6 bold predictions for Deadline Day

July 31st, 2019

Welcome to the put-up-or-shut-up portion of our programming. Some of you probably thought this day would never arrive. Here’s hoping everyone has enjoyed the ride. All things considered, we probably shouldn’t be surprised by where things stand as the Trade Deadline finally arrives.

Or maybe it’s just the words of Theo Epstein ringing in my ears: “No one really knows anything.”

The actual quote from the Cubs’ president of baseball operations is more colorful than that, but you get the point. Remember when everyone said this Deadline was a dud, and then went to Cincinnati in a late-night three-team blockbuster that saw the Indians end up with (from the Reds) and (from the Padres)? Yeah, no one knows anything.

It’s hard to imagine we’ll see anything as unexpected as that before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline -- the only Deadline this year -- but never say never.

That said, here are six predictions that could shock everyone as much as Tuesday’s activities.

1. The Giants will not trade .

As tempting (and logical) as it might be to trade their ace, the Giants aren’t going to pull the plug on a season in which they’ve been one of baseball’s most pleasant surprises in Bruce Bochy’s farewell year. They remain a longshot with less than a 10 percent chance to make the playoffs, according to FanGraphs. This does not matter. Let the kids in the Bay play, and maybe some Giants postseason magic will come from it.

2. The Cardinals will stand pat and win the NL Central.

Yes, they need pitching. So does every other contender. But the Cardinals can look at their roster and see fewer holes than the Brewers and Cubs. Rather than overpay for a piece that may not make a major difference, the Cardinals will let things play out and see if this team is as good as a lot of us thought it was on Opening Day.

3. will not be traded to the Yankees or anywhere else.

The Mets are going to wake up Wednesday morning and realized how close they are to being really good. The acquisition of right-hander from the Blue Jays means the Mets could enter 2020 with baseball’s best rotation. Add those starters to a solid core of young position players, and Citi Field could be one of baseball’s hottest tickets in ‘20. And hey, they aren’t so far out of it (five games out of the second Wild Card spot as of Tuesday night) that a ‘19 run isn’t out of the question just yet either.

4. The Astros will get from the D-backs.

Houston general manager and president of baseball operations Jeff Luhnow has made runs at Bumgarner, Syndergaard, and a long list of relievers this season. But he’ll end up with a 27-year-old left-hander who is under control through the end of the 2020 season, which is notable as current rotation standout is set to hit free agency this winter.

5. The Dodgers will "overpay" to acquire Pirates closer , but will then enter October as one of baseball’s best teams.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been obsessive about holding onto the organization’s top-tier prospects. This time, the dynamics will be different with a bullpen that badly needs help and a team that is otherwise nicely positioned to win the World Series. Sometimes you have to “overpay” for a closer to end a long title drought … just ask the Cubs.

6. The Yankees will convince he’ll love the Bronx.

The Rangers lefty reportedly has the Yankees on his limited no-trade list, but after all the twists and turns his career has taken the last 10 years (playing for the Braves, Royals and now the Rangers), he has made just one postseason start. The Yankees can offer him an opportunity to step on a mound in a packed stadium and try to help the most famous sports franchise in the world win its 28th World Series ring. Everything is negotiable, including no-trade clauses.