We are 26 days away from one of the busiest days in baseball — the trade deadline. There haven’t been any big moves yet this year and it’s unlikely we will see any before the All-Star Game. After the All-Star Game, anything can happen. Here are a couple of way too early predictions for this years trade deadline.
1) The Philadelphia Phillies will NOT trade Cole Hamels:
I have been asked about this a few times on Twitter and my answer has stayed the same: Cole Hamels will be in a Phillies uniform on August 1. In trade talks involving Hamels, the Phillies are said to be looking for a big return, as you would expect, but teams are not willing to cave into their demands…yet.
On top of the high demands, the changes in the Phillies front office also decrease the chances of Hamels being dealt. If he will be dealt, I’m expecting it to come this winter. With Hamels under contract beyond this season, at a very, very cheap price based on the open market value of aces, Hamels should command an extremely high return, and the Phillies do not need to rush to trade him.
2) The San Diego Padres will trade Justin Upton:
The current feeling among those close to Upton is this: If the Padres’ current 10-game road trip isn’t successful, they will look to move him. Three games into the road trip, the Padres are 2-1.
If the road trip suddenly goes bad, expect plenty of contending teams to call the Padres about the availability of Upton. Fellow Baseball Essential writer Josh Sadlock sees the Tampa Bay Rays as a good fit, although it remains too early to declare a clear front-runner for Upton’s services.
3) The Los Angeles Dodgers will acquire Johnny Cueto from the Cincinnati Reds:
This trade makes a lot of sense for the Dodgers. Going into the second half of the season with a rotation featuring Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto would give them a scary trio of pitchers that is more than capable of carrying the team throughout the playoffs.
If the Dodgers do decide to trade for Cueto, it would give them a leg up on other teams that would have interest in him when he becomes a free agent this offseason. The current expectation here is that Greinke will opt out of his contract at the end of the year and when/if he does that, being able to negotiate with Cueto before anyone else would help limit the impact of losing Greinke.
4) The Houston Astros will acquire Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago White Sox:
Even in the midst of a down season, Samardzija is drawing plenty of interest from teams around the league. The Toronto Blue Jays are a team that has been heavily connected to the 30-year-old, but it’s the Astros that end up with him.
Teams that want a starting pitcher that can’t afford a Cole Hamels-type player will target pitchers such as Jeff Samardzija. While Samardzija isn’t as good as Hamels, he would be an upgrade in a suddenly relevant Astros squad.
5) The Milwaukee Brewers will trade Carlos Gomez:
The Brewers will be sellers at this years trade deadline and Gomez is one of the likeliest players on the team to be traded.
Gomez has struggled this season and he appears to be swinging for the fences every time he gets to the plate, but he is still a quality hitter that can play solid defense in the outfield.
Teams that make sense as potential landing spots for Gomez include the Los Angeles Angels and Minnesota Twins.