Lukewarm Stove: Top Closers Still Available, Padres Outfielders, Cardinals on Watson, Syndergaard, Martin, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Top Closers Still Available, Padres Outfielders, Cardinals on Watson, Syndergaard, Martin, More

Chicago Cubs

We’re well under a week before the (one-and-only) trade deadline this season, which means the rumors are really flying now. Already today, we updated the latest on the available bats/offensive players (from which the Cubs absolutely need to make an upgrade, even if it’s just on the bench) and we still have a whole lot more to get to.

Here’s the latest from the stove …

  • The Mets are “very open” to trading closer Edwin Diaz, who was dominant as dominant gets for last season, but his struggles to get results this year (4.81 ERA) will make things tricky – as will his extreme youth (25). Given how good he was in the past, how young he is, and the fact that some of his peripherals actually paint a much better picture than the results (3.50 FIP), rival evaluators do not believe the Mets would have to trade him at a discount. He’d be a fit for the Cubs, who CLEARLY need an upgrade at the back of the bullpen (now and in the future), but I’d imagine the cost will be too great.
  • The price for Padres closer Kirby Yates remains “extremely high,” as well. I just wouldn’t expect the Cubs to pay that much for a reliever – even one as good as Yates (or Diaz) – right now.
  • According to ESPN, teams are waiting on the Reds to finally start selling, with guys like Scooter Gennett, Alex Wood, Yasiel Puig, Tanner Roark, and closer Jose Iglesias all free-agents to be and theoretically available at the deadline. Left-handed reliever Amir Garrett is also “generating significant buzz,” but he won’t be arbitration eligible until next season, so the cost there will probably be too significant. More to the point, while the Reds and Cubs wouldn’t have as much trouble dealing with each other as, say, the Brewers/Cardinals and Cubs, it would still be an in-division trade, which always makes things more complicated.

  • The Padres are apparently open to trade Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes – both are right-handed, above-average hitting outfielders – but I have a tough time envisioning the Cubs paying what it’ll cost to acquire either of them. Reyes is just 24 and has 5.5 years of control remaining and Renfore is 27 with 4.5 years left.
  • The Mets are totally going to trade Noah Syndergaard before the deadline, and the team is apparently “working hard on it,” but one Mets source insists it’s “not definite.” I don’t buy it. I think he’ll be gone by Wednesday. And if he is traded, you might look to the Mets to extend Zack Wheeler, who’s dealing with a shoulder issue, though he is also on the trade block.
  • Although the Giants are reportedly interested in adding some players after their recent hot streak and return to postseason relevance, they’re probably still considering trading the (could-be (player option)) expiring contract of Tony Watson and the … eh hem … first place St. Louis Cardinals have shown interest:

  • The Cardinals pitching staff – as a whole – could use some help against left-handed hitters this season (.334 wOBA, 9th highest in MLB) and if they’re really headed for their first division win since 2015, you can bet they’ll be aggressive. The Cubs had been connected to Watson in the past, but I’m not sure what the addition of other Giants lefty Derek Holland means for that pursuit. For what it’s worth, Watson has actually been a lot worse against lefties (.356 wOBA) than righties this season (.253 wOBA).
  • Someone we haven’t discussed on the relief market yet, was brought up by Mike Petriello:

  • Like I said in our hitters post, ANY available Ranger has to be someone we keep an eye on, given the Cubs/Rangers history of trades. Martin, 33, has solid numbers this season overall, but has been especially good in the K/BB department: 29.3% strikeout rate, 2.7% walk rate. He also gets a ton of ground balls (though he has allowed more than his fair share of hard contact, which helps explain the high HR/FB ratio). Also of importance: Although he’s a righty, Martin has stifled left-handed hitters all season: .206/.217/.426. I know the Cubs have Kyle Ryan and now Derek Holland, but Martin would be a good full-inning reliever, with the added bonus of being tough on lefties. If the Cubs can get him, I really hope they do.
  • The Diamondbacks have been wishy-washy on whether or not they’re open to selling this deadline, but apparently not anymore:

  • We already know Jarrod Dyson and David Peralta are in the Cubs sights, but could relievers Archie Bradley (a righty with plenty of flaws, but some interesting peripherals) or Andrew Chafin (a lefty who’s been solid overall (not spectacular), but especially against lefties) be of interest? I don’t want any part of Greg Holland and the starters probably won’t be of interest.

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami