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Five deals we want to see get done before the MLB trading deadline  1 Month ago

Source:   USA Today  

As the second half gets underway and with just a few weeks remaining before Major League Baseball's trade deadline, the market's potential buyers and sellers are taking shape.

It's an intriguing group of players expected to be dealt this month, ranging from bullpen rentals to young starting pitchers with multiple years of team control.

The big thing to remember this year is that the July 31 deadline is now the singular deadline. In the past, teams could still make deals until Aug. 31 if the players cleared waivers, leading to difference-makers still being available in August.

Here's a look at some of the moves we want to see get done in the coming weeks:

The Blue Jays dealt J.A. Happ to the Yankees last summer, which would seem to indicate that the club wouldn’t shy away from trading within the division again.

There’s something undeniably special about a kid from New York playing for the Yankees and Stroman, 28, is exactly what the AL East leaders need. An All-Star for the first time this year, Stroman has the second-highest ground ball rate in the AL and gave up only 10 home runs in the first half. That’ll certainly play at Yankee Stadium.

Stroman is under team control for 2020 and considering he grew up a Yankees fan on Long Island, you’d have to imagine the right-hander would be open to staying with the club long-term.

And oh, he’s already deeply engaged in beef with the Red Sox.

Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are two of the best in the game and Wade Miley has been good, but Houston’s rotation has been shaky beyond those three. Even though he’s not as dominant as five years ago, Bumgarner brings the postseason pedigree and bulldog mentality that could prove crucial in what's going to be a hard-fought October.

The Giants don’t have much leverage since Bumgarner is a free agent this winter, so the Astros probably wouldn’t have to part with a top prospect like Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley in order to land the 29-year-old lefty. 

He’s not a household name, but Boyd has really come into his own this year, averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings and leads the AL with a 6.33 walk-to-strikeout ratio. 

While all the contenders will certainly be in pursuit, the 28-year-old left-hander would be the perfect long-term acquisition for a Padres club that is just about ready to break out. Boyd is under team control through 2022 and could key a rotation alongside 26-year-old Joey Luchessi and 23-year-old Chris Paddack, with top prospect Mackenzie Gore not far behind.

Admittedly, the Giants and Dodgers have only been trade partners four times since moving west in 1958, mostly recently in 2007. 

San Francisco's closer, a free agent after the season, figures to be the best reliever available before July 31. Meanwhile, Los Angeles' only flaw may be the bridge to Kenley Jansen. They’re going to win the NL West for the seventh year in a row and this may be the best team they've had over that entire run.

Giants president Farhan Zaidi was the Dodgers’ GM from 2014-2018 and his relationship with Andrew Friedman and the L.A. front office could supersede the organizations’ past hesitance to make deals. The Dodgers should be looking to strengthen the team at all costs and Smith would immediately make their bullpen one of the best in baseball – even if even if it means sending prospects to their rival of 129 years. 

That’s all well and good, but what about the potential reaction from the Giants’ fanbase? It could be an unforgivable sin if their new regime were to help the Dodgers win a title.

Ultimately, a trade between the rivals could blow up in either team's face. That’s all the more reason we’re here for it.

Probably the top position player on the market, Castellanos is an interesting case. A free agent at the end of the year, the 30-year-old is on pace for more than 50 doubles but in a year defined by the longball, has only nine home runs.

Cleveland's 2019 strategy of "not having an outfielder who can hit" was a bold one, but the team has been on fire for more than a month and is within striking distance of the Twins in the AL Central

Castellanos would be a great fit with the Indians, who could use him in right field, as the designated hitter or at third base to shuffle things up in the infield with Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis struggling.

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