Five weeks ago — before a pitch was thrown this season — it would not have been difficult to predict that clubs such as perennial rebuilders Pittsburgh and Baltimore would be trade-deadline sellers, as would offseason teardown artists Cincinnati and Oakland.
The Cubs and Nationals were huge sellers last July, and there would have been no eyes rolled if you expected the same this season.
But we already are seeing how the sellers’ side could become more crowded. It is because the sport is more split between haves and have nots than ever before. And that does not seem to be a fluke. It seems to be a trend.
In the 10 seasons from 2008-17, there were 11 total teams that finished with 100 losses. In the last three full seasons (2018, 2019, 2021), there also have been 11. From 2002-2016, there were a combined 14 teams that won 100 games. In the last four full seasons (add 2017 to the previous group), there have been 13.