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MLB trade rumors: Updates on latest news, buzz during 2021 season

Sportsnaut
Sportsnaut
 2021-07-30

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We’ll likely see plenty more action this summer, with the countdown already on to the July 30 trade deadline. Let’s dive into the latest MLB trade rumors and call-ups, with analysis on what it all means. Bookmark this page to read the latest updates throughout the season.

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Boston Red Sox pursuing Kyle Gibson

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Friday that the Boston Red Sox spoke to the Texas Rangers about starting pitcher Kyle Gibson. Following the Joey Gallo trade, Texas is full sellers and will move its All-Star pitcher. Under team control through 2022, Gibson would likely be a No. 4 starter in Boston.

José Berríos generating significant interest, trade likely

With the Minnesota Twins unable to sign José Berríos to a contract extension, it’s widely expected that he’ll be moved by 4 PM EST on Friday. The San Diego Padres, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets are among the interested clubs.

Cubs discussing Kris Bryant trade with 10 team

MLB insider Jayson Stark reports the Chicago Cubs are engaged in discussions with at least 10 teams on a Kris Bryant trade. It’s known that the Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets are among the interested clubs. Chicago and New York have discussed the parameters of a deal for Bryant and pitcher Zach Davies.

New York Mets eyeing blockbuster trade?

According to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, there’s building anticipation across baseball that the Mets have a big move planned. After witnessing the Yankees acquire Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo, some pressure is mounting to make a significant addition. Targets could include Minnesota Twins pitcher José Berríos or Chicago Cubs star Kris Bryant.

Raisel Iglesias, Andrew Heaney trade candidates

According to ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez, Angels’ pitchers Andrew Heaney and Raisel Iglesias are the likeliest to be traded on Friday. Both are pending free agents, so Los Angeles will be looking to deal them so they can avoid losing them for nothing in free agency. Given this team is desperate for more young pitching, that will likely be what they target in return.

New York Yankees open to Luke Voit trade

According to YES Network’s Jack Curry, the Yankees are fielding calls on first baseman Luke Voit. Set to return from the injured list, Voit hit an MLB_high 22 home runs last season and is under team control through 2024. If the Yankees acquire Trevor Story, moving Gleyber Torres to second and DJ LeMahieu to first, Voit is expendable.

Seattle Mariners pursuing Jose Berrios trade

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Jun 24, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) leaves the game against the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest surprises this season, the Seattle Mariners are trying to pull off a stunner before the July 30 deadline. MLB insider Jon Morosi reports that the Mariners are involved in talks on Minnesota Twins ace José Berríos. It’s believed the Twins are targeting a package centered around pitching prospect Emerson Hancock or George Kirby.

Berrīos, under team control through 2022, would likely slide in as Seattle’s ace. He would be a strong addition for a team that is just outside the AL Wild Card hunt and already added Tyler Anderson to the rotation.

Brusdar Graterol generated interest

The Los Angeles Dodgers are buyers at the trade deadline and one of their pieces is generating significant interest. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol is a popular trade candidate. Once a top starting pitching prospect, Graterol offers an electric bullpen arm. While durability and command are issues, his electric stuff could make him a future closer.

Tampa Bay Rays targeting Kris Bryant

ESPN insider Jeff Passan reported that the Rays are chasing the Washington Nationals ace and Chicago Cubs star as the MLB trade deadline quickly approaches.

This bold strategy for a late-season marquee acquisition runs quite counter to Tampa Bay’s tradition of an extremely low payroll and making the most out of what it has. It’d be refreshing to see the Rays take a huge swing and land someone like Scherzer or Bryant, especially after doing so with Nelson Cruz already.

Speaking of Scherzer, The Athletic ‘s Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday afternoon that the Nationals “want to act within the next 48 hours to create time to work through his no-trade clause.”

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A top prospect likely part of San Diego Padres’ Eric Hosmer trade package

Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported the latest on Eric Hosmer’s future with the Padres , as the organization would need to sacrifice a premier player from its farm system in a prospective deal.

The 31-year-old veteran is an excellent glove at first base, but he’s largely failed to live up to the hype since San Diego rewarded him with a huge eight-year contract back in 2018. With plenty of other star players on the payroll, it’s no surprise the Padres are looking to flip Hosmer elsewhere. A fresh start may be best for both sides.

Los Angeles Angels open to selling at deadline

The Los Angeles Angels once again entered the MLB season with high expectations and they are set to fall short in a cycle that won’t end. Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon have both missed significant time this season and with an AL West crown out of the picture, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports Los Angeles could be sellers.

