MLB Rumors

MLB Rumors: Latest Rumblings on the Hottest Trade Deadline Names

CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 8: Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts after giving up two runs during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 8, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2012

With Tuesday's MLB trade deadline fast approaching, rumors involving some of the game's top players are popping up everywhere. 

It's no secret that the struggling Philadelphia Phillies have been in talks with several teams about some of their intriguing prospects, including veteran Shane Victorino.

The former World Series champion is not alone among the rumored movers, though. Here are the latest rumblings surrounding the hottest deadline names this summer. 

 

Shane Victorino On His Way to LA?

The LA Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies are in the midst of legitimate discussion over Philly outfielder Shane Victorino, according to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman

The 31-year-old center fielder is batting .261 this season, with nine homers and 41 RBI. Philadelphia's disappointing 2012 season has led the team to look to make changes in the lineup. The veteran hasn't played poorly by any stretch, but he hasn't wowed the Phillies either.

Victorino has been a Philly mainstay since 2005, and even helped the club win a World Series in 2008. The biggest advantage for Victorino is that he would be going to a contending team in the Dodgers, who are tied for the NL West lead heading into the stretch run of the summer. 

 

James Shields Set to Stay Put in Tampa?

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields is likely to remain a Ray for the remainder of the season, according to the Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin via Twitter:

#Rays Shields on trade situation: "It's looking like more and more I'm going to stay here.''

— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 30, 2012

 

Shields is 8-7 in 21 starts this season with a 4.52 ERA and 134 strikeouts. The Rays are still somewhat within striking distance of the New York Yankees in the AL East, just seven-and-a-half games back nearing the start of August. Tampa is just three games back of the AL wild card, which means that they have a real shot at making the postseason in 2012 if they hold on to Shields.

With David Price and Shields on the mound, the Rays certainly boast talent, but they must find some offensive consistency and flow in order to challenge in the American League. The Rays are the worst run-scoring team in the division, and are putting too much pressure on the arms of Price and Shields. 

 

Matt Garza Leaving Chicago?

There is a "very high chance" that Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza gets traded before the Tuesday deadline, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark via Twitter:

Latest Garza tidbit: "Very high chance" he gets traded, says one exec. Jays have been bearing down on him.

— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) July 31, 2012

 

Garza is currently out because of a triceps injury, but is reportedly being pursued by the Toronto Blue Jays. Garza is just 5-7 in 18 starts this season with a 3.91 ERA and 96 strikeouts. The 28-year-old right-hander hasn't had a season with an ERA over 4.00 since 2006 with the Minnesota Twins. 

With the Cubs sinking fast in the NL Central, the Blue Jays are wise to attempt a deal. Toronto is nine games back of the AL East lead, but only four-and-a-half games back of the AL wild card. Acquiring Garza wouldn't help the Jays right away. But once he heals, they would have a solid prospect to put on the mound and help them reach their goal of contending in the American League. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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