As we get closer to the MLB Trade Deadline, there are more and more rumors about teams being interested in certain players via trade. However, what are the chances that these rumors become a reality and teams actually end up trading for these players? In this article, we’ll investigate the chances that the latest MLB rumors actually become a reality.
Cubs are interested in Blue Jays SP JA Happ
According to Bob Elliot of CBC Sports, the Cubs “may have interest” in Blue Jays staring pitcher JA Happ. Happ, 35 is the most likely starting pitcher to be traded. He’s on the final year of his contract with the 41-48 Blue Jays, and has a 4.44 ERA, 3.97 FIP, and a 1.18 WHIP. The left hander is also drawing interest from the Yankees, Brewers, and Mariners. Therefore, the Cubs have a lot of competition if they want to acquire him. The fit is also a question, as the Cubs have 5 solid starters when they’re right in Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana, Yu Darvish, and Tyler Chatwood. Now, Hendricks, Quintana, and Chatwood have struggled while Darvish is still injured. However, the Cubs have so much money invested into those five guys that they aren’t likely to give up on them. Plus, Happ has struggled as of late, so its unclear how much he would help with the struggles in the rotation. The Yankees are still the most likely destination for Happ, as they have a deep farm system. They can give up a couple of mid tier prospects and still have a more competitive offer than the Cubs’ best offer.
Yankees interested in relievers Zach Britton and Brad Hand
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, lefty relievers Zach Britton and Brad Hand are on the Yankees “list of targets”. The Yankees have one of the strongest bullpens in the MLB. In fact, their relievers have combined for the highest WAR in the MLB, at 6.1. However, you can never have too many relievers, so the Yankees are looking to acquire a much-needed upgrade at left-handed reliever to Chasen Shreve. Hand, 28, has a 3.05 ERA, 1.09 ERA, 3.27 FIP, and 24 saves this season. He’s also controlled through 2021 on an affordable contract, making him the preferred option. Britton, 30, has struggled since returning from an Achilles injury. He had a 5.06 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, and 5.09 FIP in just 10.2 innings this season.. However given his track record as one of the game’s best relievers, plenty of teams believe he’ll be fine once he completely settles in, which is why he’s drawing plenty of interest. While both would be an upgrade to Chasen Shreve, extra help in the bullpen is more of a luxury than a need. With them looking so hard to upgrade in the rotation, they’ll likely focus on that and thus won’t give up prospects to add to what is already the best bullpen in the MLB.
Dodgers, Brewers “most motivated” for SS Manny Machado while Indians “in the mix”
The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers are “the most motivated” suitors right now for SS Manny Machado, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal also reports that the Cleveland Indians are in the mix. Machado, 26, is the most coveted trade deadline target. He’s in the final year of club control with the 24-65 Orioles, and is hitting .310/.380/.557 with 21 home runs.
Dodgers: Machado to the Dodgers doesn’t make sense from both fit and need. The Dodgers currently are playing Chris Taylor at short. If they trade for Machado, they’ll likely move Taylor to second, Max Muncy to first, and Cody Bellinger to center field. In doing that, they’ll be taking away playing time from either Joc Pederson, Matt Kemp, and Yaisel Puig, All of them are having solid seasons, and have earned the right to be in the lineup. The Dodgers are one of the better offensive teams, so it doesn’t make sense for them to trade some of their top prospects to upgrade their offense rather than focus on upgrading their pitching.
Brewers: The Brewers just recently started to get mentioned in the Machado sweepstakes, and they make a lot of sense. They may be fine long-term with Orlando Arcia at short, but Arcia has struggled this year. Thus, they have a short-term need at the position, and acquiring a rental like Machado makes a lot of sense. The Brewers could use some extra star power in the middle of their order, and a package around RHP prospect Corbin Burnes should be enough to get a deal done.
Indians: The Indians are set at short stop and third base with Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. However, second baseman Jason Kipnis is hitting just .216. Therefore, they could move Ramirez to second base and play Machado at third. Making this move would give them a stacked top of the order while giving them the extra star power that they need. They have five Top 100 prospects in C Francisco Mejia, RHP Triston McKenzie, RHP Shane Bieber, 1B Bobby Bradley, and 3B Nolan Jones. A package with Bieber and Bradley/Jones should be enough to get a deal done for Machado/
Verdict: Dodgers- Sell Brewers- Buy Indians- Buy
Red Sox interested in reliever Fernando Rodney
According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Twins reliever Fernando Rodney “has landed on the Red Sox radar”. The 41-year-old closer has a 3.16 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 3.38 FIP, and 19 saves this season. Boston doesn’t have many weaknesses as they’re 62-29, but one thing they can use is an effective set up man to closer Craig Kimbrel. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have to go after high-end relievers such as Brad Hand, Rasiel Iglesias, or any of the Marlins relievers. Therefore, going after a less coveted and cheaper option in Rodney makes a lot of sense. The Twins are looking to trade all of their pending free agents, and they and Boston are a perfect match in a Rodney trade.
Phillies and Brewers interested in 2B Whit Merrifield
Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield has drawn interest from the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, according to Jon Morosi of MLB Network. Merrifield, 29, is hitting .293/.362/.415 with 5 home runs and 16 stolen bases. He is only in his second year of service time, so he’s controlled through 2023.
Phillies: A trade for Merrifield doesn’t make a lot of sense. They already have both Cesar Hernandez and youngster Scott Kingery at second base, so its unclear where Merrifield would play. The issue with their lineup is their lack of power, so getting a contact hitter in Merrifield wouldn’t help. They’d be better off acquiring a power hitter such as Mike Moustakas or Manny Machado.
Brewers: For the Brewers, a trade for Merrifield makes a lot of sense. They’ve gotten limited production from their second baseman this season. Also while top prospect Keston Hiura plays second base, many believe he’ll be moved to left field. Therefore, they have no clear long-term option at second base, making Merrifield an excellent fit.
Verdict: Phillies- Sell Brewers- Buy
Orioles’ asking price for SS Manny Machado “too high” for Phillies
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.Com, the Philadelphia Phillies have moved on from Manny Machado trade talks because of the Baltimore Orioles’ “high asking price”. This comes as a surprise, as the Phillies had been very aggressive trying to land Machado and have the farm system to get a deal done. They are also in contention at 49-38, which puts them tied for first place in the NL East. Considering how weak the NL is this year, the Phillies could be arguably be the best team in the NL with Machado. Plus, having Machado for half a season would help them in signing the superstar short stop this offseason. Giving up on Machado trade talks would be a mistake, so this may be nothing but a bluff by the Phillies.
Mets looking into trading pitchers Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler rather than Noah Syndergaad and Jacob deGrom
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets front office have told teams that Noah Syndergaad and Jacob deGrom “are not really available” at the moment. However, they are open to trading pitchers Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. Matz, 27, has a 3.31 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and 4.64 FIP this season. He isn’t a free agent until 2021. Wheeler, 28, has a 4.36 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, and 3.67 FIP this season. He isn’t a free agent until 2020. It’s not a surprise that the Mets are reluctant to trade the faces of their franchise in Syndergaad and deGrom. However, they can still boost their weak farm system by trading two controllable pitchers. Neither Matz and Wheeler have promising stats, but both should draw interest due to the fact that they are controlled past this season and have shown flashes of brilliance this season.
Marlins plan on keeping C JT Realmuto
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Marlins have discussed offering C JT Realmuto an extension, and it would take “an astronomical offer” for the team to consider trading him. Realmuto, 27, was named to his first All Star game this season. he’s hitting .305/.358/.544 with 12 home runs, and has become one of the league’s best defensive catcher. It makes sense that the Marlins may want to build around Realmuto, as he’s blossomed into a superstar. However, his age (27) doesn’t cooperate with the fact that the Marlins probably won’t contend for at least another 5-10 years. Plus, they would probably be ready to contend a lot sooner if they were to trade Realmuto. Realmuto holds a lot of value as a controlled catcher who’s arguably the best at his position. This may be nothing more than a bluff as the Marlins look for teams’ top prospects, such as Nationals OF prospect Victor Robles, Astros RHP prospect Forrest Whitley, or Rockies SS prospect Brendan Rodgers.