MLB Week in Review (July 20-26)

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The trade deadline is only days away and the annual debate has already begun about how teams should be built.

It isn’t a new debate and there will never be a real answer largely because a few teams throw everything out of whack.

Generally, the best way to build a team is to draft and develop and that is true of every team in every league.

Finding young talented players and developing them to be major league talent is the best way to be great.

It is far from the easiest path though as finding that talent can be a big challenge especially when it comes to baseball.

Developing baseball talent takes a very long time and finding the right people that can take that long path is not an easy task.

The people who can do it well end up with a farm system full of potential and when those players make the major leagues they become extremely tough teams to beat.

It helps develop depth but also allows for teams that don’t have the funds to sign big name players to get a lot of talent at a cheaper price.

That is where the biggest issue comes in as this type of team has a timer on it, eventually, the depth of their team will demand more money.

When these great players demand more money teams cannot keep them and so they have to let some of them go in free agency.

The best organizations are the ones who can continue to churn out talent through their farm system to replace the guys that leave.

It is a rare thing to do as only a few teams can do it and even then they usually run out at some point in time.

Building that team from the ground up can take a lot of time and if it doesn’t work out right the team can be pulled apart before it even gets going.

If players don’t develop in the right time they can struggle to move their way up through the system and if the timing is off that collection of players can turn into just a good team rather than a great team.

Still, it is the best strategy overall for teams looking to make their way up the rankings and to the World Series.

Not every team has that ability though as sometimes teams have put a good team together but they need that extra piece.

More often than that not those teams are the ones who built something early but are no facing that dreaded window.

They are teams with the same management for years that are good but are needing to take that extra step.

They need to take that step now because if they don’t a new group may be coming in to try to change things around.

That is where the trade deadline comes in as these two worlds collide as teams looking to build that farm system trade away their best players for prospects while teams that are making a run get their best players.

That is where the other theory about building teams comes in as a lot of teams look to add the big names either through free agency or trades in hopes that those players can provide that boost that they need.

It can be extremely effective for teams as the biggest names are often good bets to do what they need to do.

The problem with this strategy is that it Is very temporary especially at the trade deadline.baseball-sidebar

When players get traded at this point in the season they are usually entering the final year or years of their contract.

Usually, they are already in their final year and when they are traded their new team will get them for a few more months.

It is a very risky thing to do as only one team can win the World Series and the rest who traded for a big name might never see that player after the postseason.

It can be really effective but there are only a couple teams who can pull it off and do it all the time.

The New York Yankees are the one team that can do it every single year as they have more money than any other team in the league.

They sign big names in the off-season and when it comes to trade deadline they have no concern about rental players.

For one, they have the ability to sign those players by offering big contracts to those who perform and they also will always find someone to replace a hole, some way or another.

With only a few days left some teams will be making big moves and others are open for business as everyone looks to make the moves that they believe will lead to success.

 

Extra Innings

Reloading the Yankees

The New York Yankees are constantly involved in every aspect of the MLB season and this year they are clearly buyers. The concentration this time around has been on the pitching staff after signing Giancarlo Stanton to solidify the offence in the offseason. This week the Yankees added two more pitchers to their stable for the postseason run. First, they traded for Zach Britton, who adds another weapon in the bullpen. Then a few days later they traded more prospects for J.A. Happ, who should provide a good arm in the middle of the rotation after putting together an All-Star calibre year in Toronto. The Yankees have again put all of their cards on the table as they are running for the title and making the moves to do just that.

Moving on Up

Albert Pujols is not the deep threat he used to be but the power is still there for the 38-year old. He proved just how prolific he has been in hitting home runs this week when he hit his 631st career home run moving past a legendary hitter. The home run put him at #6 on the all-time home run list just beyond Ken Griffey Jr. He continues on this season looking to add to his total and he could close the gap depending on how long he wants to play. With Willie Mays now 29 home runs away, the top five is in his sights.

The Tebow Story

Tim Tebow is a constant story in baseball as the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback has a lot of eyes on him while he tries to make it to the MLB. In 2017 he spent the season in Single-A and did a good job throughout the year. This year he was promoted to Double-A and had put together a pretty good stat line. The thought was that the Mets might call him up to see what he could do in the MLB when the rosters expand in September. That has taken a bad turn though as it was announced that he will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a broken hand. That will end his hopes of playing in the MLB this year and ends his season but he has put together an impressive year that gives him hope for 2019.

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