Now that Major League Baseball has reduced all in-season acquisitions and transactions to the single deadline date, July 31st, there will be lots of intrigues, speculation, and more disappointment.
It will be interesting to see how this all will shake out. With the standings they way that they are, there are more teams than ever who could be buyers and far fewer sellers. If you’re a capitalist, you know what that means. Demand is far exceeding supply, which in turn will keep prices high, especially on controllable contracts.
In the American League, there are three teams that are a mere two games out of the second Wild Card spot. In the National League, that number is four. 11 total teams are fighting for the wild card spots – five teams in the A.L. and six in the N.L. – and if you add the division leaders we are at a total of 17 teams who have playoff aspirations. That’s over half of the league looking towards improving for September baseball.
Don’t be shocked when the deadline passes on July 31st if the Los Angeles Dodgers do not make any significant moves to improve their team. It’s not that they won’t want to, it just may be too costly to do so for a marginal improvement. Will Smith, Keibert Ruiz, Gavin Lux, Dustin May, and D.J. Peters will be on everyone’s asking list, and I am not sure the return will be needle moving.
Of the aforementioned prospects, the player with the highest probability being moved is Ruiz. He has been moved up to AAA ball in Oklahoma City, perhaps as a way to feature him, perhaps at the request of another team to see how he plays against tougher competition. However, I wouldn’t expect to see Felipé Vazquez, Will Smith of the San Francisco Giants or Brand Hand changed hands in that swap.
By the end of the deadline next Wednesday, expect to see very much the same squad you saw lose their second in a row to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday, July 24th. Yes, the bullpen needs to be addressed with an impact arm, yes a power right-handed bat would be nice, but the price of those two needs possibly will be too far out of Andrew Friedman’s comfort zone. It’s far more plausible lower prospects will be traded for a lower end arm, which I believe will indeed happen. Just don’t expect the Dodgers to be careless with their farm system.
This could be the first year in quite some time in which the Los Angeles Dodgers do not make a trade for a top 5 talent. Temper those expectations and prepare for a quiet, dead deadline around Chavez Ravine.
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