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Marty's Musings: Trade deadline time

The trade deadline is upon us, and the most interesting deal was the one that didn’t happen.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty's Musings', my weekly column of numbers summarizing the past week in Major League Baseball and looking forward to this week's key matchups. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the previous week in MLB and previewing some of this week's key matchups, identifying numbers that are generally not found in a standard box score.

In this week's edition, Jonathan Lucroy stays in Milwaukee, eschewing a competitive Cleveland team that looks like it's going all-in; Ichiro remains just a couple hits shy of 3,000; and the Giants hit a July swoon. It's all in this week's Musings.

Numbers

4:00 - Monday at 4 PM is MLB's non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees look like they may not be done dealing (and selling, if you can imagine) while the Indians are still looking for a backstop after the failed attempt to land Jonathan Lucroy. The Mets are acquiring Jay Bruce, and Rich Hill looks to be headed to sunny LA. Stay tuned at BtBS as more trades break.

$5.25m - Jonathan Lucroy's payout if a team, whether it be Milwaukee or another team, were to exercise his 2017 team option. The Brewers traded him to the Indians, but due to his limited no-trade exercise, Lucroy stayed in Milwaukee because Cleveland would not forgo the team option. In the end, Lucroy is underpaid compared to his peers and he made a rational economic decision. Unfortunately, the Indians chose not to acquiesce and because of it the situation is a lose-lose-lose. The Brew Crew had to forgo a rebuilding project, Cleveland is left without a solid backstop, and Lucroy is stuck with a middle team making below market-value.

-19 - Run differential for the Giants since the All-Star break. San Francisco is 4-11 since the Midsummer Classic and now lead Los Angeles by only 2.5 games. They have three games against the Phillies but things get interesting from there as they travel to DC, Miami, and then host Baltimore.

8 - Earned runs allowed by Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright on Tuesday against the Tigers. That's more earned runs than he allowed in all of June (six) and April (four). The Red Sox remain competitive in an American League East that has three flawed teams vying for top spot.

1 - Opponent sweep of the aforementioned Red Sox. The Tigers took a three-game set last week outscoring Boston by only four runs combined; this sweep came after the Twins won the last two games of a four-game series at Fenway. The Red Sox have lost many close games in the last ten days including six games by two or fewer runs.

44 - MLB rank for former Indians farmhand Clint Frazier who was dealt to the Yankees as part of the Andrew Miller trade. The Tribe is all-in this season and picked up a team-friendly contract with Miller but paid for it handsomely in prospect value.

448 - Feet for Joey Gallo's first home run this season. In his first game back on the MLB roster since May, Gallo slugged an opposite field blast, the fifth longest dinger for the Rangers this season.

7 - Strong innings for Tyler Skaggs in his first start from Tommy John Surgery. The Angels hurler only scattered three hits and walked one batter while striking out five against the Royals in KC last week. On Sunday, he followed it up with a 5.1 inning shut-out outing against the Red Sox (Huston Street blew the game by giving up five runs in the bottom of the ninth). It's a good start for Skaggs after a long road to recovery; he now possesses a 13:3 K:BB rate and has yet to give up a run in 12.1 innings.

What to Watch

Tuesday, August 2

Yu Darvish (TEX) v. Dylan Bundy (BAL)

The Rangers are back on track and remain six games up in the AL West despite a lousy July. They are 7-3 in their last ten games and travel to Baltimore who are in a three-way chase for the AL East divisional crown. Bundy has not gone deep into games yet this seasons (his last start was his longest at 5.2 innings) and the O's would like to see more of a step forward as the year progresses. Darvish meanwhile has looked strong in his most recent outings going six innings and striking out 11 against KC and 6 against Oakland.

Tuesday, August 2

Jose Fernandez (MIA) v. Jason Hammel (CHC)

The Marlins remain very much in the wild card race (the sit in the second WC slot presently) and take on the Cubs, who have been mediocre since a torrid April start. Jose Fernandez tries to rebound from his five inning / five run loss in St. Louis. This is also game two of #IchiroWatch (see below).

Thursday, August 4

Drew Pomeranz (BOS) v. TBD (SEA)

Look, this isn't one that you need to put your phone in silent mode for, but Pomeranz starts are worth watching because since joining Boston, he's been brutally bad in two of his three starts. His last outing against the lowly Angels saw him give up five earned runs over 5.1 innings en route to another Boston loss.

Friday, August 5

Corey Kluber (CLE) v. Michael Pineda (NYY)

This weekend we see a matchup of a Cleveland team that is obviously going for it in 2016 and a Yankee team that is remarkably going in another direction entirely. The Yankees have divested (or are looking to divest) every older / expensive asset on the major league roster now. The Indians lead the Central by 4.5 games and are hoping to put more distance between them and the Tigers (who appear to be the only team capable of catching Cleveland at this point).

Sunday, August 7

David Price (BOS) v. Brandon McCarthy (LAD)

Los Angeles is sneakily only a stone's throw away from catching the Giants, who have faltered since the break (4-11 since the All Star break). McCarthy is still recovering from injuries and has yet to go deep into games (he went four innings and gave up three runs last time out) but the Dodgers need him to perform to keep tracking San Francisco. David Price meanwhile has hardly been the stalwart ‘Ace' Boston recruited last winter. Price's inconsistency has been detrimental to the Red Sox as it seems Price either gives Boston a decent chance to win (eight innings and fewer than three runs) or gets blown out by less-than-stellar offenses (the Twins scored five in five innings off of him last week).

#IchiroWatch

Ichiro Suzuki is only two hits away from the magical 3,000 number. He has not been playing every day, but he is well-positioned to make history this week. Here is the Marlins schedule for this upcoming week:

Monday: @ CHC, Kyle Hendricks, RHP, 8:05

Tuesday: @ CHC, Jason Hammel, RHP, 8:05

Wednesday: @ CHC, John Lackey, RHP, 2:20

Friday: @ COL, Jorge De La Rosa, LHP, 8:40

Saturday: @ COL, Chad Bettis, RHP, 8:10

Sunday: @ COL, Jonathan Gray, RHP, 4:10

*All Times Eastern

Pitching Matchups as of Monday morning

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Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano