Rumors are just rumors, but that doesn't mean there isn't truth behind them.
The July 31 trade deadline is three weeks away, meaning that MLB teams will soon make deals to improve their roster either for the second half or for the future. There are still a few middling teams that could fall on either side of the fence, but we now have a good idea of which teams will be buyers and which teams will be sellers.
Some teams, like the New York Yankees, might buy to make a last-ditch effort to steal a wild-card spot. Others, like the San Diego Padres, might sell their most valuable assets to stock up for the future.
Big-name players have been involved in rumors recently, and while no deals may materialize, it's worth getting up to speed with the latest buzz.
Good players generally don't stay on bad teams for very long, but Giancarlo Stanton has repeatedly dodged trade rumors in the past. That probably won't change this year.
USA Today reported that Stanton will not be traded, via ESPN:
Miami Marlins general manager Dan Jennings told USA Today Sports that he will not trade either of the team's best hitters, reiterating the club's stance that Giancarlo Stanton won't be dealt while also claiming that Casey McGehee isn't available.
Stanton, who leads the National League in home runs and RBIs, has been unable to reach a long-term deal with the Marlins and has been the subject of trade speculation throughout this season.
Stanton, a member of the National League All-Star team and participant in the 2014 Home Run Derby, would easily be the biggest name moved at the deadline. It would take an absolute blockbuster to acquire him, though, and there probably aren't many teams in baseball with the prospects and big league talent to facilitate a deal.
As is the case every year, Stanton has found himself involved in trade rumors that simply aren't true, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today:
Extension talks haven't gone either side's way at this point, so there is a chance that Stanton is dealt at some point in the future. Whether that's this year (against Jennings' statement) or next year, he might still be playing somewhere else by the time he becomes a free agent for the first time after the 2016 season.
As one of the top young hitters in the game, Stanton wouldn't be wrong to chase a big contract. Rather than re-upping with the Marlins now, he can wait it out and make a lot more money after 2016.
Jake Peavy has struggled this year. He's just 1-7 with a 4.64 ERA, 4.81 FIP and 1.437 WHIP. The Boston Red Sox are fading fast in the American League East, making him a big-time trade candidate for teams looking to catch lightning in a bottle.
ESPN's Gordon Edes reported that the St. Louis Cardinals may be one of those teams:
Cardinals parachuted in yesterday to scout Peavy. Remember they had a lot of interest in him at deadline last season— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) July 7, 2014
ESPN's Jayson Stark added to the report:
A move to the National League would benefit Peavy's 2014 season and future. He saw the best success of his career in the NL when pitching for the San Diego Padres from 2002 to midway through the 2009 season. While he is no longer the same pitcher he was back then, his familiarity with the NL style of play will certainly help.
Couple that with the weaker lineups in the NL and the fact that the Cardinals have an opening in the rotation because of Jaime Garcia's season-ending injury, and Peavy is a perfect fit for the Cards. CBS Sports' Jon Heyman agrees:
nl/st louis would make sense for jake peavy. boston is talking peavy & other things w/many teams. no sign it's imminent tho— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 8, 2014
The question now is what the Red Sox will ask for in return. He's certainly not worth much given his peripherals, so teams should scoff at the Sox if they ask for anything more than a low-level prospect.
Of course, if Boston offers to pay most of Peavy's salary, then the team could feasibly gain a bullpen arm in return. Regardless, there won't be any big-name prospects on the move in a potential Peavy trade.
No stranger to making controversial statements, Jonathan Papelbon made headlines Wednesday with this, via Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Some guys want to stay on a losing team? That's mind-boggling to me," Papelbon said. "I think that's a no-brainer."— Matt Gelb (@magelb) July 10, 2014
Gelb had more on what Papelbon's statement meant regarding his future with the Philadelphia Phillies:
Jonathan Papelbon indicated his limited no-trade clause would not stand in the way of a trade to a contender this month.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) July 10, 2014
The 33-year-old closer is actually enjoying a fine season. He sports a 1.24 ERA, 0.853 WHIP and 22 saves in 37 appearances for a Phillies team that has just 40 wins. They are in last place in the NL East, and Papelbon shouldn't be ridiculed for his desires to play for a winner.
His salary could prevent a deal unless Philly is willing to pick up some of the tab, and the high return expected for closers could also inhibit a deal. For example, a team like the San Francisco Giants could feasibly be in the market for a late-inning arm.
Santiago Casilla is now the closer after Sergio Romo struggled to begin the year. Jean Machi has even gotten five opportunities to close out games, though he's been successful just twice. San Francisco has a wealth of good arms in the pen, though, and despite not having a closer, would acquiring Papelbon be worth parting with quality prospects?
If the Phils don't ask the world for Papelbon, then they might be able to find a trade partner. That is, of course, if they even decide to honor his wishes of playing for a contender.
Follow Kenny DeJohn on Twitter: @KennyDeJohn_BR