The MLB trade deadline is nearing, and speculation is heating up across baseball. Here is what our writers are hearing:
Friday's trade buzz (July 22)
Jerry Crasnick's take: While Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay starters are attracting the bulk of the attention, Pearce is an intriguing, under-the-radar name at the deadline. He has a .322/.393/.522 slash line and has less than $2 million still owed to him this year before he'll become a free agent in November. He's capable of playing first, second, third and outfield, and he's relatively affordable. He could be a nice fit for a contending team that doesn't want to take the plunge on a big-name bat.
Yesterday, Robin Ventura said he doesn't think Chris Sale is fazed by trade speculation, bc it happens so often:"That's part of being good."
Yesterday, Robin Ventura said he doesn't think Chris Sale is fazed by trade speculation, bc it happens so often:"That's part of being good."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 22, 2016
Katie Strang's take: On Thursday, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn admitted trading an ace such as Chris Sale "may be extreme," even if the team opts to rebuild, but he didn't completely shut the door on the possibility, as he told reporters the team will be "open-minded" to everything but short-term rentals. Manager Robin Ventura indicated that he doesn't think Sale will be fazed by the trade speculation. "I think Chris is probably used to it by now. His name gets mentioned every trade deadline and offseason," Ventura said prior to Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Tigers. "That's part of being good. If your name is being mentioned, you're probably a pretty good player and people want you. It doesn't ever shock me when his name comes up because I think any team in either league would want him."
Brad Ausmus said yesterday he doesn't envision DET being sellers. But how about standing pat? "I think it's a real possibility."
Brad Ausmus said yesterday he doesn't envision DET being sellers. But how about standing pat? "I think it's a real possibility."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 22, 2016
Katie Strang's take: Tigers manager Brad Ausmus already made it clear that he doesn't think the Tigers will be sellers at the trade deadline. Standing pat seems to be a much more realistic option. When asked before Friday's game, Ausmus said that doing so can sometimes serve as a vote of confidence in a club, as it shows faith in how a roster is currently comprised. Considering the Tigers have played middle-of-the-pack baseball and already carry a hefty payroll, that might be the preferred course of action.
Thursday's trade buzz (July 21)
Exec from team that's been talking with the Rays says he sees such a good fit with Dodgers, places odds at "70 pct" Chris Archer lands in LA
Exec from team that's been talking with the Rays says he sees such a good fit with Dodgers, places odds at "70 pct" Chris Archer lands in LA— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 21, 2016
Jayson Stark's take: Most clubs that have asked about Archer have come away with the impression Tampa Bay is highly unlikely to move him. So why would the Dodgers be a different case? This executive's take? Because Dodgers president Andrew Friedman and Rays president Matt Silverman are so close. Because the Dodgers have an extreme need for an impact starter they could control beyond this year. And because the Dodgers "have prospects that fit" what the Rays would need to get back in order to move their ace.
Nevertheless, the Rays have been telling teams the Dodgers don't have any advantage over anyone else, despite the history and friendship of Friedman and Silverman. So if the Dodgers were able to pull this off, it would take a massive package, one that separates them from teams like Texas, another club with an excellent farm system that hasn't been able to match up with the Rays on Archer.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus on trade deadline: "I don't think we'll be sellers. I'd be surprised."
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus on trade deadline: "I don't think we'll be sellers. I'd be surprised."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 21, 2016
Katie Strang's take: Though the Tigers are in a similar spot with respect to the wild-card standings as they were last season, this year's team feels different to manager Brad Ausmus -- one that has more potential and upside if they can remain healthy. Ausmus admitted he didn't like the decision to sell last year -- he told then-general manager Dave Dombrowski: "I think it's a mistake " when Dombrowski informed him they were going to unload pieces -- but doesn't envision a similar scenario this time around.
White Sox mgr Robin Ventura on GM's saying the team won't pursue short-term rentals: "You've got to be able to figure it out inside here."
White Sox mgr Robin Ventura on GM's saying the team won't pursue short-term rentals: "You've got to be able to figure it out inside here."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 21, 2016
Katie Strang's take: Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters Thursday that the team hasn't ruled out the idea of a rebuild -- though he admitted idea of dealing someone like Chris Sale may be "extreme" -- and that the organization has the long-term plan in mind. What does that mean for the short term? Manager Robin Ventura noted that his club has shown resilience through stretches already this season and that they will need to do so again if they have any chance to remain in the hunt.
