14 Jul News & Notes From Around MLB: Week 15 – Part 1
By: Lou Landers – @realSportsCrew
Part 2 can be found here.
1.Home Run Derby and All-Star Game:
The derby was very exciting! I really like the new format that they utilized because it keeps the players on their toes and makes that final minute of each player’s round extra exciting. The part of it that I disliked was that the players weren’t always rewarded in each round. Bour and Stanton both had more homers than Bellinger and Sano in the first round but neither Stanton or Bour advanced because their opponent in round one had more homers than they did. Bellinger and Sano both advanced with lower homerun totals, with Bellinger losing out to Judge in the Semi’s and Sano losing out to Judge in the Finals.
The All-Star game was pretty anti climactic unless you’re like me and you enjoy pitcher’s duels. The pitching dominated; only 3 runs were scored in the 10 inning game, with Robinson Cano being awarded the All-Star game MVP after hitting the game winning homer in the top of the 10th.
2. Cubs offered Kyle Schwarber to Tigers for Daniel Norris and Michael Fulmer
I’m not surprised that the Tigers weren’t interested in this trade. Firstly, Schwarbers value is at an all time low right now with the struggles he’s had this season. Secondly, the Tigers are in rebuild mode and Fulmer and Norris are their best 2 young SP on the roster. I get what the Cubs were trying to do; move Schwarber to an AL team where he could be a DH while also addressing their pitching issues for the remainder of this season and in the future as well.
I do think that the Cubs will eventually find a trade partner to trade Schwarber to, but if they continue to ask for such a high price on him, they are unlikely going to be able to find a deal that works. For the Tigers, if they move players, it will likely be Verlander and JD Martinez.
Teams that may be a good fit for Schwarber and also have the talent that the Cubs are looking to acquire could be the Jays, A’s and White Sox in the American League.
3. Rob Manfred says that Montreal, Mexico City and Charlotte are possible expansion destinations
If the MLB were to expand, it wouldn’t just be to one of these cities. It will have to be to two different cities for scheduling purposes. You cannot have an odd number of teams in the league. IMO, Montreal and Mexico City make the most sense. Montreal has had a team before and also has a usable stadium in which they can use. Mexico City would allow MLB to reach a whole new set of fans, helping to expand the game. One thing to keep in mind here with the expansion to any city is that MLB has stated that until they deal with the issues of the A’s ball park and the Rays ballparks, they will not expand. Of course, there is also a possibility that they are unable to resolve the issues in Oakland and Tampa, which could lead to Tampa becoming Montreal and Oakland becoming Mexico City.
This would of course change all the divisional formats if the league expanded from 30-32 teams. I don’t see them doing what the NFL does with 4 divisions of 4 teams in each league. You would likely see 2 divisions of 8 teams in each league. This could also affect the future playoff formats as well. Either going back to 4 teams per league or expanding it to 6 teams per league with each division winner having a bye.
4. Angels, Royals and Blue Jays are interested in Acquiring Dee Gordon from the Marlins
This is more of a rumor than anything else I believe. I’m not sure that I believe the Marlins would trade Gordon. However, it’s always fun to speculate on these things so we will give it a whirl.
For the Angels and Blue Jays, this would be a move for next season seeing that neither team is really positioned that well to make the post season this year. For the Angels, they lack production at 2B with Danny Espinosa struggling and it never hurts to add more speed to a lineup that already features Trout and Maybin. For the Jays, although they have Devon Travis for 2B, he’s had problems staying healthy and adding Dee Gordon could be insurance for that. Gordon would give the Blue Jays a legitimate lead off hitter as well, and a guy who can make things happen on the base paths in front of their sluggers like Donaldson, Bautista and Smoak.
For the Royals, if they decide to be buyers at the deadline, the addition of Dee Gordon would make sense. Not only would he improve their lineup and defense, it will also give them a star caliber player which will help soften the blow when they lose guys like Hosmer, Cain and Moustakas in free agency this Winter. It’s also worth noting that Gordon did come to the big leagues as a SS and with the Royals also set to lose Alcides Escobar, Gordon may prove the be the ideal replacement for them.