Will Tigers trade or buy at the Deadline?


June 15th, 2024

We're keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors.

June 21: Morosi identifies Tigers' trade chips

Although the Tigers still have aspirations to buy at the Deadline, as they sit in fourth place in the AL Central, six games under .500 and 13 games behind the first-place Guardians, time is running out for them to justify such an approach. In a Friday appearance on MLB Network, Jon Morosi identified the players who, if the Tigers don't turn things around, should make the most attractive trade pieces for rival GMs.

Topping teams' wishlists is likely to be Jack Flaherty, in the midst of a dramatic bounce-back season after struggling with injuries and ineffectiveness for much of the previous four seasons. Given the rash of injuries to starting pitchers early in the season, several contenders -- including the Orioles, who have already traded for Flaherty at the Deadline once before -- will be on the hunt for reinforcements down the stretch. Morosi also speculated that impending free agents Mark Canha (.246/.349/.375, 106 OPS+) and Gio Urshela (.284/.325/.361, 95 OPS+) could also bring in solid returns, but that ace Tarik Skubal, given his two remaining years of team control, is likely to remain in Detroit.

June 15: After latest SP injury, O's might be more likely to make trade

The Orioles, sitting 3 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the American League East as of Saturday morning, were already expected to be active buyers at the Deadline, but news of Kyle Bradish's return to the injured list with a recurrent right UCL sprain has created a much more immediate need.

Since the start of the 2023 season, Bradish has been a revelation for the Orioles, going 14-7 with a 2.81 ERA (142 ERA+) and 221 strikeouts in 208 innings, and his injury only exacerbates an existing issue in Baltimore. General manager Mike Elias recently announced that neither John Means nor Tyler Wells will return in 2024 after both required surgery to repair the UCLs in their pitching elbows. This most recent blow leaves the club to lean heavily on the trio of Corbin Burnes, Cole Irvin and Grayson Rodriguez (who, notably, has never thrown more than 122 innings in a professional season.)

The Orioles system is jam-packed with position players, but in-house options to plug the holes in the rotation are limited beyond prospects Cade Povich (who debuted on June 6) and Chayce McDermott. Dean Kremer, out with a right triceps strain, is expected to begin a rehab assignment on Sunday, but given their position in what is shaping up to be an intense playoff push, things are looking increasingly tenuous. Should the Orioles dip into their prospect reserves to bolster their rotation, they might choose to do so sooner than later.

June 14: SP market could be boosted if these bubble teams sell

While the next month could go a long way toward determining the Trade Deadline direction for the Red Sox and Rays, the belief in the industry is that the two clubs may be heading for Deadline sales, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for the New York Post.

Although the Red Sox and Rays are both in the thick of the American League Wild Card race, FanGraphs gave them just a 17.8% and a 16.2% chance, respectively, of reaching the playoffs following Thursday's action. The Orioles and Royals are well ahead of the pack in the AL Wild Card standings, putting Boston and Tampa Bay among the many clubs vying for the third spot, along with the Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Blue Jays and Astros.

If the Red Sox and Rays do end up selling, they could provide a boost to the summer starting pitching market, as Heyman notes.

Nick Pivetta is an obvious candidate to move, as he’s eligible for free agency at the end of this season. The Red Sox right-hander owns a 3.88 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 55-to-13 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings this year.

The Rays, meanwhile, could consider dealing Zach Eflin, whose three-year, $40 million deal runs through 2025. The 30-year-old has recorded a 4.06 ERA with 3.61 FIP, a 1.15 WHIP and an incredible 12.50 K/BB ratio (50 strikeouts, four walks) over 68 2/3 innings this year after finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young Award voting in 2023.

June 14: Multiple teams showing interest in Kopech (report)

The Yankees, Phillies and Royals are among the teams that have recently scouted White Sox closer Michael Kopech, according to a report from Bruce Levine of 670 The Score.

Chicago is an obvious seller with just over six weeks to go before the Trade Deadline, and ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required) recently reported that the club has no untouchables on its Major League roster. Per Levine, rival teams believe the White Sox are prioritizing controllable young pitchers in trade talks.

Kopech, who is controllable through 2025, is one of the team’s most likely trade candidates. The former top prospect is back in the bullpen this year after struggling as a starter in 2023, and while his 4.91 ERA, 5.67 FIP and 5.5 BB/9 aren’t exactly encouraging, he could be a worthwhile addition for a contender in need of bullpen help.

The 28-year-old ranks in the 99th percentile in average fastball velocity (98.8 mph), the 90th percentile in expected batting average (.200), the 93rd percentile in strikeout rate (32.3%) and the 85th percentile in whiff rate (30.7%), so there may be some untapped potential here.

June 13: Will this lefty ignite a bidding war among top contenders?

One of MLB's best left-handed relievers is available on the trade market -- and several top clubs are interested.

The Yankees, Orioles, Phillies and Dodgers are among the clubs with interest in Marlins left-hander Tanner Scott, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Thursday in the New York Post. Scott has eight saves and a 1.93 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 28 innings this season. Prior to his blown save Thursday against the Mets, Scott tossed 20 straight scoreless innings across 19 games.

