MLB Trade Rumors: Updating All 30 Teams' Hottest News on the Rumor Mill
With about a week to go until the 2012 MLB trade deadline, rumors are both heating up and cooling off. Teams are changing priorities, buyers are becoming sellers and sellers are becoming buyers.
What's more is that players who were expected to stay with their teams have now been traded, and players expected to be traded have gotten nice extensions.
As a result, what teams are planning to do moving forward have changed dramatically. Here are the latest rumors surrounding each team in light of the new developments.
It seems really unclear what the Orioles are going to do at the deadline. It seemed like they would acquire a pitcher, but with the return of Zach Britton, they may be OK here—they are doing too well to be sellers.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun has them acquiring a hitter, if anything. A high on-base percentage guy would be helpful, though they are not a team that is going to ship off the farm, and Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado being untouchable limits their options.
If they do add a starting pitcher it would be for depth, and someone like Clayton Richard seems to be the best bet.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs now have a connection in Theo Epstein, and that could not only help make a trade, but potentially a blockbuster one.
We already know the Sox are interested in Matt Garza, but the Cubs in return are interested in Daniel Bard. Add in some extra pieces, mostly on Boston's end, and you have yourself a legitimate deal that helps out both teams.
As for anyone who needs catching help, Kelly Shoppach remains the best catcher on the market if the Red Sox do in fact want to give him up.
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
I don't see the Rays as being sellers at the deadline, especially since a good offensive acquisition could get them going. However, they may end up selling anyway due to the depth they have at starting pitcher.
Namely, they are looking to trade James Shields and for a young pitcher or catcher in return. They can put out five starters even without Shields, and a trade would be a win-win for them as well as a team like the Angels.
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays made a huge 10-player deal with the Houston Astros, and with all the pieces that moved, it would not surprise me if that was the team's major move.
While the Astros stockpiled the farm, the Blue Jays didn't get anyone major in return, though they did give Francisco Cordero a change of scenery. I still feel like they'll add another starter to add some depth before the end of the deadline.
Francisco Liriano is a possibility for that, and the Jays have noted interest in him.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox are one of the few teams that have been quite active on the trade market before the deadline. They added Kevin Youkilis and have now traded for Brett Myers as well.
Seeking pitching depth, they are now in the mix for Zack Greinke. With the pitching beginning to struggle and the Sox falling out of first place, a playmaker like Greinke could be exactly what they need. Unfortunately, they have a weak farm system, and they probably don't have enough to acquire him.
With Carlos Quentin signing a contract extension, the big bat that Cleveland wants may not exist on the trade market. As a result, according to Ken Rosenthal, they may instead bolster their starting pitching.
The Indians have been aggressive in getting either hitting or pitching, and at this point with the Tigers coming back, the only move that would hurt them is not making one at all.
As for who they might acquire now, it would have to be someone who does not cost too much, such as Francisco Liriano or possibly James Shields.
The Detroit Tigers have gone from being stuck in third place to easily in first place, with the only surprise really being how long it took them to get there. Nonetheless, they still need pitching depth.
As for who they might acquire, they could very well tap into Seattle's pitching staff again. They are interested in Jason Vargas, who is not that much of an improvement, but having a finesse pitcher in the back may help more than we think.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals' misfire with Jonathan Sanchez makes the trade for Melky Cabrera the worst trade of the 2011 offseason, as least for now. As a result, the Royals remain without quality pitching and are under .500 yet again and will likely be sellers.
I don't see Alex Gordon being traded at all, but his name has been tossed about, particularly as someone the Yankees could acquire. They can afford his contract, yet aside from him, I don't really see anyone the Royals can ship out.
The Minnesota Twins are going to be sellers, no question about that. They may even be up there with the Cubs in trade quantity when all is said and done.
Francisco Liriano has been discussed often and Justin Morneau and Matt Capps remain possibilities, but the wild card is Denard Span. Span has become the team's top trade chip and is a viable option for those who are not high on Shane Victorino.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
The Angels had a great pitching staff going for most of the year, but Ervin Santana hasn't been getting it done, leading the Angels to need some pitching depth if they want to catch the Texas Rangers.
The Oakland Athletics are actually going to be buyers at the deadline? As laughable I would have thought that would sound, it looks to be the case.
Namely, the Athletics are looking at acquiring Chase Headley. He can provide some offensive pop and they can move Brandon Inge to a utility role, so it's a move that makes sense. Plus, they have more than enough prospects to give up, even though that doesn't sound like an A's-type move.
The Seattle Mariners are clearly in sell mode, but with an anemic lineup and a merely decent pitching staff, they don't have much to sell. Kevin Millwood is a likely sell candidate, but Jason Vargas will almost certainly be traded.
At least three teams have interest in the pitcher, and they could get a decent return, perhaps about what they got for Doug Fister last year. If they could pull that off, it would be a win.
The Texas Rangers may be in first place, but they know that their World Series window is just this year and, as a result, are going to be big-time buyers at the trade deadline.
Their goal is to add bench depth rather than starting pitching depth, and one potential pickup is Marco Scutaro. There isn't anything to the Cliff Lee-Rangers rumors that popped up of late, in my opinion, but adding a rental pitcher is certainly a possibility.
There's no question that if the Braves want to make the playoffs or catch the Nationals, they need some starting pitching help. Given that, it's lucky for them that interest in Ryan Dempster has cooled a bit.
The Braves have now emerged as the favorites to land Dempster, and since they have a few more prospects to give up than the Dodgers, particularly on the pitching end, it seems like only a matter of time until this deal takes place.
The Marlins are one of the few teams to have only used five starters this year. That's the only good thing you can say about a team that has at best underachieved and at worst just been bad at times this year, despite the talent it has.
Nonetheless, it looks like they may be sellers after all. The Tigers and Red Sox are interested in Anibal Sanchez, and a player like Hanley Ramirez is always going to get some looks even on an off year. They will probably do nothing, but they could also go into fire-sale mode.
New York Mets
With the Mets falling under .500, it's easy to say that they'll go into selling mode, especially since there's no way of knowing if David Wright will be back. That being said, they have noted that they will not be sellers at the deadline.
Where does that leave them?
They look more likely to be buyers for 2013 rather than go into win-now mode. Getting players who aren't in their contract year would give them a good team heading into next year, and they could carry the philosophy into the offseason as well.
The Phillies have two major trades that could potentially go down, as we have known of them for the past month. Cole Hamels still has not signed an extension, and until he does, there's always the possibility of a blockbuster trade.
The Pirates are interested in Shane Victorino, as are others, but the price is considered too high, currently. It's in the best interest of the Phillies to lower the price, but we will see if they actually do before the deadline.
The Washington Nationals have perhaps the best pitching staff in baseball and are still looking to build on that. Still, with Stephen Strasburg's innings limit coming up, they're looking for some veteran depth.
Ryan Dempster is a possibility for them, since all they need is a rental. They could also make a move with the Yankees to acquire some help, as they want Rick Ankiel. If they did that, though, they would need to make an outfield move to cancel that one out.
The Chicago Cubs have been designated as the big sellers all season long, and nothing has changed that. Even Matt Garza's minor injury shouldn't change anything.
The fire sale is projected to begin once Ryan Dempster is traded. Once he is traded, that will open the floodgates not just for the Cubs, but all of baseball. It just takes one team to make the leap.
Despite losing Joey Votto for a few weeks, the Reds remain in first place in the NL Central. If the Pirates or Cardinals make a move, though, it won't be that way for long, so the Reds will likely be buyers.
They need a leadoff hitter moving forward and are looking at both Shane Victorino and Juan Pierre, both of whom would be good rentals and, more importantly, would be giving the Reds exactly what they need.
The Astros have now traded two of their three main players. Aside from the monster deal with Toronto, they sent Carlos Lee to the Marlins and Brett Myers to the White Sox.
Now that nearly everyone else has been traded, the odds that Wandy Rodriguez goes have suddenly plummeted. Ken Rosenthal notes that sources say it'll be a while before he's traded, which makes sense since the Astros would not really have anything left.
Last week, it was not yet clear whether the Brewers would be buyers or sellers at the deadline. Now that they're been swept by the Joey Votto-less Reds, the case is clear for the Brewers to now become sellers.
Naturally, Zack Greinke has been the most discussed player, but there hasn't been any new developments there of late. He was offered a $100 million deal by Milwaukee, but the lack of a signing by him suggests that he will be traded.
The Pittsburgh Pirates badly need a bat—while they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot, there are very few hitting outside of Andrew McCutchen.
They do want to add Shane Victorino, which could work if he moves to right field. As long as they make at least one move to bolster their hitting, even though it has improved in recent weeks, then they should do alright.
St. Louis Cardinals
Jaime Garcia looks like he will be ready to rejoin the team in the near future, Lance Lynn has steadied himself after a couple bad starts and Kyle Lohse has looked like a real ace.
This all means that the odds the Cardinals acquire a starting pitcher have fallen off dramatically. While they may still make a trade to keep themselves in the race, their top-level hitting combined with a pitching staff that has bounced back means the Cardinals could easily stand pat at the deadline.
The only major trade rumor involving the Diamondbacks is the most obvious one. They are interested in selling Justin Upton, and he has been one of the top targets all month long.
That being said, most teams seem to be distancing themselves from the rumors due to sticker shock, as the D'Backs want too much. The Pirates are still interested and might grab him, but he could very well stay with the team another year.
The Colorado Rockies may be first in the NL in triples and home runs, but their pitching is so bad that they're last in the NL West. Needless to say, they are sellers this year.
There are teams such as the Rays interested in catcher Ramon Hernandez, which is a bit surprising given his production, or lack thereof. A change of scenery could help since he was great in 2011, plus the Rockies will probably get more than his production merits.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers were focused on Ryan Dempster the past week, and despite it looking like a deal was going to get done, it instead fell through. The Dodgers and Cubs must have good relations, however, as they simply moved trade talks over to Matt Garza.
Los Angeles is now looking to acquire Garza for further pitching depth, and the question is simply whether or not the Dodgers have the prospects for the Cubs. The demand for Garza is certainly going to be higher than for Dempster, after all.
San Diego Padres
The San Diego Padres were expected to be a big selling team, perhaps second to the Chicago Cubs, but now it looks like they may not be making any trades after all.
Carlos Quentin has been signed to a three-year, $27 million deal, and with him off the trade market, I see a domino effect occurring. More accurately, the odds of Chase Headley, Huston Street and Clayton Richard being traded just got that much lower, and they weren't all that high to begin with.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants look to be buyers now that they're fighting the Dodgers for the NL West lead. While I think adding a power bat could be a big help for their small ball team, they are focusing on bullpen help.
Namely, they want to acquire Royals reliever Jonathan Broxton. Broxton has been pitching very well for the Royals, and since the offseason trade for Melky Cabrera worked out so well, why not try again with them?