It’s that time of year. Major League Baseball teams need to decide if they are going to be buyers or sellers. For a lot of these teams, the choice is made for them. The combination of a disappointing season and expiring contracts leaves them with no other choice than to sell. Rebuilding isn’t always a choice; sometimes the situation necessitates it.
AL East: The Yankees are the king here. They don’t really need to do anything if they don’t want to. They are easily the cream of the crop and the only moves I can see them making would be solely for insurance. The Rays need to buy. They have a great core and could do damage in October with a couple added pieces. The Red Sox have been lackluster, but I still think they buy to get back into the conversation. Toronto and Baltimore will be having their yearly July yard sale.
AL Central: The Twins looked to be running away with this division until a recent run by the Indians. Both of these teams will be buying. The White Sox are in a difficult position. 8 games under .500, but a good young group of players would make me think that they would stay put and look to the future. Kansas City and Detroit will more than likely be in full rebuilding mode and will sell to the highest bidder.
AL West: The Astros are the team to beat in the West again. Oakland won’t go away though. The A’s seem to be 1 or 2 key players away from being a contender through the season. The Angels and Rangers are long shots to make the post season at this point. With both of them being several games behind the Wild Card race, I don’t really see them being buyers. Having said that, my guess is that they won’t sell either unless the price is right. The Mariners are looking forward to 2020 already.
NL East: This has become a 3 team race, with the Braves leading the pack. Don’t toss the Nationals and Phillies aside though. The East is up for grabs, so look for all 3 of these teams to buy. They’ll probably overpay as well, so this should be fun to watch. The Mets and Marlins are doing Mets and Marlins things. Down the stretch, the East may be one of the most exciting races.
NL Central: Another 3 team race is taking place in the Central. The Cubs, Brewers, and Cardinals are all within 2.5 games of each other. The Cubs are the team with the most talent, at least on paper. The Brewers have an offense that can score runs at will. The Cardinals are that team that just always seems to hang around somehow. I see each of these teams buying heavily, if needed. The Pirates and Reds are hanging out in the basement in this version of MLB’s Groundhog Day.
NL West: The Dodgers are running away with the West. Although the Diamondbacks showed some fight early in the season, they’re fading now. On the flip side, the Giants have been hot lately and I can see them buying in an effort to chase the Wild Card. The Rockies have been hot and cold, so I’m not really sure what they will do. If I’m them though, I sell. The Padres are in the same position as the White Sox; under .500 but with a solid group of young players. I’d hang on to what I’ve got and look to 2020 if I’m the Padres front office.
And now for the homer section of this blog; can we talk about my Reds? I didn’t like the David Bell hiring when it was announced. I’m even on record by voicing my opinion in a blog on the day he was hired. He hasn’t been good. That’s as simple as I can make it. He hasn’t been horrible either though. My biggest question with him was his minor league managerial record in which he barely won 40% of his games. I’m not giving up hope though. Having said that, this season is over. In July. Again. The only players that should be untouchable are Castillo, Garrett, Senzel, and Suarez. If they can sign Puig long term; go for it. If not, move him too. I hate saying that, as I’ve loved him since he came into the league. Everyone else should be on the block, but only if the price is right. The ones I’d push to move are Gennett, Peraza, Mahle, and Rasiel Iglesias. Amir Garrett can be the closer and they would probably get quite a bit for Iggy. If only I could be the GM for a week or so.
We’re almost to the unofficial playoff stretch run point of the season. The buying and selling is always exciting. New faces, new clubs; who cashes in with a trip to the World Series? Stay tuned and play ball.