MLB Trade Rumors: Jeff Samardzija, Howie Kendrick and More Deadline-Day Buzz
The Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline is set for 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, giving teams just a few hours to solidify their rosters for the stretch run. After the deadline passes, it becomes much tougher to work out any high-impact deals.
One thing to keep in mind as the deadline nears is how the extra wild-card spot is keeping more teams in the playoff race. So if there's a lack of deals during the final hours, it's likely due to the fact more teams still fancy their chances of making a run at the postseason.
Knowing that, let's check out some of the latest trade talk as general managers around the league continue trying to find the missing piece to their championship puzzle.
After some up-and-down seasons in the bullpen, Samardzija moved into the Chicago Cubs' rotation last season and revitalized his career. In 22 starts this season, he's accumulated a 3.75 ERA and has struck out more than a batter per inning.
In a lackluster trade market, those numbers were enough to make him one of the most coveted starters available. Alas, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Cubs have been unable to find a deal to their liking and are now planning to keep him until the winter:
The Cubs have determined they aren't going to get the blockbuster package they sought for Jeff Samardzija right now, so they will try again to lock him up or trade him in the winter.
If a third attempt to sign him to a big extension fails in the offseason, a trade will become much more likely.
Of course, teams are always trying to gain leverage on deadline day, so the Cubs could be saying he's unavailable just to bolster the offers. If that's not the case, teams in need of starting pitching will have to look elsewhere with the deadline looming.
Kendrick is one of the sport's most under-appreciated players. A career .293 hitter, the second baseman can also hit home runs, steal bases and provide solid defense. He doesn't dominate in any one category, but he's a very solid across-the-board contributor.
Despite that production, the Los Angeles Angels haven't taken him off the table. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reports the Angels are planning to keep fellow infielder Erick Aybar but are still fielding offers for Kendrick:
He would be a fantastic addition for a contending team. He can hit in the No. 2 spot and get on base for the sluggers, or he can serve as a run producer lower in the order, where he'd capitalize on more RBI chances. It's hard to imagine the Angels giving him up for anything less than a king's ransom, though.
Morse recently returned from an extended stay on the disabled list with a quadriceps injury. The Seattle Mariners apparently aren't wasting any time to see if he has any market value, though, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post states the slugger is "very available":
Which player is most likely to get moved?
His numbers are down this season, but it's hard to know exactly how much of that was due to the nagging injury he suffered before going on the DL. His OPS is down 77 points from his career average and 158 points down from his peak with the Washington Nationals.
Any team that attempts to make a deal for him would be betting on a return to prior form now that he's healthy. As long as the Mariners' asking price is reasonable, he could be a cheap source of power for a playoff hopeful team down the stretch.
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