Published by Fran Cava
Although it seems as if the season has just started most teams have already finished a fourth of their schedules. With the regular season wrapping up at the end of September MLB set the trade deadline for the shortened season at 4pm, August 31st. A deadline in a 60 game season may sound nonsensical considering the small sample size for players to perform in, but still it can be very advantageous for a contender to make a pickup for the playoffs. The expanded playoffs could potentially create some unique cases, where brink teams may opt to not sell, where as in a regular 162 game season they would be inclined to. Only 15 games in its hard to tell exactly who will be buyers/sellers at this deadline; I mean the Marlins are 7-3! Most starters have made 3 or 4 starts each, which is a very limited sample size, but nonetheless has given some indication as to who could potentially be dealt three weeks from now.
Lance Lynn – Texas Rangers
Lance has really hit his stride since arriving in Texas last year. After looking like he lost his touch in New York and Minnesota, he has rejuvenated his career and is one of the top starters in the American League. He finished last year 5th in the Cy Young voting and is picking up this year right where he left off. Through three starts this year he has posted an absurdly disgusting 0.47 ERA, with 24 strikeouts in 18 innings of work. Texas is not expected to do much this year so it would behoove them to try and get some young talent back for their veteran ace. A contender could heavily bolster their rotation with Lynn, who could slot in to be a number two on most teams. With another affordable year on his contract next season Lance could notch Texas a nice haul.
Johnny Cueto – San Fransisco Giants
During his Giants tenure Cueto hasn’t exactly been worth the huge deal. Unfortunately for him injuries have derailed his career after 30, having only started in 42 games since 2016. He enjoyed a great first year when coming to San Fran, and so far this year has been able to channel some of that success. His 5.14 ERA may leave a preposterous look on your face, and his homer run numbers may seem high for 18 innings of work but Cueto has made 3 very solid starts. On opening day he had a very stellar start against the Dodgers, and in his third start his only mistake was a 2 run-HR to Arenado. Just last night he carried a no hitter into the 6th when Hunter Pence made an egregious error that ended it.
Rough way to see it end, and after this Cueto kind of lost control of the game perplexing the numbers to make it seem like it wasn’t an impressive start, when in actuality he was dealing against a stacked LA lineup again. His strikeout numbers are down but its clear Johnny can still pitch against talented teams, which come October is what contenders are looking for. The Giants are defiantly going to need to eat a-lot of his contract considering he’s still owed over 40 million the next 2 years. Teams looking to improve the backend of their rotations are going to be hitting the Giants line come the end of August.
Alex Cobb – Baltimore Orioles
The Orioles have been a nice surprise this year starting off at 7-7. Besides their lineup starting off hot they’ve gotten a few great starts out of guys like Tommy Milone and Alex Cobb. Alex made only 3 starts last year after having his season shutdown from a hip injury, but has shown thus far that the long absence has not affected him. In his comeback 2020 season he’s started off by only allowing 4 earned runs through 3 starts, with a respectable strikeout per 9 ratio of 9.4. His stuff is not overpowering in the slightest bit, but with a good defense behind him he could be pretty effective. Even though the O’s have had a nice start expect them to slow down, and at the deadline move Cobb to free up some money and potentially get a low tier prospect. With their roster being so young it doesn’t make sense for them to hold onto Cobb, especially if a team is willing to take him and pay a portion of his salary. A team seeking a backend rotation guy could take the chance on Cobb, perhaps the Rockies or the Yankees if they’re willing to trade in the division.
Tommy Milone – Baltimore Orioles
For his career Tommy boy could be categorized as poor to just bad starter. This year though he’s looked sharp through three starts, adapting to the veteran role along with Cobb on this mixed pot of an O’s team. Posting an extremely impressive FIP of 2.47, and looks to have worked on his home run problem that has always haunted him. Currently making 100k this is a steal of a rental for any team looking to save a buck while still being able to improve short-term. On top of being able to help the end of a rotation Tommy can be used in long relief, as he did with the Mets and Seattle. He’s another guy that doesn’t strikeout a ton, pitching more to contact which may persuade a team with sub par defense to stray away. Expect the O’s to move either one of their vets for a bag of chips.
22 days for guys to build their value up, let’s see what happens.