Rumors: Mets talking Max? Padres not done?

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MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

July 25: Mets talking Scherzer?
According to SNY, the Mets will call the Nationals to inquire about three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer before Friday's Trade Deadline. Would the Nats trade the star right-hander to a division rival? It appears the Mets will find out soon.

Though Scherzer was scratched from his last scheduled start due to triceps discomfort, an MRI showed no structural damage and he remains one of the most tantalizing names on the trade market.

July 25: Where will the Cubs' stars end up?
No team has more high-profile players reportedly on the trade block than the Chicago Cubs. During ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, Buster Olney speculated on where he thinks a few of those stars may be dealt before the July 30 Deadline.

"I think Anthony Rizzo is going to wind up with the Boston Red Sox," Olney said. "I think the Mets are going to wind up with one of three guys: Kris Bryant or Trevor Story or Javier Baez."

Olney also said that Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Anderson could be a fit for the Mets.

Rizzo, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2007, would address Boston's glaring need at first base. Red Sox first basemen have compiled a .645 OPS this year, third-worst in the Majors. Rizzo owns a .761 OPS in the final year on his contract.

Bryant and Baez are also impending free agents. Both players would add significant pop to a Mets lineup that, even with a productive July, has scored the second-fewest runs in MLB this season. Bryant has cooled off following a fantastic first two months of the 2021 campaign, but he still has a solid .848 OPS and his 17 homers would be the most of any Mets player not named Pete Alonso.

Baez would be a logical fit as the Mets continue forth without Francisco Lindor, who doesn't yet have a timetable to return from his oblique strain. He has hit 22 homers and could move over to second base once Lindor is ready to return.

July 25: Padres not done yet?
The Padres reportedly struck a deal with the Pirates on Sunday to acquire All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier. But according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, San Diego isn't done yet, and the club is "working to acquire a starting pitcher" before Friday's Trade Deadline.

With San Diego's rotation hit with injuries this season, bolstering the staff is a priority for the Padres as they seek to dethrone the Dodgers atop the National League West. Some hurlers they've been linked to in trade rumors so far include the Rangers' Kyle Gibson, the Twins' Kenta Maeda and the Rockies' Jon Gray.

July 25: Latest on availability of Nats' stars
One of the biggest mysteries of this year’s Trade Deadline has been what the Nationals plan to do, but it’s looking more and more likely that the club will sell. After two straight losses to the woeful Orioles, the club entered Sunday with just a 2.1% chance of reaching the postseason, according to FanGraphs’ playoff odds.

If Washington does decide to move some of its top trade chips, it would have a dramatic effect on the pitching market.

Assuming the mild right triceps discomfort that caused him to be scratched from Saturday's start doesn't turn out to be a big issue, ace Max Scherzer would be the best starter available by a wide margin. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Saturday that the Nats have been discussing trades involving the 36-year-old Scherzer, who has full veto power over any deal.

Heyman followed up with a tweet Sunday noting that the likelihood of a trade involving Scherzer is increasing.

Washington has a pair of top relievers on expiring contracts in Brad Hand and Daniel Hudson who could draw significant interest as well.

According to reports from The Athletic's Jim Bowden and MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Nats are having trade talks involving Hand and Hudson, and the Blue Jays are among the teams that have inquired about both. The Brewers also are searching for relief help, general manager Matt Arnold said Sunday on MLB Network Radio, although it's unknown if they are pursuing Hand or Hudson.

Impending free agents such as Scherzer, Hand, Hudson and infielder Josh Harrison are the Nats’ most likely trade candidates, but there’s been increasing chatter that the club could consider offers for other players as well, including shortstop Trea Turner, who is under control through 2022.

Sports Illustrated’s Dan Federico reported Saturday morning that the Nats are willing to consider trades for everyone not named Juan Soto “at the right price,” and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggested Sunday in a piece for The Athletic (subscription required) that the Nats should start gauging Turner’s trade value if they don’t think they can sign him to an extension.

Per Rosenthal, Turner declined to sign an extension last spring before Francisco Lindor inked a $341 million deal with the Mets. Lindor may be a bigger name, but Turner has proven to be a better player, ranking second to the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. in fWAR among position players since the beginning of 2020 (Lindor is tied for 51st).

July 25: J-Ram on the market?
MLB.com's Jon Morosi reports that the Indians may make star third baseman José Ramírez available on the trade market after losing five of six and falling to the .500 mark in the AL Central. After its loss Saturday, Cleveland dropped to nine games behind the division-leading White Sox. The Tribe traded another star infielder -- shortstop Francisco Lindor -- to the Mets last offseason.

