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Trade Talk: Machado, Happ, Choo, Bundy

The latest news and rumors leading up to July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline
MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Machado appears bound for LA
July 17: We may have a winner in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported "with more certainty" on Tuesday night that Machado will be dealt to the Dodgers.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Machado appears bound for LA
July 17: We may have a winner in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reported "with more certainty" on Tuesday night that Machado will be dealt to the Dodgers.

Among the few remaining hurdles, according to Rosenthal, was the exact return heading to Baltimore beyond outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 84 prospect in the game and the Dodgers' No. 4 prospect. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli said sources have told her the same information.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Can report with more certainty: Machado to #Dodgers happening. Among remaining questions, in addition to specifics of return beyond OF Yusniel Diaz: How much money, if any, #Orioles will send #Dodgers to secure a better package and help ease LAD���s luxury-tax concerns.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Dodgers are believed to be sending four other prospects to Baltimore in the deal, but will not receive any cash from the Orioles in exchange. He notes that Los Angeles will nevertheless remain under the luxury tax threshold. 

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Machado deal to dodgers is agreed upon, tho could be still some medical/approval to go. Press conference slated for Wednesday or Thursday. Many prospects going to orioles (believed to be 5). No $ in deal (LA will remain under threshold anyway)

As recently as Tuesday morning, the battle over Machado included the Brewers and Phillies, who seemed to move to the front of the pack on Monday night, when they indicated they were willing to include right-handed pitching prospect Adonis Medina in a deal, per a report from MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Though Machado represented the O's in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli was told it would be a "major upset" if he is still with the club when the regular season resumes on Friday, and USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported via Twitter that a Machado deal is expected to come on Wednesday, "barring a last-minute snag." More >

Video: Machado talks trade rumors, craziest one he's heard

Phillies interested in Happ, not currently pursuing Hamels
July 17: While they remain among the front-runners for Manny Machado and are also discussing Zach Britton with the Orioles, the Phillies have "definite interest" in veteran Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ as well, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia

Though Happ, 35, has struggled of late (6.84 ERA over his past five starts), he was nevertheless selected to the American League All-Star team following a strong start to the season (3.48 ERA through June 13). The southpaw, who is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract with Toronto, was selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2004 MLB Draft.

The Phillies have also been connected to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, another lefty who began his career with Philadelphia, but Salisbury notes "there has been no evidence to date that the Phils are pursuing Hamels." The 34-year-old has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for 2019.

Choo drawing little trade interest; Hamels, Beltre also lacking suitors
July 17: While the Rangers are expected to be Trade Deadline sellers, they may have trouble finding attractive deals for many of their key trade chips. Even Shin-Soo Choo, who entered the All-Star break on a 51-game on-base streak, is drawing little interest, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Choo is owed $42 million over 2019-20 as well as the remainder of the $20 million on his deal for this season, and he also offers little defensive value, which may be why teams aren't lining up to deal for the 36-year-old.

Per Grant, the market is also tepid for starter Cole Hamels and third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Hamels has struggled some this season, allowing 21 homers in 109 1/3 innings (1.7 HR/9), and he won't come cheap. The left-hander is owed the remainder of the $23.5 million on his contract for 2018 ($2.5 million of which is being paid by the Phillies), and he has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for '19.

Meanwhile, Beltre has been spending more time as the designated hitter due to injuries, and his OPS is just .739. There's also the question of whether he will consider waiving his full no-trade clause, which comes from him having 10-and-5 rights (10-plus years in the Majors, at least five with current team). The impending free agent reportedly would like to play with the Rangers in 2019 and may approve a trade only if it's the perfect situation.

O's also listening on Gausman, Bundy, Schoop?
July 17: In case you haven't noticed -- yeah, right -- most of the trade focus surrounding the Orioles has been on Manny Machado. But Baltimore has plenty of other assets that could be moved ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Lefty reliever Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones -- both free agents at the end of the 2018 season -- are chief among those names, but the club isn't limiting itself as it faces a rebuilding process. In fact, the O's reportedly are listening to offers on right-handed starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, along with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman notes in a New York Post story.

"I think their goal is to trade their walk-year guys, Machado, Britton, [Brad] Brach and Adam Jones, but they are not hanging up the phone if you ask on Gausman, Bundy or Schoop," a baseball executive told Sherman.

Given the O's desire to address their pitching, it would be surprising to see them deal either Gausman, who is 27 and under club control through 2020, or Bundy, a 25-year-old who won't reach free agency until after the 2021 season. Schoop, on the other hand, is due to hit the open market following the 2019 campaign, although his disappointing season so far (.229/.263/.389) means the club would be selling low on a 26-year-old who was an All-Star a year ago.

Phillies still likely to target shortstop if Machado pursuit falls short
July 17: The Dodgers have reportedly pulled in front of the Phillies and Brewers in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, with USA Today's Bob Nightengale writing that he's expected to be dealt to Los Angeles on Wednesday.

According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman via Twitter, Philadelphia is still likely to target a shortstop -- preferably one who can contribute with the bat -- if its pursuit of the Orioles star falls short.

Tweet from @JonHeyman: Assuming phillies don���t land manny now, they���ll still be targeting a SS, preferably one who���s a threat with bat. Eduardo Escobar could make sense. Most SS potentially on market r glove guys: Iglesias, alcides, Rojas, old friend galvis, hechavarria

Heyman mentions the Twins' Eduardo Escobar, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, as a potential option. Escobar, 29, is hitting .271/.327/.507 with a Major League-leading 35 doubles and 14 homers in 2018, though he has slumped since being hit in the right elbow by a Rick Porcello pitch on June 21.

As Heyman notes, the Phils' choices could be limited beyond Escobar, as most of the shortstops potentially available for trade are glove-first players, including Jose Iglesias, Alcides Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Miguel Rojas and familiar face Freddy Galvis, who played with Philadelphia from 2012-17.

The Phillies have been seeking an upgrade for the left side of their infield, as third baseman Maikel Franco and shortstops Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford, who is on the disabled list with a fractured left hand, have struggled for much of the year, though Franco has picked up his production lately.

Britton's market picking up; Cubs among interested clubs
July 16: While the Cubs ended the first half with the National League's best record (55-38) and the fourth-best bullpen ERA (3.10) in the Majors, they are among the eight teams talking to the Orioles about closer Zach Britton, an industry source told Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

The Cubs also have Padres closer Brad Hand on their wish list, per Levine, though Hand will cost far more than Britton, who is set to become a free agent at the end of this season. Hand, meanwhile, is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021.

There has been rejuvenated interest of late in Britton, who has made 15 appearances for the Orioles this season after returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, Britton has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.

The Orioles would prefer to trade Britton and Manny Machado in separate deals, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports. Rosenthal reports Baltimore feels the return for the pair would be greater if they weren't packaged together -- for example, the Astros have been interested in Britton, but are not in the market for a shortstop/third baseman.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: "The Orioles would prefer to separate Zach Britton from Manny Machado, believing the overall return would be greater if they were traded individually"- @Ken_Rosenthal pic.twitter.com/fcv9rn1omw

The Phillies have also been linked to Britton, and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Sox "are being tied" to the southpaw as well.

Video: Heyman talks latest Machado, Britton, Happ rumors

Padres getting calls on Ross, Yates, Hand
July 16: Brad Hand isn't the only Padres pitcher to be highly coveted by contending clubs. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports San Diego has been "getting a lot of hits" on starter Tyson Ross and several relievers, including Hand and Kirby Yates. Sherman notes the Yankees are among the teams that have checked in with the Padres.

Ross, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, has posted a 4.32 ERA in 2018, though he had a much more impressive 3.32 mark through the end of June before allowing 15 runs over his first two starts of July.

