5 Deadline deals that make sense
For a period there, a silly thought popped in the heads of some. With so few deals being done, a slew of you pictured a summer without significant player traffic.
But then the Astros opened the Trade Deadline doors with a deal for Scott Kazmir. And before you fully processed that one, Aramis Ramirez was on his way to Pittsburgh. Then Johnny Cueto to the Royals happened. Congrats, Kansas City. You got yourselves an ace.
Think the wheeling and dealing is complete? Nope. In fact, the fun may have just begun. We could see a few more studs exchanged in the next few days. The following five moves would make sense, so don't be surprised if they go down as described below.
1. Cole Hamels to the Dodgers
Looking back to Spring Training, I suggested that the Phillies and Dodgers could be fits for a deal involving Hamels. And through this point in the campaign, nothing has happened to change my mind on that front.
In fact, the suggestion would seem to make even more sense now in light of Los Angeles' rotation injury woes. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy are out for the year, and health questions will always surround the talented but oft-sidelined Brett Anderson.
As his season-to-date 3.64 ERA suggests, Hamels is not the favorite for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award. He has, however, displayed brilliance at times.
Need proof? Take a look at what Hamels did in his most recent start.
The prospect of acquiring Hamels is an even more appealing fantasy to franchises seeking more than a summer's rental, as the left-hander could be under control through 2019.
What it would take: The Dodgers have called top prospects Corey Seager and Julio Urias untouchable, but one of the two would need to be included to complete this deal.
2. Carlos Gomez to the Angels
How about those Angels? Hot since early May, they might just be the American League's most well-rounded squad. Still, the club could stand to improve its left-field production, which has sagged for most of the season.
Enter the electric Gomez, the owner of an impressive power-speed display. And having also played Gold Glove-caliber defense in center, the 29-year-old would likely shift over to left to help form one of baseball's most dazzling outfield units. The Angels traded for Shane Victorino on Monday night, but he didn't cost much (Josh Rutledge) and is more there for depth. Gomez would take the club to a new level.
What it would take: If that did not sell you on Gomez, then also consider his team-friendly $9 million salary for 2016. For a team such as the Halos -- who reportedly prefer longer-term assets to summer rentals -- Gomez would seem to be an attractive target.
But since the Brewers also know what they have in Gomez, the asking price would not be cheap. Think the club's No. 1 prospect, left-hander Sean Newcomb.
3. Aroldis Chapman to the Nationals
The Nationals have had a solid bullpen for much of the season, albeit one that looks much different than the 2014 version. If you remember, Washington's 2014 relief corps included three arms -- Drew Storen, Rafael Soriano and Tyler Clippard -- with 30-save seasons on their resumes.
But fast forward to the current group, led by Storen yet filled out with less-proven names. It has 12 blown saves on the season; not an outrageous figure, but on the top half of a leaderboard that a World Series-aspiring club would care to avoid.
Not short on starters with strikeout ability, the Nats would reach a new level by acquiring the Reds' fireballing fireman and current destroyer of the Statcast™ leaderboard page.
What it would take: Due to Chapman's triple-digit talent and longer-term controllability -- he's not eligible for free agency until 2017 -- the left-handed Cuban would require an acquiring club to accept a real prospect hit.
If this deal were to get done, don't be surprised to see either A.J. Cole (the Nationals' No. 2 prospect) or Reynaldo Lopez (No. 5) on his way to Cincinnati.
4. Gerardo Parra to the Cubs
The Cubs have done well to stockpile young talent, and team leadership has shown no desire to mortgage the future for the present. With that said, Milwaukee's Parra could give Chicago's North Side club a boost on offense and defense for a reasonable cost.
With a Gold Glove Award in left field as well as right, Parra has long been recognized for his defensive prowess. In fact, he has the ability to track to fly balls from all three outfield spots.
But Parra's reputation as a glove-first guy notwithstanding, the left-handed batter is in the midst of a career offensive year. The type of player loved by Cubs manager Joe Maddon, Parra is quite adept against right-handed pitching. With the benefit of this strength, he could serve as solid outfield depth and, perhaps, the strong side of a center-field platoon with Dexter Fowler, a switch-hitter who has fared much better from the right side in his career.
What it would take: Parra would cost more on today's trade market than he did last summer, when he was acquired by Milwaukee from Arizona in exchange for two low-level prospects. But the increased price tag could still be palatable for the Cubs, who have a deeper prospect well than most. I would not be surprised to see a Parra trade that included some combination of farmhands Jake Stinnett -- the team's 10th-best prospect, per MLBPipeline.com -- Carson Sands (11th) or Justin Steele (14th).
5. Mike Fiers, Francisco Rodriguez to the Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have been one of the most aggressive teams in terms of trying to make a move at the Deadline, but so far, they have come up empty. Last winter, GM Alex Anthopoulous made a below-the-radar deal for starter Marco Estrada that has worked well for them, as Estrada has helped fill a big gap in the rotation, pitching to a 3.55 ERA.
Instead of making a "splash," Anthopoulous would be well served to make a similar kind of deal for Fiers and K-Rod.
What it would take: A package leading with lefty Daniel Norris would be enough, and the Brewers would benefit from the fact that Fiers is under control for four more years after this one and Rodriguez for another season. Fiers is homer-prone, but he is whiffing a man per inning, and K-Rod has continued to be remarkably reliable.