Five early trade deadline predictions

The non-waiver trade deadline is only 51 days away and it is never to early to look ahead at what moves could be made, team's’ needs, and who will be buyers and sellers. Lets take a look at five predictions for the trade deadline

The New York Yankees trade for Jose Quintana

The New York Yankees have been the talk of MLB into June. They currently have a three-game lead over the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Yankees have been playing a good overall game right now, scoring the fourth-most runs (323) and the second-best team ERA (3.62) in MLB.

However C.C. Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka both have ERAs over 4.00 and have struggled to be effective this season. Without a true ace, the Yankees need a shutdown starter for the playoffs.

Enter Jose Quintana. The rebuilding White Sox shopped Quintana in the offseason, but did not move him. Quintana has gotten off to a horrible start to the season (5.30 ERA) which is by far his career worst. The Yankees may be able to acquire him at a discount and he is controllable for this year and next.

The San Francisco Giants trade for Ryan Braun

Yes, the San Francisco Giants are 15 games out of first place in the N.L. West and yes the Brewers are currently in first place in the N.L. Central. However, this move makes sense for both sides. The Giants are currently third to last in MLB in runs scored (224). No Giants outfielder has an OPS of .720 or better and their starting left fielder Chris Marrero is currently hitting .132.

The Brewers have a log jam of outfielders that are ready to contribute in the major leagues. This would free up the log jam and get a big contract off of the books for the future.

The Boston Red Sox trade for Gerrit Cole

The Red Sox will have to follow the Yankees big move with one of their own. It has been reported that the Red Sox are high on the Pittsburgh Pirates pitching. Gerrit Cole will be a free agent after the 2018 season, and with the Pirates not contending it makes sense to trade him. Cole has had a problem with home runs this season (15) and in Fenway Park there has only been 1.74 home runs per game by far the fewest in the American League. This looks like the best match for Cole. The only obstacle is if the Red Sox will be willing to meet the Pirates asking price. The Pirates almost traded Andrew McCutchen to the Nationals in December, but the Nationals did not meet the Pirates asking price and the deal did not happen.

The Houston Astros trade for Jason Vargas

Rumors have been circulating that the Houston Astros have been aggressive in the starting pitchers market. With the Astros have a 12-game lead in the A.L. West, it is a safe bet for them to win the division so getting a starter with postseason experience is key. Vargas pitched well in the 2014 postseason with the Kansas City Royals. In three starts he was 1-0 with a 3.52 ERA. The veteran is also off to a great start this season (2.18 ERA) and could solidify the Astros starting rotation.

The Chicago Cub trade for Lorenzo Cain

The defending champion Chicago Cubs are two games out of first place in the N.L. Central and at .500 this season. The Cubs have struggled to score runs at times this season, scoring 277 runs which is the 15th-most in baseball. Last season the Cubs scored the third most runs in baseball and their offense seemed to be clicking.

In 2017, their offense is struggling. Some are pointing to the loss of leadoff man and center fielder Dexter Fowler in free agency. Lorenzo Cain can come into the leadoff role for the Cubs and give them the element they lost with Fowler. Cain has consistently had a good OBS and and some pop in the bat. This is the first season that Cain is not averaging over a .400 slugging percentage, but has a .341 OBS this season. Coming to the hitter friendly Wrigley Field should help his offensive stats and he should give the Cubs a boost to the playoffs.