The MLB trade deadline is Wednesday July 31 at 4 p.m. ET, and as of Monday morning, there are still 18 teams within eight games of a playoff spot. The teams that are not—the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Angels, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays—are most likely to be "sellers" over the next six days.
Notable July Trades
-Cubs trade starting pitcher Scott Feldman and backup catcher Steve Clevenger to the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Pedro Strop, starter Jake Arrieta and international bonus slots Nos. 3 and 4 (July 2).
-Marlins trade starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco to the Los Angeles Dodgers for minor league pitchers Josh Wall, Steven Ames and Angel Sanchez (July 6).
-Cubs trade outfielder Scott Hairston to the Washington Nationals for minor league pitcher Ivan Pineyro (July 8).
-White Sox trade reliever Matt Thornton to the Boston Red Sox for minor league outfielder Brandon Jacobs (July 12).
-Cubs trade starting pitcher Matt Garza to the Texas Rangers for minor league infielder Mike Olt, minor league pitcher C.J. Edwards and starter Justin Grimm, along with a player or two to be named later (July 22).
-Brewers trade relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league infielder Nick Delmonico (July 23).
-Cubs trade outfielder Alfonso Soriano and cash to New York Yankees for minor league pitcher Corey Black (July 26).
The latest rumors, news and speculation are as follows:
Latest on Peavy
There's no guarantee that White Sox starter Jake Peavy will be traded before the deadline, but he's packed and ready to go for the team's current road trip as he anticipates a deal will get done.
Based on the high price tag, though, and the White Sox's lack of interest in taking on any of his remaining salary (estimated $24 million through 2014, plus $15 million vesting player option in 2015), according to ESPN's Jayson Stark, teams appear to be waiting for the price to drop, finding out just how badly the Sox want to deal the 32-year-old right-hander. According to one executive who spoke to Stark, the feeling is that they are trying to move him before his scheduled start on Tuesday.
ESPN's Buster Olney thinks the A's are the front-runners for Peavy, ahead of the Cardinals, Red Sox and Orioles, but Peter Gammons tweeted yesterday that the Braves, Red Sox and A's aren't interested in Peavy at the current price.
Speaking of the current price, which Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan says currently starts with each interested team's top prospect, it will likely drop if no team steps up and meets the White Sox's demands by Wednesday. If it doesn't come down enough, however, Peavy will remain in a White Sox uniform for his weekend start against Detroit.
Relief Pitcher Market
With two less relievers on the board after Monday morning trades—the Angels traded Scott Downs to Atlanta; the Astros traded Jose Veras to Detroit—teams appear willing to still take a shot on White Sox reliever Jesse Crain, who is on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.
The 32-year-old right-hander, who has an 0.74 ERA with 19 holds and 46 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, could be traded to one of two teams as soon as today, tweets Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago. He says the Rays are the most likely destination.
Several trade candidates currently reside in the NL West, with the Padres focused on finding deals for setup man Luke Gregerson and lefty specialist Joe Thatcher, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, the Giants willing to listen to offers on lefty Javier Lopez, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, and the Rockies reportedly discussing a deal with the Indians for lefty Josh Outman, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
The biggest name on the market, if reports are true, would be Rangers closer Joe Nathan (pictured). Texas is trying to add at least one bat to its lineup and it could utilize its bullpen depth to make it happen. Rosenthal was the first to report that the team was having internal discussions, while Olney chimed in later that they were actively shopping the 38-year-old.
With 32 saves in 34 chances and a 1.73 ERA, Nathan is still amongst the top closers in the game. But with Joakim Soria (5.2 IP, 0 R, 3 holds) back from Tommy John surgery and Tanner Scheppers (1.70 ERA, 19 holds) having a breakout season, the Rangers apparently feel comfortable enough to trade away Nathan.
The Red Sox, Dodgers and Cardinals could all be fits, but as Danny Knobler of CBS Sports points out, most contending teams aren't in a position to send back a major league hitter in any deal.
Another top closer that could be on the move is Phillies right-hander Jonathan Papelbon, who recently expressed his frustrations about the direction of the team. Stark writes that the Phillies' unwillingness to pick up any of his remaining contract, however, makes a deal unlikely. One executive echoed that sentiment to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
The 32-year-old Papelbon has a 2.21 ERA and 20 saves in 25 chances.
Angels and Giants Listening to Offers
Two West Coast teams with some very intriguing trade chips that are looking more and more like sellers are the Angels (48-55; 8.5 games back of a playoff spot) and Giants (46-58; 10 games back of a playoff spot).
Passan tweeted yesterday that the Angels were willing to listen on middle infielders Howie Kendrick (pictured) and Erick Aybar, among others. As ESPN's Jim Bowden notes, however, the Angels don't have much to sell.
Top starting pitchers Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson have full no-trade protection and young stars Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo aren't going anywhere. Thus, "others" might not have much value. Downs, who is a free agent after the season, was traded for a middle reliever. Starting pitcher Jason Vargas would've been a hot commodity on the trade market, but he's been out since mid-June with a blood clot in his armpit.
In addition, the Angels don't have much middle infield depth in their farm system, so trading away Aybar and/or Kendrick, two solid players in their prime with multiple years left on their current contracts, might not make a lot of sense unless they get back a talented near big league-ready middle infielder back.
On the other hand, the Giants do have quite a few veterans who could net them a decent return. They'll reportedly listen on offers for outfielder Hunter Pence, tweets Rosenthal, although Stark reports that they'd rather re-sign him and would only deal him if they were blown away by an offer. This is the stance with many teams, however, which is why so many trades don't happen until one side finally gives in near the deadline.
Free agents-to-be Lopez and Tim Lincecum are also possibilities to be traded, while it would be very interesting to see if they'd dangle closer Sergio Romo or third baseman Pablo Sandoval, both of whom have another year left on their current contracts.
Dylan Bundy a Trade Chip?
Despite two 25-man roster additions this month—starting pitcher Scott Feldman was acquired from the Cubs; reliever Francisco Rodriguez was acquired from the Brewers—the Orioles are reportedly still interested in making another acquisition, possibly a major one.
And while none of the aforementioned players would likely cost the Orioles their top pitching prospect, Dylan Bundy (pictured), Rosenthal is reporting that they are willing to move him in the right deal. Executive vice president Dan Duquette shrugged off the rumor, telling Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com that it probably came from someone who wants to trade for him.
The 20-year-old is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and might not be back to full strength until the 2015 season. But pitching prospects with ace potential who could be in the big league rotation within two seasons aren't cheap.
In fact, the club's potential willingness to include Bundy in a trade could mean that it's exploring a deal for an impact bat or arm that's under team control for several seasons and hasn't been widely discussed or discussed at all in trade rumors.
Bundy is the type of prospect who could headline a deal for Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, although a deal of that magnitude could also take Kevin Gausman, second baseman Jonathan Schoop and more to pull off. Aside from Stanton, there just aren't too many big names out there that would necessitate the inclusion of Bundy.