Hand, 28, is among the best relievers in baseball, as he has posted a 2.66 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and an 11.8 K/9 rate since the outset of 2016. In exchange for the two-time All-Star, who is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021, the Padres are believed to be asking for a package similar to those the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in two separate deals during 2016.

The Cubs also reportedly have Hand on their wish list, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

Yates, meanwhile, has quietly recorded a 1.47 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and an 11.5 K/9 rate this season. The 31-year-old is controllable through 2020.

Rosenthal: 'Almost no doubt' Dodgers will add reliever
July 16: The Dodgers are expected to be a major player in the relief pitching market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal noted in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

The Dodgers are seeking a bullpen arm who can pitch the eighth inning and also spell closer Kenley Jansen from time to time, according to Rosenthal, who said "there's almost no doubt" the club will trade for a reliever.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@kryptonic05 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/y7foYiKfyU

Los Angeles leaned heavily on Brandon Morrow during the 2017 postseason as a setup man for Jansen, but Morrow signed with the Cubs in the offseason.

Though Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Pedro Baez have had solid campaigns, all three are on the disabled list with arm injuries, and none is on the level of someone such as Zach Britton, Raisel Iglesias, Jeurys Familia or Kyle Barraclough.

Will Archer be traded?
July 16: The Rays face an interesting decision with Chris Archer, whose name has been floated among trade rumors for years. On one hand, they have a young core that has them above .500 and looks promising going forward, especially if Archer is a part of it. On the other, Tampa Bay could take advantage of a weak market for starters and put Archer in play.

"Given the state of the starting pitching market, the incentive for [the Rays] to move him might never be higher," MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggested in a Twitter question-and-answer session on @MLBONFOX.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@jboy819 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/Gm4QrCgP7Y

That said, Archer just came off the DL a week ago for a left abdominal strain that cost him more than a month of action and his performance so far this season has been somewhat inconsistent (4.29 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). In other words, making Archer available now might be undercutting his full value.

As a 29-year-old making $6.25 million this year and under contract for $7.5 million next year with club options for 2020 ($9M) and 2021 ($11M), Archer would be appealing to just about any club looking for rotation help -- not just 2018 contenders. His team-friendly contract also allows the cost-conscious Rays to be patient with their prized right-hander.

Amid trade rumors, deGrom addresses his future
July 16: As Jacob deGrom continues to be at the center of trade speculation, the All-Star right-hander made it clear he's open to staying with the Mets long term.

deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports initially suggested Monday that the Mets might consider trading their ace sooner than later if they don't plan to offer him a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: More from Van Wagenen: ���If the Mets don���t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob���s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.���

The 30-year-old deGrom, who leads MLB with a 1.68 ERA and is under club control through 2020, responded to questions at All-Star media day in Washington, D.C., by stating: "We've said multiple times that we're open to talking [about an] extension. It's kind of up to [the Mets] what they want to do." More >

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Astros might stand pat at Trade Deadline
July 16: The Astros have reportedly discussed dealing for a catcher and a reliever, but there's a chance they won't make any major moves before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@nnickk22 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/4gWhpCLIMM

With backstop Brian McCann (right knee surgery) expected to return by September and Max Stassi providing solid production (.792 OPS), Rosenthal notes the Astros are more likely to get a reliever than a catcher.

Per Rosenthal, Houston is seeking someone who can be a "true difference-maker" in the bullpen, such as Zach Britton, Brad Hand or Raisel Iglesias.

But with the ability to shift either Lance McCullers Jr. or Charlie Morton to the 'pen during the postseason, as they did last year when they won the World Series, the Astros may not feel a sense of urgency to add a big-name reliever.

Braves not expected to pursue big-name rentals
July 16: The Braves have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, unexpectedly putting the team in the "buyer" category as executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos prepares for his first Trade Deadline at the helm. But judging by Anthopoulos' comments in a two-part Q&A with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves aren't planning to mortgage their bright future for a short-term boost.