Jerry Crasnick's take: Lind, 33, won't generate a ton of interest with his .230/.265/.455 slash line against right-handed pitching. But he does have 14 homers in 222 at-bats against righties, so he might have some appeal to a contending team looking for a lefty corner bat with quick-strike capability. He's a free agent at the end of this season, so Dipoto would probably be happy to move him for a second-tier prospect.
Wednesday's trade buzz (July 20)
Sources: CLE in talks for MIL's Jonathan Lucroy. Perhaps Brantley's situation has pushed them to add a hitter & consider upgrade at catcher.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 20, 2016
David Schoenfield's take: The Indians like the defense of Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez, but Indians catchers are hitting under .170 and have the lowest OPS in the majors. Lucroy would be a big upgrade, and his low salary means the Indians can afford to bring him on. Will they give up Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier? That might be too steep a price.
Among the teams watching Phillies closer Jeanmar Gomez: Pirates, who had Gomez for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Looking for bullpen upgrade.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 20, 2016
David Schoenfield's take: This is an interesting idea that kind of comes out of nowhere, considering that the Pirates need rotation help, but you can see what the Bucs are thinking. Their starters don't go deep into games, so more bullpen depth could help mask the weak rotation. With Mark Melancon an impending free agent, Gomez could take over as closer next year.
Is tonight Jeremy Hellickson's last start for the Phillies? & could he go to the team he's facing (Miami)? They've had longstanding interest— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 20, 2016
Jayson Stark's take: Other clubs say the Phillies are looking for a return similar to what they got for Jonathan Papelbon last season: a young pitcher or two with a live arm and upside but not a top-ranked prospect. Hellickson has about $3 million left on his contract, and the Phillies could use that as a bargaining chip: Take less money, give up a better player -- or vice-versa.
#Dodgers are "Big Game Hunting,'' says a rival exec. They're looking for impact moves, not incremental upgrades.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2016
Translation: #Dodgers might be motivated to pursue Chris Archer, even though he's struggled. Odorizzi, Smyly-type deals ... not so much.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2016
Jerry Crasnick's take: Even with Clayton Kershaw dogged by back issues and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list, the Dodgers are running out a rotation with Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Julio Urias this week. They also have Alex Wood and Brett Anderson working their way back from the DL. Given the team's long-term commitments to so many pitchers, Andrew Friedman and the front office don't have much incentive to go out and trade for a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Jerry Crasnick's take: Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans seem determined to upgrade the Giants' bullpen, which ranks seventh in the National League with a 3.88 ERA. At the very least, the Giants would like to add some seventh- or eighth-inning depth to enhance manager Bruce Bochy's maneuverability. He's a master at using the pen, and that's playing to his strength.
Tuesday's trade buzz (July 19)
Evaluator about NYY's Brett Gardner: "He'd be a great fit for [WAS] for what they need, b/c he'd give them a lot of coverage in 3 spots."— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 19, 2016
Eddie Matz's take: The Nats thought they had solved their center-field issue when they traded for Ben Revere in January. But Washington's CF posse (primarily Revere and backup Michael Taylor) has an on-base percentage of .274, worst in the NL at that position. They could use more production. The good news is corner outfielders Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth, who have had their share of boo-boos in recent years, have stayed healthy. Even if the injury bug does bite, Taylor, like Gardner, can play all three OF positions (and well), so adding an outfielder probably isn't the team's top priority (see: bullpen).
Brad Ausmus on trade deadline: "Based on recent history, I think the Tigers organization has shown, if they're in the hunt, they're buyers."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 19, 2016
Katie Strang's take: Manager Brad Ausmus said no decision has been made yet on the team's position heading into trade deadline but general manager Al Avila is "preparing for all possibilities." However, based on track records, he seems to think the Tigers will be looking to add rather than subtract if they're still in the playoff race. Last year, the Tigers unloaded Yoenis Cespedes, David Price and Joakim Soria at the deadline while three games under .500 (50-53) and in third place in the American League Central division, behind the Kansas City Royals (61-41) and Minnesota Twins (53-49), according to ESPN Stats & Info.
With Junichi Tazawa set to return Friday, #RedSox might be facing decision on Clay Buchholz, a pitcher w/o a role & possible trade candidate— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) July 19, 2016
Scott Lauber's take: When the Red Sox drew up their initial pitching plans for after the All-Star break, they slotted in Clay Buchholz to make a start at some point this week. Then they traded for left-hander Drew Pomeranz. With the rotation full once again and reliever Junichi Tazawa (right shoulder impingement) expected to be activated Friday, a roster move is forthcoming. Buchholz hasn't pitched since July 2 and isn't an obvious fit for a relief role. He also can't be sent to the minors without his consent, so although the Red Sox are always careful about preserving as much pitching depth as possible, Buchholz is a prime trade candidate, especially to a National League team.
