If today had been a normal day, the Texas Rangers trading a handful of minor leaguers to the Cubs for Matt Garza would have been the main baseball headline. Today is not a normal day. Ryan Braun took a plea deal with Major League Baseball in regards to his involvement with the Biogenesis scandal and will be missing the rest of the 2013 season. And while the Brewers weren't going to be in the market as buyers over the next nine days, we might be about to witness one of the more interesting trade deadlines in recent memory.
Ryan Braun is likely to be the first domino in what could be a pretty long chain of players suddenly losing a great deal of playing time. All the names in the Biogenesis papers are yet to be released and there is always the chance that a White Sox player could be named. But right now there have been a few names linked to it from other teams. Important players on teams fighting for playoff spots. Teams that will be buyers. Players at positions the Sox have players for sale.
The Garza trade already altered the market for Jake Peavy dramatically. Sure, the Rangers are now far less likely to trade for the pitcher. But the mystery team Oakland Athletics? Go look at that pitching rotation. That is not the starting rotation a team fighting for a playoff spot should feel comfortable about having. There is one non-injured starter that's having a good year and as luck would have it, his name has been part of the Biogenesis papers. I'd like to thank Bartolo Colon for potentially helping the White Sox four seasons after he last pitched for the team.
Not that the division rival Rangers will likely be able to celebrate the A's misfortune. Right fielder and second best hitter on the team Nelson Cruz's name was in those documents as well. The Rangers' offense has been just below league average this season. That's not a blow they can really afford to take. Alex Rios may have just become a much more tempting trade target, deepening his market and potentially raising the price that Pittsburgh may have had to pay.
Nothing is for certain yet as to what will happen to any more of the players, but it's looking like suspensions are coming down the pipelines and just in time for the first trade deadline in which the White Sox should be looking to go into full rebuild mode in quite a while. If Hahn and Co. are truly willing to bite the bullet, this could be the trade deadline that jump starts the rebuild very nicely.