As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.
Mets finalizing trade of Familia to A's
July 20: The Mets are close to trading closer Jeurys Familia to the A's, sources have confirmed to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and Jon Paul Morosi. ESPN's Buster Olney was first to report a deal was close. According to Morosi, the potential trade involves multiple Minor League prospects in Oakland's farm system and not Major League players.
Though available to pitch, Familia was not summoned from the bullpen in a save situation during the Mets' 7-5 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Manager Mickey Callaway said after the game that he was instructed not to use Familia because of an impending trade.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier Friday that the A's were one of the teams showing interest in Familia. Though Oakland's major need is in the starting rotation, a thin trade market for starters could lead the club toward fortifying the bullpen as it tries to catch the division-rival Mariners in the AL Wild Card race.
Earlier on Friday, it was reported that the Mets had advanced discussions to where it was exchanging names with as many as eight suitors, according to SNY's Andy Martino. Other clubs that Familia could be a fit for include the Cubs, Phillies, Braves and Red Sox.
A free agent this offseason, the 28-year-old closer is having a strong campaign with a 2.88 ERA, a 1.23 WHIP and a 9.5 K/9 rate. Familia has been even better in July, though, as he's bounced back from a shaky June (8.22 ERA) by allowing just one hit and one walk over seven scoreless frames.
Phillies, Braves eyeing Moose, Escobar?
July 20: The Phillies and Braves each had scouts in attendance for the Twins-Royals contest Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, reports MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan. Both clubs could use upgrades on the left side of the infield, and with Kansas City and Minnesota each positioned as sellers for the upcoming July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Mike Moustakas and Eduardo Escobar could soon be on the move.
NBC Sports Philadelphia reported last month that the Phillies had discussions with Kansas City about Moustakas. Though third baseman Maikel Franco has been hitting well of late, Philadelphia could use an offensive upgrade at the position, and recently missed out on acquiring Manny Machado. Meanwhile, Atlanta's starting third baseman, Johan Camargo, entered play Friday with a .768 OPS, and shortstop Dansby Swanson's OPS was .715 to begin the second half of the season.
Moustakas signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal last offseason to return to the Royals after declining Kansas City's qualifying offer to become a free agent. He entered play Friday hitting .249/.306/.466 with 19 home runs. Escobar, also due to be a free agent at season's end, is having the best season of his career at the plate, slashing .271/.327/.507 with 14 homers and an MLB-leading 35 doubles entering play Friday. He is also able to play shortstop, were he has appeared in 21 games this season.
Keep or deal: What should Rays do with Archer?
July 20: Is Chris Archer on the trade market … or not? That could be one of the key questions as we hurtle toward the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. And it's not necessarily easy to answer.
The case for holding Archer: The Rays open the second half with a winning record thanks to a promising young core, and Archer -- in the middle of a somewhat disappointing 2018 due in part to an abdominal injury that cost him more than a month and also undercut his value as a trade chip -- is inked to a contract that allows the cost-conscious club to keep him around.
The case for trading Archer: That team-friendly contract -- which pays him $7.5 million next year and includes club options for 2020 ($9 million) and '21 ($11 million) -- is extremely appealing, and the Rays could take advantage of a market that lacks much in the way of impact starting pitching.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times suggests that the Rays should consider dealing Archer, who turns 30 in September, but notes: "The Rays aren't going to get as much for Archer as they would have a couple of years ago, but that always has been the risk as they operate with a sliding scale. And he's probably going to have to pitch well in the couple of starts he makes before the July 31 trade deadline just to generate a return the Rays would even consider."
If that happens and Archer is dangled, a number of teams -- both contenders and even some on-the-upswing rebuilding organizations -- would be interested, including the Yankees, Mariners, A's, Brewers, Cubs, Phillies, Braves and Padres.
Heyman: Yankees 'holding out some hope' for ace; Bumgarner not available
July 20: The Yankees are known to be in the market for a starting pitcher and are "holding out some hope" they can land an ace, but Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ remains the starter New York is "most likely" to acquire, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman for Fancred Sports.
Among aces, Heyman considers the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez "the best that [the Yankees] could hope for," noting that Mets right-handers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard are doubtful to be traded.
Per Heyman, one hurler that definitely isn't available is the Giants' Madison Bumgarner, as San Francisco is trying to win this season and has the southpaw on a reasonable $12 million team option for 2019. Bumgarner, 28, has recorded a 2.90 ERA in eight starts since returning from surgery on his fractured left hand.
Martinez's availability is also in question, as Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said he doesn't "envision" trading any of the club's high-end pitchers.
Happ, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season, made his first All-Star team this year and recorded a save -- the first of his career -- in the American League's 8-6 win. However, the 35-year-old has posted a 9.75 ERA for the Jays this month, perhaps putting a damper on his trade stock.
Astros showing interest in Abreu
July 20: While the Astros have one of the highest-scoring lineups in baseball, president of baseball operations and general manager Jeff Luhnow may still be looking to add a big-name bat before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Among the players Houston is exploring? White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, according to MLB.com's Richard Justice in an appearance on MLB Network's "MLB Central."
Though Justice acknowledges that Luhnow might simply be "casting a really wide net," the Astros' interest in Abreu provides a glimpse at Luhnow's thought process as he attempts to load up the roster for a second straight World Series title run.
The Astros have also been connected to Orioles closer Zach Britton, and they were believed to be discussing Rays catcher Wilson Ramos before he went on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain earlier this week.
Of course, it's unclear if the White Sox would even consider trading Abreu, as they reportedly place great value in his clubhouse presence and influence over many of Chicago's young players, including fellow Cuban Yoan Moncada. Abreu, 31, is under team control through 2019.
Video: Justice on Astros' interest in Abreu, Archer rumors
Twins "not ruling anything out" with Dozier
July 20: Brian Dozier is in his seventh season as a member of the Twins, but will the power-hitting second baseman remain in Minnesota all the way through 2018?
"We're not ruling anything out in the future with Brian," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said on MLB Network Radio, indicating that the club could consider signing him to an extension or dealing the free-agent-to-be by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"We also have to recognize where we are in the season," Falvey added, alluding to Minnesota's 44-50 mark entering Friday, "and that if something presents that we have to consider, that's our job."
Dozier has heated up of late -- he's hitting .298/.369/.632 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 15 July games -- just as trade rumors surrounding the slugging second-sacker have popped up. MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported earlier this week that the Brewers, after missing out on Manny Machado, would shift their focus to Dozier to help improve their middle infield.
Eovaldi impressive in 'showcase' performance
July 20: Rays right-hander Nathan Eovaldi struck out eight over six strong innings in Tampa Bay's 6-5 loss to the Marlins on Friday. The 28-year-old gave up one run on six hits with scouts from the Indians, Yankees, Braves, Giants, Phillies and D-backs in attendance.
Eovaldi is among the top starting pitchers on the trade market. He has undergone two Tommy John surgeries in his career, missing the entire 2017 season recovering from the second of those procedures.
So far this season, he's posted a 4.26 ERA in 10 starts. He was roughed up for eight runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Twins in Minnesota on July 13. But in his three starts prior to that, he gave up two runs over 19 innings (0.95 ERA) with 23 strikeouts and three walks. More >
Realmuto's price remains lofty
July 20: As one of the best catchers in baseball, J.T. Realmuto also is one of the most desirable trade chips around -- that is, if he's even available. It's no secret the Marlins are looking toward the future in their first year under new ownership. What is less certain, however, is whether they actually would consider dealing Realmuto, who makes it onto MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi's list of top hitters on the market.
"The Marlins have maintained they will listen on all players, but they also have made it clear the asking price for their All-Star catcher is extremely high," MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes. "The club also has internally discussed exploring a contract extension with him in the offseason."
Just how valuable is Realmuto, a 27-year-old who leads all catchers in both wOBA (.384) and wRC+ (145) and is an elite defender? On FanGraphs' 2018 Trade Value rankings, Realmuto checks in at No. 24 in all of baseball. In other words, he's indeed an extremely valuable commodity -- and one the Marlins don't have to trade anytime soon, considering he's under club control through 2020.
The Astros, Brewers and Nationals are among the clubs in the market for catching help, as Morosi notes, with Washington most often and most closely linked to Realmuto. More >
Britton's market is starting to move
July 20: The Manny Machado trade? That's so 48 hours ago. The Orioles have shifted their focus to their next big trade piece -- closer Zach Britton. And plenty of contending clubs are interested, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick points out.
The Cubs -- who placed injury-prone closer Brandon Morrow on the DL on Thursday with right biceps inflammation -- reportedly are at the front of the line as a "main player," Bruce Levine of 670 The Score notes.
Britton, who is a free agent this offseason, has made 15 appearances since returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, the 30-year-old has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.
As many as eight teams have been connected to Britton, an industry source recently told Levine. More >
Could Hand trade lead to Reds dealing Iglesias?
July 20: With left-hander Brad Hand now a member of the Indians after being dealt by the Padres on Thursday, the Reds' Raisel Iglesias is arguably the best reliever on the trade market. And as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand writes, the Hand trade reaffirmed the lofty return the Reds might be able to get by moving the right-hander.
In exchange for Hand and righty reliever Adam Cimber, the Padres landed catcher/outfielder Francisco Mejia, MLB Pipeline's No. 15 overall prospect.
Iglesias, 28, has been one of the best relievers in the National League since he moved to the bullpen on a full-time basis in 2016, and he has posted a 2.36 ERA with a 1.02 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate this season.
But if another team, such as the Astros or the Braves, offers a prospect on the same level as Mejia, the Reds could be tempted to deal the closer, who is owed slightly over $11 million across '19-20 (though he can opt into arbitration this offseason).
Rosenthal: Why Rox could target deGrom
July 20: Imagine Jacob deGrom with the Rockies. OK, it might be unlikely but that didn't stop MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal from suggesting as much in a story for The Athletic (subscription required).
Given that the Rockies -- just two games out of a National League Wild Card spot after wrapping the first half with five straight wins -- are on a never-ending hunt for pitchers, making a play for the MLB ERA leader would be something. And as Rosenthal explains, it would give star third baseman Nolan Arenado reason to think about sticking in Colorado when he hits the open market after the 2019 season.
From the Mets' point of view, the Rockies could be one club to entice them into actually making their ace right-hander available, by dangling top-notch youngster Brendan Rodgers, among others. The 21-year-old 2015 first-round pick ranks as MLB Pipeline's No. 6 overall prospect and has 17 homers and an .846 OPS at Double-A this year. While Rodgers is in line to replace free-agent-to-be DJ LeMahieu at second base in 2019, the Rockies also have infield prospect Garrett Hampson as a candidate.
Tigers' plan for Fulmer, Castellanos
July 20: The rebuilding Tigers have a handful of players they could consider swapping, but it seems their biggest names aren't at the forefront for now.
Right-hander Michael Fulmer (under club control through 2022) and slugging outfielder Nicholas Castellanos (through 2019) have been mentioned often as trade candidates, but Fulmer hit the DL with a left oblique strain Friday afternoon. Detroit appears more likely to focus on moving others first, anyway, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick.
None of southpaw Francisco Liriano (.088/.200/.193 vs. lefty batters), righty Mike Fiers (3.70 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) nor outfielder Leonys Martin (.281/.356/.452 vs. righty pitchers) are premium pieces, but each has the ability to help a contender down the stretch. Detroit could consider packaging two or more to provide depth and utility in specific situations, which would come in handy in September and October.
As for Fulmer, his ailment certainly puts his trade status in doubt for this month. The Tigers will have to weigh his value to them versus his value on the market going forward given his growing injury issues.
Cardinals unlikely to move Carlos Martinez, but Jose Martinez could go
July 20: The Cardinals are unlikely to trade right-hander Carlos Martinez, or any of their high-end pitchers, as the Trade Deadline draws near, according to president of baseball operations John Mozeliak.
