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 21: 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.
Familia was not used in a save situtation during the Mets' 7-5 win over the Yankees on Friday, as Mets manager Mickey Callaway was instructed not to use him while negotiations were in progress. On Saturday, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported that the two sides are in the process of conducting medical reviews, indicating that the trade is nearly finalized. MLB.com's Anthony DiComo also reported Saturday that the deal is expected to be completed by day's end, although it remains unclear who the Mets will receive in return.
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.
Red Sox scouting Twins, Royals
July 21: Red Sox senior vice president of player personnel Frank Wren was in attendance at Friday's Twins-Royals game in Kansas City, according to Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.
It's unclear which players the Red Sox were scouting, but both teams are sellers leading up to the Trade Deadline. Minnesota's Brian Dozier and Kansas City's Whit Merrifield would both be fits in Boston with second baseman Dustin Pedroia possibly out for the rest of the season with left knee inflammation. The Red Sox are also pursuing bullpen help and could be interested in Twins relievers Fernando Rodney and Zach Duke.
Boston may be targeting Kansas City's Mike Moustakas as well after being linked to Manny Machado. In return, the Red Sox could offer 21-year-old third baseman Rafael Devers, who was activated from the disabled list on Saturday. Devers, who had been sidelined since July 11 with left shoulder inflammation, is hitting .241/.292/.424 with 14 homers and 48 RBIs in 89 games this year.
Britton expected to be dealt by early next week
July 21: With Manny Machado having made his debut in Dodger blue on Friday, The Orioles have shifted their focus to their next big trade piece -- closer Zach Britton. Plenty of contending clubs are interested, as ESPN's Jerry Crasnick points out, and Baltimore hopes to have a deal in place with one of those potential suitors by early next week, per a report by ESPN's Buster Olney.
MASN's Roch Kubatko reported on Saturday that the Braves have reportedly joined the list of interested teams, and that Britton "should be the next Oriole out the door."
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. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman has noted that Chicago is also reportedly considering Mets closer Jeurys Familia, but with a trade sending Familia to Oakland appearing to be imminent, Britton could become a priority for the Cubs.
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 >
Phillies, Braves eyeing Moose, Escobar?
July 20: The Phillies and Braves also had scouts in attendance for the Twins-Royals contest Friday night at Kauffman Stadium, MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan reported. 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.
The Yankees don't appear to have many options, however, as Heyman notes 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.
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 is 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 >
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 arms, but Jose Martinez could go
July 20: The Cardinals are unlikely to trade 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 >