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Mark P
As we wonder if Brandon Crawford is baseball's next two-way star, let's dive into the Weekend Chat...
Are the Red Sox sellers at the deadline?
Mark P
They're in a tough spot, caught in this extremely competitive division and not a bad team overall.  But there stands a good chance that they might be in a deep enough hole by the deadline that they'll at least try last year's semi-buy, semi-sell strategy again, if perhaps not a full-on sell
Reds Buyers?
Mark P
They'll have to actually get over the .500 mark for me to consider them real "buyer" candidates (notwithstanding how weak the NL Central seems).

That said, the Reds seem likely to be very open to deals that would see them buy for 2024 moreso than 2023, necessarily.  The team might very well feel like they're turning the corner already, and next season might be targeted as their full return to contention
What should the expectation be for us Orioles fans as the deadline approaches?
Mark P
Modest.  The O's were sellers (if anything) last deadline and then had a relatively quiet offseason.  It's clear that this front office doesn't see a so-called "all in" move as necessary or prudent, so whatever additions the Orioles do make probably won't be blockbuster headline-grabbers
Is Elly de la Cruz rookie of the year this year?
Mark P
Corbin Carroll is still the favorite, and either he'd have to really fall off, or EDLC would have to be even more spectacular in the next few months
Is Wander Franco an AL MVP candidate?
Mark P
Ferris Bueller
After a disastrous weekend will the Brewers be sellers?
Mark P
Again, the NL Central is not a strong division, so one bad series won't change the Brewers' plans
Corbin Carroll
Why is Corbin Carroll not being mentioned at all for a possible NL MVP candidate
Mark P
This isn't inconceivable, since Carroll is near the top of the list of WAR leaders for all of baseball.  I suspect that Betts or Acuna will end up with the MVP, but Carroll has more than lived up to the hype
South Side
Not many positives to take away from the White Sox season. Do we fully blow it up and deal Cease for our best return or move rental pieces and retool in our areas of weakness?
Mark P
The White Sox' problems haven't been solved by the managerial change, and as someone who is generally a little down on their roster's talent, I can't see them getting back into true contention without a pretty drastic overhaul
So, my vote would be leaning towards blowing it up, but that doesn't seem to be like something Jerry Reinsdorf would want after already spending years rebuilding
We are 41/2 games out of the weakest division in baseball. Why does everybody think we can't win?
Mark P
If the Sox do turn it on and win the Central with 83 wins or something, is that really contending?
Sure, all you have to do is get into the playoffs to have a shot, but winning a weak division and then being the underdog to the third WC team isn't exactly promising for greater success
Will Buxton head to CF when he and Polanco return from the IL to keep Julien in the lineup? Twins need OBP, and Julien has it.
Mark P
With an injury on the books now, I suspect Buxton will be kept as a DH for precautionary reasons.
The Ranger Fan
Should Texas persue a starter as well as relievers.
Mark P
Certainly.  Losing deGrom definitely changes the equation, and ideally, Texas would probably prefer Dunning in the bullpen.  Returning Dunning to relief work also means that's one less bullpen arm the Rangers have to seek out on the trade market.
Oakland A’s
We may never lose again — agree or disagree?
Mark P
Agreed.  The A's are about to go full "Major League" on everyone.
Do the Astros make the playoffs?
Mark P
Yes.  I don't really have much doubt Houston will make it, even amidst their injury concerns.  The Rangers will have something to say about who wins the AL West, but the Astros will be at least a wild card
What will we have to offer to get a pitcher like Marcus stroman?
Mark P
Stroman is trying to be polite about it, but he's also pretty clearly calling out the Cubs for the lack of extension talks, which makes me think the Cubs do intend to trade him.  Stro's opt-out will give any team pause about dealing too much for him, since he'll more than likely will be a rental piece.  So, that creates a tricky line to be walked for both the Cubs (to get a quality return on a big trade chip) and for the D'Backs or other teams to outbid the market for a player who might only be on your team for two-plus months
Arizona does have a pretty deep farm system, which could give them a bit of an edge.  The D'Backs aren't going to move their top guys (Lawlar, Jones, etc.) obviously, but could deal from their second tier, confident that they'll still have enough farm depth for the future.
Is Chaim Bloom still the Red Sox GM at this time next year.
Mark P
I lean towards no, if they finish in last place again. Tough division notwithstanding, Red Sox ownership has shown a lot less patience in the past, even with the caveat that Bloom was brought in for the bigger-picture assignment of rebuilding the farm
Reds 2024 Run
If we had called up EDLC, McLain, Abbott, and CES sooner, we’d be contending for NLC this year
Mark P
That's a little unrealistic, and it disregards the fact that some extra minor league seasoning was likely very helpful in allowing these guys to hit the ground running in the big leagues
PDX Gamer
Where might Raimel Tapia end up?
Mark P
I wonder if the Blue Jays might bring him back, as an upgrade over Nathan Lukes.
Reds fan
Reds get anything for a Maile/Newman package?  Catching market seems really thin
Mark P
Not anything of huge value, maybe a lottery ticket prospect at best.
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