"We would prefer not to go after rentals unless the acquisition cost just makes so much sense for us," Anthopoulos said. "There's a lot of pain that has gone into putting together this young talent. We're not ready to throw that all away just because of one season."

MLB Pipeline: Braves Top 30 prospects

Earlier this month, the Braves were mentioned among the contenders for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, but they appear to have fallen out of the race as the Dodgers, Phillies and Brewers are reportedly leading. Atlanta has also been connected to Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Both players can become free agents after this season.

One area Anthopoulos could look to address is the bullpen, especially with closer Arodys Vizcaino going back on the DL on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation. The Braves entered the All-Star break with the 19th-best bullpen ERA in the Majors (4.24), and many of their key relievers are inexperienced. However, Atlanta could have limited options if free-agents-to-be such as the Orioles' Zach Britton and the Mets' Jeurys Familia are off the table. More >

Angels unlikely to deal Skaggs or Heaney
July 16: With a 49-48 record at the end of the first half, the Angels remain on the fringe of postseason contention, but they are nine games out of an AL Wild Card spot. That has sparked speculation that the club might consider selling by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with southpaw starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney mentioned as potential pieces.

That no longer appears to be the case, however, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports via Twitter.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Angels have no interest in trading Heaney or Skaggs, per source - team needs them to compete in ���19. As I said Saturday, LAA drawing interest in controllable relievers - Parker, Alvarez, Bedrosian, Anderson. Open on any of them, but will want good returns to give up control.

With superstar Mike Trout smack in the middle of his prime and under contract through 2020, the Angels want to win in this window while they can. Both Skaggs (through '20) and Heaney (through '21) are under club control beyond this season, meaning they can be a part of that direction.

It had previously been reported by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Yankees have recently been scouting Angels games with eyes on Skaggs and Heaney, in particular.

Nationals could 'revisit' Realmuto trade discussions
July 15: The Nationals were believed to have moved on from Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto due to Miami's lofty asking price, but league sources say that Washington could "revisit" its pursuit of the backstop, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports.

Some think the Nats might consider including top prospect Victor Robles (No. 5 overall, per MLB Pipeline) in a package for Realmuto, who will start at catcher for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Per Heyman, the Marlins have long sought Robles and/or infielder Carter Kieboom (Washington's No. 2 prospect, No. 62 overall) from the Nationals, who discussed Realmuto with Miami in the offseason and reached out again several weeks ago but have been unwilling to include the aforementioned prospects to this point.

The Nationals have also been connected to Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who played in Washington from 2010-16, but Ramos suffered a left hamstring injury Saturday and will miss the All-Star Game.

Listen: Mark Feinsand joins the Morning Lineup Podcast to discuss latest rumors

Are Pirates still on track to sell at Trade Deadline?
July 16: The Pirates were seemingly en route to be Trade Deadline sellers just over a week ago, but the club has ripped off an 8-1 stretch -- including a five-game sweep over the Brewers -- to potentially change its plans.

As Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes, general manager Neal Huntington said before this past week that a 4-4 record in the next eight games wouldn't be enough to convince him to keep the team together beyond the Trade Deadline. But Pittsburgh's red-hot run has put pressure on Huntington to hold off on a major teardown.

True, the Bucs are still only 48-49, putting them in fourth place in the National League Central, and their financial resources remain limited, so it's unlikely they'll significantly add to the roster between now and July 31.

But if Pittsburgh continues to play well coming out of the All-Star break, the onus will be on Huntington to keep veterans such as Jordy Mercer, Corey Dickerson, Ivan Nova, David Freese and Josh Harrison past July 31. The Pirates are also without one of their most valuable trade chips, as catcher Francisco Cervelli returned to the 7-day disabled list Saturday with recurring concussion symptoms.

