We are now just three days away from the trade deadline (Aug. 1 at 4 p.m. ET). Here are four deals I'd like to see happen between now and then:
The Mets, Rangers, Astros and Indians are all being linked to Lucroy, and there is little doubt that he’ll be moved by Monday’s deadline. The best fit for me all along has been the Indians, who are desperate for a frontline catcher to replace the injured Yan Gomes (out 6-8 weeks with a right shoulder injury). The Indians told me their two biggest needs at the deadline are a reliever and a bat, in that order. Matching up with the Brewers makes sense in that case because Milwaukee could offer their closer Jeffress along with Lucroy, who solves the bat part and gives them an All-Star catcher to replace Gomes. Lucroy is signed through 2017 at a reasonable contract, and Jeffress is controllable through 2019. This would not be a “rental” deal and would give the Indians a two-year window to bring a baseball championship to Cleveland. The price, however, would be huge and painful and one the Indians wouldn’t normally like to pay because of their small-market status. This year has to be an exception. Their starting pitching is the best in the American League, and they have a legitimate chance of running the table in October because of it. Landing another significant reliever and an All-Star catcher would put them over the top. The price would be steep, and they’d have to give up two top prospects like outfielder Frazier and left-handed pitcher Sheffield. The Brewers win this deal long-term, but the Indians will have a real chance to win a World Series either this year or next because of it.