ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of the MLB trade deadline – Wednesday, July 31, at 4 p.m. ET – highlighted by SportsCenter Special: Baseball Trade Deadline, beginning at 3 p.m. with host Karl Ravech, analyst John Kruk and ESPN MLB Insiders Buster Olney, Tim Kurkjian and Jayson Stark. ESPN will also present breaking news and analysis leading up to – and following – the 4 p.m. deadline every hour on SportsCenter.
ESPN.com’s MLB trade deadline coverage is highlighted by Rumor Central and a live, interactive chat beginning on Wednesday at 10 a.m. and running through 5 p.m. ESPN Insiders Olney, Kurkjian, Stark, Jim Bowden, Keith Law and Jerry Crasnick will provide trade deadline coverage and analysis prior to and after the 4 p.m. deadline.
Baseball Tonight airs tonight, Tuesday, July 30, at 10 p.m. and midnight on ESPN2 and again on Wednesday, July 31, at 10 p.m. on ESPN.
Baseball Tonight’s deadline day commentators on Twitter include Ravech (@KarlRavechESPN), Kruk (@JohnKruk_ESPN), Olney (@Buster_ESPN), Kurkjian (@Kurkjian_ESPN), Stark (@jaysonst), Bowden (@JimBowdenESPNxm), Law (@keithlaw) and Crasnick (@jcrasnick).
ESPN MLB commentators on the MLB Trade Deadline:
ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian on a quiet deadline:
The trade market has been strangely quiet to this point and I think it’s going to remain that way through the July 31 deadline. That’s not to say that Alfonso Soriano and Matt Garza and a few others haven’t been important acquisitions for their new teams, but the days of huge impact players moving at the deadline are dwindling. So many teams have so much money that they don’t have to unload salaries and few teams are willing to give up good young players for two-month rentals. With the extra wild card, many teams are in the pennant race looking to add not unload – which is why the trade deadline is expected to remain relatively quiet through Wednesday afternoon.
ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark on the trade market:
I’ve never covered a trade deadline where there were so few difference-makers available. There are so few sellers, the buyers are getting more frustrated by the day. I had an executive of one team tell me, “We keep looking at our board, saying, ‘That’s IT?’”
ESPN MLB Insider Keith Law on the biggest question of the trade deadline:
The biggest question remaining at this deadline is whether teams in the middle, who aren’t clearly out of the race but are longshots for the second wild-card spot, decide to become sellers, buyers, or neither. Most of those teams need to choose one or the other – the Phillies need to be sellers, for example – but with 24 hours to go, many front offices have yet to commit to either direction.
ESPN MLB Insider Jerry Crasnick on the Pittsburgh Pirates:
I expect to see a lot of teams loading up on relievers and possibly bench help. It’s not a great trade market for stars, but there are plenty of teams out of the race with serviceable bullpen arms to deal. Pittsburgh needs bullpen help with an overtaxed relief contingent and an injured closer in Jason Grilli. The Pirates are in a rare position as a late-season contender, and I think Neal Huntington will do everything in his power to upgrade the roster. But if it means digging too deeply into his cache of prospects, Huntington might summon the will to stand pat and take his chances.