MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Justin Upton, Zack Greinke, Matt Garza and More
With another All-Star game in the books, MLB's second half is set to begin, and that often means the trade winds start picking up. As teams start falling out of the playoff race, they will start shopping their assets and start looking toward the future.
Less than three weeks remain until the trade deadline, meaning things will start moving pretty quickly. That point is confirmed by the rumor mill, which has really started to heat up. Even some pretty big names have been mentioned.
Let's take a look at some of the most intriguing trade targets that could be available and break down the latest news about their possible destinations.
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It's been a disappointing season for Justin Upton, who was one of the biggest breakout stars from last season after hitting 31 home runs and stealing 21 bases. He hasn't lived up to the hype, however, with just seven homers at the All-Star break.
That lack of production has apparently caused the Arizona Diamondbacks to start listening to offers for the 24-year-old outfielder, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Piecoro says club sources indicate the team would want a top-tier shortstop, third baseman or starting pitcher in an Upton trade.
Buster Olney of ESPN mentions the Texas Rangers, who still haven't reached an agreement with Josh Hamilton on an extension, as a possibility. The MLB insider says Upton's contract includes a no-trade clause, which features mostly large-market teams.
All that said, it's hard to imagine the Diamondbacks pulling the trigger on any deal unless they are getting a king's ransom. Upton is only 24 and clearly has the potential to become one of the game's best hitters if he can improve his consistency.
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Zack Greinke is enjoying another solid season with a 9-3 record and 3.32 ERA, but the Milwaukee Brewers are already six games out in the playoff race. That has made the veteran right-hander a popular target for teams in need of pitching, and there's no shortage of those.
The Los Angeles Angels have become the latest team to show interest in him, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. He reports the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles are among the other top contenders to land Greinke.
The Braves have been looking for rotation help ever since Brandon Beachy got hurt. Add in the struggles of young starters Mike Minor and Randall Delgado, and Atlanta really needs another arm to keep pace with the Washington Nationals.
Baltimore was one of the biggest surprises from the season's first half, and it seems like the front office wants to make a run. But the Orioles might have a hard time beating out the Angels, who have rebounded from a slow start and have an excess of talent.
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The Chicago Cubs continue to fade in the standings, and a surprisingly lackluster season from Matt Garza certainly hasn't helped. That hasn't stopped teams from looking to acquire him before the deadline, though.
Jon Heyman lists five teams as potential landing spots for Garza. They include the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox as well as the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that has really cooled off after a tremendous start.
It's no surprise teams are attempting to buy low on Garza, who has been one of MLB's most consistent pitchers over the past handful of seasons. He's struggled to keep the ball in the park in 2012, but his peripheral numbers point toward a second-half rebound.
Garza isn't an ace, but he's capable of stepping in as a good No. 2 starter or a really strong No. 3 to bolster the staff of a World Series contender. As long as the Cubs aren't asking for way too much, they should have no problem finding a suitor.
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Ryan Dempster just returned from a lat injury prior to the All-Star break, and the Chicago Cubs hope he continues to pitch well to boost his value before the deadline. Along with Matt Garza, Dempster will be a wanted commodity in the coming weeks.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have emerged as a favorite to land the 35-year-old longtime Cub, based on a report from Jon Heyman. Dempster has posted a microscopic 1.99 ERA through 13 starts and would be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Dodgers, who need a boost.
Clayton Kershaw and a resurgent Chris Capuano have given Los Angeles two reliable options, but things have been a little more shaky after that. Adding Dempster to the mix would lengthen and stabilize the rotation.
The Dodgers have lost six of their last 10 games and now have two teams within four games of their NL West lead. They need to get things back on track quickly to avoid slipping any further, and Dempster would definitely help that pursuit.
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While the Cleveland Indians have been able to remain within striking distance in the AL Central, they are still a couple pieces away from being considered a legitimate contender. Adding slugger Carlos Quentin would be a smart move.
Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer reports the Indians have been in contact with the San Diego Padres with hopes of snagging Quentin, but they haven't made much progress yet. That could always change as deadline day approaches.
Quentin has hit seven home runs in 33 games for the Padres after hitting at least 21 in each of the past four seasons for the Chicago White Sox. His presence would be a welcome addition to an Indians lineup that ranks near the bottom of the AL in homers.
Although it doesn't sound like a deal is imminent, this is one of those trades that will probably be revisited several times before the deadline as both teams look at other options. The Indians would be wise to make a strong push eventually.