Home Sports Struggling Cardinals, Blue Jays among 3 teams that could spark life into the MLB trade deadline

Struggling Cardinals, Blue Jays among 3 teams that could spark life into the MLB trade deadline

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The Blue Jays are in last place, which could put players like Bo Bichette (left wing) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (right) on the trade block in the coming months. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the MLB trade deadline. And as San Diego Padres president of baseball operations AJ Preller demonstrated by acquiring two-time All-Star Luis Arráez earlier this month, the same goes for front offices.

Around Memorial Day, executives begin to evaluate their workforces for strengths and areas that could improve. With the introduction of the second wild card team in the postseason, clubs are more likely to see where they are before definitively deciding whether they want to buy or sell.

The three teams below each find themselves in a unique position: one rebuilding and the other two on the verge of a potential major shakeup.

And each could have a big impact at this year’s trade deadline on July 30.

Most important trade piece: RHP Mason Miller

The A’s began the season much maligned after team owner John Fisher announced the team’s plans to temporarily move from Oakland to Sacramento before ultimately landing in Las Vegas. But since the start of the season, Oakland has played better than expected considering the team is still rebuilding and the stadium issues.

The best thing to come out of Oakland this season has been rookie pitcher Mason Miller, who has become perhaps the most dominant closer in baseball. Miller, who owns a 0.89 ERA, is 9-for-9 in save opportunities and his 103 mph fastball is getting a lot of baseball attention.

With Miller dominating and Oakland still a long way from making the postseason, it’s fair to wonder if Oakland would buy their closer even at this early stage in his career. Historically, teams that are out of October usually don’t keep their closers around, especially one as dominant and electric as Miller.

Miller has appeared in preliminary trade talks around the league, sources confirmed to Yahoo Sports. As the trade deadline approaches, Miller could become the type of player whose acquisition changes the playoff race.

The benefit for Oakland is that he has leverage and the longer he waits, the more teams will need that impact arm. It will probably take a lot of effort to get it, but for a team like the Baltimore Orioles, which has the pieces and the need, it may be the move that helps them get over the hump and get to the World Series.

Most important trade pieces: 3B Nolan Arenado, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, RHP Ryan Helsley

Things weren’t supposed to look this bad in St. Louis when they decided to try, but after losing 91 games last year, things haven’t gotten better. St. Louis currently sits at the bottom of the NL Central, and while the franchise doesn’t typically go into rebuild mode, after deciding against a full rebuild last season, it may be time to reconsider. that position.

Third baseman Nolan Arenado and first baseman Paul Goldschdit are two of the biggest names in baseball, but their production over the past two seasons has not lived up to their star status. This season, each has taken significant steps back, and after catcher Willson Contreras broke his arm earlier this month, he has put even more attention on the team’s problems.

Goldschmidt is in the final year of his five-year, $130 million contract and will be a free agent at the end of the season, while Arenado still has three years and $52 million left on his contract.

The name that may be most realistic to move is closer Ryan Helsely, who has one more year of club control after this season before hitting free agency. Helsley has been one of the most consistent relievers in baseball over the past three seasons and could also be a hot name on the trade market.

The Cardinals may not feel like selling, but the reality is that the team continues to age and, at some point, St. Louis will have to bring youth back into the organization and onto the Major League roster.

Most important trade pieces: LHP Yusei Kikuchi, 1B Vladimir Guerrero Jr., SS Bo Bichette, RHP Jordan Romano

Things haven’t gone as planned for the Blue Jays.

There was a time when they were seen as the next great team in the American League. But after disappointing results in consecutive postseason years, the poor performance of their young stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette and the regression of the rest of the team’s roster, the Blue Jays now find themselves at the bottom of the American League East Division. .

The reality is that time is no longer on your side. Bichette and Guerrero Jr. will become free agents at the end of next season. Whether the Blue Jays decide to move them or not, the clock has already started ticking.

It seems Toronto has missed its window to be a true contender and with the Orioles now becoming the juggernaut the Blue Jays were supposed to be, and the Yankees rediscovering their form with Juan Soto in the fold, the chances of getting back on top of the division are extremely remote.

While the Blue Jays have underperformed, they have gotten good starts to the season from right-hander José Berríos and left-hander Yusei Kikuchi. While Berrios recently signed him to a seven-year, $131 million deal last offseason, Kikuchi will be a free agent at the end of the season and could be a name that would make sense to move as the deadline approaches.

It seems unlikely that the Blue Jays will move Bichette or Guerrero, but given all the extenuating circumstances the team will face over the next year, sitting still and having their star duo finish out the final year of their deals and getting nothing in return sounds like suboptimal and puts the franchise in a much worse position.

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