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Around the NL East: Deadline splash?

Jul 29, 2014, 1:17 PM EST

Photo by The Associated Press Photo by The Associated Press


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.


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.

  1. Mrsb loves the Nats - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:26 PM


    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.



  2. Section 222 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    Cole Hamels is not a player who the Phillies want to rid themselves of. He’s been very good this year and is only 30 years old. Howard, Utley, Rollins, Lee, Byrd. Those are the pieces they could deal if they can get realistic about the price and the amount of salary they are willing to eat. Sure seems like they missed their moment though. Hahahaha.

    • David Proctor - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      I disagree. The Phillies probably won’t contend the rest of Hamels’ contract and he would fetch by far the best return. If you deal him, you could accelerate the rebuilding process substantially.

      Now whether they actually do it is another story. But I think they should

      • Doc - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        Agreed, DP.

        Hamels is their best piece of movable real estate.

        I can see the Dodgers biting.

      • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:08 PM

        Interesting article in SI just a little while back talking about how the Astros had to completely blow up their team in order to get back on track as quickly as possible. I see the same thing here. I.e., I agree with you, DP.

      • Section 222 - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Fair enough. I suppose what I should have said is that Hamel’s contract is not “dead money”. He’s signed through 2018 at $22.5 million/year. Perhaps a bit overpriced, but his contract is nothing like the Ryan Howard albatross (signed through 2016 at $25 million/year). I think the Phillies could legitimately refuse to eat little if anything of Hamel’s contract and, as you say fetch a good return. Also, with the right approach, I’m not sure the rebuilding would really take five years or more (longer than the rest of Hamel’s contract) , but of course, we know they won’t take the right approach.

        Now Cliff Lee’s contract for next year might be dead money. He’s not looking so good. At least the chances of his $27.5 million option for 2016 vesting aren’t that good.

    • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Sure seems like they missed their moment though…

      It’s starting to look that way indeed, which can only mean next year will be more of the same (i.e., last in NL East) for them, no?

      • jd - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        Oh yeah,

        The Mets and the Marlins are both on the ascent and the Nats and Braves have much better younger talent. Philly is way in the worst shape in the NL east. Amaro should have seen this coming a couple of years ago and he should have cashed in his aging over the hill gang for young talent but fortunately for us he was in complete denial as evidenced by the contracts he gave just last off season to Byrd and Burnett.

      • adcwonk - Jul 29, 2014 at 6:28 PM

        Amaro should have seen this coming a couple of years ago

        Indeed he sure should have. We all here saw it coming. “Tick tock” comments were coming so hard and furious years ago that we’ve even stopped using them.

        In fact. now that you mention it, Amaro and Rizzo seems to be at opposite poles regarding the idea of “planning years ahead.” A good lesson in here somewhere.

  3. Chazz - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:12 PM

    I just thought I’d mention, before the game thread gets posted, that today is July 29, Wil Wheaton’s birthday.

  4. Chazz - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    I just thought I’d mention, before the game thread gets posted, that today is July 29, Wil Wheaton’s birthday.
    Nolite Irrumator!

  5. Chazz - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    This applies to you, too, WordPress.

  6. Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    Cole Hamels probably won’t be traded Thursday rather they will play the waiver claim game hoping some team gives them the keys to the prospect kingdom.

    Utley, Burnett and Byrd will bring in a nice haul.

    • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:58 PM


      do any of those 3 end up in DC?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Maybe Utley but for reasons some have stated inter-division rivals make tough trade partners.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:04 PM

        Houston would make a good 3-team partner where Cosart is available. He was a former Pboolie top prospect and Houston is looking for some stud position players. Time to dangle some bait.

    • jd - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Only if Philly pays most of their salaries. No one is giving away serious prospects for Marlon Byrd or Burnett and also paying them their contracted salaries, the same holds true for Utley. This is why Amaro hasn’t been able to make any moves. It’s a simple formula, you either take on salaries or give away prospects but rarely both unless you are a very bad GM.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        They are all overpays which will require lesser prospects to better prospects based on how much Phoolies eat. Otherwise it’s a salary dump which is fine for teams that can afford it and hold onto better prospects.

        Astros make a great 3 team trade partner.

  7. jd - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Answer to Mick’s posts on the previous post:

    What you are doing is in fact not stating REALITY as you would like to believe but you are cherry picking examples to support a theory which you already believe. I can just as easily give you examples which debunk your theory:

    Nolan Ryan – 1st good year age 25
    Bob Gibson – 26.
    Fergie Jenkins – 25
    Sandy Koufax – 26
    Randy Johnson – 27

    Most of these pitchers had their best years right around 28 – 29 with many of them pitching well into their 30’s and beyond.

    The point is that statistics as expressed by fangraphs are emotionless and objective and they express REALITY without an opinion.

    • micksback1 - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      I disagree and in the cases of Jenkins those were terrible Cubs teams until 1969, Ryan was not the ace on the those Mets teams as was Seaver and Koosman and therefore the expectations on him were not placed him like they are on Stras. In fact, rookie Gerry Gentry was the 3rd pitcher in 69, he went 13-12 that season. Randy Johnson’s teams did not contend until the mid 90’s. Remember, I am talking about teams that have the full package.

      you know what bothers me is how when anyone takes the time to raise questions based on a a little research, you all come back with accusations of cherry picking and belittling whatever facts are presented in a very holier ta tho, sanctimonus manner. When it comes to cherry picking and with all due resect, i think every poster, including myself ought to not go there.

      • bowdenball - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM


        I hope you don’t find this offensive, but I’ve often found the tone of your posts to be somewhat defensive and angry without provocation. You attack players as if their on-field performance is an indictment of them as human beings. You attempt to preempt certain arguments by telling people not to use numbers and statistics, which when it comes to baseball amounts to telling people not to use facts. That style of posting invites responses that are belittling or sanctimonious, because people tend to like the players on their favorite team and they also know they can’t have a reasonable baseball discussion without relying on statistics.

        Just my 2 cents, take it or leave it. Love your passion, though.

  8. jd - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:19 PM


    When you give a handful of examples even 20 over the long history of baseball you are by definition cherry picking. I am sorry you consider my comments sanctimonious,they are not meant that way.

    My point is that you already decided that you don’t like Strasburg and Harper and you are gathering data to support what you already think you know.

    knock yourself out and try to enjoy Kevin Frandsen and Nate Mc.Louth.

  9. David Proctor - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Werth not in the lineup. Great.





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