7 deals go down in final hours before trade deadline

Seven deals were struck during the four-hour tradeathon Sunday night, with Destin making three deals and Oswaldo Arcia changing hands twice.

The big deal of the night was a 5-for-5 exchange between Savannah and Hickory that saw the Nuts pick up slugger Nelson Cruz, having a monstrous year for the Baltimore Orioles.

Hickory obtained Cruz and outfielder A.J. Pollock, plus pitchers Matt Cain, Joe Smith and Pedro Strop, and sent first baseman Justin Morneau, right fielder Jay Bruce, lefty starter Wade Miley and relievers Vin Mazzaro and Jonathan Papelbon to the Scorpions.

The tradeathon was conducted in an AOL chat room from 7 to 10 p.m. ET and extended to 11 p.m. by Commissioner Dave Renbarger.

No further trades can be made until the postseason roster cutdown period.

Complete recap of all trades can be found on the trade page; rosters have been updated.

Playing for next year? Here’s who your top choices are

With a record number of teams — even playoff-position teams — reputedly “playing for next year,” it’s time to take a look at just what next year looks like. At least the first round. It’s not a mock draft. It’s a snapshot of the top 15 players available as of the I-75 League 2014 trading deadline.

1. Jose Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox — Right-handed rookie slugger from Cuba, age 27,  already has 30 homers, is hitting for average, gets on base, only three errors in the field.

2. Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, New York Yankees — Could go 1 or 2, or could drop way down if he has to have Tommy John surgery. Whiffed 135 in 129 innings with a 1.01 WHIP before resting his elbow. Only 25, should still go in first round regardless.

3. Oscar Taveras, RF, St. Louis Cardinals — Considered a top-5 prospect, only 22. Bats left. Hasn’t found his stroke yet with Cards, hitting just .214. Known for strong arm, good plate discipline. Continue reading