Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
So far, the 2017 MLB trade season has been a lot of smoke and very little fire.
Rumors have swirled. Speculation has simmered. And, yes, a few significant deals have gone down, thanks mostly to the Chicago White Sox, who dealt left-hander Jose Quintana to the Chicago Cubs and a package including relief ace David Robertson and slugger Todd Frazier to the New York Yankees.
By and large, however, the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline have been duller than a drizzly day at the beach with the sniffles and no swim trunks.
The culprit is obvious: The advent of the second wild card means more teams harbor postseason dreams.
The solution is equally obvious: Push the trade deadline deeper into summer.
As of Friday, 18 teams were within six games or fewer of a playoff spot. That’s nearly two-thirds of MLB’s franchises.
According to FanGraphs’ calculation, 13 clubs have at least a 15 percent chance of ascending the October stage.
Some of those teams are deluding themselves. Yet, the possibility of reaching the wild-card play-in, getting hot and running the table is tantalizing.
Consider the 2014 San Francisco Giants, who won 88 games and barely grabbed the second National League wild-card slot, but rode clutch hitting and a historic performance by ace Madison Bumgarner to a third Commissioner’s Trophy in five seasons.
Any squad hanging around .500 in late July can be forgiven for hoarding its trade chips and hoping for a scalding streak.
A few short weeks ago, the Kansas City Royals looked like obvious sellers. They were buried in the American League Central and featured a roster laden with impending free agents.
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images
Now, K.C. holds the Junior Circuit’s second wild-card…