Baseball all-stars like Detroit Tigers closer Shane Greene make attractive trade bait
By BEN WALKER
AP Baseball Writer
CLEVELAND — For a day, Will Smith was in for quite a treat — teammates with Clayton Kershaw, Freddie Freeman and Christian Yelich.
Soon, the San Francisco reliever could be playing with one of them for real.
Smith went into tonight’s All-Star Game well aware his days with the last-place Giants might be dwindling.
“If I get traded, it’ll be the fourth time,” the left-hander said. “After the first one, you’re kind of numb to it.”
Fellow All-Star pitchers Marcus Stroman, Shane Greene and Brad Hand also are possible trade targets as the July 31 deadline approaches.
Hand is an old hand at this. The San Diego Padres sent the left-hander to Cleveland just two days after the 2018 All-Star Game, during the break.
“I didn’t really think I was going to get traded last year,” Hand said Monday. “It’s part of what we signed up for. … There’s really nothing you can do about it unless you have a no-trade clause.”
“I mean obviously there’s a select handful of guys whose names are always thrown out there, so it’s always the teams at the top of the division looking to get stronger and teams at the bottom looking to get something in return, so we’ll see what happens,” he said.
At last year’s All-Star Game, there was little doubt it was Manny Machado’s last time in a Baltimore uniform. He even gave a hint of what to come when he pulled out his phone — while playing shortstop — and posed for a selfie with Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
The next day, the Orioles traded Machado to the Dodgers.
Greene has 22 saves and a 1.09 ERA for the last-place Detroit Tigers, making him an attractive option for teams in the playoff chase.
“It’s a business and it’s part of the game. Right now, I’m here. I’m going to enjoy myself,” Greene said.