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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 6/20/23
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Steve Adams
Good morning all and happy belated Father's Day to the all the dads out there. Hope the weekend treated you well! We'll get underway at 1:00 CT, but feel free to send in some questions ahead of time if you like! Looking forward to it.
Greetings all -- let's get underway
Jerry Dipoto
Does this road trip determine whether I am a true seller or buyer for this trade deadline?
Steve Adams
Almost no team in 2023 is going to determine their direction for the Aug. 1 trade deadline based on a late-June roadtrip. The Mariners aren't an exception. With so many teams hovering around .500 or close to it, and the two Central Divisions generally up for grabs, there will be teams still deciding their direction with 48 to 72 hours left until the trade deadline. Six weeks is a relative eternity.
Mork from Ork
Do you think that David Bednar will be traded by the Bucs by the trade deadline?  What teams would be most interested in adding Bednar?
Steve Adams
I wouldn't *expect* Bednar to be traded even if the Pirates were losing, but with them right in the thick of the NL Central race, there's even less of a chance. Hometown kid. Three years of team control remaining beyond '23. Generally excellent. The list of teams NOT interested would be shorter than those who would be interested, but it's irrelevant since I don't think they'd do it.
Has Walker hit his way back into the ROTY discussion?
Steve Adams
Corbin Carroll has the most commanding ROY lead we've seen in awhile now. It's not particularly close, even if Walker's recent recall has been encouraging.
Do you see the Cards trading Flaherty/Montgomery or do they both get qualifying offers/which they would decline?
Steve Adams
I think Flaherty's more borderline despite the age, just given the injury history and the command issues. At 28 I'd probably still consider just giving him the QO, but trading him is simpler if there's a market (which, given the dearth of sellers, there probably will be).

Montgomery's a more straightforward QO guy, and if the market isn't going to produce an offer with more value than the comp pick, I'd just keep him. That said, I do think the market will produce that, and if the Cards are still 8 games out and 13 under .500 in a month, they both ought to be traded.
Golden Valley
Why doesn't a guy like Adam Kolarek get much of a shot? He's a big lefty that has had far better results than others.
Steve Adams
He's 34, he doesn't throw hard, and right-handed opponents pummel him. Teams tend to prefer younger, harder-throwing guys for bullpen fliers, and the three-batter minimum makes it tough for someone with Kolarek's platoon issues. Not saying it's right or wrong, but that's likely why no team placed a claim.
14-to-12 K/BB in AAA this year isn't helping either.
Help me understand.  The dodgers bullie is a dumpster fire and the Royals have said Chapman is available.....
Steve Adams
The Royals haven't "said" anything, other than their GM publicly declaring no intention to trade Salvador Perez. Chapman has drawn trade interest, because of course he has. He's performing well on a one-year contract for the worst team in baseball.

There are probably 15+ teams that have shown some level of interest, though, and the Royals aren't going to simply give him away at the earliest possible juncture. They'll play interest from other teams against one another. And, with so many teams on the fence about their deadline direction, there are likely plenty of teams that'll be interested in acquiring Chapman a month from now who are on the fence right now.
Nick Krall
Even I cant believe this June 9 game winning streak.  Is the NL Central this bad?
Steve Adams
Ha, the NL Central is bad, but the Reds deserve credit for the lineup they've put together. I don't know how they're doing this with essentially no starting pitching, and the lack of a rotation has me skeptical of the sustainability, but how can Reds fans not be excited about McLain, Elly, India, Abbott, Steer, etc. etc.? There's a lot of reason for optimism. They still have MLB's third-worst rotation ERA (fifth-worst over the past month), but the division's so bad that sure they have a real chance if they can get some arms to stabilize things.
Brewers fan
When does a Burnes trade happen
Steve Adams
Offseason seems much likelier to me than during the season right now, but we'll see how the Brewers play over the next month. If they're suddenly below .500 and 6+ games out of the postseason chase or something, then it becomes far more feasible.
Two part question.Do the Orioles have a chance at getting a starting pitcher without giving up Cowser,Kjerstad,Westburg,Norby,or Holliday?Could you see them trading Hicks,Frazier,MountCastle,and Santander for a starting pitcher?
Steve Adams
Sure, they just won't get any of the controllable, higher-end pitchers who might become available if they essentially wall off the top tier of their farm system. Hicks/Frazier aren't going to fetch rotation help. Mountcastle or Santander, maybe, but you'd be selling real low on the former while the latter has some longstanding OBP/defense issues that have generally hampered trade interest in him in the past.
Plus, at this point, Santander's going to earn $10MM+ via arbitration in 2024 and is a free agent after the year. There's a chance the Orioles wind up non-tendering him even if he finishes with a decent season.
I think Paxton is going to be most sought after SP at the deadline, not only because he will be the best SP, but also because of his salary, heck even the poorest team in contention will be able to afford him, what’s he bring back in a trade? Top 100 prospect? Top 50?
Steve Adams
Paxton has thrown 38 innings this year, which is more than he pitched in the three prior seasons combined. I'm not even penciling him in to remain healthy for the next four to six weeks, let alone the next 3+ months.

