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30 Cardinals are neither good enough to add nor bad enough to subtract. Jose Martinez’s situation is somewhat interesting — he’s a good hitter without an apparent defensive position — but the marketplace suggests he won’t net much even if the Cardinals do move him. Add it all up, and St. Louis fans are looking at a boring few days. 29 General manager A.J. Preller has made one big trade this month, sending relievers Brad Hand and Adam Cimber to the Indians . He’s unlikely to make another, with the Padres presumably settling for shipping out another middle reliever or two. Fine business, but boring all the same. 28 The midwest Padres, the Royals have already dealt Kelvin Herrera and Jon Jay . Save for trading Whit Merrifield , there isn’t much Dayton Moore can do to intrigue us. 27 This could prove to be a foolish ranking if the White Sox pull off a Jose Abreu trade. We’ll believe it when we see it, however. James Shields just doesn’t move the needle like he used to. 26 We’re doubling up on Chicago teams. The Cubs may add a starter or a complementary piece, but they’re unlikely to go hog wild. A bit player here and there makes this a more boring deadline than usual for them. 25 The Angels are rumored to be shopping their relievers. Because all of them have multiple years of team control remaining, there’s a fair chance they hold onto them until the winter. 24 We know Toronto is going to move J.A. Happ and Curtis Granderson . We know they could move Marco Estrada , too. But barring the unforeseen, there’s not going to be fireworks. 23 Ditto for the Reds , who figure to move Matt Harvey and maybe a reliever or two. The Reds could in theory shoot up the list if they’re serious about moving Scooter Gennett , Raisel Iglesias , and others. We just don’t think it’s likely. 22 Cleveland already made its big deadline deal, adding Brad Hand and Adam Cimber last week. They’ve been tied to Adam Jones , who seems like the best of a bad outfield market. Assuming that or a similar move happens, that makes for a smart — if not necessarily fun — week. 21 Like the Cubs and Indians before them, the Astros don’t have many holes to fill. Jeff Luhnow figures to grab a reliever and be about done with things. In a sense, the Astros’ ranking is a compliment: the goal for every team should be to have such a well-rounded club that deadline week comes and goes without much need for action. 20 Trading Michael Fulmer and/or Nicholas Castellanos would catch our eye. Deals involving Francisco Liriano , Mike Fiers, and Leonys Martin would not. We’re hedging by putting the Tigers closer to the bottom than the top, but they’ll probably save the blockbusters for winter. 19 Is this the year the Rays trade Chris Archer at the deadline? Though it seems like a winter activity, we’re putting the Rays in the middle because the rumors feel more legit than usual. Regardless of Archer, they do figure to move Wilson Ramos . 18 The Pirates have played well lately, and it’s possible we’re underrating their intrigue. But we’re skeptical they’ll do anything of note — or that they should. 17 The Rockies are in a similar boat. They’re in the hunt for October, but there’s no reason to think they’ll play in the deep end of the pool. A savvy addition here or there is the best bet 16 Jerry Dipoto never needs added incentive to make a trade. Still, his farm system is bad and his budget might be tapped out. Dipoto seems unlikely then to make a more notable addition than he did earlier in the year when he netted both Alex Colome and Denard Span . 15 Theoretically, the Twins could make things interesting this deadline. But we doubt they would engage in a hard reset less than a year after making it to the Wild Card Game. We expect the Twins to move a piece or two, but no one and nothing that will impact their chances of competing again next year. 14 The Dodgers already made a blockbuster to acquire Manny Machado . From here, they’ll shop around for a reliever. We’d be surprised if they land a name-brand arm. 13 Perhaps the riskiest ranking of them all. The Mets could jump to the top of the list if they prove sincere in moving Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard . Odds are, they’ll wait until the winter and until after their general manager position is settled. As such, they’re middle of the pack. 12 The Diamondbacks have a good roster, but they don’t have a great farm system. Last year’s decision to add J.D. Martinez was genius. Lightning probably won’t strike twice, however. 11 The Phillies have been tied to Manny Machado, Brad Hand, and others. They’ve lost out on each. That suggests to us that Philadelphia will take more of a disciplined approach to the deadline, remaining focused on both the present and the future. That’s the right call for a team on the rise. 10 We figured the Red Sox would land a starter, and they did in Nathan Eovaldi. Will they also get a second baseman now that Dustin Pedroia is injured again and Eduardo Nunez has scuffled? That’s the big question. 9 The Giants will have to get creative to make additions and avoid the luxury tax. Nobody wants to have to do accounting homework to evaluate a baseball trade, so that limits the intrigue. 8 Even if the Rangers hold onto Adrian Beltre , they figure to move Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman and take calls on Keone Kela . And who knows, maybe they can be persuaded to change their minds on Beltre as well. In other words, the Rangers should be busy. 7 The Orioles have already moved Manny Machado and Zach Britton. They have more business to attend to, however, including Brad Brach and Adam Jones. If the Orioles are feeling froggy, they could try finding takers for Kevin Gausman , Dylan Bundy , and Jonathan Schoop , too. 6 The Yankees are going to get a starter — but how good of one? Just J.A. Happ, or will they pony up for an ace type? That’s what we’re paying attention to as they move on from successfully adding Zach Britton to their already loaded bullpen. 5 With their recent hot play, the A’s are now in serious playoff consideration. Billy Beane and crew have shown a willingness to go for it in the past. There’s no reason to think they’ll be trade averse now. 4 If Alex Anthopoulos wanted, he could make this a thrilling deadline in Atlanta. The Braves will probably find themselves in a similar groove to the Phillies, taking it low and slow. Still, Anthopoulos’s history suggests the Braves could be more active than anticipated. 3 The Marlins could, in theory, run the deadline by moving J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Derek Dietrich, Dan Straily, Kyle Barraclough, Drew Steckenrider¬†and Adam Conley . We don’t think they’ll trade everyone, but we do think they’ll trade a couple of those names, positioning themselves as the most intriguing sure sellers. 2 Is there any scenario in which the Nationals hold pat? We think not. The question is whether Mike Rizzo will see enough nonsense in the coming days to sell off pieces rather than add to his flailing roster. Bryce Harper is almost certainly not getting traded. But Rizzo is bold and has enough job security to get wild if he wants. 1 The Brewers have one of the more creative front offices in baseball. Hence rumors that they could look to add a third baseman and shift Travis Shaw to second. Milwaukee needs at least one starting pitcher, and they have the pieces to add more than a rental. Add in how the Brewers surely want to avoid missing the postseason again, and we think they’re the most intriguing team at the deadline.
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