The Yankees and Dodgers are certainly making it seem so and that bodes well for everyone. The names that have been thrown out recently could entirely alter these teams championship potentials.
Now, let’s pick through them and see which ones are real and which ones are just empty dreams.
1. Sonny Gray
The odds of Sonny Gray being shipped out of Oakland seems to be increasing as the days pass. And who else but the Yankees are the ones right in the middle of all the trade rumors surrounding him. It’s no secret that the Yankees are in desperate need of a front end starting pitcher and they seem determined to get it in a big way.
Gray would be the perfect fit for the Yankees. Not only is he pitching extremely well this year (currently dealing with a 3.66 ERA and a WHIP of 1.176), Gray is also under contract for the 2018 season. So not only would the Yankees be greatly increasing their odds at contending this year, they won’t be wasting prospects on a one year rental.
This trade has recently picked up steam especially since Oakland sent a scout to a Yankees Minor League game to check out some of their top prospects.
There is some risk with Gray however. He has been inconsistent throughout his career and no one can be sure if you’re going to get this version of him or the one that had a 5.69 ERA only a year ago.
This seems all but a done deal, especially with the Yankees also inquiring about Oaklands first baseman Yonder Alonso. The Yankees have shown they aren’t shy to pull the trigger on a deal as they displayed with the Frazier trade. Add Gray and Alonso to this team and all the sudden the hopes of a postseason birth and a run at a title gain much more life in New York.
2. Yu Darvish
Speaking of the Yankees looking into making a blockbuster deal, there have been multiple reports stating that the Yankees have locked in their focus on the Rangers star pitcher Yu Darvish. Recently the Yankees had a scout at one of Darvish’s starts and for good reason. Darvish is a legit ace and is currently posting a 3.44 ERA while continuing to punch bathers out at a great rate with a 9.7 SO this season.
The Dodgers have also expressed interest in Darvish with Kershaw being out 4-6 weeks with a back injury. All of the sudden the Dodgers are much more active in these rumors. But the real reason to make the Darvish trade if your the Dodgers is for when Kershaw returns a because this year is championship or bust for the Dodgers and adding another elite starting pitcher to the rotation would certainly increase their odds.
Unlike Gray, Darvish would be a one year rental and isn’t going to come cheap, so that does make him less attractive to some teams. However, the upside with Darvish is through the roof especially for this season, and is worth the cost it will take to get a deal done.
The Rangers have a golden opportunity to cash in on Darvish and seem content on doing it. If the Yankees plan to acquire Gray falls through then they will definitely make a serious push for Darvish. But don’t be surprised if he lands with the Dodgers or even the Cubs who continue to look for upgrades to their rotation.
3. Giancarlo Stanton
Stanton is no stranger to being in trade rumors the past few seasons. But with the type of season Stanton is having and only being on the third year of a massive 13-year $325 million dollar deal, it came as a bit of a surprise this time around.
Why would the Marlins want to move their best player?
Well it’s simple. The Marlins owner is trying to sell the team but Stanton’s obscurely big contract along with other long term contracts with players are halting the process.
Although this trade seems very unlikely because of the contract of Stanton, there would certainly be interest in the slugger if made available. The Yankees, Dodgers, and the Red Sox are all big market teams who wouldn’t mind adding a power hitter to the middle of their order and could afford to due so. Imagine watching Judge and Stanton bat in the same lineup with potential back to back 480 ft bombs.
But I digress. A player with a massive contract who has consistently struggled to stay healthy throughout his career isn’t something that is wanted around MLB. Even with the ceiling, Stanton possesses the commitment seems like to much even with the opt out in his contract.
Stanton isn’t going to be traded this deadline and that’s not going out on a limb. You’d have to imagine that it would certainly take a good to great package of prospects. Along with the willingness to take on the back heavy contract that he is owed over the next decade plus. That seems like way to heavy of a price for a player who hasn’t really proven that he can be a reliable superstar year in and year out.
4. Justin Verlander
Verlander is the latest name to come up in trade rumors and also the most interesting (at least in my eyes).
Verlander would be a great add to a contender with his long record of being a reliable workhorse in the regular season. Although he wasn’t sharp in the first half of the season, Verlander’s second half ERA has been far better than his first half ERA over the past few seasons. Plus with the Tigers being seven games under .500 and are clearly not a threat to make a noise this year, shipping Verlander and accumulating as many assets as possible seems like the best move for the organization.
The suitors are certainly their for Verlander it has already been reported by multiple reporters that both the Cubs and the Dodgers have shown very strong interest in Verlander. This makes sense and both teams would be perfect fits since they are both immediate contenders in need of a solid starting pitcher with postseason experience.
Despite all these facts, they’re all null and void since Verlander has a full no trade clause and can dictate whether or not he wants to leave Detroit. Many would assume he’d be willing to waive it if it is for a title contender since Verlander is 34 and is clearly on the decline (last year was the outlyer not the trend) which is to be expected from a guy who has been an inning eater year in and year out throughout his career. Time is running out for him to be a contributor to a World Series contending team and although their is nothing Verlander wants more to win another title with Detroit the time has come for him to part ways.
Despite all signs pointing toward Verlander leaving the Tigers it just doesn’t seem like it will happen. It has been well reported that the asking price for Verlander is high along with the fact that the Dodgers might be the only ones willing to eat the entirety of the $56 million that he is owed through the 2018-2019 season. There just seems like there is to many moving pieces for a deal to get done. This offseason seems like the more likely time that you’ll see a Justin Verlander deal get done.