Buyers and sellers are starting to appear in MLB, just as the season is about to enter its second third.
These squads will be, surprisingly, active in the trade market, scanning what’s available to try and make upgrades.
3. San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants, against all odds, are currently competing in a hotly contested National League West division.
The San Diego Padres are leading the division, but the surprising Giants are only 0.5 games back.
They are even ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings right now, but it’s fair to question: will the Giants’ success last?
That’s a tough question to answer, but as long as San Francisco is competing, they should be looking to make upgrades without sacrificing too many pieces for the future.
In other words, the Giants could be buyers before the trade deadline.
At least, through the month of May, they would be buyers if the deadline was tomorrow.
The Giants’ starters have been excellent to this point, ranking in the fourth place in MLB with a 2.91 ERA.
The bullpen is an area in which they could improve, as they are 17th with a 4.06 ERA.
2. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are competing at least a year earlier than anticipated.
They are currently second in the AL East division, and are still playing competitive baseball.
In fact, Boston has the fifth-ranked offense with a 110 wRC+.
Their starters have been kind of mediocre, with a 4.07 ERA, ranking in the 15th place among all MLB staffs.
If they are going to be buyers near the trade deadline (they currently qualify as such, at least through May), they could use a starter.
Chris Sale, recovering from Tommy John surgery, could be an option in the second half.
Chaim Bloom update on Chris Sale, via @MLBNetworkRadio: “He’s been off the mound a number of times. We’re slowly increasing the length and intensity . . . He’s going to push us to join this group as soon as possible. It will be sometime later in the summer.” @MLBNetwork @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 31, 2021
However, if Boston can bring a quality starting pitcher, their chances of making the postseason would grow significantly.
1. New York Mets
The New York Mets are currently leading the National League East division, even though they have an injury crisis.
The ‘Replacement Mets’, the likes of Brandon Drury, Tomas Nido, Billy McKinney, Jonathan Villar, and others, have done an admirable job as of late filling in for Pete Alonso, Brandon Nimmo, J.D. Davis, Kevin Pillar, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and other injured regulars.
But the foundation of the team’s recent success has been the pitching.
The Mets starters have the best ERA in MLB, at 2.78, which is especially impressive since they have been, at different points in the season, without Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard, Jordan Yamamoto, Joey Lucchesi, and Taijuan Walker.
The fact that the Mets are buyers through the month of May is surprising because they had already put together a strong, deep team with few holes.
Injuries, however, have forced the Mets to stay active in the trade market.
Lots of the aforementioned injuries are long-term, so they need to bring reinforcements.
Since the bullpen has also been good (fifth in MLB with a 3.51 ERA), the area to target would be offense.
#Mets GM Zack Scott says the team is "exploring all options" as the team works through the long list of injuries. Scott says there are teams that are open to trade and that daily phone calls are gauging the market.
— Robert Aitken Jr. (@RobertAitkenJr) May 24, 2021
The Mets offense has been the 20th in the league with a 92 wRC+ (which is considered subpar, since 100 is ‘average’).
In any case, the Mets are monitoring the market to improve their roster.