Getaway Day: Trade deadline edition – In, out or in-between?

Sonny Gray of the Oakland Athletics continues to be the belle of the ball at the trade deadline.  Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

A new week is upon us, and has brought the final torturous moments of the trade deadline along with it. As the Monday, 4:00 P.M. Eastern cut off time for open market trades draws nearer and nearer, the reality check that is the self-evaluation of where the year can really end up for many teams around the game is at a fever pitch.

In honor of the constant phone checking, rumor milling that is the Major League trade deadline, in addition to recapping the week that was, in this week's Getaway Day we are evaluating where every team stands in the midst of move-making season, because no matter how one may slice it, most everybody is buying, selling or somewhere in-between.

Here's how the chips stack up around the MLB horn, as we unpack another Getaway Day, trade deadline edition.

American League 

Baltimore Orioles

Deadline status: Buying and selling

While the week that was saw the Orioles continue to see the O’s battle with the same bouts of inconsistency that have torpedoed their once lofty hopes for the year, they did not go without adding a twist to the deadline headlines. The club acquired pitcher Jeremy Hellickson from the Phillies to add some life to staff that owns the worst ERA in all of baseball. Time will tell if some of Hellickson’s new teammates happen to be specifically short lived, as Zach Britton and Brad Brach both are drawing eyes from contenders and a handful of teams looking to upgrade their pen with either of the top shelf relief options.

Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers is congratulated by teammates after his solo home run against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning at Fenway Park on July 30, 2017. Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Red Sox

Deadline status: Buying

In a week where there was grab bag of good news (MLB debut of top prospect Rafael Devers) and bad news (more elbow woes for David Price), the Red Sox enter the new week amid a freshly reinvigorated AL East race. A midweek skid at the hands of the Angels and Mariners opened up an opportunity for the Yankees to close the gap the BoSox had enjoyed over much of the last month, and raises the stakes for how Boston could look to handle things headed into the deadline, as well as the imminent threat ahead in a series against the Indians to open the week. 

Chicago White Sox

Deadline status: Everything can go (and has)

With their mass sell-off already mostly (with the exception of Sunday’s deal of Melky Cabrera to Kansas City) complete heading into the new week, the Sox continued to make fireworks of a completely different variety over the last week. A heated hometown rivalry series against the Cubs saw tensions get high when four Sox were hit by pitches on Tuesday after the Sox took the series opening win at home. And while the week was not fruitful for much else in the wins department, it was plenty busy with Yoan Moncada highlights, as the much-heralded infielder connected for his first career home run and had a handful of dazzling defensive plays as well, which were good enough to excuse his .118 average thus far. Remember, trust the process.

Cleveland Indians

Deadline status: Standing pat

Not much has been stirring involving the Tribe as the deadline draws near, but with the way things are going for them right now, it is a textbook case of if isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The Indians broke off nine straight wins as the new week dawns, the type of long-distance winning streak that had been absent in the air-tight AL Central race. But with that string of victories in their pocket, they have taken the business of condensing the race for the division title into their own hands, as they have pulled away from the Twins and nullified the recent Royals surge as well.

Catcher Alex Avila was traded by his father at the deadline.  Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers

Deadline status: Selling

So terrible have the conditions gotten in Detroit’s flailing season, that we could actually see a bit of quirky history be made as a result of it. For the first time in 50 years a father could be preparing to trade his own son. General manager Al Avila could be in position to trade away his son Alex, in what could be deemed equal parts solid strategy and a true showing of a father’s love to save his son from the ship that is rapidly sinking in Detroit. 

UPDATE - Avila was traded to the Cubs late Sunday night. 

Houston Astros

Deadline status: Buyers

Although they are down a pair of All-Star Game starters in Carlos Correa and now George Springer, who headed to the DL with a quad injury on Friday, it is easy to see why the 'Stros have failed to miss many beats. It is because Jose Altuve has gone unconscious, with hits in all but two games in the month, running up 44 hits and an insane .484 average. And while Altuve is putting the final touches on a player of the month resume, he was rejoined by ace Dallas Keuchel, who made his first start since June 2 last Friday. The question that stands now is, will he be joined by a new arm in the Astro rotation as the week opens? 