Starting pitchers Alex Cobb and Andrew Heaney are the likeliest to be moved and there is interest across the league. But if the Angels want to better address their farm system and are willing to throw in the towel completely, closer Raisel Iglesias could be dealt.

Multiple teams pursuing José Berríos trade

According to MLB insider Jon Morosi, the Twins are actively discussing trading Berrīos to a variety of clubs. Among the teams involved in the negotiations are the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

Berríos and Byron Buxton have both rejected contract extensions from Minnesota. As a result, with the franchise feeling the need to overhaul the roster and build for the future, Minnesota’s two stars are emerging trade candidates who could be playing elsewhere by Saturday.

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Cleveland Indians open to Jose Ramirez trade

Months after trading Francisco Lindor, the Cleveland Indians are now open to the possibility of shipping away All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Cleveland would need to be floored by an offer to pull the trigger, but the level of interest from rival clubs is there. If Ramirez is traded, it will have a significant impact on the MLB playoff race.

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Philadelphia Phillies will be aggressive at MLB trade deadline

Sitting a few games back in the NL East, MLB rumors are spreading about the Philadelphia Phillies potential level of activity at the trade deadline.

USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Philadelphia is interested in Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly, who would provide a strong back-end starter for the team in the playoff chase. MLB.com’s Jon Heyman reported Philadelphia’s scouts are also watching the Chicago Cubs and could be in pursuit of Craig Kimbrel.

One thing that has become increasingly clear, MLB’s luxury tax won’t be a barrier for the front office preventing any blockbuster trades.

San Francisco Giants open to moving top prospect

The San Francisco Giants are approaching the trade deadline with an aggressive mindset, wanting to seize on the opportunity they have in 2021. With a deep farm system, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports the Giants are open to trading top prospect Joey Bart.

Bart, one of the top catcher prospects in MLB, has a bright future behind the plate thanks to his powerful swing. But with Buster Posey potentially returning in free agency and Patrick Bailey developing, San Francisco is open to moving Bart if the deal is right. However, for it to even be considered, the Giants would need an impact player with multiple years of team control.

Los Angeles Dodgers interested in Ian Kennedy

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Dodgers are considering a run at Texas Rangers closer Ian Kennedy. Rosenthal does note that there’s a possibility Texas could stretch him back out into being a starter, but the likelier outcome is the veteran serving as a set-up man for Kenley Jansen.

Kennedy, playing on a one-year deal, is rebounding nicely this season in Texas after a disastrous 2020 season. The 36-year-old owns a 2.59 ERA and 9.48 K/9 across 31.1 innings, recording 15 saves and holding opponents to a .233 batting average. Given the Rangers are rebuilding, expect Kennedy to be on a new team by July 31.

Kansas City Royals open to discussing Whit Merrifield trade

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Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals have viewed Whit Merrifield as part of their long-term core for years. But after constantly rejecting trade calls on him one deadline after another, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that Kansas City is more open to trading him this year.

Kansas City’s asking price would be through the roof. The team is likely a year out from contending for a playoff spot and Merrifield is an outstanding player. Even more valuable for the organization, he is owed just $3.25 million next season and there is an $11 million club option in 2023.

If another team wants to acquire one of the best contracts in MLB, it’s going to take a huge return. It’s smart for the Royals to hear teams out, but it would be stunning if Merrifield is traded.

Multiple teams ‘engaged’ on Trevor Story trade

As the MLB trade deadline approaches, pressure is building on the Colorado Rockies to make a decision. Either they deal All-Star shortstop Trevor Story now for prospects or let him walk in free agency and receive a compensatory pick.

According to The Denver Post ‘s Patrick Saunders , approximately eight teams have engaged the Rockies in trade discussions. Furthermore, one unidentified club has at least weighed the possibility of shifting Story to center field if they acquire him.

Given the impressive return the Minnesota Twins received in the Nelson Cruz trade, it would be a surprise if Colorado keeps Story past July 30. In the coming days, we should see a bidding war for the slugger’s services.

Kris Bryant ‘as good as gone’

The Chicago Cubs know Kris Bryant isn’t re-signing with them this winter. So, with the days counting down until his contract expires, Chicago is expected to trade the star slugger.

