Imagine that you are now Marcus Stroman. He needed to be one hundred percent sure he flew to the Yankees or Astros as a missing piece for a World Series favorite.
Surprise, Marcus! Welcome to the New York Mets, a team that is definitely not a World Series favorite. According to FanGraphs, the record is 50-55 and the odds of playing in the playoffs are 9.6%. The Mets' chances of winning the World Series? A microscopic 0.3%.
Toronto, I love you … forever! 🇨🇦
– Marcus Stroman (@ MStrooo6) July 28, 2019
While the deal scratched most (including our Keith Law) on the head, this trade threw one more kink in more than anything else completely unpredictable trading time, which became even more confusing ̵
Stroman does not go to the Yankees or Astros, the favorite, to land the right-hander with a 2.96 ERA. Stroman is under team control for another season, so trading in philosophy would be similar when the Astros took over Verlander, which at that point was signed by 2018, to completed deals and shopping lists for each team as July 31 nearer.
Reporting on MLB Dealing
– The Mets appear to be striving for what Noah Syndergaard would seem to regard as one of the best and most intriguing starting pitchers in the rumor mill off-the-shelf. In the close NL wild card race, a turnaround can quickly occur. Four days ago, the Mets were between 46 and 55 with a playoff ratio of 3.9%. A four-game winning streak has somewhat improved the playoff chances, though they are still six games behind the Cubs, Cardinals and Nationals, which are equated to the NL Central leadership and the two wildcards.
– While Stroman is traded and Syndergaard apparently (maybe?) Stays on the ball, the market for start pitching is suddenly much thinner, especially with the growing likelihood that the Giants are clinging to Madison Bumgarner. The Giants won the seventh series in a row this weekend with two out of three players and only 2½ games behind in the wildcard race. Are you a playoff team? Probably not – 23 of the next 26 games are against teams with currently .500 or better – but I can not imagine the Giants trading their ace and giving up Bruce Bochy's last season when they're so close to a playoff point.
– The big winner in the Stroman trade could be the Texas Rangers, as the trade value of Mike Minor has probably just increased a bit. There is no guarantee that the Rangers will trade with Minor – he has signed until 2020 and could be in their new park next season – but he may now be the best available starter on an 8-6 record with 3.00 ERA sit in a hard racket park.
Perhaps all of this is leading to what could really make this a crazy trading term: what will the Yankees do now? You are probably a starter away from being a dominant team.
Will anyone accept New York's prospects on the deadline? Domingo German allowed three runs in 5⅓ innings on Sunday, which meant an incredibly bad pitching run for the Yankees. They have allowed more than five runs in nine consecutive games – an average of 9.3 per competition. Even after the start of German Yankees starters have in the last nine games an ERA of 13.50, which allows 67 hits, 60 runs and 20 home runs in 37 innings.
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Did this nightmare increase Brian Cashman's blood pressure so much that he was more desperate to make a deal? added that CC Sabathia landed on the IL with right knee inflammation and considered the monthly ERAs of rotation:
July: 6.32  You do not need promotion in Sabermetrics to know this is not a good trend, of course Cashman does not have to get a pitcher, maybe Sabathia's IL stint is more cautious than anything else, and maybe Luis creates Severino it back, and maybe James Paxton is straightening in. German and Masahiro Tanaka were mostly pretty solid, Cashman could decide to add more bullpen depth and just rely on the helpers in the N to carry a heavy workload.
Or he could chase Robbie Ray off the Diamondbacks. Or maybe the Indians are ready to part with Trevor Bauer if they can spy on Deivi Garcia from the Yankees. Or New York is content with Tanner Roark of the Reds.
All eyes are on Cashman, but the team most at risk this week may be the Dodgers. After being defeated in the last two seasons in the World Series, they have again the best team in the National League, although one of them has an obvious weakness in the Bullpen-Konstanz late game. The Dodgers are ninth in the Bullpen ERA, but that hides what was a problem late in the games: their reliefs rank 25th in the majors when the winning percentage is added. It was not a clutch bull, which Dodgers fans find all too familiar.
The Dodgers should definitely be ready to take a big step to expand their bullpen. If that means giving up some good prospects to fetch Felipe Vazquez from the pirates, then do it. The Dodgers have taken over Yu Darvish and Brian Dozier in the last two seasons on the deadline, but had to give up any of their best prospects. LA should be ready to do this for the right helper this year. Vazquez may be the difference between ending a 31-year drought in the World Series and losing for the third straight year in the Classic case.
But it's not just about the Yankees and Dodgers – it's just the two teams that are most likely to turn this into a really crazy deadline. Otherwise it may be very helpful to mix relief jars and rotate the backend. Of course, these little moves could make a difference – the Indians, A's, Red Sox and Rays are separated by four games for two Wild Card spots (and the Indians are only two games behind the Twins in the AL Central) , In the NL headquarters, the Cubs and Cardinals are on par, the Brewers are just a second leg, and every NL team, with the exception of the Pirates and Marlins, has a placeholder within 7½ games.
What will happen? The clock is ticking.