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The MLB trade deadline is getting closer

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Deadline was moved to August 31 this year

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Los Angeles Angels Summer Workouts Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

With the trade deadline now just 16 days away, it’s time to start thinking trades, even if it seems like the season just started.

In this truncated season that didn’t start until July 23, the usual July 31 trade deadline was moved to August 31. With an expanded postseason from 10 to 16 teams, more and more clubs at least have some hope of contention, even if illusory.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler talked to Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register about this year’s trade market:

“I think it could create a shortened supply of players out there, and because of the quick nature of the season in general, I think you’re going to have a lot of teams waiting till the last minute,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said. “It feels like it’s gone that way over the last decade anyway, and that’s after you’ve played four months of baseball.”

Entering Saturday, 26 of 30 teams were either in playoff position or within two games of a postseason berth, which makes the calculus of whether to sell that much more difficult.

Links & news

  • Tony Wolfe at FanGraphs analyzed Dylan Bundy’s terrific start to 2020. “Pick a pitching category right now, and Bundy, 27, is probably either leading it or trailing only a handful of guys,” Wolfe wrote.
  • Among Fabian Ardaya’s 20 thoughts on the Angels’ first 20 games of the season at The Athletic was Patrick Sanodval’s increased slider usage in 2020.
  • Hannah Keyser at Yahoo Sports spoke with MLB executives about the league’s response to outbreaks with the Cardinals and Marlins. From deputy commissioner Dan Halem: “We haven’t gotten to the point where the commissioner has seriously considered canceling the season, and hopefully we will never get to that point.”
  • MLB and MLBPA released their weekly COVID-19 update, showing four positive tests in the last week, two players and two staff members. All were from the Cardinals. After intake testing at the start of summer camp, monitoring testing has seen 75 people test positive, including 51 MLB players.
  • The Cardinals will resume their schedule with a doubleheader Saturday against the White Sox, the first game for St. Louis since July 29 after a spate of positive COVID-19 tests. The Cardinals, who have played only five games to date, have a busy next five days in Chicago with eight games, including doubleheaders Monday and Wednesday against the Cubs as well.