Jul 29, 2014, 1:17 PM EDT
With the Braves just a half-game out of first place, are they considering making a big splash at the July 31st trade deadline to put them over the top? Well, according to the latest rumor mill, don’t expect Atlanta to be anything other than thrifty. It appears the team’s primary focus is upgrading the bullpen and bench, targeting lefty relievers such as Boston’s Andrew Miller in addition seeking an upgrade over the underperforming B.J. Upton.
Away from the diamond, the Braves and their fans got a chance to go down memory lane over the weekend as Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Bobby Cox were all inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Those Braves teams of the 1990s and the early 2000s were the model of consistency, winning 14 consecutive division championships in addition to five National League Pennants and a World Series title. That’s a run of dominance rarely seen in today’s game, and one we may not ever witness again.
If the last week has taught us anything about the Marlins, it’s that they’re not giving up without a fight. Just ask the Nationals. The team’s 6-1 week was highlighted by Monday night’s dramatic win over Washington, in which Miami rallied from a 6-0 deficit and scored seven unanswered runs to win on a walk-off single in the ninth inning. It’s not a stretch to say that was probably the best win of the season for the Marlins.
But as much fun as the last week has been for them, the fact remains that the Marlins are still 52-53 on the season and six games back of first place. It’s unlikely that they’ll suddenly view themselves as a buyer at the trade deadline and look to bolster their roster.
NEW YORK METS
If you’re a Mets fan and want to see your team active at the trade deadline, prepare to be disappointed. The only hope of a deadline deal involving New York appears to revolve around Bartolo Colon, who is the one piece the team is willing to deal — at the right price. He’s only under contract through next season, so the 41-year old — who is enjoying a bit of a late-career renaissance — could attract a contender looking to bolster the back end of its rotation.
Don’t worry Mets fans, it wouldn’t exactly be a letdown if the team decides to sit out this trade deadline period. The reality is that there’s already have a bevy of pitching prospects on the major league club and in their minor league system. A 2015 rotation could include Jacob deGrom, Zach Wheeler, Dillon Gee, Rafael Montero and Jon Niese. Oh, and a fully recovered Matt Harvey. In terms of potential, that’s not too shabby, is it?
It seemed like everyone around the league was looking for Philly to find a way to dump most of its big-name, high-priced veterans this week. But so far, nothing has happened. In fact, the concern for the Phillies now is that they will not be able to make any big moves until after the season. But given the talent on the Phillies that other teams must surely be coveting, why are things moving so slowly with the deadline just days away?
For one, it appears Ruben Amaro Jr. is asking for too much in the way of top prospects. That’d be reasonable in any other situation, but with high-priced players teams are reluctant to give up prospects in addition to taking on huge contracts. It appears so far that the Phillies aren’t interested in eating a lot of dead money, which could be a huge problem if they want to rid themselves of players like Cole Hamels, Chase Utley or Ryan Howard.
COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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