Oh baby, things are starting to heat up.
With less than two weeks until the 2016 MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, rumors have begun to pour in with greater frequency, and with more specific connections. It is at this time of the year that you may regard things more seriously than ever before.
Of course, a good way to stay in the know, is by following @BleacherNation on Twitter and liking it on Facebook, but an even better way is by donating to the BN Blogathon – our Make-A-Wish fundraiser, which allows you to donate to a good cause in exchange for extended, consecutive trade/rumor coverage at the deadline.
Right now, your donations (roughly $10,000) have ensured Brett’s insanity for 33 straight hours, but if you get it up to $15,000, you’ll get 39 hours of coverage up to the August 1 cutoff. If you’ve followed along in the past, you know that things get pretty crazy at the deadline, so you’ll want to max out the coverage as best as possible. And hey, for a limited time, your donations are worth double! So do it now!
- Up front, Yankee reliever rumors remain front and center around the league as they were yesterday, with, for example, Buster Olney just now dropping these tweets:
Rival execs: NYY going full bore in shaping possible deals w/Chapman, etc.; started weeks ago, as reported. Nats, TEX, CLE, others involved.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 19, 2016
Nothing has changed from this report of weeks ago, either: Sources say in any Miller trade, Kyle Schwarber is a player the NYY would want.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 19, 2016
- [Brett: You can almost see inside the Yankees’ collective brain, “Max out what we can get for Chapman from the Indians, get Schwarber from the Cubs for Miller, and we’re golden!” As we discussed many times, if the Yankees truly draw the Miller line at Kyle Schwarber, then that will be that.]
- The Dodgers (52-42) are 5.5 games behind the Giants in the West and 1.0 game out of a Wild Card spot, but they certainly aren’t giving up on this season. That said, they may be ready and willing to move on from outfielder Yasiel Puig, sources tell Ken Rosenthal. Puig, 25, has been pretty solid in his past 89 plate appearances (.831 OPS), but has struggled on the season as a whole (.700). Even with his struggles (and previous off-field issues), I have to imagine that plenty of teams would role the dice on Puig’s upside (especially if the Dodgers ate some salary, which they are more than capable of doing). This affects the Cubs, because, according to Rosenthal, one of the the Dodgers primary needs/wants is a hard-throwing, lefty reliever (think Yankees’ Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman). Like I said, Puig may not be a perfect player right now, but that’s a pretty big name, at a pretty young age with a pretty impressive track record. That’s a lot of value to match.
- Despite just a 47-45 record (in third place by 7.0 games), the Kansas City Royals are also not giving up on this season. In fact, they may even be buyers (hey, they were 48-50 in 2014 at this point and they made it to the World Series). The problem, of course, is that the Royals are limited financially and have multiple soon-to-be free agents leaving. What that means is that they can’t really afford to take on salary in a trade (making partners limited and the acquisition cost higher) and they can’t really afford to give up too many of the young players expected to replace the exiting free agents. Royals general manager Dayton Moore may not want to sell, but … maybe he should.
- The Rangers continue to pour interest into every potentially available starting pitcher on the trade market, most recently turning their attention to former Cub Andrew Cashner. Cashner isn’t really having his best season (5.05 ERA, 5.12 FIP), but the potential is there and, as a rental, he wouldn’t be too expensive to acquire. According to Rosenthal (in a separate article), there is also at least a little smoke surrounding the Rangers interest in Jonathan Lucroy. If the Brewers shed Lucroy – one of their top players – that could indirectly benefit the Cubs down the line (they play the Brewers three times this weekend and then another eleven times before the season is over).
- Similarly, the Nationals continue to pour interest into multiple late-inning relievers, and Rosenthal is reporting that the Yankees’ lefty Aroldis Chapman is their primary target. The interest is reportedly based on Chapman’s history with Nationals manager Dusty Baker and the lofty demands for fellow Yankee lefty Andrew Miller.
- At the same time, the Indians are said to be more interested in Andrew Miller, given Chapman’s desire to close and Miller’s willingness to set up (making him a better complement for righties Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen). Indeed, Buster Olney confirms that report on Twitter:
If the Yankees move either Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman, Indians are sleepers: Cleveland has motive, need, and prospects to make a deal.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 13, 2016
- A survey of scouts at the Futures Game suggested that both of the Yankees Michael Pineda and Angels Matt Shoemaker may be surprise trade candidates this deadline. Given the large amount of interest, but few quality options, a few teams, Rosenthal speculates, may be willing to jump in and capitalize on the market. Things might get exciting at the deadline.
- At Yahoo Sports, Jeff Passan discusses a variety of topics, including the Yankees desire for Kyle Schwarber (potentially in exchange for both Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, as we discussed yesterday), as well as a number of available starting pitching options. Among the names, Passan mentions Rich Hill – who’s market is expected to explode once he reestablishes his health at the Major League Level – and Sonny Gray – who is not necessarily available just yet, but could become available at some point. The suitors for Hill include the Red Sox, Rangers, Orioles, Blue Jays and Dodgers. The suitors for Gray, however, would be far greater, but his availability remains uncertain.
- In addition to the A’s pitchers, Passan mentions the availability of Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore, although both in connection to the Rangers. Although the Cubs have been connected to multiple (currently available) starting pitchers in the past – like Moore and Odorizzi – it appears that the Rangers will be right there on any deal worth having. And to that end, Passan also indicates that Julio Teheran will be made available this deadline, despite previous reports to the contrary. If he does become more reasonably priced, expect multiple teams to be interested, including the Chicago Cubs.
- At the Chicago Tribune, Mark Gonzalez discusses five things to watch for Cubs in the second half, including the possibility of “getting creative,” to improve at the deadline. One former Major League GM even hinted towards the potential of a three-team deal to get what’s needs to be done, done. In addition, Gonzalez mentions that, if relief help is what the Cubs target, Andrew Miller, Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson could each be targets for Chicago. We’ve heard a ton on Miller already, a little bit on Doolittle (although he’s currently hurt), but Hudson is a relatively new name. That said, Hudson (5.14 ERA, 4.04 FIP) hasn’t pitched that well for the Diamondbacks this season.
- At the Trib Live, Rob Biertempfel writes that the Pirates have talked with the New York Yankees about a possible trade for right-hander Nathan Eovaldi. Considering the fact that the Pirates have been fairly excellent in every facet of the game besides starting pitching, a trade for a starter can go a long way in the second half. Of course, if Eovaldi is available, that means that the Texas Rangers will be interested, as well, because we know that they are interested in all of the starters! Interestingly, Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted that the Pirates also had a top scout at Friday’s Rays’ game to monitor Chris Archer’s latest start. But to that end, I suspect the Pirates (third place in the NL Central) may not be willing to give up quite as much as other, more competitive teams will in exchange for young pitching, even with multiple years of control. We’ll see.
- Lastly, this is pretty weird (and would make me pretty annoyed, if I were a D-Backs fan):
@pgammo asking everyone else. It had to be Dave Dombrowski's relationship with Tony LaRussa, dating back to the White Sox in the eighties."
— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) July 16, 2016
- Jeff Passan wrote something similar in his long piece, including indicating that the Cubs were looking at Ziegler until they found out the D-Backs were asking for top 50/100 type prospects (which is not what they actually took from Boston).
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.