Written by Darren Hartwell at NESN.com
If Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline already had passed, the 2016 trade season would be a bit of a disappointment, as we’ve yet to see any major fireworks. Fortunately for you, the deadline isn’t until Monday, so there’s still plenty of time for MLB clubs to shake things up. That doesn’t necessarily mean big splashes are coming, as this year’s pitching market is unusually thin, especially if the Chicago White Sox decide to hold onto Chris Sale. But why let tempered expectations rain on your parade? With the deadline right around the corner, here are the five biggest trades we’d love to see MLB teams make, based on nothing more than complete conjecture and our selfish desires for pre-deadline excitement.
1. Jay Bruce to the Cleveland Indians
The Cincinnati Reds outfielder already is in Ohio, so why not send him north to Cleveland? The Indians are shaping up to be serious contenders, but with Michael Brantley’s status still uncertain, they could use some more pop in a three-time All-Star like Bruce. We’d love to see the city of Cleveland witness another deep playoff run, so here’s hoping they pull the trigger.
2. Andrew Miller to the Washington Nationals
Jonathan Papelbon has made the nation’s capital nervous recently, and with good reason. The Nationals can assuage those concerns by replacing one former Boston Red Sox reliever with another, as Miller is primed to take back the ninth inning after a strong first half as a setup man for the New York Yankees. A top Nationals prospect such as speedy Trea Turner should be enough to get a deal done.
3. Jonathan Lucroy to the New York Mets
Current catcher Travis D’Arnaud isn’t getting it done at the plate this season. Enter Lucroy, a two-time All-Star with a proven bat who could give the Mets a much-needed offensive boost and help them fend off the red-hot Miami Marlins in the National League East. At the very least, an improved New York club could make for an exciting three-team race in that division.
4. Wade Davis to the Boston Red Sox
Who said the Red Sox were done making moves? Dealin’ Dave Dombrowski could decide to pull off one final trade, sending a prospect to the Kansas City Royals in return for more bullpen help, which Boston desperately needs. Davis, who’s having an excellent season as Kansas City’s closer, can serve as Boston’s interim closer until Craig Kimbrel returns, then form a strong back-end trio alongside Kimbrel and submariner Brad Ziegler.
5. Chris Sale to the Los Angeles Dodgers
Who wants to see one of the best pitchers in the game on a non-contender? Better to ship him to Tinseltown, where a potential duo of Sale and Clayton Kershaw can battle Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and the San Francisco Giants for NL West supremacy. Another plus: The Dodgers hardly ever wear throwbacks.
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