Jul 28, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT
The Braves continued their plan to acquire young pitching, trading veterans Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson to the Mets in exchange for minor league arms John Gant and Rob Whalen. Both arms are considered mid-level prospects at best — neither of them are listed in Baseball America’s ‘Midseason Top 50 prospects‘ list — but it’s certainly better to take a chance on them rather than keep veterans around that don’t have a longterm future with the club.
Will they trade anyone else? There are reports out there that the Braves have apparently dangled Cameron Maybin and Andrelton Simmons, but have been asking for a king’s ransom in return. The only other viable option right now appears to be closer Jim Johnson, who’s been a little more steady in 2015 than he had been in recent years.
The Marlins are hoping that reliever Steve Cishek isn’t the only player they wind up dealing before Friday’s deadline. They are currently fielding offers for Dan Haren, and apparently, the hang up is that the club doesn’t want to send money to other teams to help pay for his salary. That would seem typical of the Marlins, who have a history of being fiscally conservative. But Haren has a $10 million base salary for this year and is reportedly close to receiving a $3 million bonus, so it’s not like Miami would have to hand over chump change to other teams in a deal.
NEW YORK METS
The Mets made a modest upgrade to their lineup in dealing for the aforementioned Uribe and Johnson. But they weren’t done there, later netting Athletics reliever (and former Nationals setup man) Tyler Clippard to shore up the back end of their bullpen, much to the chagrin of the D.C. fanbase. But all the recent activity, the question still remains: Are these moves enough to help New York catch Washington in the NL East standings?
Who knows the answer to that one. It’s not like Mets acquired any of the big fish that were available on the trade market. Regardless, it’s clear they don’t want to stand pat because they truly believe they have a shot to take the division crown if things break their way. In some respects, they’re right; the Nats have been banged up most of the season, had inconsistent starting pitching and still have question marks in their bullpen. So why not strike while you can? The Mets have made it this far into the season and managed to stay in the race, so there’s no reason to think they’ll fade anytime soon. Will Washington counter with a few moves of its own?
If this is it for Cole Hamels in Philadelphia, what a heck of a way to go out. Pitching in what was likely his final start as a member of the organization, the lefty ace tossed a no-hitter in Wrigley Field against the Cubs over the weekend. Hamels showed why teams are so interested in trading for him in the first place: His velocity was on point (he was hitting 94 mph at times with the fastball), showed excellent command and got hitters to chase pitches out of the zone for strikeouts. It was a great moment for a player and a team that has been through rough times in the last few years.
So, who will Hamels be pitching for next? That’s the million dollar question, and teams are apparently lining up for his services as the trade deadline approaches. The reported leading contenders are the Dodgers and Angels at the moment, but the buzz on Monday night was that the Astros — even after acquiring Scott Kazmir — are making a push to get him. Either way, it looks like the Phillies have a good chance of getting a quality haul of prospects once this is is all said and done.
FINAL NL EAST STANDINGS
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
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