The countdown to Major League Baseball’s trade deadline always brings much excitement, but it also causes a lot of apprehension and sleepless nights for general managers, players, and fans alike. The weeks leading up to the 2012 MLB trade deadline have been no different, with some moves having already taken place and other deals still in the works. Keeping all of that in mind, it’s time to play a little fact or fiction, MLB style!
Fact or Fiction: Ryan Dempster will ultimately end up with the Atlanta Braves.
FICTION. Being a Braves fan, this was a tough question to answer. For weeks now, I’ve wanted Atlanta to acquire Zach Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers, but as time has gone on, such a deal has seemingly gotten less and less likely. Dempster, who is the ace of the Chicago Cubs’ starting rotation, has been my second choice for some time now, and I was extremely happy yesterday afternoon when it was first reported that he had been to shipped to the Braves for a package including Atlanta starter Randall Delgado. Imagine my disappointment just a short time later when Dempster denied such reports via Twitter. And so began the back-and-forth all throughout the rest of Monday and on into late this afternoon, when it was reported that Dempster, who retains the right to veto any trade he so chooses, still favors the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Braves and is holding out for a possible trade to LA. For that reason, I chose to say fiction regarding this question. I just don’t see the Braves – and I hope I’m right on this – settling for being Dempster’s sloppy seconds.
Fact or Fiction: Ichiro Suzuki will be worth what the New York Yankees gave up to get him.
FACT. As difficult as the last question was to answer, this one was just that easy. It is clear that Ichiro is not the player he was five or ten years ago, but at 38 years old, the 12-year MLB veteran is still a solid fielder with an above-average arm and great speed on the baseplates. Given that they have chosen to stick the former leadoff man in the eight-spot in the lineup, it is obvious what the Yankees expect from him: average hitting and a guy who can replace the defense and base running threat they’ve missed since outfielder Brett Gardner was lost for the season due to an injured right elbow. Ichiro is well worth giving up a pair of minor league pitchers, which the Yankees did when they traded right-handers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar to the Seattle Mariners to complete the deal. Plus, it’s not like the Bronx Bombers don’t have the necessary cash to replace, well, anyone.
Fact or Fiction: Zach Greinke will be traded prior to the July 31st deadline.
FICTION. Although I continue to hold out hope that Braves general manager Frank Wren will pull a rabbit out of his hat and bring Greinke to the ATL, as I mentioned earlier, the longer things drag on, the less likely it is that the former Cy Young Award winner will end up anywhere other than Milwaukee. That’s disappointing to people like me, who love seeing big-name exchanges, but I think it will create more intrigue when Greinke becomes a free agent in the offseason should the Brewers fail to reach a long-term agreement with him before the end of the season. Obviously, Milwaukee will have to be heavily wooed in order to find a suitor for Greinke, something that I just don’t see happening at this point.
Fact or Fiction: The trade made between the Detroit Tigers and the Miami Marlins will benefit both teams.
FACT. Omar Infante, who can fill just about every position but hot dog salesman, is a guy the Braves would love to have back right now. Add to his versatility the fact that he is currently enjoying some of the best success of his career and it is easy to see why the Tigers, who he began his career with back in 2002, would want him back. The fact that they also received starter Anibal Sanchez is the cherry on top, as he will slot nicely in the middle of a very formidable rotation that already features reigning American League Most Valuable Player Justin Verlander. On the other hand, the struggling Marlins got some promising young talent in starters Jacob Turner and Brian Flynn and catcher Rob Brantly. Their acquisitions won’t be as immediately helpful as those made by the Tigers, but they could pay huge dividends down the road.
Bonus NBA Fact or Fiction: Dwight Howard will still be a member of the Orlando Magic when the season begins.
FACT. Hey, we are talking about trades here, and there’s no trade that has been as debated as a potential deal involving Howard. At any rate, I see Howard remaining with the Magic through this season. The guy changes his mind almost as much as Brett Favre, so it’s hard to tell where he’ll end up beyond that, but I think he’ll stay in Orlando for at least one more season. I just don’t believe the Magic are going to find a team willing to take on the baggage that comes with D12 right now, and certainly not before the season begins.
Other articles by Josh McKinney:
Ben Sheets Completes Comeback, Beats Mets: A Fan’s Take
Five Greatest MLB Players Who Wore the Number 4
Five Greatest Trades in Atlanta Braves History
Chicago Cubs Pitcher Kerry Wood to Call it Quits: A Fan’s Take
Fact or Fiction: MLB May 15, 2012