The Trade Deadline Will Separate The Contenders From The Pretenders

The Trade Deadline Will Separate The Contenders From The Pretenders

Today’s MLB trade deadline will let us know which teams are throwing in the towel on 2022, and who will be fighting for an opportunity to win it all. These are just a few scenarios from what is shaping up to be an extremely active deadline.

St. Louis Cardinals – Find Replacement for Jack Flaherty

Even with the MVP season first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is having, the Cardinals find themselves trailing the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central headed into the deadline. The pitching staff for the Cards has underperformed, partially due to injury. One pitcher in particular who has certainly been missed is Jack Flaherty. Jack only pitched eight innings in 2022 before a right shoulder strain landed him on the 60-day IL.

Flaherty has looked like a shell of the pitcher who went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.060 WHIP in 2021.

Any talk of finding Jack’s replacement has been overshadowed by the Cardinals’ pursuit of Nationals superstar Juan Soto. A trade for Soto would come with a heavy price tag and unfortunately that would all but guarantee their No.1 overall prospect Jordan Walker would be on the move.

The 6’5, 220 third baseman has been raking at the Cardinals Double A affiliate in Texas, currently slashing .305/.389/.531 on the year. With Platinum Glove winner Nolan Arenado still in the fold for St.Louis at the hot corner combined with what it will take to acquire Soto or a quality arm to replace Flaherty, either move will see Walker hit the show for another ball club.

Milwaukee Brewers – How Trading Josh Hader affects Devin Williams

Devin Williams has been elite for the Brewers all season and has slid into the closer role flawlessly on more than one occasion. But after the Brewers decided to move on from current closer and fan favorite Josh Hader, it looks as if Devin may be spending a lot more time dominating the ninth innings for Milwaukee.

The Hader deal was structured around San Diego’s No. 7 prospect Robert Gasser and No. 28 Esteury Ruiz, who may challenge to replace MLBbro Lorenzo Cain, designated for assignment earlier this season. With Willams in the fold there is no need for Brewers fans to panic about the ninth innings.

However, if the aforementioned Cardinals are able to make some big moves, it will take a lot more than great relief pitching to maintain their lead in the NL Central.

Washington Nationals – Where Does Josh Bell end up ?

Now the two teams above are clearly buyers battling for playoff position, but unfortunately for the nation’s capital, the Nationals are nothing close.

Juan Soto may be the first name you hear leaked to trade talks in D.C, but first baseman Josh Bell’s name usually isn’t far behind.

Bell is having a career year right before being able to test free agency for the first time and the Nationals
will look to gain something before he walks.

Josh is hitting .302 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI and has made pitchers pay for trying to sneak breaking balls past him (.319 BA and SLG .511).

It’s rumored that Dusty Baker’s Astros have made a call about Bell, so we could
potentially see another major weapon added to the machine down in Houston.

Trayce Thompson Has Become More Than Just A Fill-In For Mookie Betts

Trayce Thompson Has Become More Than Just A Fill-In For Mookie Betts

The Los Angeles Dodgers are on an epic run to distance themselves from their divisional rivals, the San Diego Padres. Remember about six weeks ago when the Padres had whittled the Dodgers’ NL West lead down to 1.5 games?

Well, the alarm clock sounded, and Los Angeles went on a winning streak that produced 19 wins in 21 contests. Not only have the Dodgers extended their division lead to 11.5 games, but they have pulled within percentage points from having the best record in baseball behind the New York Yankees. 

But while All-Star, Mookie Betts deservedly commands the headlines in Dodger Nation…

 

It is well known in sports that midseason moves that stay under the radar can be the final piece to a championship team. MLBbro.com is starting to believe that Trayce Thompson is that piece if the Dodgers make it to the World Series in late September to early October. 

Let’s check the scenario of the Los Angeles Dodgers prior to June 20 when Thompson arrived. The Dodgers were below .500 in a 17-game stretch with a 7-10 record that included losses to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Guardians and a painful sweep by the San Francisco Giants.

What made things worse, Mookie Betts was injured, and AJ Pollock was let go. When the Dodgers acquired our MLBbro from the Detroit Tigers for cash considerations, it was strictly a stopgap move to add outfield depth and considering his brother Klay had just won the NBA championship recently, a little PR marketing wouldn’t hurt either. 

But Trayce Thompson has become more than just a fill-in for Mookie Betts or a cheap marketing stunt. Our MLBbro has become a factor that is not only a positive on the field but in the front office where checks are being written for this championship run. 

To start, Thompson’s play has been so impressive that the franchise has options to protect their franchise player by allowing him time in the infield to protect his ribs if needed.

MLBbro Mookie Betts Shines In His Return…But Is A Position Change In The Works?

 

Starting with the 25 games that Thompson has played, he has shown he is the two-way player who can be on the postseason roster in a few months. His 0.5 oWAR, 0.3 dWAR, 115 wRC+ with four defensive runs saved shows that he can make plays that can affect games much like his superstar teammates.

 

 

His batting slashes of .284/.360/.493 with two homers and 13 RBI is exactly what the Dodgers are looking for with role players giving out maximum production that can be sustained at opportune times. 

This production could change how much the Dodgers are willing to spend as we approach the trade deadline on August 2. With Juan Soto on the trading block after turning down a 15-year $440 million offer from the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers are one of the few franchises with the resources to acquire him.