Source: #Cardinals have no interest in trading for a hitter, even with 3 impact bats on DL, unless it would be a long-term impact player— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 19, 2016
I'm also told the #Cardinals top baseball people are not as high on Carlos Gonzalez as other people seem to think they are— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) July 19, 2016
Mark Saxon's take: General manager John Mozeliak indicated that the "rhetoric is picking up" in trade talks in recent days and that he remains solely focused on adding relief help, if he can, by the deadline. He also said, "I think it's pretty clear who has got players available and who doesn't." Most of the buzz now is around the New York Yankees and, especially, Aroldis Chapman, but that might not be the type of player the Cardinals are looking for. Acquiring Chapman will demand a serious return of young talent, and the Cardinals are trying to rebuild their system (and could face penalties that deprive them of even more prospects due to the hacking case). Also, they're not convinced Trevor Rosenthal can't iron out his command issues and become their closer again.
Tim Kurkjian video: Dodgers trying to trade Puig for 'well over a year'
Doug Padilla's take: The consensus is that the Dodgers could trade outfielder Yasiel Puig for the right price, which would be either an upgrade in the outfield or some help for the pitching staff. Puig is still just 25, with loads of upside, so the question remains: If he can show progress with the mental side of his game (worry less about being flashy, become less anxious in pressure situations), would the Dodgers be more inclined to keep him, or would teams sweeten the pot to get him?
Rival execs have the sense #Indians are more inclined to shoot the moon on an Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman than they typically would.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 19, 2016
Jerry Crasnick's take: It's likely Cleveland would have to part with one of its top position player prospects, Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer, in a trade for Miller because he still has two-plus years left on his four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees. The Indians might be able to get creative and come up with a different mix for Chapman, considering he's a free agent after this season. On the other hand, that 105 mph radar gun reading vs. Baltimore's J.J. Hardy on Monday will only increase the buzz surrounding Chapman.
Justin Upton on trade deadline: "Everybody in this clubhouse still thinks we can win this division, and I don't see why we can't."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 19, 2016
Katie Strang's take: Tigers LF Justin Upton balked when asked about the importance of the next 12 games heading into this year's trade deadline. He seemed surprised at any suggestion that the Tigers might be sellers, noting the team's place within the division and wild-card standings, and he expressed confidence in his club, even if Detroit decides to stand pat.
Monday's trade buzz (July 23)
Yankees could target Cubs' Triple-A first baseman Dan Vogelbach in a deal for either Aroldis Chapman or Andrew Miller.— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 18, 2016
Marchand's take: At Triple-A Iowa, the 23-year-old left-handed hitter has a .956 OPS. The Yankees have first baseman Greg Bird returning from shoulder surgery next year to replace Mark Teixeira, but one scout said Vogelbach is better than Bird and reasoned that Vogelbach -- who, like Bird, probably can't play the outfield -- might be a DH, but he might rake enough to make it worth it.
K.Schwarber reiterated today on the radio he was happy to hear Theo Epstein declare recently he wasn't being traded:"All it is, is rumors."— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 18, 2016
Jesse Rogers' take: There is no indication that a real rumor exists, only reports that the Yankees would want slugger Kyle Schwarber in a deal for left-handed reliever Andrew Miller. Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations, was emphatic about looking forward to seeing Schwarber in a Cubs uniform next spring training.
Twins are not considering Braves-like rebuild heading into trade deadline. Said Rob Antony: "No, I don't think we'll look at that at all."— Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 18, 2016
Katie Strang's take: With today's dismissal of longtime Twins general manager Terry Ryan, interim GM Rob Antony takes the helm for the organization at an interesting time: two weeks prior to the trade deadline. As for what he was told by ownership? "Do whatever it takes," Antony said, noting that he was not instructed to cut payroll or shed players. "I don't have any constraints."
Rays have told teams Chris Archer is not available unless somebody totally overwhelms them. So, he's not available.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2016
David Schoenfield's take: It wouldn't make sense for the Rays to sell low on Archer, who has struggled with fastball command and home runs (he has given up 20 already, after allowing 19 last season) while posting a 4.68 ERA. His contract runs through 2021, when a team option would pay him just $11 million. That's the kind of player the Rays need to keep -- not deal.