As one industry source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Bryant is as good as gone. Capable of playing both corner outfield spots, first base and third base, there are plenty of teams interested in a blockbuster trade. Chicago won’t net an elite prospect, since Bryant is a half-season rental and is struggling as of late. But multiple bidders should drive up the price a bit.

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New York Mets targeting starting pitchers

Even when Jacob deGrom returns from the injured list, pitching will be a need for the Mets. In a recent interview, acting general manager Zack Scott made it very clear that adding rotation depth is a crucial focus for the front office in the next few weeks.

A Max Scherzer trade isn’t happening, but there are other options. The Texas Rangers could move either Jordan Lyles or Kyle Gibson, the Miami Marlins could make a starting pitcher available, José Berríos is a trade candidate and Chicago Cubs starter Zach Davis can eat innings.

Atlanta Braves to be cautious buyers

After losing Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL, many figured the Braves would back off a playoff push and focus on 2022. Instead, we’ve seen two deals this past week. Atlanta acquired Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt , filling the void in right field and at backup catcher.

The Braves might not be done, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the franchise won’t be swinging a blockbuster. Instead, Atlanta will likely direct its focus toward improving its bullpen. With the New York Mets struggling, a few small additions could be the difference in the NL East.

Houston Astros interested in pitching

Even with Alex Bregman on the injured list, the Houston Astros have one of the most productive lineups in MLB. They are also one of the most talented teams in baseball and remain the favorite to win the AL West.

The Astros’ needs are obvious, bullpen is a weak spot for this postseason contender. But it might not be the only area Houston attempts to address. Recently, general manager James Click told reporters that the team will entertain the idea of adding a starting pitcher. While it’s a bit of a surprise, given Houston’s rotation is one of its strengths, shifting pitchers around could help the bullpen and ease a large workload on young hurlers.

New York Yankees exploring trades for outfielders

According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden , the New York Yankees have engaged in discussions with the Texas Rangers (Joey Gallo) and Miami Marlins (Starling Marte). Texas has set a very high asking price for its All-Star outfielder and Miami is still hoping it can sign Marte to an extension.

With Aaron Judge on the COVID IL, the Yankees need outfield more than ever. Brett Gardner has proven to be nothing more than a depth player and Clint Frazier struggled before missing time. One thing is clear, New York still doesn’t plan to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.

New York Mets among teams interested in Kris Bryant

As the Chicago Cubs open up the phone lines to contenders, All-Star slugger Kris Bryant is among the players generating the most buzz. Among the teams interested in acquiring him, to the surprise of no one, the New York Mets.

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An impending free agent, Bryant’s trade value is somewhat limited as a rental. Fortunately, a strong market and his versatility should help Chicago net a top-10 prospect from another club’s farm system as the centerpiece of a larger return.

Minnesota Twins open to Byron Buxton trade

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Jun 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) hits a single in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Everyone, especially the Minnesota Twins, knows what Byron Buxton is capable of when healthy. The star outfielder played at an MVP-caliber level in the first half of the season before a hip injury then a fractured hand sent him to the IL twice. Now, still healing from the latest injury, Minnesota is weighing his future.

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Minnesota Twins exploring Byron Buxton contract extension, star likely traded if no deal

As reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Twins are exploring a contract extension with Buxton. He is set to become a free agent in 2023 and the franchise wants him as part of its core. But if he rejects the reported offer, it’s expected that the Twins will start fielding trade calls and a 2021 move is likely.

Chicago Cubs to hold fire sale at MLB trade deadline

A hot start to the 2021 season proved to be a fluke and the Chicago Cubs are plummeting further and further down the standings. With no end in sight and far too many holes to address in one month, Chicago will be sellers at the trade deadline.

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Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo are obvious trade candidates and there’s a strong possibility at least two are on new teams by July 31. Beyond them, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, Zach Davies and Andrew Chafin will be targets for pitching-needy contenders.

Trevor Story trade talks heating up

With the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby hosted at Coors Field behind them, MLB.com reports the Colorada Rockies are preparing to ramp up trade talks involving star shortstop Trevor Story. However, the front office isn’t feeling pressured into making a deal.

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There will be no shortage of teams interested in the slugging infielder. While he is off to a cold start this season, a change of scenery and move to a competitive environment could turn things around.

Here’s where things get tricky for Colorado. There is a depressed return for half-season rentals, in part because the acquiring team can’t use a qualifying offer on the player, With diminishing returns in terms of prospect capital, Colorado must weigh getting MiLB talent now or acquiring a compensatory pick in the 2022 MLB Draft after Story leaves in free agency. As of now, bet on a trade.

