Colin Gaiser’s analysis
NL team to beat
The National League is stupidly deep. 11 teams are in a legitimate position to make the playoffs, which means six playoff-quality teams will miss October baseball. It’s like the NBA’s Western Conference, and right now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the Golden State Warriors of baseball.
The Dodgers went 33-19 in June and July while leading the league in home runs. Of course, now they have Manny Machado, and just for kicks they acquired Brian Dozier by trading the struggling Logan Forsythe (and it didn’t cost them a penny). They’ve pieced together one of the best rotations in baseball, and it’s hard not to imagine them in the World Series again this year. *shudder*
Team winning the deadline
While the biggest names went to the biggest clubs, it’s the Milwaukee Brewers who quietly came through at the deadline. With a team OPS of .724 — eighth in the National League — they needed a big bat, and they got one with Kansas City Royals third-baseman Mike Moustakas. The 29-year-old has 20 home runs this year while slashing .248/.308/.458.
But that wasn’t enough. Yesterday, the Brewers somehow pulled off a trade for one of the league’s hottest bats in the Baltimore Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop. Schoop has nine home runs in July with a 1.056 OPS, and Miller Park is even more hitter-friendly than Camden Yards.
Sure, their infield is suddenly a puzzle, but you can’t deny a lineup this rich with talent.
Honestly, this is what I expected. The Rockies were never going to pull off a jaw-dropping, blockbuster move. The front office is mostly content with the team as it stands.
Yes, I wanted a right-handed corner outfielder and a reliable leftie reliever, but I can’t blame the Rockies here: The market just wasn’t panning out. But expect the Rockies to snatch a lefty as teams reassemble and release players from their bullpens in the coming weeks.
However, the Seung-hwan Oh trade gets a solid “A” — it is already paying dividends, and it only required a few mid-level prospects.
A final point: I think the lack of deadline shows the Rockies are encouraged by the depth in the farm system. If the team wanted an impact bat or a reliever like Zach Britton, it would mean parting ways with prospects like Garrett Hampson, Ryan McMahon, Raimel Tapia or even Brendan Rodgers. These guys could be critical to the Rockies success through 2019-2020 — years the Rockies should be in serious contention.
The front office seems to be playing the long game. Let’s hope it works out.