While the sports world focuses on the NBA rumors that are running rampant throughout the league, don’t forget about the hot stove on the baseball side of things.
The July 31 MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the contenders figure to knock on the pretenders’ doors looking for ready-to-win-now talent. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the latest rumors from around the league.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports provided an update on the Asdrubal Cabrera situation:
As I just said on @MLBONFOX pregame, Giants considering Asdrubal Cabrera and Mike Aviles as trade options -- *if* the Indians sell.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
The first thing that jumps out about this is whether the Cleveland Indians are going to be buyers or sellers at the deadline. As of Saturday, they were 5.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League Central and looking up at the Seattle Mariners for the final wild-card spot.
What should the Indians do this year?
They are far from out of contention, but they might take a realistic look at their World Series chances and push the sell button on Cabrera.
The shortstop is 28 years old and theoretically has a few productive seasons left in the tank, but he is struggling at the plate this year. As of Saturday, he is hitting .249 with nine home runs and 49 RBI, and he simply hasn’t been the same force he was in past years for Cleveland.
A trade to San Francisco could trigger a move to second base for Cabrera. Perhaps a change of scenery would spark his numbers again.
Cabrera could certainly warrant a solid package in return for his services if the Indians were to trade him. All they have to do is decide whether it is worth harming their chances at the postseason this year.
Morosi filled in fans on the latest regarding Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler:
Sources: Tigers have inquired on availability of DBacks reliever Brad Ziegler, but Arizona seems inclined to keep him.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
Arizona may not want to relinquish its productive bullpen piece, but it would make some sense. The Diamondbacks are not going to come anywhere near a postseason appearance in 2014, while the Tigers could use another arm.
Entering play Saturday, Ziegler had a 2.37 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 44 strikeouts in 49.1 innings. The Tigers pitching staff is a disappointing 22nd in the MLB in ERA, and Ziegler’s presence would help solidify the back end of the bullpen.
Now all Arizona has to do is decide whether it wants to look to the future and deal Ziegler.
Morosi gave fans an update on a potential trade between the Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies:
Phillies and Orioles have had very preliminary talks on a trade that would send A.J. Burnett to Baltimore, sources tell @FOXSports1.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 19, 2014
This is a classic case concerning buyers and sellers here. The Phillies are mired in last place and are simply playing out the string, while the Orioles are in the middle of a heated race with the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the American League East.
A.J. Burnett has been solid at times but far from spectacular for Philadelphia this season while sporting a 6-9 record with a 4.08 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He would give the Orioles pitching staff some more depth and, more importantly, a veteran presence going forward that would be useful in a pennant race.
Burnett discussed the rumors, via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
I signed here to play here. I'm not a guy who looks for an out or wants to get out because things aren't going the right way. If that happens, then it happens, but I'm not looking to move on. This is my team. I understand how things work, but I'm trying not to worry about it. I just try to go about my business and enjoy my teammates.
He may have a whole new set of teammates to enjoy by the end of July.
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