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 five means it's NL Central time!
Saturday, July 5th: NL West
Dudeman's Take: The Arizona Diamondbacks looked like the team to beat in the NL besides the Cubs, but they have been aboslutely terrible after a hot start. They now hover around the .500 mark and it's probably because of the struggles of Brandon Webb in his last 6 starts. An ace usually sets the tone for the rest of a rotation, so when an ace is struggling, the rest of the rotation usually follows suit. Recently, though, Dan Haren and Randy Johnson had 2 very good starts, and hopefully they will be able to improve the rotation. I don't expect them to be active at the deadline, but they might try and improve the bullpen.
Gu3's Take: Behind the Tampa Bay Rays, I view the Arizona Diamondbacks as the most talented young team in the MLB. Young talent like Haren, Upton, and Young really get you far. Also, they arguable have the best rotation in the MLB. Dan Haren. Brandon Webb, Micah Owings, Randy Johnson, and Doug Davis team up to shut down hitters. Hudson, Drew, Reynolds, Jackson, and Byrnes are manning the line-up as the vets and are producing. They dont need much. I say they should keep the team as it is and hope they can pull it out with a young team in the postseason.
Hemo's Take: Down in the desert, the Arizona Diamondbacks have been making noise all year in the NL West. As a team, they have great pitching and have great potential with their everyday players, but they lack to consistency to be a true contender. If anything they will be adding on to the team, probably with a left-handed hitting outfielder and a left-handed reliever. However, they must remember to not tap into the immense base of young talent that they have, for that is the foundation of the franchise to come.
Dudeman's Take: The Colorado Rockies have been one of the biggest disappointments in the majors. After they got white-hot in the playoffs last season (barring their quick exit in the World Series) they had high expectations entering this season. They were supposed to be the D-Backs biggest rivals in the NL West, but they have not been able to stay healthy, and their season looks to be lost. The Rockies will be shopping Brian Fuentes and a few other relievers, as they are just trying to get something in return. They need starters and they might be looking for a young bat or to. This season may be over for the Rockies but they may be able to salvage next season with a couple good deals at this year's trade deadline.
Gu3's Take: Last year's NL Champs are playing a bit disappointingly. They have a good team, but they are young. Last year, they had to BATTLE to make it just to the playoffs, let alone the World Series. They now have Troy Tulowitzki back and they will help extremely. They are a good team and they just need to hold off fellow young teams in the D-Backs and Padres to win the division. Everything looks good for the Rockies now. They may have to trade for a bat if Tilo cant get back in the grove. But as far as we can see, they look good now.
Hemo's Take: The Colorado Rockies have been the National League's biggest disappointment, by injury to star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and by general ineffectiveness all over the field. The rumors still persist that the Rockies are shopping Todd Helton and Matt Holliday, the latter because of resignability issues, and they are more than likely available if someone's willing to pay the hefty price the Rockies are bound to be asking. Closer Brian Fuentes along with relievers Luis Vizcaino and Jason Grilli and outfielder Scott Podsednik are all more than likely on their way to a new destination.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Dudeman's Take: The LA Dodgers did have expectations entering this season with the hiring of Hall of Fame coach Joe Torre. They are still in the race for the NL West because of the struggles of the D-Backs, but are definitely underperforming. If they make the right move they MAY be able to really give the D-Backs a hard time by the end of the season, but I don't see them making the playoffs. Ace Brad Penny is on the DL and their offense has been very inconsistent. Clayton Kershaw is their super pitching prospect, so they do have an ace to look forward to in the future. They have holes in every aspect of the game, but I believe they will try and trade for some hitting prospects.
Gu3's Take: The Dodgers' faithful were getting their hopes up in the Spring. They had a new manager that could eventually be a Hall of Famer. And another future Hall member manning center field. However, they have been biitchslapped with injuries. 9 players are on the DL as of June 28. 4 players are on the 60 day DL. 5 of those 9 are ex-all stars. That would hurt any team. It doesnt look like they can win anything this year. So, just get something for the players that will walk this year in free agency.
Hemo's Take: The Los Angeles Dodgers are another puzzling team among the many underachieving teams in the NL West. The acquisition of Andruw Jones has been a complete flop, Juan Pierre still can't play defense and the Dodgers are waiting on the prospects that they have been waiting on for the last three years. The division may be still within reach, so they could either try to buy some players to steal the division or they could sacrifice this year for next and try to offload some of their bloated contracts to players such as Pierre or Jeff Kent.
San Diego Padres
Dudeman's Take: The San Diego Padres have been burned by Petco Park this season. Jake Peavy has done his part this season, but it seems as though the rest of the Padres team, exclude Adrian Gonzalez, has been pretty frickin terrible. They aren't going to win this season, and they won't win in the near future if this continues. The Padres are going to go through a huge transformation from the trading deadline through the offseason and into the beginning of next season. Peavy and Gonzalez will be off limits, but I believe everyone else will be on the table. There are some many holes on this team, and they won't be able to win games without most of those problems solved. I'd expect them to go for hitting first and than they might pick up a few decent back-end starters.
Gu3's Take: The San Diego Padres are a great team with players that can be all-stars and have been. Jake Peavy is the best pitcher in the MLB and Adrian Gonzalez is one of the best power hitters in the NL. One more bat wouldnt hurt. They already have the arms with the 1-2 punch of Peavy and Maddux. Then the 3 guy in Young when he returns. They have some players on the 15 day DL who may be back soon. They can provide some hitting in the line-up. They can contend now. They just need to match win for win with the D-backs and Rockies. You can put the Giants and Dodgers in the rear view mirror.
Hemo's Take: Playing like old men, the San Diego Padres have been embarrassing for a team that won 90 games the year before. The Mark Prior experiment failed, and Petco Park has crippled San Diego's offense. More than likely, anyone besides Jake Peavy, Heath Bell, Trevor Hoffman and Adrian Gonzalez are available, as the Padres have done one of the more legendary random flameouts of recent memory.
San Francisco Giants
Dudeman's Take: The Giants had no expectations from baseball analysts, management and most fans (except those idiot homers). I think they made an important move by not resigning Bonds. They ended that chapter of Giants history, and are ready to move on. Unfortunately, the next chapter in Giants history hasn't been one with wins so far this season. They are no where near .500 with a 34-46 record. The Giants have many players to shop, and the two most prominent will be the old Omar Vizquel and the bust Barry Zito. Tim Lincecum will be the future of this team, and will be their franchise player. The Giants are going to go after young prospects that can provide a stable offense for them in the future.
Gu3's Take: The San Francisco Giants. Yea... They suck. Their million dollar(s) man in Barry Zito is now their 5th starter and the other Barry is... nowhere to be seen. They are aging fast with Vizquel and Durham at short and second. They cant contend. They have to get rid of players. They suck. Dead weight has to be gone.
Hemo's Take: If there was anyone who thought the San Francisco Giants would be in third place in the division at the end of June, please raise your hand. Alright, now will everyone who raised their hand please leave this blog, as we have no room for liars here on FanNation. The Giants may be in third place, but they're still 11 games below .500, so expect them to be selling on their veteran players. Bengie Molina, Rich Aurilia, Ray Durham, Omar Vizquel, Randy Winn and even Barry Zito are on the block, for those teams with varying levels of desperation. With the Giants probably having the worst farm system of any team in baseball, this deadline is important for their rebuilding project.