Kansas City Royals

Deadline status: Buyers

The Royals ran roughshod over the Tigers and White Sox for the majority of the last week, running up a nine-game winning streak in the process. Highlighted by a seven-run comeback on Thursday, led by a five-hit day from Eric Hosmer which featured a grand slam, the Royals are firmly looking to upgrade as their postseason chances are alive and very well.  That process began by adding Trevor Cahill and Brandon Maurer from the Padres, and continued with Sunday’s addition of Melky Cabrera as well. And they will likely stay in the action up and until the very end, as GM Dayton Moore is courting more rotation help to ensure this Royals run is as reinforced as possible.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia takes the ball from reliever Brooks Pounders  as he makes a pitching change with catcher Martin Maldonado looking on in the ninth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 30, 2017. The Angels fell to the Jays by a score of 11-10. Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Angels 

Status: Standing pat

It was a slightly discouraging week for the Angels, who ran across the wrath of the Indians at the wrong time. It curved the momentum built around consecutive strong weekend showings for Anaheim against the Red Sox and most recently, the Blue Jays. And while they are not likely to make much noise on the trade waters, they could continue to do so in the wins column, as the week ahead features a pair contests with the lowly Athletics and Phillies. 

Minnesota Twins

Status: Selling

An unforeseen entry into the deadline dealer pool, a rough week coupled by a pair of hot hands for their chief in-division competition may have brought the surprising summer romp for the Twins to a close. Thus, was the urgency in the change of course in Minnesota is that recently acquired starter Jaime Garcia was dealt to the Yankees after making just one start for the Twins after coming over last week. 

New York Yankees

Deadline status: Buying

After limping out of the All-Star break, the Yankees are fully back in business. As winners of eight of their last 10, including three of four over the Rays, they reclaimed the lead of the AL East over the last week, and are all in on making the most of their newly rekindled opportunity. Having already brought in David Robertson and Todd Frazier, Brian Cashman is pushing full speed ahead to bolster their starting staff as well, landing lefty Jaime Garcia on Sunday. However, the big haul that remains is if he can acquire the services of A’s ace Sonny Gray over the next day, whose presence could change the face of the Yankee potential well beyond just this year’s pennant chase.

Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Sonny Gray throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on July 25, 2017. Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics

Deadline status: Dealing 

While looking to NOT trade a few players (crazy, right?) made waves last week, as they are rumored to be pursuing extensions for Khris Davis and Marcus Simien, the buzz surrounding the A’s is nearly completely consumed by if this is finally the year that the Sonny Gray deal will be consummated. With the Yankees firmly making eyes after their ace, it could finally come to be. Yonder Alonso and a handful of other relievers could be in play as well. 

Seattle Mariners

Deadline status: Buying on a budget

The Mariners aren’t likely to make a big splash on the market, as their recent moves to bring Erasmo Ramirez and David Phelps indicate. However, it is a team that has managed to stay in the race while often operating at less than full capacity throughout a steady stream of injuries. But after a week built around winning a pair of series from the Red Sox and Mets, the Mariners sit both .500 and still within firing range of a Wild Card slot. 

Tampa Bay Rays

Deadline status: Buying

Of late, the Rays have fallen on hard times, dropping nine of their last 11 and falling 2.5 back in the AL Wild Card picture. But not content to see their unforeseen success dwindle away, in a style that perfectly befits the understated way that they have existed in the AL pennant race over the last month, the Rays reacted and revamped both their pitching staff and lineup over the last week. They renovated their bullpen with a collection of setup men, as Sergio Romo, Dan Jennings and Steve Cishek have joined the club, while Lucas Duda was brought in to add some pop.

Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre is greeted in the dugout after scoring and collecting his 3,000th major league hit in the fourth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Globe Life Park in Arlington on July 30, 2017. Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Rangers

Deadline status: Selling

You would be hard pressed to find a team at more of a crossroads right now than the Rangers. On one hand, they have been enthralled in Adrian Beltre’s pursuit of 3,000 hits, while also keeping an eye on Cooperstown, as the franchise’s all-time great Ivan Rodriguez was raised to Hall of Fame immortality. Well Pudge has officially had his moment at the podium, and Beltre sealed his future trip in following in his footsteps, as a fourth inning double made him the 31st player to reach the 3,000 hit club. But at the same time there has been the business of weighing out where they sit in the standings, and if they would be shipping the services of impending free agent and potential ace Yu Darvish. Headlines of all sorts will rattle around Arlington over the next few days.