All four teams Heyman mentioned already rank in the top 10 in reliever ERA, but any of them could use another late-inning arm. Heyman said the Yankees are his "best guess" for the team that will acquire Scott and mentioned the Cubs -- whose bullpen has struggled this season -- as an option alongside the O's, Phils and Dodgers. Scott is a free agent after the 2024 season.

Scott's Miami teammate could also be on the move, with lefty starter Jesús Luzardo another of Heyman's reported trade targets. The Orioles -- who expressed interest in Luzardo over the winter -- are Heyman's "best guess" for the southpaw, while four NL clubs (the Braves, Padres, Brewers and Dodgers) are other options. Luzardo has struggled in 2024 with a 5.11 ERA in 11 starts, but the 25-year-old is under team control through 2026.

Elsewhere in the reliever market, Red Sox closer Kenley Jansen could be set for a return to his old club. Heyman said the Dodgers and Yankees both checked in with Boston about an offseason deal but that the Yanks "seem focused elsewhere." If so, Jansen -- who spent his first 12 seasons with the Dodgers -- could be headed back to L.A.

Jansen has a 2.91 ERA and 10 saves in 21 2/3 innings in 2024. The Cubs, Phillies and Padres could be other options for the 36-year-old right-hander, Heyman wrote.

June 12: Dodgers reportedly swing trade for Biggio; eyeing SS?

Though the Dodgers are tied for second in the Majors with 5.09 runs scored per game, the club could still look to upgrade its offense prior to the Trade Deadline, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Specifically, the Dodgers are likely to seek a shortstop so that they can move Mookie Betts back to second base, where he’s a better defender.

Second baseman Gavin Lux has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .223 with a .574 OPS over 51 games. Los Angeles swung a trade with the Blue Jays for Cavan Biggio on Wednesday, bringing another infielder with second-base experience into the organization. However, it might not give the Dodgers the offensive upgrade they're looking for at the keystone, with Biggio only hitting .200 with a .614 OPS in 2024.

If Lux and/or Biggio aren't able to get it going in the coming weeks, we could see the Dodgers ramp up their efforts to acquire a shortstop at the Deadline, which would allow them to replace those two with Betts at second base.

The problem for Los Angeles is that two of its preferred shortstop targets -- the Blue Jays’ Bo Bichette and the Brewers’ Willy Adames -- might not be available.

Toronto was mentioned as a potential seller after getting off to a poor start this season, but the club has been playing better of late, going 10-5 in its past 15 games to improve its standing in the American League Wild Card picture.

The Blue Jays entered Wednesday only two games out in the race for the third AL Wild Card spot. If they are within striking distance of a playoff berth come late July, it's unlikely they'll trade stars such as Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., both of whom are eligible for free agency after 2025.

Adames can become a free agent at the end of the current campaign, so there's more urgency to trade him than Bichette or Guerrero. However, he’s a key part of a first-place Brewers team. While Milwaukee has shown a willingness in the past to trade away top players in the midst of a postseason race, moving closer Josh Hader at the 2022 Deadline, it would still be surprising to see the club deal Adames this summer and risk hurting team morale.

If Bichette and Adames are off the table, the Dodgers’ best option at shortstop could be the resurgent Paul DeJong, who has produced 13 homers and a .780 OPS -- albeit with a 32.3% strikeout rate and 3.7% walk rate -- for the White Sox. The 30-year-old is signed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal.

June 7: White Sox ‘actively seeking packages’ for Robert (report)

The White Sox apparently aren’t waiting for the Trade Deadline to shop their best players. According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for the New York Post, Chicago is “actively seeking packages” for center fielder Luis Robert Jr., who recently returned from the injured list.

Robert, 26, is signed through 2025 and has team options for 2026-27. Robert's extensive injury history is a drawback, but he offers a dynamic skill set, as he showed last year when he produced 38 homers and 20 steals on offense and was one of the best defensive center fielders in MLB.

In the midst of a 14-game losing streak that has dropped their record to an MLB-worst 15-48, the White Sox have no untouchables in trade talks, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required) reported earlier this week. Even budding ace Garrett Crochet, a 24-year-old lefty who is controllable through 2024, appears to be available, with the Padres reportedly showing interest.

It’s unclear which teams might have interest in Robert, though Heyman mentions the Dodgers, Phillies and Royals among the contenders who need outfielders.

June 5: Cubs could prioritize HR power at Trade Deadline

Entering Wednesday, the Cubs have lost 14 of their past 20 games, turning what was a half-game deficit in the NL Central into a six-game gulf between them and the first-place Brewers. Chicago's offense has really struggled during this span, hitting .206 with an MLB-worst .327 slugging percentage. Their 16 homers since May 13 are tied with the White Sox for the fifth-fewest in baseball. The Cubs are slugging .372 on the season, which ranks 22nd in the big leagues, and general manager Jed Hoyer knows that's an area that needs improvement.

