Seemingly in an effort to keep up with the NBA, major names such as Troy Tulowitzki have surfaced on the MLB trade rumor mill.
With the Midsummer Classic approaching, it is only right that some of the top names create smoke—and perhaps eventually fire—as they convene for the All-Star game and as franchises gear up for the playoff push.
For pretenders, it is a great time to build for the future. Those of the mindset the postseason resides off in the distance don't mind acting as buyers to secure the proverbial missing piece.
The result is a frantic period before the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31. Here's the latest.
Jake Peavy Is a Hot Item
One Jake Peavy is no stranger to the trade deadline.
The 33-year-old pitcher was on the block last year, wound up with the Boston Red Sox and eventually helped lift the team to the World Series, even if he was sluggish at times in his new home.
Now he's seemingly set to be on the move again.
With the Red Sox floundering more than 10 games below .500 and in fifth place in the AL East, it makes sense the team would be willing to sell him in return for assets. The partner might just be the St. Louis Cardinals, as noted by ESPN's Jayson Stark:
The owner of a 1-7 record and a 4.64 ERA, the Cardinals have to be extremely desperate to gamble on the reeling Peavy, right?
It just so happens they are, as MLB.com's Jennifer Langosch provides some crushing news:
Even if it is not the Cardinals that come swooping in, Peavy seems well aware that the Red Sox are sellers at the deadline, and his name is certainly near the top of the list, as captured by ESPN's Gordon Edes:
I don't know the ins and outs of really all that's been talked about, but I do know there have been conversations. I think they're going to trade people -- obviously, me and a handful of others -- that don't make sense to hold onto and go through this when we can have value to other teams. It's unfortunate, the situation we're in. And certainly, in my mind, I'm a Boston Red Sox, and I will be until told otherwise. My heart and soul are not anywhere else.
The 2007 Cy Young winner will hit free agency after the season, so it is smart for the Red Sox to get something, anything, of value back from the trade that sent him there in the first place.
Sometimes a change of scenery is all a hurler needs. Perhaps that is the line of thinking in St. Louis.
But so Is John Lackey
The fire sale in Boston may not end with Peavy, though.
No, there is an interest in 35-year-old John Lackey for obvious reasons, given his somewhat strong performance this season. Per Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, teams have brought up Lackey's name, too:
The owner of a 3.48 ERA and a 9-6 record, Lackey has actually endeared himself to fans this season as one of the lone bright spots during an overall dull season, at least at times.
Like Peavy, it is hard to tell just how much Lackey has left in the tank, but he's due for a new contract sooner rather than later and will be looking to cash in on one final deal. It's a good move by the Red Sox to at least consider shipping him away, even if they seem hesitant because of his play this year.
That is, unless the brass in the front office feels like Boston's miserable outing this year is an anomaly rather than a trend that will continue. If that's the case, Lackey may be worth keeping around and they might want to dish him a new contract.
Regardless, at this point in time it's going to take an offer the Red Sox cannot refuse. Until the deadline gets close, at least.
Troy Tulowitzki Riles Up Trade Buzz
"I want to be somewhere where there's a chance to be in the playoffs every single year."
So it begins.
That was Tulowitzki talking to Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post recently, and since then the rumor mills have been afire with talk that the Colorado Rockies will have to move one of the game's best players.
The frustration is palpable but also understandable now that the Rockies have collapsed and are on pace to finish in the neighborhood of 90 losses.
“I think the guy is going to lose his mind," a friend told Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Rosenthal notes that Tulowitzki is due $118 million from 2015 to 2020, but to be quite blunt, that's not a number any team in the league would shy away from given the fact he is only 29 years old and easily one of the MLB's best:
It would be wise for the Rockies to go ahead and just throw Tulowitzki on the block. The franchise is not anywhere near contention and the seeds of a disgruntled superstar have been planted. As Rosenthal explains, the very old issue of pitching in Colorado will continue to hold the team back:
Top free-agent pitchers are not eager to sign with Colorado, and the Rockies probably do not want to pay for them, anyway. It all adds up to the same old problem of trying to build a successful pitching staff at Coors.
Tulowitzki deserves better at this stage of his career, though if the front office in Colorado would ever move him is difficult to discern. He seems destined to stick around for at least the remainder of the season, unless the brass has a change of heart and wants to exchange him for some pitching.
Just understand that the coming weeks will be filled with nothing but talk concerning the superstar, regardless of who says what. Intentional or not, Tulowitzki just started an already gigantic snowball fight.