July 15, 2024

An MLB trade deadline cheat sheet, plus the best way to make a hot dog

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Happy July 4! It’s time to reject normalcy and eat a hot dog for breakfast.

Cheat Sheets: The stove is finally hot

We are less than a month out from the MLB trade deadline. We have turned the back-left burner on the metaphorical hot stove to medium. Please watch your hands. 

Before you hit the pool today, a quick primer: 

1. We already have a big trade: Aaron Civale to the Brewers.

Milwaukee has been a revelation this year, and while Civale has not been a superstar to say the least (2-6 with a 5.07 ERA, though his FIP is a little lower at 4.69), but he’s a valuable rotation piece for a team that needs a boost to maintain its position. The Brewers have a seven-game lead in the NL Central right now, and I dig this aggression. 

2. Two teams to watch: the Cubs and Red Sox.
Even at this late-ish stage, the market is largely unclear as to who’s selling and who’s buying. Chicago, which entered this season with high hopes, could be a surprise seller if things go further south before August. Boston, a nice surprise this year, should be buyers at the deadline in Ken Rosenthal’s opinion. But a lot can change in three weeks. 

3. Big fish left: Garrett Crochet, Randy Arozarena and multiple Blue Jays.
Crochet has been a revelation in his first year as a starter on an awful White Sox team, which means he will likely be the linchpin of a megadeal that nets Chicago some prospects for a rebuild. Arozarena is a star, but as Jim Bowden explained, he’s a trade target because he likely won’t re-sign in Tampa Bay long-term. Toronto has been a disappointment this year. Expect multiple players, like Bo Bichette and maybe even Kevin Gausman, to move. 

Jim answered 30 mailbag questions on the deadline to give you everything you need to know as we hit the home stretch. Let’s keep moving:

News to Know

Transgender, nonbinary runner qualifies for Olympics
Nikki Hiltz, who identifies as transgender and nonbinary, earned a spot on Team USA for the Paris Olympics by posting a meet-record 3:55.33 in the 1500-meter race at trials over the weekend. Hiltz’s assigned sex at birth was female, meaning they don’t face the same restrictions in women’s races as athletes whose assigned sex at birth is male. The full story is worth a read.

MLB All-Star starters announced
The Phillies lead all MLB teams with three All-Star starters, the league announced yesterday, and more surprising is the fact that each league’s lineup comes from only five teams. I am still just so impressed by Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson, who earned the starting nod at shortstop over Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. — and both are MVP candidates. See the full lineup here. MLB also unveiled new jerseys, which are … not great (to me!).

Porter case goes federal
Former Raptors center Jontay Porter is facing federal charges for his role in an alleged sports gambling ring, to which he is expected to plead guilty next week. The case has already seen four other individuals charged. The NBA banned Porter for life in April due to betting transgressions. Read our full report here.

More news

The Duality of Tubular Meats: Tell me how you cook your hot dog

Despite today being a national holiday, there is an air of sadness. Joey Chestnut is still not able to compete for the Mustard Belt at today’s Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest. A crime, in my book

  • The good news: Chestnut will be eating hot dogs today and, if all goes according to his plan, he will upstage Nathan’s in a big way. Chestnut will compete against four Army servicemen at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, to see who can eat the most meat tubes in five minutes — which is five minutes shorter than the Nathan’s contest. He hopes to beat the number of the Nathan’s winner in half the time. Swoon. 

The livestream starts here at 5 p.m. ET. If you want to bet on the Chesnut-less Nathan’s field, we have a guide for that, too

Today I am also curious about your hot dog prep. A recent NYT Cooking recipe suggested we have been grilling hot dogs wrong this whole time. Do we even need to grill them at all? 

A Pulse Poll before we start launching epithets: What’s the best way to make a hot dog? 

  • Grilled. Duh.
  • Pan-seared.
  • Boiled
  • Microwaved. 

Cast your lots here. We will have much to discuss tomorrow. I’m just glad we cleared up that potato salad discussion last year.

Watch This Game

MLB: Mets at Nationals
11:05 a.m. ET on MLB Network
It’s a national holiday, so I’m opting for the day game here. Plus it’s being played in the nation’s capital on July 4. Easy call, but the baseball should also be compelling: I’m curious about the Mets’ continued run as a sneaky wild-card team, and the Nats are fun, too — a fairly young team with a promising farm system. Throw it on while you set up the party. 

Copa America: Argentina vs. Ecuador
9 p.m. ET on Fox
This is our first Copa quarterfinal and all eyes will be on the status of Lionel Messi, whose hamstring is still being evaluated ahead of this match. Argentina probably wins either way, but you never know. 

Get tickets to games like these here.

Pulse Picks

Which college football teams are helped (and hurt) the most by college football conference realignment? Stewart Mandel has the answers

Jake Ciely returns with fantasy football breakout position rankings. This week: tight ends

Paul George is the first max-level player to switch teams via free agency under the new NBA CBA. Mike Vorkunov has an interesting piece on what this deal says about the future of NBA free agency

In the NHL, as Chris Johnston writes, business is more important than brotherhood. Look no further than Tampa Bay’s split with Steven Stamkos

Brody Miller makes an interesting case for why the U.S. team should stray from tradition while picking the Presidents Cup team. I’m in favor. 

Most-clicked in the newsletter yesterday: The big feature on former NFL playboy Mark Gastineau, who doesn’t need our attention anymore. Great read. 

Most-read on the website yesterday: Sam Amick’s story on why Klay Thompson chose the Mavericks over the Lakers. Even more interesting details in there that we didn’t fit in yesterday’s newsletter.

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(Photo: Quinn Harris / Getty Images)