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante for top pitching prospect Jacob Turner. While you always hate to lose a minor league player of that caliber, the Tigers improved their current roster.
The best part about the trade is that it was really all they needed. With the modern-day Bash Brothers in the middle of the lineup and Justin Verlander at the top of the rotation, this team is looking much stronger than last year for the playoffs.
The Tigers could use one more outfielder, or one more quality arm, but that's just being plain picky. With the offense and pitching that's currently in place, Detroit should be able to run away with the division down the stretch.