Lukewarm Stove: Yankees *Still* Want Story, Kimbrel/Rizzo Package, Scherzer's Final Start, Relievers Moving, More

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Lukewarm Stove: Yankees *Still* Want Story, Kimbrel/Rizzo Package, Scherzer’s Final Start, Relievers Moving, More

Chicago Cubs

Let’s open this stove with one of the best trade deadline quotes from one anonymous executive I’ve ever seen (via Ken Rosenthal at The Athletic): “Anyone who thinks the seller is being realistic has probably already acquired the player.” Amen.

Here’s to Jed Hoyer finding that special someone who thinks he’s being realistic.

Story to the Yankees? Really!?

So despite my best guesses, the Yankees actually went out and traded for Joey Gallo. It cost them a pretty penny (well, four pretty pennies), but they really did it. Good for them, I guess. But certainly they must be done now right?

Nope! According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are actually still in play for Trevor Story, which would really just blow my mind if I’m being completely honest. Yes, they can fit him into their overall picture by moving Gleyber Torres to second and DJ LeMahieu to first, but I just didn’t expect them to be this all-in on the season, when they’re still in third place by 8.5 games!

At the same time, these are the sort of additions (everyday star position players) a team looks to make when they still have ground to make up before the end of the season. Whereas …

Kimbrel/Rizzo Package

… By contrast, the first-place Boston Red Sox will likely look to add to their bullpen. We already know they’ve shown interest in Anthony Rizzo (indeed, it seems to be Boston or bust for Rizzo and the Cubs), but Rosenthal believes a Craig Kimbrel/Anthony Rizzo package is at least one conceivable path.

Maybe the Red Sox feel a little extra pressure from the additions in New York and Tampa Bay? In any case, one thing has become clear so far: the way the trades have played out so far have been pretty firmly in the Cubs favor. And if Story goes to New York, that’d be a double-whammy (taking another infielder off the market to a team not connected to the Cubs while pushing the Red Sox and Rays to explore even more additions).

Max Scherzer

Most of us thought Max Scherzer was going to be moved before his start today, but now it seems like he will take the ball today in what will likely be the final start of his Nationals career.

The NL West teams (especially the Dodgers and Padres, but also the Giants) continue to be the most likely landing spots, and indeed, those are Scherzer’s preferred destinations, but Jose Berrios could muddy up those waters.

About that “Flooded” Relief Market

Brett discussed the reportedly “flooded” relief market earlier today, and while I don’t expect that to negatively impact the Craig Kimbrel market – he’s the prize of the deadline for sure-thing contenders – Ryan Tepera does have some competition out there.

However, it has thinned out in some big ways over the past week.

For one, Andrew Chafin, Clay Holmes, Mychael Givens, Kendall Graveman, and Yimi Garcia have already been traded. For another, Taylor Rogers hit in the injured list, effectively taking him off the market. And now, most recently, there’s this:

Daniel Hudson, 34, is having an excellent year as a set-up man for the Nationals (2.20 ERA, 2.50 FIP; 37.8 K%, 5.5 BB%), but he just hit the COVID IL. And while he could still be a target for teams aiming to bolster their bullpen *in October* this definitely muddies the water a bit.

There is still a lot of competition out there – and it’s not like the return for Tepera, on its own, will transform the Cubs organization – but the thinning of the herd* does work in their favor.

*Of course, I am not happy that people have tested positive for COVID-19. That part is terrible. I’m just discussing the realities of the situation. 

Ope! And before I was able to click publish, another reliever was traded (or is about to be):

The Blue Jays have been borderline buyers all month, but it appears they have chosen a lane. Here’s the return:

And there’s also this.

Obviously, the White Sox have already gotten their second base help, but we do know they’ve been scouting Cubs relievers for the past week or so (at least). It’s curious, though, that the Rays and Sox, two contending teams, would be able to find a deal that works for both of them. But the Rays are always creative and have a ton of depth and the Sox are desperate to make this season work.

Author: Michael Cerami

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