Image via Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
We are now only two weeks away from the Trade Deadline with plenty of clubs still in the thick of things.
The American League seems to be a one-headed monster with others lurking behind. The AL East has been run by the powerful Yankees, while the Twins and Astros have held their own so far in 2019, and are leading their respective divisions. Several teams are in the Wild Card Race including the surprise team of 2018 in the Oakland Athletics, the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, and the Texas Rangers all within reach.
As a GM of a club hovering around the wild card race, it is very important to think long term and not get so shortsighted by a solid first half. Teams must evaluate whether they are simply good enough to beat the mighty Yankees or even Astros, if not why throw in the chips and settle for earning a spot in the Division Series. You don’t see many elite prospects thrown in deals to bolster clubs that aren’t the class of their league, because it may serve as an impediment for future seasons and may deplete the farm system in the long run.
Similar circumstances apply in the National League, with the Los Angeles Dodgers leading the way. The Atlanta Braves are another team to keep an eye on as they are the sleeping monster of the league with a loaded farm system and can pounce on any name being thrown out in trade talks shall GM Alex Anthopoulos chooses to engage. The NL Central has taken a step back this year and the picture is muddled, as the Chicago Cubs, who may desperately need a re-boot this offseason, Milwaukee Brewers, and St. Louis Cardinals are all battling it out. While the Washington Nationals looked like they were headed downward in the middle of May, the club has picked it up as of late and can go head to toe with any club’s starting rotation. Add in a powerful bat to go in the middle of the Nats lineup, and you may have a three-headed monster in the National League.
All bets aside, there seems to be a new vibe to this single Trade Deadline, with more urgency in each club’s’ front office to determine their club’s fate by the end of July. Depth will be tested and it will be very interesting these next few weeks to see what each club does to improve their roster.