Toronto Blue Jays

Deadline status: Selling

Steve Pearce sure knows how to make an exit, as not only once but twice he finished up an outing for the Jays in a grand fashion. Pearce contributed walk off grand slams on both Thursday and Sunday, with Sunday’s shot completing a seven-run comeback that starved off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Angels.

National League

Arizona Diamondbacks

Deadline Status: Buying

The scariest moment of the week happened in St. Louis, when D-backs All-Star Robbie Ray was struck with a line drive early on Friday night. While Ray avoided serious injury, it was a rare down moment for the D–backs, who spent most of the week beating up on the Braves and Cardinals. They will lock in on what should be very intriguing series with the Cubs in Chicago to kick the new week off. 

Atlanta Braves

Deadline status: Dealing

Winners just once in their last nine games, fairing roughly the same again both the Diamondbacks and Phillies, who couldn’t be more contrasting presences otherwise on the year. The Braves have done some minor tinkering with their roster as the deadline has neared. And while they have shied away from any major subtractions in a permanent sense, they did send highly touted rookie Dansby Swanson back to the minors for a stint in the hopes of revitalizing him amid a tough debut season.

Chicago Cubs pitcher Wade Davis and catcher Willson Contreras celebrates after the Cubs beat the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on July 30, 2017. Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs

Deadline status: Buying

While they will not have the incredible record of the Dodgers, nor will they have the stockpile of MVP and Cy Young candidates that the Nationals have, but the Cubs are looking the part of late as a team ready to become a third elite property within the NL. They have lost three games since the All-Star break and have rallied from 5.5 games down on July 14 to opening the week 2.5 up in the NL Central. 

UPDATE - Avila was traded to the Cubs late Sunday night. 

Cincinnati Reds

Deadline status: Standing still

The process is in play for the Reds, who continue to entertain the idea of moving a few of their assets, but are in the process of trying to get their turnaround in motion already. They snapped a week-long losing skid with a victory on Sunday in a continuation of an otherwise forgettable season. 

Colorado Rockies

Deadline status: Buying

It was a Jeykell and Hyde week for the Rockies, who rallied from a surprising sweep at the hands of the Cardinals by splitting a weekend stint with the Nationals over the weekend. With a 5.5 game lead for the second Wild Card spot as the final two months of the season approaches, the Rockies are all the way in for getting the most out of the deadline as they can. Acquiring All-Star reliever Pat Neshek from the Phillies was their first shot, and they struck a considerable secondary blow by landing Jonathan Lucroy on Sunday evening to boost both the pitching stock and add more firepower to the lineup as well. The Rockies have realized both the highs and lows of the season, and are out to ensure they will see far less of the low lands again.

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner is doused with a cooler of gatorade by right fielder Yasiel Puig after hitting a walk off RBI single in the ninth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Dodger Stadium on July 26, 2017.  Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers

Deadline status: Buying

Despite announcing they would be without Clayton Kershaw until September, the Dodger freight train failed to lose any steam. After going undefeated over the last week, the Dodgers have opened up a sizable lead in the NL West and an equally daunting lead for home field advantage. And if that is not enough, how about another fun fact: the Dodgers could go .500 for the rest of the season and still win 102 games. And in order to make sure that possibility becomes a reality, they are in play to add either Yu Darvish or Zach Britton before the 4:00 P.M. Eastern deadline tomorrow.

Miami Marlins

Deadline status: Selling, but not as much as expected

Giancarlo Stanton has put on quite a show over the past week, posting his fourth multi-homer game of the month and seizing control of the MLB home run leaderboard in the process. It is this type of breakout that had his name regularly mentioned as one of – if not the – most desirable options seen as available for contenders. But the Marlins look prepared to hold tight on their cadre of talented outfielders, regardless of where they sit in the standings. 

