Betting Around: Which Competitors Needed to Do More at the MLB Trade Deadline?

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Throughout the season CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you weekly betting around the roundtable with plenty to break down. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts on the future of baseball, all sorts of things. Last week we discussed the biggest names to move at the trade deadline. (Except for Juan Soto). This week we’re going to look at contenders who need more work done by the deadline.

Which competitor needed more work at the trade deadline?

RJ Anderson: I would say to the Guardian. I understand that not everything is lost, and I understand that some of their exciting young players don’t want to end their playing time. I also don’t think a chance to win the division or make the playoffs should be taken for granted, however, and I have a hard time believing Brian Shaw says he can’t get an upgrade. (I will note that Cleveland has a good front office, and it could very well age after Ian Hamilton comes in and serves as a massive upgrade over Shaw.)

Mike Ax: Yes, I am also saying Guardian. They were one game behind the Twins in the winnable AL Central at the deadline, and were 15th in runs scored per game and 14th in runs allowed per game. Certainly there were ways to improve the roster for the final two months without mortgaging the future and blowing up payroll. To make matters worse, Minnesota added three very good pitchers (George Lopez, Michael Fulmer, Tyler Mahle) to separate themselves from Cleveland a bit. ZiPS projections say no team improved its postseason odds more than the Twins at the deadline., and that’s bad news for the Guardian. The White Sox and Brewers deserve an honorable mention.

Day Perry: I would say the White Sox. They have a real shot at flipping the script on what has been a very disappointing season so far, but they didn’t help heading into the deadline. They badly needed a lefty outfield bat who could handle at least both corners, and ideally they would also have found a platoon partner for Josh Harrison at second base. Instead, they just added a lefty reliever in Jack Diekman. Meanwhile, the first-place twins actually moved the needle with their deadline.

Matt Snyder: I’ll go with the Mets. It’s time to drop the hammer here and instead they were cautious with the prospects. They barely edged the defending champions Braves and had weak spots. They could have been more aggressive in pushing closer Edwin Diaz with more setup men than Mychal Givens — whose Mets debut was a disaster — and the catcher remains a big question mark. Not even All-Star Willson Contreras. Some trade reports indicated they were shy about dealing rental prospects after last season, but Max Scherzer is 37 years old and who knows how long Jacob deGrom’s arm will last. The Mets haven’t won a World Series since 1986 and they have a collection of talent that could do it again. Why they didn’t go all the way to loading the roster before the deadline is beyond me.