With the MLB trade deadline being in less than a week, “America’s favorite pastime” is surely becoming interesting in the AL East and Central divisions.
According to MLB.com, a 2019 rule change eliminated the previous tradition of swapping players through waivers after the cutoff. All deals will have to be completed by the deadline (August 2nd).
In the American League East, the following players were listed: Orelvis Martinez (Blue Jays), Terrin Vavra (Orioles), Xavier Edwards (Rays), Matthew Lugo (Red Sox), and Oswald Peraza (Yankees).
20-year-old Martinez (Blue Jays) is continuing to show unbelievable strength “for his age” and has recorded 22 home runs in 78 games for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats farm system team. He’s a sharp third baseman, however, he has a “career high” 29.9 percent K rate. What will be next for him?
In more MLB.com news, Vavra (Orioles) was just recently called up from the Norfolk Tides in time to travel to the Rays. He did not make the starting lineup on his first day and did not appear in the lineup this past Wednesday as well. However, this talented, lefty hitter can play anywhere on the field and is expected to play infield most likely. General Manager Brandon Hyde is so excited to add his lefthanded hitting to the roster (due to the majority of players being righthanded). Vavra is going to stand out on the Orioles’ roster and adjust to his big move to the “big league” very well.
Edwards (Rays) started the first two years of his career playing in two different minor league teams each year. He worked his way from AA to AAA in just a matter of two years. The switch hitter has always performed with “high averages and low strikeouts.” In his current season with the Durham Bulls (North Carolina), he has recorded a .296 average and a 17.8 percent K rate. Edwards is currently leading his team in home runs (four), and his trade is projected as a “solid” tactic to reorganize the organization’s chart.
The American League Central listed the following players for advancement purposes: Angel Martinez (Guardians), Angel Zerpa (Royals), Kerry Carpenter (Tigers), Spencer Steer (Twins), and Lenyn Sosa (White Sox). Having a “high IQ” is one trait that these players all have in common. Switch hitter Martinez is great defensively and has hit eight home runs this season so far. Zerpa (Royals) has a great variety of pitches, such as a mid-90s fastball, slider, and changeup. Carpenter (Tigers) has led his team in home runs for the majority of this season. His 26 hits in 83 games (between AA and AAA) make up for his lack of speed. He’s another lefthanded hitter who can “shake things up” in the Tigers’ lineup. Steer (Twins) has hit more than 20 home runs in the last two seasons. He’s not the fastest runner, but he can contribute a lot defensively to a roster being a leftfield/DH option, with the ability to play three infield positions. Sosa (Charlotte Knights AAA team affiliate for the White Sox), the Venezuelan, has proven to be one of the best batters in the White Sox’s farm system since signing in 2016! The White Sox are currently third in their division. Can Sosa be a great asset to lead them to the top of the division?
The “Yanks” are currently “sitting pretty” at the top of their division with a 68-33 record, while the Blue Jays are trailing them by 12.5 games. Will Orelvis Martinez bring an offensive streak to the mix to play catch up, or will Yanks continue to dominate that division? The obvious outcome is that the Yanks will advance to the MLB playoffs. Meanwhile, their “arch enemies” (Red Sox), are last in the division at .500. Earlier this month, each team won and lost two games apiece. They will face each other in a few weeks with a three-game series in Boston. Can the Red Sox battle and rally to get in a playoff position?
In the AL Central, there is a tight race between Twins (division leaders), Guardians (2.0 GB), and White Sox (3.0 GB). Simultaneously, the Tigers are only ahead of the Royals by half of a game. Both teams are under .500 and have tough schedules ahead of them. Things will get very interesting and nerve-racking on the diamond between these 5 teams.
But the real question is, who’s going to come out on top? Anything can happen!