Along with rampant rumors, speculation and seemingly constant changes in potential scenarios, the non-waiver trade deadline isn’t complete without the annual ‘hug watch.’ It’s become a tradition of sorts, as players traded mid-game bid farewell to their former teammates.
Over recent weeks the Los Angeles Dodgers have found themselves at the center of trade rumors, as the club reportedly looks to bolster their starting rotation, acquire an outfielder, and a relief pitcher as well. Possible trade scenarios have included the names of several prospects from the Dodgers’ restocked farm system.
With the club said to be pursuing the likes of Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale and Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer, among others, Cody Bellinger, Jose De Leon and Julio Urias have been names most often mentioned as trade chips.
Bellinger and Alex Verdugo were removed from the Tulsa Drillers lineup on Sunday afternoon, setting off a firestorm across social media. Both eventually entered the game as a pinch hitter.
With rumors swirling, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes starting pitcher Grant Holmes took matters into his own hands as he began hugging teammates, suggesting he’d been traded. Like Bellinger and Verdugo, Holmes remained put — for the time being.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, Holmes’ was simply acting out of good fun:
I'm told Grant Holmes is "messing around" if he's hugging folks at Rancho.
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 31, 2016
In his first season with the Quakes, Holmes is 8-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 20 games (18 starts). He was selected by the Dodgers No. 22 overall in the 2014 Draft.
Across four Minor League levels in his career thus far, Holmes is a combined 16-11 with a 3.61 ERA while averaging 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings over 55 games (52 starts). On Monday, he was included in a trade with the Oakland Athletics that sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to the Dodgers.