If Ramírez is made available, it would be a huge development for clubs looking to bolster their lineup for the stretch run. The 28-year-old slugger has a career slash line of .278/.353/.497 with 147 home runs and 137 steals in 916 games with Cleveland. He is a three-time All-Star and finished in the top three in AL MVP Award voting three times (2017, '18 and '20).

Morosi added that the Mariners could be a good fit for Ramírez given their positional flexibility at second and third base, as well as their farm system depth.

July 25: Dodgers, Giants showing interest in Duffy
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy is on the injured list for the second time this season due to a flexor strain in his left forearm, but other teams are still showing interest in acquiring him before Friday’s Trade Deadline.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the Dodgers and Giants are two such clubs.

Duffy has full veto power over any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights and has said he wants to remain in Kansas City, but Feinsand speculates that the impending free agent might accept a trade to a West Coast team, given he’s from California.

Duffy, 32, has posted a 2.51 ERA with a 9.6 K/9 over 61 innings this season, so he could be a potential difference-maker for a contender, either as a starter or a reliever, if healthy. Plus, his contract and injury status mean he likely won’t require a substantial package in a trade.

The question is: when will he be back? According to MLB.com's Anne Rogers, Duffy could need another four to six weeks, plus buildup time, before he's ready to return, so we might not see him on the mound again until September.

July 25: Márquez remains untouchable
The Rockies are likely to be active sellers leading up to Friday’s Trade Deadline, but the one player on Colorado who would likely fetch the greatest return, right-hander Germán Márquez, remains off limits.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Rockies continue to tell other teams that Márquez isn’t going anywhere.

That’s been the case all along, but it’s still notable that Colorado isn’t changing its stance. With the lack of top-tier starting pitchers on the trade market, Márquez likely would bring back a substantial package.

The 26-year-old is on a five-year, $43 million contract that runs through 2023 and includes a 2024 club option.

July 25: Twins considering packaging players to improve return
In an appearance on MLB Network Radio on Sunday, Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said that packaging multiple players in one trade to maximize the prospect return is “something we have talked about.”

Minnesota already sent DH Nelson Cruz to the Rays, but it has a number of attractive trade candidates remaining, including starters José Berríos (controllable through 2022) and Michael Pineda (expiring contract), relievers Taylor Rogers (controllable through 2022) and Tyler Duffey (controllable through 2022), third baseman Josh Donaldson (four-year, $92 million deal runs through 2023) and shortstop Andrelton Simmons (expiring contract).

Pineda is scheduled to start Monday versus the Tigers. According to MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi, many teams will have an interest in that outing. The 32-year-old has a 3.93 ERA through 13 starts and held the AL Central-leading White Sox to just one run over five innings in his most recent trip to the mound.

July 25: Anderson likely to be dealt
According to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi, the Pirates are likely to trade left-hander Tyler Anderson this week.

Earning $2.5 million on a one-year deal, Anderson is expected to be a popular trade target for clubs that are conscious of the $210 million Competitive Balance Tax threshold.

The 31-year-old’s value is surging as the Trade Deadline approaches; he’s posted a 3.03 ERA in 29 2/3 innings over his past five starts. Anderson has allowed three earned runs or fewer while throwing at least five innings in 15 of his 18 starts this season.

July 24: Rangers exploring multiple Gallo options (report)
According to a report from Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are exploring multiple options pertaining to Joey Gallo. While Texas continues to discuss trades involving the All-Star slugger, the club also has become more aggressive in trying to sign him to a contract extension. The third option would be to stand pat for now.

The 27-year-old is controllable through 2022, so Texas could choose to keep him and reassess his status later. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman noted Wednesday that some rival teams don’t expect Gallo to be dealt before the Trade Deadline on Friday. However, it appears the Rangers are keeping the possibility of a trade open.

The Blue Jays are “perhaps the Rangers’ most favored trade partner,” according to Grant, and Toronto has been scouting the Rangers recently, although it’s unclear which Rangers players the Jays are considering. In need of pitching more than offense, Toronto could be a fit for starter Kyle Gibson and/or closer Ian Kennedy, although Grant isn’t ruling out a trade sending Gallo going to the Blue Jays as well.

Grant also mentions the Braves and Padres as potential fits for Gallo. San Diego has been linked to Gallo consistently, but Heyman notes the Friars seem “to be emphasizing pitching at the moment.” The Yankees reportedly have talked to the Rangers about Gallo as well.