Cardinals could sell if struggles continue after All-Star break
July 15: The Cardinals picked up a win in their final game before the All-Star break after dismissing manager Mike Matheny on Saturday, but if their recent struggles continue to begin the second half, the expectation is that St. Louis will "seriously consider selling," according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And if that happens, the Cardinals could shake up the starting pitcher market in a big way by making right-hander Carlos Martinez available.

As Sherman notes, St. Louis' strength is young arms, so the club could use Martinez to address other problems on the roster. Per Sherman, outside executives believe the Cardinals can get peak value for Martinez in a market lacking an ace. The 26-year-old is in the second year of a five-year, $51 million contract with team options for 2022 ($17 million) and 2023 ($18 million).

The Cardinals will enter the All-Star break with a 48-46 record, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the National League Central (five games behind the second-placed Brewers) and four games out in the NL Wild Card race. They'll open the second half with eight games on the road, including five at Wrigley Field.

Red Sox, Braves interested in Moose
July 15: The trade market for impending free agent Mike Moustakas is developing, with the Red Sox and Braves among the teams interested in acquiring him before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick via Twitter.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: The #RedSox and #Braves are both interested in Mike Moustakas as a trade deadline acquisition, sources say. The #Yankees have already been mentioned as a potential landing spot. There's enough of a market for Moose that it's more likely than not the Royals deal him this month.

However, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand notes in a tweet that the Royals may need to wait to trade Moustakas until after Orioles shortstop Manny Machado is dealt.

Tweet from @Feinsand: According to a source, the Royals are trying to find a match for a Mike Moustakas deal, but it appears KC will have to wait until Manny Machado gets dealt first. Manny could be the domino that starts a number of things in motion.

Kansas City could see the list of Moustakas suitors grow once Machado is moved, as some of the clubs that are pursuing the All-Star shortstop may turn their attention to the Royals third baseman if they miss out on Machado.

It's unclear what Boston's interest in Moustakas means for Rafael Devers, who is on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation. Devers, 21, has recorded an underwhelming .715 OPS this season compared to Moustakas' .772 mark.

The Braves have received better-than-expected production from Johan Camargo at the hot corner, though the 24-year-old has posted a .385 OPS with 10 strikeouts in his past nine games.

The Yankees have also been linked to Moustakas, though they were reportedly interested in him to play first base rather than third. Greg Bird has solidified first base for New York lately by producing five homers, 15 RBIs and a .922 OPS over his past 14 games.

Video: Slugger Moustakas delivering at the plate, in field

Could Reds move Gennett?
July 15: Scooter Gennett has made it known that he wants to remain with the Reds -- and based on his conversations with the front office, shared in an MLB.com exclusive, he expects to remain with the club past the Deadline -- but the two sides haven't spoken much about a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal for FOX Sports.

Gennett -- a first-time All-Star this season -- has emerged as a surprising force in Cincinnati's lineup after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers in March 2017, batting .309/.356/.529 with 43 homers and 159 RBIs in 232 games in a Reds uniform.

Gennett is in the midst of a career year, and the Reds could look to sell high on the 28-year-old, who is under team control for one more season. Entering Sunday, the left-handed slugger led the National League at his position in batting average and OPS while ranking second in RBIs and fourth in runs and homers.

Cincinnati has infielder Nick Senzel -- the No. 4 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline -- waiting in the wings, giving the team some incentive to move Gennett, especially if it meant upgrading a pitching staff that currently ranks 13th in the NL with a 4.67 ERA. However, Senzel would be unable to provide immediate help, considering he underwent season-ending surgery in late June to repair a torn tendon in his right index finger.

Video: Scooter Gennett continues to amaze in 2018

Olney: NL teams at 'forefront' of Familia trade talks
July 15: With all the talk surrounding Mets starters Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, closer Jeurys Familia has flown under the radar. But Familia remains one of the best relievers available, and ESPN's Buster Olney reports via Twitter that a number of National League teams "appear to be at the forefront" of trade discussions for the impending free agent.

