Published On: Tue, Jun 19th, 2018

Dominoes fall: Predicting the next 3 trades after Herrera heads to D.C.

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The trade market is in full swing ahead of the July 31 non-waiver deadline.

With contenders already separating themselves from the pack and an overwhelming amount of rebuilding clubs looking to sell off pieces, those with playoff aspirations have already begun solidifying their rosters much earlier than usual.

The most recent deal came Monday, when the Washington Nationals added former All-Star closer Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals for a trio of prospects. With the market moving, expect front-office executives to continue to be aggressive. Here are the next three moves that could happen:

Cardinals pull off blockbuster for Machado

To STL: SS Manny Machado, RHP Brad Brach
To BAL: OF Harrison Bader, SS Yairo Munoz, RHP Dakota Hudson

St. Louis was heavily linked to Josh Donaldson during the winter, but given the recent concerns over his shoulder and calf, the club pivots to Machado. The Cardinals have missed the postseason in back-to-back years and a team built to win now can’t afford to fall short once again. Adding Machado helps legitimize an offense that’s stumbled over the first two months and gives St. Louis a strong one-two punch at the heart of the order when combined with Marcell Ozuna, while also providing depth at shortstop with Paul DeJong injured. Throwing Brach into the deal helps an injured bullpen that’s struggled with the losses of Luke Gregerson, Greg Holland, and Dominic Leon. The cost is significant, but the additions make the Cardinals a playoff threat while luring Machado away from the Cubs. The Orioles also nail the return for Machado, landing some additional building blocks by including Brach in the deal. Bader and Munoz are major-league ready and can help the Orioles now and in the future, while Hudson is a future rotation piece who is the Cardinals’ No. 3 prospect.

Yankees solidify rotation by dealing for Blue Jays’ Happ

To NYY: LHP J.A. Happ
To TOR: RHP Chance Adams, OF Everson Pereira, RHP Juan De Paula

Knowing every win will count in the race for the AL East with the Red Sox, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman pulls the trigger on a deal that brings left-hander J.A. Happ over from the Blue Jays. The Yankees have an immediate need in the rotation with southpaw Jordan Montgomery out following Tommy John and Masahiro Tanaka sidelined with strained hamstrings. Happ’s addition gives the Yankees another lefty in the rotation alongside CC Sabathia, which could be beneficial come playoff time should they meet the Red Sox – a team that’s struggled against southpaws this season. Happ has had success in the AL East and is a rental, meaning the Yankees don’t have to commit to 2019 when some of their young pitchers might be ready to take the next step. For the Blue Jays, they get a bit of an additional boost in the return by selling early while Happ’s stock is high, and the thought of trading within the division is easier to swallow with the chance of re-signing the lefty in the offseason. Toronto lands the Yankees’ No. 4 ranked prospect in Adams, No. 21 in Pereira, and No. 28 in De Paula in a similar package to what the Rangers received for Yu Darvish last season.

Indians add Soria, Avilan from White Sox to improve bullpen

To CLE: RHP Joakim Soria, LHP Luis Avilan
To CWS: OF Will Benson, LHP Sam Hentges, RHP James Karinchak

Despite a poor start, the Indians should have no issue winning a weak AL Central, but opt to add Soria and Avilan from the White Sox for some much-needed upgrades to the relief core. Soria can serve as a late-inning arm while Avilan gives them an additional left-handed reliever with Andrew Miller on the DL. Soria comes with a $10-million team option for next season which the Indians could choose to reject, while Avilan comes with one final arbitration year. For the White Sox, they clear out some salary with the Indians taking on the remainder of the roughly $4 million owed on Soria’s deal. The White Sox net some prospects in return in Benson (No. 8), Hentges (No. 16), and Karinchak (No. 22).

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