Most major league teams have played between 64 and 67 games of their 162-game schedule, which means there are still 95 and 98 games remaining. However, if your team is in first or second place on June 14, you feel it, you smell it, you crave and you want it. The game the GMs cared about the most the last few nights obviously were the ones involving the teams they are in charge of. However, there were other games that GMs probably cared about just as much. Here is my guess on what they were:
Brian Cashman, New York Yankees: He was undoubtedly scouting the Cubs' 1-0 victory Monday over the Milwaukee Brewers, concentrating on Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster, who went seven innings of four-hit shutout baseball, striking out seven and walking only one. In his last eight starts, Dempster has allowed two or fewer earned runs in six of them. The other game he should have been interested in was the Astros' 8-3 victory over the Braves, in which Wandy Rodriguez won his fourth game of the year by pitching six innings of two-hit baseball. Dempster and Rodriguez could end up being the two best starting pitchers traded at the deadline. The Yankees need to acquire one of them.
Theo Epstein, Boston Red Sox: Epstein should have spent his Monday reviewing the Nationals games this past weekend in San Diego, games that featured Nationals relievers Tyler Clippard and Todd Coffey and Padres relievers Heath Bell, Mike Adams and Luke Gregorson. All five of those relievers would help add depth to the Red Sox''s bullpen for the second half. In addition, Nationals starters John Lannan and Jason Marquis could be upgrades for the back end of the Red Sox's rotation.
Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers: The Rangers, trying to improve their bullpen depth, also probably scouted the National-Padres series for the relievers, but I’m sure the Pirates-Mets game was just as important, especially in the ninth inning when Joel Hanrahan recorded his 17th save and lowered his ERA to 1.47. Hanrahan would be a perfect fit setting up Neftali Feliz.
Ruben Amaro, Philadelphia Phillies: Amaro’s need for a right-handed hitter could have been found in the A’s-White Sox series over the past weekend in left fielder Josh Willingham or in the Twins-Rangers set in Michael Cuddyer or Delmon Young.
Frank Wren, Atlanta Braves: Wren was probably waiting to study the Twins and their young speedster Ben Revere. Hoping that when Denard Span gets reinstated from the disabled list, Wren might get the chance to trade for Revere or Span. The A’s series against the White Sox was also probably an important part of his Monday video watching, hoping that the A's Billy Beane decides to move Coco Crisp or David DeJesus. Wren's preference would be that his own center fielder, Jordan Schafer, starts hitting or that Nate McLouth comes back from injury and starts playing like he did in spring training. If not, he has to be thinking Single-A or Double-A pitching prospects for Span, Revere or Crisp would be an upgrade at the top of the Braves' lineup.
Brian Sabean, San Francisco Giants: Brian should have been keeping an eye on the Yankees-Indians game just in case he can get Indians second baseman Orlando Cabrera on the cheap, while hoping the A’s Jemile Weeks keeps hitting so he can trade for second baseman Mark Ellis. Ellis would be the perfect stop-gap for the injured Freddie Sanchez.
This time of year GMs always concentrate on their own games, but scouting other games could end up becoming more valuable, especially if it leads to a trade.
Thanks for reading, I appreciate your comments and feedback. You can also follow me on twitter @JimBowdenESPNxm.