The August 1 trade deadline is still a few days away, but the Aroldis Chapman deal might have been the blockbuster of the summer. Granted, the White Sox (50-52) might dangle Chris Sale as trade bait, but don’t bet it.
“I really don’t (think Sale gets traded),” USA Today MLB columnist and MLB Network insider Bob Nightengale said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I think he might be traded in the offseason, but I just don’t see it now. I think if you get some major league talent in return besides prospects, (maybe), but I just don’t see a contender doing that right now.”
Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy, meanwhile, will almost surely be on the move. The 30-year-old is hitting .300 with 13 homers, 50 RBIs, 17 doubles, 48 runs, five steals and a .361 OBP.
“The Brewers need to trade him,” Nightengale said. “Cleveland wants him, the Texas Rangers want him, the Mets want him. I think it goes down to the last hour here. I think if it happens, it doesn’t happen until Monday morning or Monday afternoon. They definitely want to move him. It’s just a question of where.”
The Mets, oddly enough, may need a starting pitcher. Matt Harvey is out for the season, and Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz both have bone spurs in their pitching elbows.
But will the Mets actually trade for a starting pitcher?
“I don’t see it,” Nightengale said. “It’s an outside possibility, but let’s face it. There’s not that much out there on the market. There’s no David Price, no Johnny Cueto, no Cole Hamels – it’s a softer market. I don’t see it. I think if they get anybody, it’ll be a back-tier starter.”
The Mets (53-48) trail the Nationals (60-42) by six-and-a-half games in NL East. Nightengale expects Washington, which missed out on Chapman, to trade for a closer. Jonathan Papelbon, 35, is 2-4 with a 4.41 ERA and 1.47 WHIP this season. He has allowed seven earned runs in his last three appearances.
“They got to do something,” Nightengale said. “I don’t see how they go into the postseason with Papelbon as their closer. I think they got to go get Wade Davis from Kansas City. They got to get somebody. I think if they go into the postseason with Papelbon, it’s over. They just don’t have the horses to compete to get to the World Series.”