Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw Injuries Energize MLB Trade Market for Aces

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017
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The trade BLB Market for Aces is suddenly in flux. Not that the fans and analysts are complaining. This just means more debating and arguing and speculating about the future of the MLB market. Sportsbooks that offer updated baseball lines are definitely having a field day with the most recent developments.

Chief amongst these developments were the injuries suffering by the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Aces Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw are in the news again, but for different reasons.

Stephen had fans worried when he left the pitch with a clearly distressed forearm. That wasn’t even the first time his achy forearm became an issue, though one wonders whether this case will have more lasting consequences.

The Dodgers were no better off. Clayton also had to exit the mound. And for the Los Angeles Ace, it was back tightness that was causing all manner of problems. With just a few days to the non-waiver trade deadline, one would have expected all the activity and excitement to be winding down.

Certainly, there were expectations for some sort of mad dash near the end there, but you only find such talk in a select few circles and primarily in conversations dealing with betting odds. Kershaw and Strasburg succeeded in giving the trade market for elite starting pitchers another boost.

Of course, seasoned gamblers will encourage enthusiastic sports fans to not get carried away just yet. The Clayton/Stephen situation might not really mean anything. It would be foolish to automatically assume that these recent injuries had put the Dodgers and the Nationals in a mood where they are more inclined to deal. Though, the seeds have definitely been planted.

There is no way Kershaw can avoid joining the ten-day disabled list. And it there is no way of figuring out how long his stint on there will last. If the Dodgers were as set on top-flight rotation help as everyone assumed, Clayton’s situation isn’t going to improve their situation. Certainly, their negotiating leverage has taken a dip.

The Nationals, on the other hand, are putting their hopes in the team of doctors that are currently scrutinizing Strasburg. Dusty Baker wants Washington fans to hold out hope for the possibility that Strasburg’s stiffness can be banished with a little bit of therapy.

Things were really looking up for the Nationals when Strasburg was healthy primarily because Mike Rizzo saw fit to bring Ace Max Scherzer on board. It was an effective use of the offseason, with Mile working to pad the team’s positions of strength.

The Nationals cannot afford to exert too much pressure on Strasburg, which is why they are probably considering their options right now.

With the Texas Rangers’ recent disaster against Baltimore, Yu Darvish is set on becoming a free agent in a few months. While the Cubs and the Astros have shown interest in Darvish, the Dodgers are bound to chase him with increased vigor following Kershaw’s injury.

Sonny Gray isn’t an Ace but he greatly resembles one as of late. There is bound to be a bidding war for him soon enough. And Rizzo could get him if the Nationals are willing to cough up the money.

Though if Rizzo had his way, he would probably make a bid for J.A. Happ, an athlete the Blue jays are unlikely to leg go of.

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Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

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