This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
The trade deadline has arrived, and we finally have some exciting deals to discuss! Everybody is looking for pitching – not at all surprising given the many injuries and sub-par performances on the mounds this season – but there weren't all that many starting pitchers available who were perceived to be difference makers, and several of those haven't moved (yet). That hasn't slowed down all of the contenders however; as many teams might shift their focus to hopefully bolster their bullpens. Interestingly, the first couple deals had something in common. Both involved the Tampa Bay Rays, a team deep in the playoff hunt, and here's something unusual, the key players involved, Nelson Cruz and Rich Hill, are both more than 40 years of age.
Please note, this column goes to the editor on Wednesday night to be posted Thursday. I have waited as late as possible since trade news can break with little or no warning at any time of the day or night, but it's virtually guaranteed more trades will have occurred before you read this. We'll certainly discuss those in the comments, and a complete recap of deadline deals will be the focus of next week's Musings. That said, let's see how changes in latitudes so far might impact the key arms involved:
Rich Hill to New York (NL):
Just hours after acquiring Cruz, the Rays sent Hill to the Mets for, well, pretty much nothing. In return, they received 35-year-old journeyman reliever Tommy Hunter, who