The 2021 MLB regular season is more than halfway complete and we're now into the dog days of summer. The 60-game sprint was fun in its own way last year given the circumstances. Give me the full 162-game experience every day of the week though.
Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB scribes will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated Max Scherzer's trade deadline landing spot. This week we're going to tackle teams that needed to do more at the deadline.
Which contender needed to do more at the trade deadline?
Matt Snyder: I know Chris Sale is coming back, but the Red Sox's playoff rotation really leaves a lot to be desired at this point. You've got Sale coming off Tommy John surgery, Nathan Eovaldi and his extensive injury history figures to be the number two. Then there's Eduardo Rodriguez, Martin Pérez, Nick Pivetta and Garrett Richards from which to choose a three and four. There are some great arms available, but after the deadline we had to hear a bunch of "we don't want to jeopardize the future" talk from Chaim Bloom. This is a franchise that has won four World Series titles this millennium, has one of the best records in baseball, and we're hearing small-market talking points? Get outta here.
R.J. Anderson: You could go a few directions here, but I'll name a pair of American League East teams in the Rays and the Red Sox. Only one of those two can win the division, but neither team acted with much sense of urgency. (To be fair, I liked the Nelson Cruz and Kyle Schwarber acquisitions.) You don't have to overpay to make a sensible move -- not when it's a buyer's market, which this deadline was. I would've liked to have seen either show more aggression as a means of avoiding a play-in game matchup against either the Yankees, Athletics, or Blue Jays -- a team which, by the way, has the second-best run differential in the division. Maybe it won't end up mattering, but for now I think there's a chance it becomes viewed as a missed opportunity.
Mike Axisa: The Mets. The club admitted they learned of Jacob deGrom's latest setback around 2 p.m. ET on trade deadline day and still their only pitching move was picking up Trevor Williams as part of the Javier Bàez trade. They have six starters on the injured list (deGrom, Joey Lucchesi, David Peterson, Robert Stock, Noah Syndergaard, Jordan Yamamoto), Taijuan Walker appears to be hitting a wall, and Carlos Carrasco returned just last week. A team as all-in as the Mets are under new owner Steve Cohen has to do better than Williams at the deadline when you're that short on pitching, especially when you've yet to pull away in a mediocre division. The Padres, Red Sox, and Rays also deserve a mention here.