MLB 2018: AL Central & NL Central Potential Trade Deadline Moves

With the MLB trade deadline approaching within in the next few weeks, the AL and NL Central are still very much up for grabs. Teams are already in a heated race for supremacy and it’s only the middle of June. This is the time of year when teams either go all-in at the deadline or trade away their entire team in order to groom their farm systems. With a massive logjam forming in each division, it’s only a matter of time until one team puts themselves above the other. The Indians are poised to win the AL Central and the NL Central will most likely down to the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and even the St. Louis Cardinals. Let’s take an in-depth look at the super competitive AL and NL Central to see which teams will be buying, or selling.

AL Central

Cleveland Indians

Trade Deadline Status: Buyers
Cleveland isn’t the same team that they were last year but they are still a dangerous team if they get hot. Realistically, the Tribe could trade for an infielder and some relief help. Josh Donaldson or Mike Moustakas could help fill an infield spot and Scooter Gennett could leapfrog the under-performing Jason Kipnis at second base. Andrew Miller has been nicked by the inconsistency bug and he is slowly beginning to slip. Kelvin Herrera from the Royals could be a realistic fit in the bullpen in order to stop some of the beatings that the relief pitchers have endured. Herrera would add a spark that the Indians could use when heading to the postseason.

Detroit Tigers

Trade Deadline Status: Sellers
I’ll keep this simple. The Tigers are not a good team. They’re still in a rebuilding phase and they will be selling some of their key components. Michael Fulmer is the most notable name that will be traded. The Yankees have kept their eye on Fulmer and it is a very real possibility that the Tigers could receive players like Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield in exchange for Fulmer. Nick Castellanos is another name that could potentially be traded. Castellanos could virtually end up anywhere that offers the Tigers the right deal. He will be a wild card during this year’s trade deadline. Losing Miguel Cabrera to a season-ending arm injury doesn’t help either. Look for Detroit to pick up a first baseman in addition to selling.

Minnesota Twins

Trade Deadline Status
: Possibly Sellers
The Twins have struggled mightily and have been plagued by injuries, suspensions, and poor play. Missing out in the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes hurt and it shows this season. Brian Dozier may be one of the most notable names on his way out of Minnesota. Byron Buxton could be on his way out as well but the Twins aren’t fully out of the race just yet. There is only a slight bit of separation between second and third place in the division and anything could happen in the game of baseball. Dozier could be traded to any team that has any sort of quality starting pitcher because the Twins are in need desperate need of one. It will be interesting to see what the Twins do at the deadline.

Chicago White Sox

Trade Deadline Status
: Sellers
The White Sox are bad, but not worse than the Orioles. Chicago will most likely try and move Jose Abreu, James Shields, and Nate Jones. Abreu has been tied to potentially the Brewers and Mets. The powerful first baseman would make a serious impact wherever he’d go and he is in need of a boost. Shields is one of the best pitchers in the game and it seems almost inevitable that the White Sox would deal him. Jones has been tied to the Brewers as well. Keep a close eye on Avisail Garcia as well, he could potentially be on the move alongside some of his teammates.

Kansas City Royals

Trade Deadline Status
: Sellers
It’s pretty safe to say that the White Sox and Royals are on the same level of “bad.” I’ll say it again, at least they’re not the Orioles. Mike Moustakas, Kelvin Herrera, and Danny Duffy will most likely be on their way out of Kansas City and will be joining playoff teams. Moustakas has been tied to the Cardinals and Indians, who are in need of some infield help at third base. Herrera will bolster a bullpen on a playoff team whether it be the Indians, Red Sox, or Astros. The fast-throwing righty could become a nightmare for opposing batters if he is sent to Houston, which is home to the best pitching staff in baseball. Duffy’s landing spot is still a question mark. Any team could be willing to offer the Royals for him but it is also a possibility that the Royals hang onto him.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

Trade Deadline Status: Buy or remain neutral
The Cubs are looking to go to playoffs once again and there is no doubt that this is one of the best teams in the National League. Chicago will most likely go after a pitcher or could possibly stay quiet when the deadline comes. Chris Archer is a name that has been tied to the Cubs and it is a very real possibility that he ends up in a Cubs uniform at the deadline. If Archer goes elsewhere, the Cubs have enough pieces to not trade anyone and compete with what they have in front of them. However, adding a piece or two to the bullpen would never hurt.

Milwaukee Brewers

Trade Deadline Status: Buyers
The Brewers are having themselves an extremely solid season and it’s only going to get better. Chris Archer is a name at the top of their wish list and it has been called the best destination for Archer’s services. Archer will most likely land in Milwaukee or Chicago. In addition to a starting pitcher, Royals relief pitcher Nate Jones could also be the missing pieces to the Brew Crew’s bullpen. Milwaukee’s need for a catcher could also be filled as Jonathan Lucroy could come over to the upper midwest from Oakland. The Brewers can become a dangerous team later on once Eric Thames returns from the DL and Christian Yelich continues to play at a high level.

St. Louis Cardinals

Trade Deadline Status: Buyers
The top three teams in the NL Central are all expected to buy at the deadline and this could be the division that remains a question mark until the final week of the season. The Cardinals are going after Manny Machado and Josh Donaldson the most and it is likely that one of the two will end up playing for the Cardinals once the end of July comes. In addition to Machado and Donaldson, Orioles pitcher Zach Britton is very high on the St. Louis watch list. There is no doubt that Britton is a difference maker and the Orioles will definitely be trading a large component of their team. The Cardinals are built to win the postseason and do not be surprised if they make a run come playoff time.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Trade Deadline Status: Who knows
First things first, I would like to thank the Pirates organization for changing their game time on Saturday, September 8th, from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. so that my Penn State Nittany Lions can invade neighboring Heinz Field to play Pitt under the lights. The Pirates are one of those teams that could potentially buy or sell at the deadline. It all depends on what their record is once July 31st comes. If their record gets to above .500, then they could buy. If they fall below .500, they will most likely sell. The Pirates are not out of contention just yet and they were expected to be horrendous because of the Andrew McCutchen trade. However, this team is showing some sort of a pulse and they’re not going to back down quietly.

Cincinnati Reds

Trade Deadline Status: SELL!!!!!!!!
The Cincinnati Reds are awful once again! We have seen this from the Reds before and it just keeps on getting worse. Scooter Gennett, Billy Hamilton, and Joey Votto are three core pieces that the Reds may be looking to trade and their time as Reds may be coming to an end very fast. Gennett has been tied to the Indians in order to fill the unstable second base spot, Hamilton’s blazing speed could be used on a team that needs some outfield help and some lineup turnover, and Joey Votto could be traded if the Reds get the right offer. Votto has been with the Reds for his entire career and his patience is running thin due to the Reds being the laughing stock of the league. The tank is in full effect!


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