Two weeks from today: the trading deadline. Now that the All-Star Game is over, the trade market is about to shift into overdrive. Here’s today’s tidbit, as brought by former GM Jim Bowden, writing for ESPN Insider and quoted via MLBTR.
…Add the Rockies to that list, as well, according to the Denver Post in a published report from yesterday. Additionally, Crain was interviewed by a Boston media outlet, and during that, he offered that it would be “fun” to play for the Red Sox.
So basically, he’s going somewhere… and he’s expecting it.
We know the Braves are making inquiries on late-inning relievers. That much is obvious since the loss of Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters, and Cristhian Martinez. Cory Gearrin was brought in… and struggled as times, so he’s back to AAA. Alex Wood was an emergency fix… and I’ll refer you to our current debate series for more about that. But it remains very likely that the Braves will acquire at least one, and perhaps two bullpen pitchers within the next two weeks, so you can expect rumors connecting them to virtually every serviceable arm available over the next two weeks.
Jesse Crain, inconveniently for the White Sox, strained a shoulder at the end of June. It’s not said to be serious, and while he is eligible to return from the DL now, he’s looking to return by the end of next week. That’s the 27th, which gives a very short period of time for suitors to evaluate his health for the stretch run.
Crain has a microscopic ERA of 0.74 over almost 37 innings this season. Even if you think that’s a fluke, his career suggests expectations of nothing worse than a 2.50 ERA. He would be perfect for Atlanta in that he’s a 32-year-old veteran, he strikes out a lot of hitters, and is a free agent at the end of the year. He’s also cheap enough, with roughly $1.6-$1.8 million still due on the remaining portion of his contract.
We won’t waste your time on all of the rumors, but will try to keep you abreast of the ones that make most sense. But for sure: look to the White Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Brewers for possible/viable Braves trade targets. The Marlins are also possible, though… it’s kind of hard to gauge exactly what that team is doing, frankly.
Jim Bowden can also be heard on afternoons daily on XM’s MLB Network Radio channel, XM 89.