A six-part series that will cover every team in the majors, What You'll See at the Trading Deadline is a blog worked on by FanNation users Dudeman, Gu3, and thehemogoblin. This blog will be released Monday through Saturday, with each blog covering a certain division. Day four is the NL East.
Thursday, July 3rd: NL East
Friday, July 4th: NL Central
Saturday, July 5th: NL West
Dudeman's Take: The Atlanta Braves have all the pieces, but they just can't seem to have all the pieces on the field at the same time. Tom Glavine and John Smoltz have been getting injured all season, and Chipper Jones has recently been struggling with a knee injury. Mark Texiera has really been hot recently but that's not enough to get them back into the NL East. This team has so many holes that it's going to be hard to deal with all of them at the trade deadline, and I doubt that Atlanta management will be able to fix most of the problems with this team. They need another bat, they need starting pitching very badly, and they aren't going anywhere this season.
Gu3's Take: The Atlanta Braves are a good ball club who can make a run at the post season. Mark Tex is heating up and had a 3 homerun game earlier in the year. He is a very good defensive and offesive player. Chipper Jones is hovering near the .400 mark. And Jeff Francoeur could heat up at any time. However. they have major problems on the injury list. Hopefully they can bounce back. The Braves may need another bat or arm to help them get through October.
Hemo's Take: Facing injuries to John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Mike Hampton, Rafael Soriano and Mark Kotsay, the Atlanta Braves have underachieved, especially on the road, where they were the last team in the majors to reach double digits in road wins. As it looks now, John Schuerholz will be dealing out at the trade deadline, capitalizing on the value of left-handed relievers Royce Ring, Will Ohman, and Mike Gonzalez. The Braves are built for the long term excepting Chipper Jones, so taking one more year off won't be a bad thing for them. However, Schuerholz has also been known to break out with blockbuster deals come July 31st.
Dudeman's Take: The Marlins are in contention for the NL East title only because Philadelphia is cold at the same time they are, so they aren't losing significant ground in the NL East. Their young pitchers are starting to reach their potential and that has been huge for them. Many thought they would fall hard without Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis but Hanley Ramirez has remained consistent and Dan Uggla has really become one of the premier sluggers in this league. Expect this team to sit and relax at the trading deadline due to their budget which isn't very high.
Gu3's Take: When I think Florida Marlins, I think young. They have alot of good hitting youngsters who will help them big-time in a few years. When you have a young team suceeding like this, you cannot be fooled. You have to know that you will get more in the future than you will now. You cannot trade youngsters for a player to make a run. The Marlins have to realize that and just let the youngsters make the run. And if they make the playoffs with this team, its better for them for the experience.
Hemo's Take: The Florida Marlins are only one game out of first in the NL East, and as history has shown, they're not afraid to make deals to improve the team. Now is as good a time as ever to do so, as the division-leading Phillies have lost their last six games. The Marlins, with the lowest payroll in baseball (closer Kevin Gregg has the highest salary at $2.5 million) and a strong farm system, are in a position where they can make deals for now AND the future simultaneously. A true lead-off hitter, preferably from center field, would make this team less dependent on the long ball (51% of their runs are from home runs) and more complete offensively. The bullpen and rotation needs a lot of work, and if ownership would prepare to dedicate the money to the franchise for the move to their new ballpark in 2010 or 2011, the Marlins could emerge as possible candidates in the CC Sabathia sweepstakes, as Sabathia would offer a face to the franchise and a cornerstone in the rotation well into the future.
New York Mets
Dudeman's Take: The New York Mets are a painful subject to write on for myself. I am a Mets fan who is ready to tear my hair out. They have made some poor management decisions with the firing of Willie Randolph, and they are the MOST inconsistent team in the majors. One game they might win 15-6 and the next they will lose 9-0. This season has been absolute hell for Mets fans, and most have already lost their patience. But, I doubt this team will be trying to improve at the deadline. Expect them to just sit back and piss off us Mets fans even more. Like we don't want to start a mob already.
Gu3's Take: Well, the New York Mets fired their manager and they look to have thrown in the towel...already. They have two young, great players that are going to be the future of New York. David Wright and Jose Reyes will be around for a loooong time. So, they need to get rid of dead weight to help Reyes and Wright in the future. Delgado and Beltran are old and can be sold for alot. Some contender could get rid of young talent for these two.
Hemo's Take: The Metropolitans, of the borough of Queens, look to be one of the big buyers of the trade deadline. On a team underachieving after acquiring stud pitcher Johan Santana in the offseason, New York has got to find production in left field, at catcher, and everywhere in the bullpen. Look for them to take a big swing at whatever relievers become available, and whatever outfielders are being sold. There's too much money vested in this organization for them to be playing sub-.500 baseball this far into June.
Dudeman's Take: Over the course of the last couple years the Phillies have been offense, offense and offense. Finally their pitching has been coming through for them and it has resulted in a lead in the NL East. Recently they have been struggling, but they have all the pieces to turn this around, hold this division lead and play in October. The biggest reason I believe they will win the NL East is their competition. Atlanta can't seem to get their older players healthy, the Mets are officially not an above .500 team and the Marlins are showing how young they are. The Phillies will be looking for pitching at the deadline, and will probably make a bid for C.C. Sabathia.
Gu3's Take: The Philadelphia Phillies are probably the most talented ball club in the NL. With Rollins, Utley, and Howard batting in their line-up; its hard to beat. Then with Burrell and Jenkins at their back, the team is amazing. They also have a good starting rotation. They have all they need for a postseason run. Now, if they want to have protection and get another bat or arm, they can. However, they cannot get rid of anything big.
Hemo's Take: The recently slumping yet division leading Philadelphia Phillies are in desperate need of pitching help, both in the rotation and the bullpen, as well as a consistent power bat from third base. As the Phillies are lacking lefthanded relief help, George Sherrill is a logical fix there, and there's a void for a staff ace, which is why the Fightin' Phils are the front runner for CC Sabathia. With two former MVPs and Chase Utley attempting to be Phillie MVP #3 in a row, the rest of the infield is set. The outfield has more bodies than places to play, with Pat Burrell, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino, and Geoff Jenkins stuck in a giant platoon where the one who does worst against a specific starter gets the night off.
Dudeman's Take: The Nats started off this season extremely hot by winning their first 3 games, but they came back down to earth soon there after. The Nationals have more problems than I can count. They ha absolutely no starting pitching and have a few prospects. If they don't make a big move for a few huge prospects, they will not win anything for the next 10 years. Injuries have tormented this season, and they will be making many small deals for prospects so they can build towards the future. They opened this season in a new stadium, and so far it hasn't payed off in the least beat. They are 32-49 and are 11 back in the NL East.
Gu3's Take: The Washington Nationals aren't the best of teams. They have some good players but, overall, they dont have much. Zimmerman, Young, and Guzman are good players, but not good enough. If they need anything, its pitching, and lots of it. But they dont have much to give. Maybe they unload some this deadline, but they dont gain anything.
Hemo's Take: The Washington Nationals as a franchise, even when they were in their latter years in Montreal, discovered that cellar and seller were homonyms. Tim Redding, Luis Ayala, Jon Rauch, Paul Lo Duca, Johnny Estrada, Ronnie Belliard, Aaron Boone, Felipe Lopez, Dmitri Young, Chad Cordero, Odalis Perez and Austin Kearns all stand to be traded by the deadline if any other team wants their innings eating ability, relief arm, late game stability, consistency, power from the catcher position, power from the second base position, great offense and defense from third base, professional hitting from a utility player, great power hitting, game ending pitching, left-handedness in the rotation, and power from the outfield, respectively.