NL East trade deadline guide: How much will the Mets sell? And what will the Braves, Nationals and Phillies add?
What is each team in the NL East looking to do before the trade deadline? Here's our buy and sell guide
We're just a little more than two weeks away from the single July 31 trade deadline. There have already been a handful of trades this summer (Edwin Encarnacion to the Yankees, Andrew Cashner to the Red Sox, Homer Bailey to the Athletics) and no doubt there are many more to come.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, we here at CBS Sports are going to take a division-by-division look around the league to see which teams are buying, which teams are selling, and which teams might do a little of both.
Here is our buy or sell guide for the NL East:
The Braves look like they're well on their way to repeating sd division champions. They've managed to build a pretty big lead between them and the second-place Nationals. Now, at the deadline, they should look to further extend their lead and establish themselves as a team that can seriously threaten the Dodgers for the NL pennant. Atlanta's rotation got a boost with the signing of Dallas Keuchel, but Keuchel alone isn't enough. The Braves should look to add an established ace to their pitching staff. While rookie right-hander Mike Soroka has been phenomenal, the rotation's taken hits, like when the struggling Mike Foltynewicz got sent down to Triple-A. The Braves have the league's second-best farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, and they're likely to have one of the best offers when shopping for starters.
The Nationals have jumped back into playoff contention after a rough start to the season, and they should look to make some moves in the trade market. Washington's bullpen has been better as of late, but it still ranks at the bottom of the National League. They're going to need to get a relief arm or two to strengthen their bullpen if they expect to compete in October. The Nationals, a preseason division favorite, could go after Giants relievers Will Smith and/or Sam Dyson. There's also Blue Jays righty Ken Giles or Padres righty Kirby Yates. Bulking up their bullpen could be all the buying this team does at deadline, and it could be enough for this team to stay in the postseason conversation. Pair an improved bullpen with the team's strong lineup and one-two-three punch rotation, and this team could have a chance to be the real deal in the playoffs.
The Phillies stumbled into the first-half finish line, and they'll certainly need to be a buyer at the deadline if they hope to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. CBS Sports' Jim Bowden reported that Phillies general manager Matt Klentak has been in contact with every team that has pitching available. Adding pitching will be their focus at the deadline as the team needs both another starter and bullpen help. As of Tuesday, the Phillies staff ERA of 4.72 is 16th-worst in the National League. Philadelphia's bullpen has 12 blown saves on the season. The Phillies could fall out of the National League Wild Card race if they don't add an impact starter or reliever at deadline. It might also help if Klentak shops around for a bat or two to add to the lineup since the team's big offseason additions of Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and Jean Segura aren't necessarily living up to expectations at the plate.
Status: Seller, but not all out
What a lost season this has been for the Mets. The tumultuous happenings inside the clubhouse and poor performances on the field have made this a rough first year for general manager Brodie Van Wagenen. It's time to sell, and Van Wagenen will have to listen to the offers out there for his starters, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler. The two pitchers are the best pieces New York has to offer, and assuming Wheeler can make a positive impression once he returns from the injured list, the Mets should be able to get a good return.
Status: Definite Seller
The Marlins are still in the midst of a complete franchise rebuild, so they will be sellers at the deadline. But the better question is what do the Mets have left to sell? Veteran players like Starlin Castro, Curtis Granderson or Neil Walker could work as bench players. Then there's reliever Sergio Romo, who probably holds the best value. Starters Trevor Richards and Caleb Smith could also be dealt by Miami at the deadline.
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