As the MLB trade deadline approaches, Chase Headley, Hunter Pence and Josh Johnson are among the biggest names rumored to be on the move. But where will they be heading, if anywhere?
It’s hard to say at this point, as rumors of talks have begun to spin out of control over the past few days. However, multiple trades around the league, including the recent trade of Zack Greinke to the Anaheim Angels, have started to clear up this mess and narrow down the field of suitors.
There are a number of teams in position to make a playoff run who think they have the ability to win now. In the AL, the Detroit Tigers, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Anaheim Angels and Tampa Bay Rays are all in pursuit of two Wild Card entries into the postseason.
In the NL, the Pittsburgh Pirates, Atlanta Braves, L.A. Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks are all vying for the two Wild Card spots.
With this many teams still in contention and looking to get over the hump this late in the season, and with the addition of the second Wild Card berth, there’s no wonder the trade-deadline rumors are flying in full force this year.
Let’s take a look at the three hottest trade-deadline rumors as Tuesday draws closer.
Ryan Dempster Blocks Deal to Be Sent to Atlanta, Where Do They Look Next?
The list of starting pitching options assumed to be still on the trading block is beginning to get smaller and smaller as the trade deadline approaches. Some of the contenders listed above are very interested in adding a starting pitcher to bolster their rotations down the stretch.
No team has been more vocal than the Atlanta Braves—besides the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim—on their desire to add an elite starter before the deadline.
Dempster is exercising his contractual 10-and-5 rights to block undesirable trades. He hasn’t ruled out eventually agreeing to a trade to the Braves, but he is likely waiting it out to see if the Braves and L.A. Dodgers can strike up a deal before doing so.
Jerry Crasnick, baseball writer for ESPN.com, tweeted on Saturday that there are discussions taking place between the Dodgers and Cubs that would send Dempster to L.A. in exchange for 25-year-old pitcher Josh Lindblom:
Outlook: Whatever ends up happening in the Dempster drama, the Braves need to find another arm for their rotation if they have any hopes of realizing their postseason dreams.
Chase Headley to the Oakland A’s, New York Yankees or Baltimore Orioles?
There are many teams currently “in” on the chase for Chase Headley. Ken Rosenthal, FOX Sports' Senior Baseball Writer, tweeted that a new suitor was entering the Headley discussions. He said the Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates and now the New York Yankees are in on acquiring the San Diego Padres third baseman.
Outlook: The Indians and Pirates have seemingly moved to the background of the Headley talks because of the price.
However, the O’s and A’s remain in the running but will have to compete with the New York Yankees, who have apparently entered the mix. If the Yankees can pull this off, they will add the final piece to what appears to a World Series-caliber ball club.
Hunter Pence to the San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants have reportedly made it known that if the Philadelphia Phillies intend to trade Hunter Pence, they’re ready. Jon Morosi, FOX Sports’ National Baseball Writer, tweeted the Giants were interested in making a move for Pence:
Outlook: The Giants made a push for outfielder Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline last season and have expressed interest in Pence. For Philadelphia, getting something for a declining Pence while shedding his growing contract would be an ideal situation as they attempt to retool and rebuild after a disappointing 2012.
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