Baseball’s Trade Deadline Arrives Today, With Every Team In The Market Looking For Some Type Of Pitching

The names have been kicked around for weeks Available. Not available. May be available at the right price and if he waives his no-trade contract clause. Gotta love the...

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The names have been kicked around for weeks

Available. Not available. May be available at the right price and if he waives his no-trade contract clause.
Gotta love the rumor mill when baseball’s trading deadline – that would be Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET – arrives.

The San Francisco Giants were definitely going to be moving pitcher Madison Bumgarner right up until they won a few games and then definitely weren’t. The New York Mets, looking to peddle pitcher Noah Syndergaard, confounded folks by trading for the Toronto Blue Jays’ All-Star pitcher Marcus Stroman.

Then they traded lefty starter Jason Vargas to the Philadelphia Phillies, a team in their division. The Chicago Cubs took reliever David Phelps off the hands of the Jays on Tuesday and the Atlanta Braves grabbed reliever Chris Martin from the Texas Rangers.

And so we move on.

The New York Yankees could use a starter, with CC Sabathia down again and Luis Severino not ready to return from injury. The Washington Nationals and Phillies could stand bullpen help. The Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be seeking someone to work the middle innings. The Houston Astros want Syndergaard, but not at the Mets’ price. Their backup plan could be Robbie Ray of the Arizona Diamondbacks. And now the Cleveland Indians seem prepared to move the erratic starter, Trevor Bauer.

Much of this might not be necessary if teams did not feel duty-bound to use at least five pitchers a game. This typist is no position to argue with what analytics tell the teams except this – overwork your pitchers and you’re going to need more of them. Starters, middle relief, closers. They are now bred and conditioned for specific work – starters go five innings, maybe six. Middle guys get an inning, and a fraction thereof. God help the manager who asks closer to pitch more than the ninth.

Last Sunday, the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers combined to use 10 pitchers. Only three pitched an inning or more. On the same day, the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox also combined to make 10 pitchers work – six pitched exactly one inning. The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers used nine-five pitched an inning or less. Go ahead, burn ‘em up.

There’s a reason for that baseball cliché – you can never have enough pitching. Of course not. Look at how it’s being used. Welcome to the trading deadline.

 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman

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