2014 Post Trade Deadline Predictions- NL
Deadline day of 2014 will be remembered as one of the most exciting to ever take place. Surprises were occurring about once and hour with minor, but important, deals filling the gaps. Since the introduction of a two team wildcard, it seems every team in arms reach of it are making big deals to bolster their roster in hopes of capturing those precious spots. That’s why after 4:00 ET, new evaluations need to be made, focusing on the biggest spenders and buyers. Plenty of teams attempted to strengthen up, but which ones did enough to push themselves into the playoffs. Without further ado, here are my NL postseason projections.
Winner- Milwaukee Brewers
Heading into Thursday, the Brewers were two games up on the Cardinals. The way I see it, that won’t change much. Milwaukee stayed mostly quiet during all the chaos, besides snagging a solid outfielder in Gerardo Parra. With everyone in the division trying to catch the Brew Crew, why mix things up? The pitching staff has been surprisingly good. Francisco Rodriguez has found his stride as the Brewer’s closer. With the addition of Parra, the Brewers now have four productive outfielders led by Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun. Milwaukee may not be the sexiest team in the league, but they certainly have the tools to make it to October.
Losers- St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates
The NL Central is filled with quality teams, so it isn’t really fair to say the Cards and Bucs are losers, but I believe the Brewers are the only Central team in the playoffs.
St. Louis was active at the deadline, making moves for both Justin Masterson and John Lackey. In the process, they gave up Allen Craig and minor league prospect James Ramsey. Though Masterson and Lackey are good pitchers, the Card’s offense has struggled this year too. Trading away Craig means Oscar Taveras must step up and fill the void, and I don’t see that happening this season.
The Pirates are a different story. They set out to get a pitcher, and after coming so close with Price, left empty handed. Without a real number one starter, I can’t see the Buccos playing playoff baseball, unless Gerrit Cole changes form when he returns from the DL.
Winners- Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves
Who says you have to go big or go home? Apparently, no one in these two organizations, unless you consider the Nats acquisition of Asdrubal Cabrera big, then I guess I’d be wrong. Regardless, it looks like both teams did just enough to seal a spot in the playoffs.
For the Braves, gaining Emilio Bonafacio and James Russell means they filled two important gaps at second base and LH relieving. The price wasn’t too steep either, as they only gave the Chicago Cubs catcher Victor Caratini.
In D.C., the pickup of Cabrera gives the Nats infield depth, which is always nice come crunch time. Watch out NL, the East has two beasts.
Loser- Philadelphia Phillies
A month ago, I thought the Phillies were going to be the most active team on the 31st. Thank you Amaro for making me look like a fool. Not one move was made by Philadelphia. Not one! Cole Hamels will continue to pitch for a team in rebuilding mode. Cliff Lee will finish his career without another playoff appearance (or so it seems). The farm system still looks barren, making both the present and future look unbelievably bleak. I would laugh, but I’m a Yankees fan, and we are in a similar position.
Winners- LA Dodgers, San Francisco Giants
Before the deadline, the Dodgers were my favorite to win the NL. Afterwards, they still are. Clayton Kershaw is by far the best pitcher in the game,and whenever Zack Greinke is in line for game two of a playoff series, you know you’re set. The rise of Yasiel Puig has given the Dodgers a spark plug in RF, which is always nice to have in the pressure-packed October games. In the end, the Dodgers were set for first before, and now after, the deadline, so be ready AL, LA is on the way.
For the Giants, they will be fighting for a wild card spot. Do I believe they have a World Series caliber team? No, even with the recent addition of Jake Peavy, the rotation remains inconsistent, but I think they will win enough games to knock the Cards and Pirates out, allowing for either the Nats or Braves to play them in the awesome, sudden death, winner take all, no holds barred wild card game. It should be exciting.
Losers- Everyone else
The San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Colorado Rockies aren’t losers because of what they did on Thursday, but because they play in the NL West. The way San Fran and LA keep rebuilding means all three of these teams are stuck running in the same circle for years to come. Sorry guys, but there really isn’t next year for you.
Braves over Giants
Nationals over Brewers
Dodgers over Braves
Dodgers over Nationals