If he's healthy and still effective in the final few days of July, yeah, teams will have trade interest. But getting a top 50 prospect or something for a 34-year-old rental with that type of injury history would be pretty stunning.
Irate Nate
CES and Conner Overton for Ohtani.....who says no first
Steve Adams
Overton is going to be removed from the Reds' 40-man roster at season's end and is a 30-year-old journeyman who won't pitch next year because of TJS. He's a non-factor in any trade talks. You're basically asking would the Angels trade Ohtani for CES straight up, and the answer is no.

I don't think the Angels will trade Ohtani at all, but if they did, that's not going to get it done.
And rather than take the litany of other Ohtani questions I get each week, I'll just reemphasize:

I do not think the Angels will trade Shohei Ohtani. Hard stop.
NL Central
Could the Cubs be buyers at the deadline? Only 3.5 games out and sport the best run differential in the central. Division is there for the taking.
Steve Adams
There's really no team in that division, Cardinals included, I'd rule out right now.
Why is either Central allowed in the playoffs? There needs to be a penalty example if they started today, the Twins with the 10th best (or 5th worst) AL Record get dinged by forfeiting four home Playoff games since they don't have one of the top 6 records, they lose the 3 wild card round games (I wouldn't ding the Twins just because their opponent somehow got swept in the Wild Card Round) and if they make it to the Division Series a 4th Home Game
Steve Adams
The '73 Mets won the NL pennant with an 82-win season. The 2005 Padres won the NL West with 82 wins. The '87 Twins and '06 Cardinals both won the World Series on the heels of 85-win seasons.
Mediocre teams getting to the playoffs isn't new
If you want to argue that they shouldn't, and that the divisions need to be shuffled or scrapped entirely, that's a discussion worth having. But the poor Central divisions in 2023 aren't unique to this season alone, and if one of those teams gets on a run late in the year and makes a deep playoff push or even wins the World Series, it counts just as much as a 105-win Rays team does it.
Who are some SP that the Reds could acquire that wouldn’t break the beak - in terms of prospect capital?
Steve Adams
Mike Clevinger, Lance Lynn, Brad Keller, Trevor Williams, Matthew Boyd, old friend Michael Lorenzen all come to mind as relatively affordable rentals (Well, Williams is signed through 2024)
I suppose Clevinger and Lynn technically have options, too, but Clevinger's is a mutual and those are never exercised by both parties. Lynn's $18MM club option seems steep for now, recent 16-K jawdropper notwithstanding.
Can you put to bed the nonsense that the orioles should trade Grayson?
Steve Adams
I've been asked about the O's trading both GrayRod and Gunnar Henderson regularly for the past month. If a top prospect debuts and doesn't immediately become a star, there's always going to be a notable portion of the fan base that decides after like three weeks that he's a bust and it's time to move on.

Of course they shouldn't aggressively shop GrayRod and just take the best offer for him. I also don't think they should just say he's unavailable under any circumstances, though. If the White Sox are willing to give up Dylan Cease, or another team is pitching 2-3 years of a top-of-the-rotation arm, you start to at least consider things.
Red hots
Not sure I see the point in SP rentals. If the Reds are buying, it needs to be with the longer term in mind
Steve Adams
It's a double-edged sword. Pitchers controlled beyond the current year are going to have teams asking about the very players who are making this breakout happen: Andrew Abbott, Matt McLain, etc -- at least the very best arms out there will have teams interested in that group.

Besides, the question was who might be available without breaking the bank, prospect-wise, and the answer to that's usually going to be rentals.

I think the Reds' best path is to consider this year an unexpected bonus, keep the majority of their young talent, and then look for trades/free-agent supplements to the young core of Greene, Lodolo, Abbott, Ashcraft, etc.

They've had awful injury luck with that group so far, but it has the makings of a good staff.
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