San Diego Padres expected to be aggressive buyers

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark spoke to multiple MLB executives about the upcoming trade deadline. While there is some split on what teams might sell, many around MLB believe the San Diego Padres will be one of the most aggressive buyers this summer.

San Diego might need another starting pitcher following Dinelson Lamet’s most recent setback with his pitching elbow. Additionally, the bullpen has become a problem spot as of late and could use reinforcements. But the player everyone is keeping an eye on, Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo. If the Padres can land him, they’ve got a great argument as the best team in baseball.

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New York Mets discussed Josh Donaldson trade

While the New York Mets will soon get J.D. Davis back soon, he may not be holding down the third base job for long. With the MLB trade deadline approaching, New York is exploring its options at the hot corner. One name they’ve checked in on, per Sportsnet New York’s Andy Martino, Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Minnesota would be more than willing to trade its star third baseman. He is owed $21 million this season, $42 million over the following two seasons and would be owed an $8 million buyout in the 2024 offseason. Chances are the Mets called to see how much of the Donaldson contract the Twins would cover.

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From a production standpoint, there’s plenty to like. Donaldson walks in 13.2% of his plate appearances, boasts a .832 OPS and still provides quality defense at third base. He would be a great addition for the Mets, but it would all come down to cost.

Toronto Blue Jays among teams interested in top closer

The Toronto Blue Jays made their first notable trade of the summer, acquiring Corey Dickerson and Adam Cimber from the Miami Marlins. But it seems the Blue Jays aren’t done yet, targeting a premium closer for the back of the bullpen.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman , Toronto is among the teams interested in Pittsburgh Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez, who is expected to be moved before July 30.

Rodriguez, age 31, enters July with a 2.59 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .193 batting average allowed. While he doesn’t receive a ton of save opportunities with the Pirates, he is fantastic when called upon. Under contract through 2023, it would likely cost a high-end prospect to land him.

Milwaukee Brewers eyeing two positions on trade market

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The Willy Adames trade is already working out nicely for the Milwaukee Brewers, with the 25-year-old shortstop providing strong defense and a .748 OPS in his first 25 games with the club. Now, Milwaukee is turning its attention towards other positions of need.

Fansided’s Robert Murray reports that the Brewers plan to upgrade at the corner infield this summer. Travis Shaw is on the 60-day IL and with Keston Hiura unable to hit MLB pitching, first base is also a huge hole. The likes of Mike Moustakas, Kyle Seager and Jesus Aguilar could be targets for the Brewers. In addition to first base and third base, the Brewers want to upgrade their bullpen.

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Baltimore Orioles listening to offers on big bats

Baltimore is still at the early stages of its rebuild and with some nice, young talent contributing in the majors, some bigger names could be dealt this summer.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand notes the Orioles are fielding calls on Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander. However, the price to land either player is reportedly very high.

Mancini, age 29, missed the 2020 season to undergo treatment for colon cancer. He is back in Baltimore’s lineup this year and is an emerging star, crushing 11 home runs with 45 RBIs and a .482 SLG in 59 games. When he last played a full season, Mancini hit 35 homers with a .291 average in 2019. Under team control through 2022, Mancini will generate a ton of interest from AL teams.

MLB trade rumors: What players could be dealt this season?

  • Texas Rangers closer Ian Kennedy
  • Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sonny Gray
  • Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray
  • Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer
  • Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons
  • Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda
  • Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd
  • Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney
  • Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant
  • Baltimore Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini
  • Baltimore Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander

Pittsburgh Pirates expected to be among most active sellers

No team is more committed to rebuilding than the Pittsburgh Pirates. Improvements have been made to the farm system since Ben Cherington took over , but there’s a lot of work to be done. Fortunately, for a club with one of the worst records in baseball, there is plenty of talent to move.

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Adam Frazier, arguably the Pirates’ best player, is drawing interest from across the league. While he doesn’t have the pedigree of Trevor Story, Frazier is on an affordable contract through the 2022 season and carries a .332/.394/.472 slash line. Better yet, whether a contender needs a corner outfielder or second baseman, Frazier plays both.

Pittsburgh could also make closer Richard Rodriguez and outfielder Bryan Reynolds available. Rodriguez, 31, is arbitration-eligible through 2023 and owns a 1.85 ERA in 24.1 innings. Reynolds, who won’t be a free agent until 2026, can play all three outfield spots and owns a combined .281/.359/.469 slash line over the last three seasons.

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