 

But is it worth it to spend the type of money to get Soto and deplete the young talent coming in the future while Thompson is doing exactly what the franchise needs, and dominating baseball the past month, for a fraction of the price? Now the Dodgers have the option to get a less expensive left-handed hitter who feasts on left-handed pitching and can platoon with Thompson for the rest of the season into the playoffs.

While Trayce’s star is rising, humility has not left his DNA as he credits his coaches for his success via Dodgerblue.com.

“I know I was in Triple-A most of the year, or for a good chunk of the season, but I feel I’ve been in a good spot,” Thompson said… “And honestly, I feel like I have been searching a little bit here. But I feel like my at-bats have been a little consistent, but they can definitely get better.”

 

“These guys have been awesome working with me. All three hitting coaches, and even a lot of other coaches just talking, just having conversations and obviously all these guys in the locker room. But in my opinion, it can get a lot better. I kind of strive for that every day.”

Our MLBbro and the Los Angeles Dodgers will see how long this relationship lasts particularly on August 3, the day after the trade deadline.

Josh Bell Is Having A Stellar Season On A Bad Team

Josh Bell Is Having A Stellar Season On A Bad Team

The 2022 Major League Baseball has been a season of revelation for MLBbro Josh Bell.
He is having a career year and has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball. Bell
has always been a quality player, since his Major League debut in 2016. In the middle of a
contract year, he is having a great season, and has been a hot topic in many trade talks around the
league. The only other first basemen in the National League who have even been on his level are
perennial All-Stars, Freddie Freeman and Paul Goldschmidt.

Josh Bell Is Making A Strong Case For NL All-Star Squad

Bell has been the best player for the Nationals this season. He just finished the month of
June with a .358 batting average, seven home runs, and 18 RBI. The Washington Nationals have
not been competitive this year, but that has not stopped Bell from excelling. Since coming to
Washington, Bell has had his career reinvigorated from the less stellar play he showed as a
member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the season just slightly past the halfway mark, he has
already established a WAR of 3.2 which is higher than his WAR during his five seasons with the Pirates.

Not since MLBbro Ryan Howard has there been as productive a black player at the first
base position. Howard, a three-time All-Star and former NL MVP, was one of the most
productive hitters in his prime with the Philadelphia Phillies. Josh Bell is looking to follow in his
footsteps and cash in on his improvements at the plate and sign a lucrative contract in the
offseason. As a highly effective switch hitter, Bell is capable of hitting right and left-handed
pitching at a prominent level. Having a hitter of this caliber at a corner infield position is integral
to a team’s success.

There has been much speculation to whether or not the Nationals will move on from the
potential All-Star MLBbro. While the case can be made to trade Bell while his stock is high,
there are several reasons to retain his services and pair him with Juan Soto and move forward as
a franchise. Not turning 30 until later this season, Bell is still young enough to be around for
several years to come. He currently ranks in the top ten in hits, total bases, On-Base percentage,
and batting average in the National League. Although he may not get the national attention that
he should, this MLBbro is special.

Josh Bell’s Unlimited Potential Is Truly Emerging | Washington Nationals Slugger Bringing Big Stick Energy

Josh Bell’s Unlimited Potential Is Truly Emerging | Washington Nationals Slugger Bringing Big Stick Energy

Josh Bell has put up video game-like numbers through the first three months of the MLB season as a consistent force in the Washington Nationals lineup.


Bell has elevated himself among the upper echelon of first baseman in almost every hitting category. MLB’s only Black starting first baseman is becoming its biggest commodity. 

Josh Bell Is Making A Strong Case For NL All-Star Squad

Through 20 games in June, Bell is batting .282 with 16 RBI, seven home runs and a .634 slugging percentage – all while serving as lineup protection behind one of the best young players in the Majors, Juan Soto.

Entering Thursday, Bell leads the Nationals in batting average, RBI, on base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS while being second in homers, hits and walks.  He’s hit 21 home runs since last year’s trade deadline – good for second on the team, only trailing Soto.

 

 

Last week he put on a clinic against Phillies pitching. It was not his first time doing so against his divisional rival. He hit four home runs in a three-game span during the five-game series to go along with six RBI.

Now, he has an average of .293 with eight home runs, 23 RBI and 12 runs scored in just 21 games against Philidelphia.

That is just one example Bell’s success since he was traded to the National League East before the 2021 season. The former Pittsburgh Pirate second-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft has had a career resurgence since coming to the nation’s capital.

During the Covid-shortened 2020 season, he hit just .226 with eight home runs and 22 runs batted in. Fast forward to 2021. Bell raised all those numbers finishing with a .261 average, 27 home runs and 88 RBI.

This season, it looks like Bell is on track to set career highs in multiple hitting categories. It’s taking the rest of the league some time to catch onto Bell’s magnificent growth. He is currently ninth in All-Star voting for National League first baseman, even though he’s top five for most statistics.

It would be the second time he made the All-Star team in his career. The first was in 2019, when he finished with a career-high 37 home runs and 116 RBI.

As we get closer towards baseball’s midsummer classic, the August trade deadline looms not too far away on the horizon.

Bell, a 29-year-old switch-hitting first baseman in the final year of his contract, has shown he can be a plus defender over the years. He will be on the wish-list of just about every team in the Majors near the deadline.

He already has a nice payday coming his way this off-season regardless of destination, but it will be great for Black baseball to see Bell get a chance to compete and make an impact during the playoffs. Put his immense talents on display for the entire baseball world. 

Bell will get the chance to continue his hot streak when the Nationals go to his home state of Texas for a three-game set against Marcus Semien’s Texas Rangers.