Olney mentions the Phillies and Giants as two of the clubs that are interested, though he notes Philadelphia may wait until its talks with the Orioles regarding Manny Machado and Zach Britton are resolved before honing in on Familia. The Braves, Cubs and Dodgers are also among the NL contenders that could use help in the bullpen. As for clubs in the AL, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports the Red Soxhave inquired about Familia

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: NL teams appear to be at the forefront of the talks about the Mets' Jeurys Familia, who is among the best available relievers. Phillies interested (although they may wait until Britton/Machado talks resolved), Giants, etc.

Familia is peaking at the right time, tossing seven straight scoreless appearances with one hit allowed to open July after posting a 6.94 ERA with a 2.31 WHIP from May 23 through the end of June.

Twins open to trading Odorizzi, Gibson
July 15: The Twins' rotation could look strikingly different after the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as the club is reportedly willing to trade a number of its veteran starters.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Minnesota is said to be open to dealing Kyle Gibson and Jake Odorizzi, who are both controllable through 2019.

Gibson, 30, is having a career year, as his 3.42 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 8.9 K/9 rate would all be personal bests. Odorizzi, 28, owns an unimpressive 4.54 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, but he's striking out more than a batter per inning (9.4 K/9) and has been a solid mid-rotation option over the past five seasons (3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP).

Lance Lynn is another obvious trade candidate, as he can become a free agent at the end of this season. After struggling in his first eight starts (7.47 ERA), Lynn has posted a 3.67 ERA over his past 10 outings.

And though Ervin Santana has yet to pitch in the Majors in 2018 after undergoing finger surgery in February, he's currently on a rehab assignment and was an All-Star last year. With a $14 million team option and a $1 million buyout for '19, Santana could be a reasonable trade target for a rotation-needy club if he proves to be healthy before July 31.

Will Mariners trade for rotation help?
July 15: Though the Mariners haven't made the postseason since 2001, rank 15th in the Majors in rotation ERA (4.09) and currently have both James Paxton and Felix Hernandez on the disabled list, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times writes that the Mariners' rotation isn't "a lock to be upgraded at the Trade Deadline."

Per Divish, Erasmo Ramirez's impending return from a strained teres major muscle in his right shoulder makes it unlikely Seattle will trade for a "replacement-level starting pitcher," as Ramirez can fill that role.

General manager Jerry Dipoto may look to swing a deal if it considerably improves the rotation, but as Divish points out, Seattle might not have the prospects to acquire a front-of-the-rotation starter such as the Rays' Chris Archer.

The Mariners have been linked to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, but according to Divish, sources say Seattle's interest in the left-hander was "greatly overplayed."

Divish also notes that some people in the Mariners ownership group and upper-level management aren't in favor of trading for rental players, which could potentially rule out free-agent-to-be J.A. Happ, another pitcher who has been connected to Seattle.

D-backs seeking starting pitcher
July 15: The D-backs are in the market for a starting pitcher, according to reporter Robert Murray, recently of FanRag sports. Arizona's starting rotation, which entered Sunday ranked ninth in the National League with a 4.09 ERA, currently consists of Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Patrick Corbin and Zack Godley. The No. 5 slot is open for now, with Clay Buchholz (strained left oblique) and Shelby Miller (right elbow inflammation) on the disabled list.

Greinke and Corbin have provided the D-backs with an excellent one-two punch -- entering Sunday with a combined 3.14 ERA in 39 starts -- but both Godley (4.61 ERA) and Ray (5.03 ERA) have struggled in 2018 after strong '17 campaigns.

There are several viable starters likely to be available leading up to the Deadline, including the Rangers' Cole Hamels and the Blue Jays' J.A. Happ, or Arizona could choose to make a bigger splash by acquiring an ace like the Mets' Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard.