The MLB trade market is picking up steam after a sluggish approach to the July 31 deadline. With several deals having already been completed, the final hours before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline promise to be full of movement.
Perhaps the biggest domino yet to fall came tumbling down on Tuesday night as the Chicago White Sox reached a deal to send right-hander Jake Peavy to the Boston Red Sox in a three-team trade, according to a club tweet by the White Sox:
Peavy headlined a list of several solid pitching targets, some of which we’ll examine.
The White Sox may not be done selling, either. With outfielder Alex Rios potentially on the trading block, a handful of teams may be in contention to acquire him by Wednesday night.
Let’s take a look at the latest rumors involving Rios and a couple top pitching targets potentially on the move.
Rios’ eventual destination is hard to lock down right now. The Pittsburgh Pirates were rumored to be close to a deal, per David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, but according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, that deal has “lost steam”:
With the rumors of a move to Pittsburgh losing ground, talk of another potential destination is starting to gain some footing.
According to Merkin, the New York Yankees have a “renewed interest” interest in acquiring Rios, despite the no-trade clause in his contract which includes New York.
As Buster Olney of ESPN.com pointed out, the Yankees probably don’t need to pursue another outfielder with Aflonso Soriano in the fold and Curtis Granderson preparing to return from injury:
To make matters worse, Rios left Chicago’s game against the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night with a foot injury, via a tweet from ESPNMLB:
In other words, Rios’ future is still very much up in the air. Given the volume of rumors already circulating and the lack of a true front-runner in the chase, this situation may take some time to fully develop.
The Philadelphia Phillies have been adamant that ace lefty Cliff Lee isn’t on the trading block, per Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, but that hasn’t stopped teams from showing interest in the former NL Cy Young Award-winner.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com, the Boston Red Sox were at least interested in Lee prior to dealing for Peavy:
With a contract of more than $70 million and a general manager not sold on dealing him, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which Lee is actually dealt before the deadline, especially with perhaps his biggest suitor already having withdrawn from the discussion.
At this point, nothing significant has surfaced regarding other teams showing serious interest in Lee. Unless something unexpected happens Wednesday, it looks like Lee will remain in Philadelphia.
Houston Astros starter Bud Norris has been one of the hottest names on the trade market recently and with Peavy set to join Boston, he may be the next pitcher to find a new home.
The Pirates look to be closing in on a deal for the right-hander, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.com:
While Norris wasn’t dealt on Tuesday, Houston still has some time to find a trade partner before the deadline. Along with Pittsburgh, the Baltimore Orioles are also said to be in the mix, via Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
Passan also mentioned the Arizona Diamondbacks as a potential suitor:
As is the case with Rios, speculation involving Norris doesn’t seem to be tied down to one particular team despite the overwhelming speculation involving the righty in the days leading up to the deadline.
Houston may be holding out for the right package, and the longer the situation plays out, the more likely the Astros are to get what they want. At the moment, however, the situation seems to be at a standstill.