"For us, the one core we have is pitching," Mozeliak said before Thursday's series opener at Wrigley Field. "And to start trying to arbitrage that would have to be a very special-type deal, otherwise it would make no sense to us. None of that has presented itself to me. No one has called me with any great ideas that way. One of the responsibilities is us looking at potential trades, potential partners, but nothing that I've looked at would make sense in that regard. I don't envision us moving pitching."
As far as what St. Louis might do before the Deadline, Mozeliak, for the second time this week, responded with the succinct answer of "TBD." Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggests the Cardinals could look to trade first baseman Jose Martinez, who is set to move to a bench role as the club puts more emphasis on defense.
"Yeah, at some point," Mozeliak said about considering trading the slugger. "Right now, that asset could be a great bat off the bench. Obviously, long term, that is something we need to think through."
While Martinez is a poor defender, he has posted a 130 wRC+ this season and could be of particular interest to a American League teams. More >
Rangers deal Chavez, other relievers could follow
July 19: The Rangers traded righty reliever Jesse Chavez to the Cubs in exchange for Minor League southpaw Tyler Thomas on Thursday night.
The 34-year-old Chavez owns a lifetime 4.61 ERA, but he has posted a 3.51 mark along with a career-best 4.2 K/BB ratio across 56 1/3 innings in 2018. Chavez, who has started 68 times in his past 192 appearances, provides the Cubs with some versatility, though he has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year.
The 22-year-old Thomas -- a seventh-round pick in last year's June Draft -- has posted a combined 2.77 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings between Class A Short-Season Eugene and Class A South Bend since his 2017 professional debut.
After Chavez, closer Keone Kela and lefty Jake Diekman could be on the move next, according to MLB.com's TR Sullivan.
Kela would be a valuable addition to any club looking to shore up the bullpen now and for the future, considering he is under team control until 2022. Kela has thrived in the ninth-inning role, going 23-for-23 in save tries with a 3.27 ERA (2.51 FIP) and a 10.9 K/9 rate in 33 innings. The 25-year-old righty has established himself as a top-notch reliever across the past two seasons, posting a 3.01 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP and 91 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings since the beginning of '17.
Diekman, meanwhile, could provide short-term help, as he is set to be a free agent this offseason. The 31-year-old southpaw missed most of last year while recovering from colon surgery, but he's fared well with a 3.21 ERA and an 11.0 K/9 rate in 33 2/3 innings this season.
As evidenced by Thursday's trade, the Rangers are seeking young pitching as the Deadline approaches, given their starting rotation ranks second-to-last in baseball with a combined 5.31 ERA.
Hand deal could spark flurry of moves for Padres
July 19: By now, you're aware the Padres made a big move by trading closer Brad Hand and righty reliever Adam Cimber to the Indians for top catching prospect Francisco Mejia on Thursday morning. It looks like that could set off a flurry of deals for San Diego, who has a number of available arms, as MLB.com's Mark Feinsand points out.
After years of injuries, the 31-year-old Kirby Yates started to emerge after arriving in San Diego last season, and he has come into his own this season with a 1.43 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and a 11.5 K/9 rate. His lack of track record (just 192 MLB innings in his career) raises some questions, but Yates' stuff and years of club control (through 2020) are appealing.
Similarly, Tyson Ross is 31 and has a laundry list of injuries in his nine-year career, so suitors rightly could be somewhat skeptical. While his ERA is 4.32 this year, Ross has shown flashes of his former All-Star self with 10 starts (of 19 total) in which he's allowed two or fewer runs, plus he's struck out 97 batters over 108 1/3 frames.
Beyond those two, fellow righty Craig Stammen -- who has a 2.91 ERA and a 9.9 K/9 mark and is due just $2.25 million in 2019 -- has been mentioned as another reliever the Padres could dangle.
Mets not budging on trade demands for deGrom, Syndergaard
July 19: As they continue to receive calls regarding Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, the Mets aren't backing off from their lofty asking price for either hurler, James Wagner of The New York Times reports via Twitter.
