The first two series after the All-Star break were pretty telling for some front offices. Leading into the end of the first half, the Boston Red Sox were one of the hottest teams and had a schedule in front of them to begin the second half to make a move in the Wild Card standings. However, splitting a six-game road trip with the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics is not what you want to be doing in July.
What makes the trip more frustrating for manager Alex Cora and Boston is that they were playing themselves into a position that would force GM Chaim Bloom to become a buyer at the deadline, but dropping the final two games against Oakland in two uninspiring performances is not going to do it. To compound matters, they lost the final game, 6-5, despite the Athletics committing four errors.
The best team in the majors, the Atlanta Braves, has had a tough time coming out of the break as well. They dropped two out of three at home to the Chicago White Sox, then dropped two out of three to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who were coming off being swept in Canada by the Toronto Blue Jays.
Things are slowly falling into place with the trade deadline just 10 days away and some front offices are realizing that they are going to be buyers, sellers or, in some cases, just standing pat. As time begins to inch closer to August 1, let’s fire up the latest Stock Up, Stock Down.