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National League

Despite Recent Moves Mets Still Have Void At Third Base

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Christmas came and went over three weeks ago.  However, the disgruntled allegiance of New York Mets fans this past week must have felt like the second coming of the December holiday.

The majority of this offseason has been uneventful in the eyes of many Mets fans.  Categorizing the acquisitions of Asdrubal Cabrera’s 2018 option and the signing of ex-Brewer Anthony Swarzak aren’t slight towards either individual.

Nevertheless, when Mets fans peer across town at the Bronx to see division foe Giancarlo Stanton being acquired for relatively little in terms of talent it tends to add to their agitation.

This agitation subsided to a degree over the past week with the return of Jay Bruce and the pennies on the dollar signing of former Los Angeles Dodgers first basemen Adrian Gonzalez.  Bruce and the Mets reached an agreement on a 3 year, $39 million deal on January 10th.

Jay Bruce took his physical today and is expected to be introduced tomorrow at a press conference at Citi Field.  Adrian Gonzalez’s path to Queens was slightly different.

Gonzalez was released by the Atlanta Braves last month after he was acquired in virtual salary dump with the Dodgers that included outfield Matt Kemp among other players.

The expectation with these recent moves is that the Mets fill an outfield that was ironically vacated by Bruce through an August trade with the Indians, and that Gonzalez gives the Mets a contingency plan if Dominic Smith isn’t ready to take the job at first base.  Smith showed little offensive prowess last season to the tune of a .198 batting average in 167 at bats.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson has taken a methodical approach to addressing the Mets needs, and this approach has been the theme of this offseason for many clubs.  The total number of free agents available at press time is over 100 unsigned players.

No free agent player that has signed has received more than three years on a contract.  Players like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, JD Martinez, Jake Arrieta, and Yu Darvish all remain without a team with a month remaining until pitchers and catchers report to spring training.

Alderson’s patience hasn’t hurt the Mets up to this point, and the slow developing market could work in the Mets favor when it comes to other needs the team has to address.

The status of David Wright is always a question which leaves a void at a key production spot in the lineup.

Former Yankee Todd Frazier’s name has surfaced in reports linking him to the Mets.  Frazier’s knack for the longball would certainly appeal to Alderson’s home run heavy philosophy.  Todd Frazier inability to do much more than hit home runs makes his upside limited.  And do the Mets want to get locked into such a limited player with an already tight budget?

A player the caliber of Mike Moustakas would normally be out of the Mets price range (That’s a whole different rant for another time).  But with Moustakas’s market dwindling and his options limited might be inclined to take less money to capitalize on his value.

A pillow deal could be reached between the Mets and Moustakas, but next season’s third basemen market will include the likes of Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado.  Moustakas’s opportunity to get years with dollars is probably this offseason.

The Mets would be getting a 29-year old third baseman who is a superb defender and is coming off of year in which he blasted 38 home runs.

The time is right for the Mets to make a move to get a very good major league player for a very affordable price…even by the frugal Mets standards.

American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights

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In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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Atlanta Braves

Braves Acquire Shane Greene, Mark Melancon, John Ryan Murphy

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Shane Greene

The Atlanta Braves have been busy at the trade deadline, making a flurry of moves to bolster their lineup for the stretch run.

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Atlanta has acquired Shane Green from the Detroit Tigers.

Additionally, the Braves have also landed reliever Mark Melancon from the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right handers Tristan Black and Dan Winkler.

According to The Athletic’s Robert Murray, the Braves will acquire catcher John Ryan Murphy from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for cash considerations.

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National League

Nationals Acquire Hunter Strickland

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Hunter Strickland

The Washington Nationals have acquired reliever Hunter Strickland from the Seattle Mariners, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

As part of the deal, left hander Aaron Fletcher will be heading to Seattle in return.

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