Per Wagner, the Mets want elite prospects and/or MLB players for each of their two aces, but contenders either lack high-level prospects (D-backs, Giants), are unwilling to move them (Yankees, Braves) or don't have a pressing need for a starting pitcher (Astros).
deGrom (controllable through 2020) and Syndergaard (controllable through '21) aren't close to free agency, and the Mets haven't shown any sense of urgency in shopping them.
The club could revisit trade discussions for deGrom and Syndergaard in the offseason, when a new general manager is expected to be in place in the Mets' front office and more teams (such as the Padres) are likely to be interested, according to Wagner.
At this point, impending free agents Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera are the most likely Mets to be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and Wagner notes that Zack Wheeler (controllable through 2019) is drawing "strong outside interest" as well.
Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors
Daniels: Rangers won't consider Beltre trade unless it benefits 'all parties involved'
July 19: Adrian Beltre can become a free agent after this season, but that doesn't mean the Rangers are actively shopping him.
In a Q&A session with Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels said the club will need to be "motivated to even have the conversation" about dealing the veteran.
"If someone has real interest and wants us to consider it and talk to ownership and talk to Adrian, we will based on their level of interest," Daniels said. "But if it's more of tire kick, that doesn't appeal to us. For us to consider anything, it's got to be beneficial for all parties involved."
Although Beltre is one of the best remaining players available for clubs looking to boost the left side of their infield after the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado on Wednesday, contenders may not be lining up to trade for him.
For one, Beltre can veto any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights, and he reportedly wants to play with the Rangers next season. Furthermore, he has been spending more time at designated hitter due to injury concerns, and he's produced just four homers with a .739 OPS over 261 plate appearances in 2018.
Machado in tow, Dodgers not done dealing
July 19: Yes, the Dodgers landed the biggest name on the trade market in Manny Machado on Wednesday. No, they're not done dealing.
"The Dodgers are still buyers on Thursday," as MLB.com's Ken Gurnick writes. "The firepower of a deep system allows management to pivot and address the bullpen." That remains true even after Los Angeles sent outfielder Yusniel Diaz (their former No. 4 prospect) and four other young players to the Orioles for Machado.
While Kenley Jansen has overcome his early season hiccup to regain his status as one of the best closers in the business, the Dodgers don't have much in the way of reliable depth in their bullpen. Even after lefty relief weapon Brad Hand and righty Adam Cimber went from the Padres to the Indians on Thursday morning, there's no shortage of quality late-inning arms for the Dodgers to make a play for, including: Raisel Iglesias of the Reds, Jeurys Familia of the Mets, Zach Britton of the O's and Keone Kela of the Rangers.
One factor to consider with the Dodgers, however, is that they are bumping up against the $197 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold after acquiring Machado. That doesn't mean the front office can't add more salary to the club's payroll, but it might make Dodgers execs more mindful of targeting cost-efficient options. More >
Indians put other AL contenders on notice
July 19: Having missed out on landing Manny Machado, the Indians reacted quickly by pulling off their own blockbuster to acquire Padres relievers Adam Cimber and Brad Hand, arguably the best bullpen piece on the trade market. The deal cost them their top prospect -- and MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall catching prospect -- in Francisco Mejia, but it also put other American League contenders on notice, as MLB Network Radio host Jim Duquette discusses.
The Astros and Red Sox, specifically, were in play for Hand because of their need for an elite lefty reliever. With that no longer an option, perhaps those clubs will turn their attention to the next-best candidate in O's southpaw Zach Britton, whose market is gaining momentum now that Machado has been moved.
While the Yankees weren't linked closely to Hand, they are still very much looking to upgrade their rotation. Plus, the Indians' bullpen -- with Hand and Cimber joining Cody Allen and Andrew Miller (once healthy) -- could rival the Yankees' collection of relievers, which might give New York something else to think about as it battles Boston for the AL East down the stretch.
Video: Antonetti on acquiring Hand, Cimber for Mejia