Milwaukee Brewers

Deadline status: Buying

Things are sliding out of control for the once-mighty Brewers, who have fallen 2.5 games behind the Cubs after dropping a weekend series to their closest competition in the NL Central. Starting pitching is a clear need and the options are there, but for better or worse, the team seems to be standing firm on its approach to not trading off future assets (namely outfielder Lewis Brinson) for this season’s gains. 

New York Mets

Deadline status: Buying and selling

Coming out of a week of underwhelming returns against the likes of the Padres and Mariners, the Mets are understandably moving out as many reasonably expendable parts of their failing roster as possible. Lucas Duda has already relocated to Tampa and Addison Reed, Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson and Asdrubal Cabrera could be on the way as well. However, there is a shelf life here, as they are only writing off this season. And with an eye to future, in one of the more surprising moves of the summer, they acquired reliever A.J. Ramos from the Marlins in an effort to get an early start on next year’s business.

Philadelphia Phillies

Deadline status: Sellers

The Phillies may have authored the most brow raising win of the week on Wednesday, when they pulled of a shutout victory over the Houston Astros – a team that is over 30 games their better – to avoid a series sweep. With that little bit of business out of the way, the yard sale can continue. Pat Neshek and Jeremy Hellickson have already been shipped out of town, and most anybody else over the age of 25 could probably be had too.

Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen (22) hits his third home run of the game in the ninth inning in front of San Diego Padres catcher Austin Hedges (18) at Petco Park on July 30, 2017. The Pirates won 7-1.  Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates

Deadline status: Who knows?

A week ago, the Pirates were the fastest risers in the game and looking like they were ready to make a big comeback effort down the stretch. And while that could still be true, they picked a terrible time to lose their new found ways, as a pair of brutal series at the hands of the Padres and Giants netted them only two wins on the week. Now they sit in on the cusp of deadline purgatory: bring help aboard or put pieces in play? With just a day left to decide, the reality is that the hope that their recent upswing brought on could influence them more than the current six game deficit deters them. 

San Diego Padres

Deadline status: Selling

The Padres are well beyond the illusion of competing, but they continue to embrace the identity of playing the spoiler. After picking up a handful of victories over the Mets and Pirates, the young Padres are if nothing else very enthusiastic life of late. 

San Francisco Giants

Deadline status: Trying to sell

After proving to be worthy speed bump for the Pirates early in the week, they took on the Dodger buzzsaw over the weekend, resulting predictable results for the Giants. They will continue to try to move on from some of their unnecessary portions, but it doing so has proven to be difficult for a team that is willing to sell, but struggling for buyers.

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Jose Martinez celebrates with first baseman Matt Carpenter after the Cardinals defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks at Busch Stadium on July 30, 2017. Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals

Deadline status: Buying and selling

The Cardinals continue boat up the Mississippi River with one paddle at best. An early week sweep over the Rockies, followed by splitting a four-game set with the Diamondbacks proves that the club can play with the top runners up in the NL, but they have been unable to stay consistent enough to play to their potential for long. It is a situation that leaves them in a tough spot in the last few hours before the deadline ticks away: trade off a valuable, free agent-to-be in Lance Lynn? Or put together a package of their deep prospect pocket to add a middle of the order bat? It will be an interesting Monday in GM Michael Girsch’s office.

Washington Nationals

Deadline status: Buying

Between Bryce Harper going nuclear in blowing up on an up in route to the easiest ejection of the year, to their eight home run explosion on Thursday and finally the annual Stephen Strasburg DL stint finally showing itself, it was quite the week for the Nats. And it could be a banner start to the new week in D.C. as well, as the Nats are said to have high interest in adding yet another relief arm to their pen. One that could be in the vein of elite closer Zach Britton from their neighbors in Baltimore.

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Matt Whitener is St. Louis-based writer, radio host and 12-6 curveball enthusiast. He has been covering Major League Baseball since 2010, and dabbles in WWE, NBA and other odd jobs as well. Follow Matt on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan.


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The 'Superman returns to board city' quiz

NHL Weekender: Rule change coming in time for the playoffs?

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The 'Rush to judgment' quiz

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