As we inch closer and closer towards the July 31st trade deadline, the rumors are beginning to intensify as tons of baseball fans are left wondering which players will be dealt in the next couple weeks. From what I've heard so far, Manny Machado and Nicolas Castellanos are heavily rumored hitters while Cole Hamels and J.A. Happ remain the most highly sought-after starting pitchers available.
Despite all this, I still think the Nationals have a very good reason to trade Bryce Harper, and they should act now before it's too late. Currently, Washington is struggling to maintain a .500 win percentage in a division that includes rising talented teams like the Braves and Phillies. Harper isn't expected to re-sign with Washington, and even with his .220 average, he's expected to earn close to a decade-long contract worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Most of the guys shown on the 13th page of my frankenset, particularly Jose Bautista and Jose Reyes, know all too well about what it's like to be traded. So with that, it's time to show the 9 cards on page 13 of my frankenset that includes cards 109-117.
#109 2014 Topps Stadium Club Jeff Bagwell
Can you believe that 2018 is the 5th year of the revived Topps Stadium Club brand? As much as I like each and every year of the set, it's interesting to see how far they've come since 2014 as well as the steps they've taken to improve the image quality as well as minimalize the set as much as possible while still making it interesting.
#110 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Jose Bautista
Unless he can manage to hit 15 more dingers with the New York Mets this season, Bautista's 8-year streak of hitting at least 20 home runs will come to an end. Personally, I believe he should've called it quits after 2017 with the Blue Jays given the little success he's been able to have this season for the Braves and Mets.
#111 2006 Bowman Heritage Chone Figgins
The red bat that Figgins is holding not only does an excellent job at matching the red on his jersey but also makes this card one of my favorite cards of the entire frankenset. In fact, I remembered this card while making the frankenset and looked high and low through binders and boxes to find it because of how incredible it is.
#112 1993 Ted Williams Set Satchel Paige
Paige is one of 7 or so Negro League players that I have player collections for. The others include Monte Irvin, Ray Dandridge, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Judy Johnson. Paige is somewhat represented in today's cards and you'll occasionally see Josh Gibson cards, but it's unfortunate that Topps doesn't represent the other players as much as they should in sets.
#113 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Joe Ross
Speaking of Washington, the All-Star game and Home Run Derby are both just over a week away in D.C. and I'm incredibly excited for both. J.D. Martinez is the league leader in dingers, so he'll definitely be in the derby unless he decides otherwise which would make him the first Red Sox player in the Home Run Derby since Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz both made it in 2011.
#114 2016 Topps Archives Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes is one of those players that I look at and simply wonder "what happened" or "they used to be so great." Reyes' career went south as soon as the 4-time All-Star and .337 hitter in 2011 went to Toronto from Miami in 2013. His stats began to plummet year after year as he started to play less and less. Now, he's hitting .173 this year in his 3rd year back in New York.
#115 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Garry Templeton
I don't think I've ever seen that Padres logo on any card or jersey before in my life. It's so bizarre and fitting of the 1980's era that it works very well on the card, especially given that brown and gold color combination that the Padres had before switching to blue and gold which was a little over a decade ago if I'm not mistaken.
#116 2006 Topps Opening Day Hideki Matsui
The blue foil of the 2006 Topps Opening Day set is hard enough to read in person, let alone when scanned. Also, I'm pretty certain that Hideki Matsui was one of the retired players included in the 2018 Topps Stadium Club checklist. Even though he played for the arch-rival Yankees, his Stadium Club card is definitely one I'd be interested in.
#117 2009 O-Pee-Chee Asdrubal Cabrera
I thoroughly appreciated Upper Deck's 2009 O-Pee-Chee set very much as the color combinations such as blue and purple reminded me a lot of the 70's. I'm not sure if it's designed after any specific O-Pee-Chee set or not, but I'm really a fan of this card in particular due to the uniform Cabrera is wearing during his time in Cleveland.