“We need more [power] to compete,” Hoyer said Tuesday, via The Athletic (subscription required). “You need to be able to homer at the right times. And you need to be able to score in bunches. That’s something we haven’t done, especially early. I’m proud of the fact that in these games, we’ve rallied late. But in too many games, we’ve had too few runs scored early in the game, or another starter has one or two hits through six innings or whatever.

"Really, the topic sentence is: We haven’t hit enough.”

The Cubs' top home run hitters -- Christopher Morel, Cody Bellinger and Michael Busch -- have gone deep only four times in this 20-game stretch. The Mets' Pete Alonso and Blue Jays stars Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette are just a few of the high-profile hitters who could become available leading up to the July 30 Trade Deadline. Regardless, with the Cubs currently hanging on to the third National League Wild Card spot, Hoyer seems intent on doing what he can to address the team's offensive woes if things don't change soon.

"I believe we’re going to hit," he said. "If we don’t, of course, we’ll look to ways to upgrade the team.”

June 4: White Sox reportedly willing to move Crochet, Robert, Fedde

With the worst record in baseball at 15-45 -- six games worse than any other team -- the White Sox are an obvious candidate to sell at the Trade Deadline for the second straight year.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required), Chicago has no untouchables in trade talks -- the team is willing to move Garrett Crochet, Luis Robert Jr. and Erick Fedde.

The biggest name on offer figures to be Crochet, just 24 years old and controllable through 2026. In his first season as an MLB starter, the left-hander has registered a 3.49 ERA with an AL-leading 93 strikeouts and 15 walks over 69 2/3 innings.

Per Dennis Lin and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required), Crochet may already have a primary suitor in the form of the Padres, who have lost both Yu Darvish (left groin strain) and Joe Musgrove (right elbow inflammation) to injuries in the last week.

Robert, like Crochet, could fetch a solid haul, given his age (26), contract (he's signed through 2025 with team options in 2026-27) and dynamic skill set. One year ago, Robert produced 38 homers, 20 steals and an .857 OPS while recording +8 Outs Above Average in center field. Robert has missed most of 2024 with a hip flexor strain, the latest in a long line of injuries for the outfielder, but he is expected back imminently.

Fedde, a 31-year-old right-hander who signed a two-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox in the offseason after rejuvenating his career in Korea, has posted a 3.12 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 22 walks over 69 1/3 innings in 2024.

Hard-throwing closer Michael Kopech (controllable through 2025), outfielder Tommy Pham (signed to one-year deal) and shortstop Paul DeJong (signed to one-year deal) are among the other White Sox players who could be dealt.

June 4: Multiple GMs expect Mets to trade Alonso (report)

One year after trading Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Tommy Pham, Mark Canha and David Robertson, the Mets could be headed for another Trade Deadline sale. New York has started out 25-35, and while that puts the club only four games out in the race for the third National League Wild Card spot, only two NL teams have a worse record.

The Mets have a number of veterans who are eligible for free agency at the end of the season and could be attractive trade chips, including pitcher Luis Severino, outfielder Harrison Bader, designated hitter J.D. Martinez and, yes, first baseman Pete Alonso.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required), multiple general managers said that they expect the Mets to trade Alonso due to the team’s Competitive Balance Tax situation.

Because they are over the CBT threshold, the Mets would only get a fourth-round Draft pick if Alonso left to sign elsewhere after rejecting a qualifying offer. The slugger is also earning $20.5 million in 2024, so dealing him would create significant tax savings for New York.

June 4: Marlins’ sale could include Luzardo (report)

The Marlins’ trade of two-time batting champion Luis Arraez to the Padres on May 4 was an indication that the team plans to be an aggressive Trade Deadline seller in its first year under new general manager Peter Bendix.

With Arraez gone, the spotlight is now on pitcher Jesús Luzardo, Miami’s top remaining trade chip.

According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan (subscription required), the Marlins are expected to trade away at least one starting pitcher. While Braxton Garrett, Ryan Weathers, Trevor Rogers and Edward Cabrera could all draw interest, none is as valuable as Luzardo from a trade standpoint.

Luzardo owns an unremarkable 4.18 ERA this season, but he has flashed ace stuff in his career, notching a 10.3 K/9 and a 3.57 K/BB ratio with a 3.59 ERA since the beginning of 2022. He is only 26 years old and controllable through 2026.

June 3: Astros’ direction among biggest questions to answer before Deadline

The Astros have made seven straight American League Championship Series appearances, but their disappointing 26-34 record has them in danger of missing the postseason in 2024. Houston entered Monday with a deficit of 7 1/2 games in both the AL West and the AL Wild Card races.

If the Astros aren’t able to turn it around in the coming weeks, we could see them opt to sell at the Trade Deadline, potentially moving pending free agent Alex Bregman. Houston could also shop Kyle Tucker and/or Framber Valdez, both of whom are eligible for free agency after 2025.

On Sunday, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand broke down 10 pressing questions that need to be answered between now and the Trade Deadline on July 30 at 6 p.m. ET, with Houston’s Deadline direction among them. Read more here.