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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 6/27/23
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Steve Adams
Good morning all! We'll get this underway at 1pm CT, but feel free to send some questions over in advance. Looking forward to it, as always.
Let's get underway!
Sammy Blinkin
With the Cubs and Reds on fire right now, the Central is crazy close. Do you see any chance these two can continue their run? With all , but the Cardinals looking like they have a chance, who takes the Central crown into the playoffs?
Steve Adams
Even the Cardinals are only 8.5 out. I don't think they're going to win the division -- they haven't been able to consistently get things going and the rotation's a big question -- but it's still not impossible.

I picked the Brewers pre-season and am still predicting Milwaukee, though I'll be curious to see how the deadline plays out. If Cincinnati can augment their rotation in a meaningful way, for instance, that might change the outlook. Right now, the Reds' rotation just isn't going to cut it.
Chaim Bloom
Deadline: Am I buying, selling, or continuing with the noncommittal approach?
Steve Adams
I don't think the Red Sox's approach is "noncommittal." They operate the same way many clubs do at the deadline: open-minded to trading from the big league roster but adding more controllable pieces in those deals.

I think the Red Sox could move someone like Bobby Dalbec or Nick Pivetta to another club in a trade that nets some immediate or near-MLB help. If Trevor Story comes back and looks like he can contribute, maybe they'd move a middle infielder.

The hard-and-fast "buyer" or "seller" label just isn't really applicable to a lot of teams anymore.
Alan H
If Judge is gone for the season, do the Yanks try to do a combo of buy and sell? Or are they all in no matter what?
Steve Adams
If they knew Judge wasn't coming back, maybe they'd employ a similar "trade short term assets but focus on near-MLB help" mentality I just described. I could see Severino or IKF or a rental like that moved, sure. Bader, if he's healthy.

But most of the roster is controllable or overpriced, so I don't think you'll see a major overhaul one way or another.
Sleeper for ROY-Patrick Bailey ? .323 BA, great D and Giants took off once he got here.
Steve Adams
Really nice rookie season, but Corbin Carroll is a legitimate NL MVP candidate right now, in addition to being a rookie. There's just no overtaking him unless he has some awful injury, in my view.
I shouldn't say "no overtaking"  -- it's always possible any hitter falls into a monthslong slump, but I find that unlikely with Carroll and fully buy him as one of the best players in the NL already. I don't think any other rookie stands a reasonable chance in the NL
Another scary outing for Manoah. Is all hope lost?
Steve Adams
I don't think one ugly outing in the Complex League worsens the outlook any more. It's not looking great right now, of course, but if you were holding out hope before this most recent outing I don't think you should abandon it now
friar faithful
buyers or sellers at the deadline
Steve Adams
I don't think owner Peter Seidler and president of bb ops AJ Preller have any appetite for selling. I fully expect them to be in the mix for upgrades, as they always are. They are the embodiment of a win-now club, even if the results thus far have disappointed.
Duffy Scliff
David Bednar has issued ONE unintentional walk this year. That’s just nuts. How underrated is this guy?
Steve Adams
I don't find him underrated, simply because not a week goes by without MLBTR readers asking in these chats and via other mediums how their team can get their hands on Bednar, ha. Perhaps on a national level however, yeah, he could be overlooked.

No one can sustain this level of command, of course, but that does little to change Bednar's status as one of the best relievers in the league.
Shane Bieber to Texas?
Steve Adams
Lots of Bieber questions, and understandably so, but he's probably not someone whose real-life value aligns with fan perception. Fastball velo is down nearly 3 mph from its peak. Career-low strikeout rate, swinging-strike rate and opponents' chase rate. Career-high opponents' contact rate. Giving up way more hard contact than ever before.
Plus he'll be due a raise on his $10MM salary in arbitration this winter and is a free agent post-2024.
He has value, of course, but I think teams are going to look at him more like a back-of-the-rotation starter, perhaps with a tinge of upside. Maybe that's all the Rangers seek out, with Eovaldi throwing so well atop the staff, but if you're asking because of the perception that he's a top-of-the-rotation starter, I don't think that's how teams will view it.

Texas is as good a fit as any, though, and the salary shouldn't be a big issue for them.
Dave K
What uniform will Ohtani be wearing by August 1
Steve Adams
An Angels one.
Reid Detmers
Has he arrived?
Steve Adams
I've been big on Detmers for awhile and wrote as much last summer after he changed his pitch selection up:

I've never really been "out" on him, but yeah I'm buying him in general
The Mariners announced that they've designated Chris Flexen for assignment.
Do you think the Astros reach for a starter?  France and Brown have been doing well but I have my reservations on how well they will fare late in the season with an innings load that they are not accustomed to.
Steve Adams
Yeah I think they'll at least try to add someone. Their GM, Dana Brown, has talked more openly about adding a left-handed bat, but he's repeatedly stated that he's open to adding an arm and has been vocal about always needing more pitching. The 'Stros are one Framber or Javier injury away from things looking pretty bleak, so deepening the group is important -- especially since I'm not a huge JP France believer
I saw some speculation about the Mets taking on Patrick Corbin's contract if he were bundled with Finnegan and Harvey. Does this actually make any sense for either club?
Steve Adams
Not for the Mets, it doesn't.
Matt Chapman
Ross Atkins has to move me at or before the deadline, right? I'm likely not returning and the upper minors needs some up and coming position prospects, preferably LH hitting. Am I way out in LF?
Steve Adams
The Blue Jays hold the third Wild Card spot right now. Unless they completely crater, they're not moving Chapman. They'll keep him and make him a qualifying offer after the season.
Professor H
Kyle Hendricks has looked brilliant since his return.  My understanding is that his 16million 24' vesting option was turned into a club option since he didn't land in the top 3 Cy Young voting.  Is that correct, and would the Cubs pick that year up if he continues to deal?
Steve Adams
It was always just a club option, but it'd have been proactively picked up with that top-three finish in Cy Young voting.

Hendricks has a nice ERA since returning, but his strikeout rate is under 13% and his 7.1% swinging-strike rate is a career-low by a wide margin. If he ended the season with these peripherals, I doubt the Cubs would pick up a net $14.5MM option on him (there's a $1.5MM buyout he's guaranteed either way).

Still time for him to begin missing some more bats, but this production doesn't feel sustainable if he can't get anyone to swing through any of his offerings.
Do u think the rangers get McCutchen?⚾️ I know he wants to be a pirate but I was just wondering if we get him?⚾️
Steve Adams
No. As I wrote yesterday, I don't even really consider him a viable trade candidate. I kind of get Morosi reporting that the Rangers have inquired, I guess it's quasi-notable, but it all boils down to much ado about nothing. The Pirates aren't trading Cutch against his will, and every indication he's given since January is that he's right where he wants to be.
Cardinals next move
Is Goldy gone at the trade deadline? There are a few rumors that other teams may be interested in him, like the Phillies.
Steve Adams
There's not really any rumor about this. Jim Bowden wrote that he thought that was something that'd make sense for the Cardinals to look into. It's a speculative column, and he frequently writes speculative trade columns along these lines. It doesn't mean the two sides are talking about it. It means one former GM who writes at a prominent outlet thinks it's a sensible thing to pursue.

Maybe he's putting it out there based on a few things he's heard, but it's not presented as such.

If the Cards are willing to trade Goldschmidt, of course the Phillies make sense. They lost Rhys Hoskins before the season started. Darick Hall quickly followed him to the IL. And of course the Cardinals would ask about high-end pitching in return.
Braxton Garrett
Is the breakout real? 13 K's last game
Steve Adams
New cutter is getting good results, but Statcast doesn't really buy that it's a better pitch than the four-seamer he ditched in favor of it. His slider has more vertical break on it this year and he's getting a good amount of whiffs with it. But he's also giving up tons of hard contact when opponents do connect.

I think there's probably some legitimacy to the gains he's made, but I don't think he's an emergent ace or anything. He looked like an odd-man-out fifth starter or swingman not long ago, though, and he pretty clearly looks like a big league-caliber starter now, so the arrow is pointing up anyway.
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