July 24: Castillo a popular trade target
The Reds sit in second place in the NL Central, but Cincinnati entered Saturday with a 6 1/2-game deficit behind the first-place Brewers and an identical deficit in the race for the second NL Wild Card spot. The Reds also just lost one of their best players, Nick Castellanos, to a microfracture in his wrist. All of that means it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team sell at the Trade Deadline.

Right-hander Luis Castillo is one of their most valuable trade chips, and he’s drawing significant interest around the Majors, according to MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.

The 28-year-old has turned his season around after posting a 7.22 ERA through the end of May. Over his past nine starts, Castillo has recorded a 1.76 ERA with 56 K’s in 56 1/3 innings.

In a trade market that is short on high-end starters, the Reds could get a significant haul in exchange for Castillo, who is under team control through 2023. However, a deal involving the righty remains unlikely, Morosi notes.

July 24: Phillies reportedly in on Kimbrel, other Cubs relievers
After recording the worst ERA (7.06) in the Majors last season, the Phillies’ bullpen hasn’t been that much better in 2021. Philadelphia’s relief corps not only has the ninth-highest ERA (4.64) in MLB but is tied for the most blown saves (23). 

Accordingly, the Phillies are on the hunt for relief help, and they’re starting at the top of the market with the Cubs’ Craig Kimbrel. More >

July 24: Will Twins trade Rogers?
Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey has made it clear the team plans on trying to contend in 2022, which would seem to point to Minnesota keeping most of its players who are under control through next year or longer.

But while José Berríos (controllable through 2022) and Byron Buxton (controllable through 2022) may be staying put, left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers is becoming increasingly likely to be moved.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, Rogers is “very popular on the trade market" right now and has a “good chance” of being dealt.

Rogers, 30, has spent his entire career with Minnesota and owns a lifetime 3.15 ERA with a 10.3 K/9 rate. He’s pitched to a 3.35 ERA with a career-high 13.2 K/9 in 40 1/3 innings this season.

With most contenders usually in need of relief help, top bullpen arms are always in high demand this time of year. Moving Rogers wouldn’t necessarily prevent the Twins from contending in 2022. They could take advantage of the market by trading him now, then shore up their ‘pen in the offseason.

July 24: Mets, Phillies, Jays scouting Cubs/D-backs
This weekend’s matchup between the D-backs and Cubs at Wrigley Field carries plenty of intrigue for the July 30 Trade Deadline, and contenders around baseball are surely keeping a close eye on the series.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, at least the Mets, Phillies and Blue Jays had scouts in attendance for Saturday’s game.

The Mets acquired Rich Hill from the Rays on Friday, but the Phillies and Jays are still in the market for rotation help and could be particularly interested in the D-backs' Merrill Kelly, who started Saturday.

Kelly is "drawing a ton of interest," with the Phillies among the teams in pursuit, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The 32-year-old is controllable through 2024, even if his 2022 club option isn't picked up.

The Cubs and D-backs also have relievers that could be of interest to all three clubs, including Craig Kimbrel (2022 team option), Andrew Chafin (2022 mutual option), Ryan Tepera (expiring contract), Dan Winkler (expiring contract) and Rex Brothers (controllable through 2022) from Chicago and Joakim Soria (expiring contract), Tyler Clippard (expiring contract) and Noé Ramirez (controllable through 2023) from Arizona.

Per Heyman, at least Kimbrel, Chafin and Tepera are on the Phillies' list of potential targets.

There's also the Cubs' Kris Bryant, who has been linked to the Mets and Phillies, and the D-backs' Eduardo Escobar. Both players are impending free agents.

July 24: Marlins recently made offer to Alcantara (report)
Could the Marlins dangle right-hander Sandy Alcantara in a trade? Writing for the New York Post, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman thinks they should be fielding offers for the 25-year-old to see what type of return he might bring in this trade market, which lacks high-end starting pitchers. 

It would be surprising to see the Marlins actually trade the starter, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Sherman hears Miami recently made Alcantara an offer on a contract extension, which the right-hander countered. 

Eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason, Alcantara will get increasingly expensive in the coming years. If the Marlins don’t think they can re-sign him, it would make sense to find out what he’s worth in a trade at a time when his value might be close to its peak.

July 23: Yanks check in on Story
Count the Yankees among the many teams placing calls to the Rockies about Trevor Story. A source tells MLB.com's Mark Feinsand that New York has checked in with Colorado about the star shortstop. More >