Don't look away now. The MLB player-swapping season is just days away from ending (except for the occasional waiver-wire deal), and every team is exploring potential angles for success.
There is no shortage of trade talk with the July 31 deadline fast approaching. Let's take a look at the latest rumors on tap in the majors.
Cardinals Showing Interest in Peavy
The St. Louis Cardinals have been all over the rumor mill, and the latest buzz is in regard to their interest in Boston Red Sox hurler Jake Peavy. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark noted the potential deal in a chat with fans:
"The Peavy deal is still very much alive, by the way. The Red Sox just brought in their top scouts to watch the Cardinals' New York-Penn League team. And that's telling us something."
Peavy's numbers don't initially jump out as the kind of summer catch a championship contender is usually looking for. The 33-year-old righty is 1-9 on the season with a 4.72 ERA and 1.472 WHIP, per Baseball-Reference.com.
He amassed those losses in historically dubious fashion, per ESPN Stats & Info:
Jake Peavy (BOS): Lost 9 straight decisions. First Red Sox starter to do so in a single season since Jim Lonborg in 1969.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 23, 2014
Still, the Cardinals could acquire Peavy for spare parts and solidify the back end of the rotation. Peavy's veteran acumen lends itself to a playoff push, and he does have a respectable 4.19 ERA in three July starts, per Baseball-Reference.com.
He doesn't hold any long-term value for the Red Sox, and the Cardinals are looking to win big and win now. They will need depth in order to leapfrog the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates and take the National League Central crown. This is a potential deal that makes sense for both clubs, provided the Cardinals don't give up any major prospects.
Suzuki Drawing Some Attention
It's hard to generate offense from the catcher's spot, which is why Kurt Suzuki finds himself among our latest roundup of trade rumors.
According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, two (likely) playoff-bound teams are interested in the Minnesota Twins backstop:
The Orioles and Cardinals are among teams showing trade interest in Twins veteran catcher Kurt Suzuki. The two contending teams both lost star catchers to injury. St. Louis is looking at catching after star Yadier Molina went out with a thumb injury, and Molina isn't expected back until September, at the earliest.
NBC Sports' Aaron Gleeman likes the idea of a Suzuki trade sweepstakes:
Sure sounds like the Twins are listening on trade offers for Kurt Suzuki. Which is smart. Career-year at 30, seller's market for catchers.— Aaron Gleeman (@AaronGleeman) July 25, 2014
As Heyman noted, the Cardinals are in need of a rental at catcher thanks to Yadier Molina's injury. Suzuki boasts a .308 average, 19 doubles, 40 RBI and an All-Star appearance this season.
He could actually be an improvement for the Cardinals in the short term, and they wouldn't have to worry about a nasty contract situation, as Suzuki's current deal is set to expire at the end of the year.
The Orioles could have more long-term interest in Suzuki, as Matt Wieters is out for the season. Suzuki could be a valuable backup for the Orioles, although he may not be open to a reduced role.
The Twins are in last place in the American League Central and reportedly have engaged Suzuki in extension talks, per the Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino. So far, nothing has come to fruition. To his credit, Suzuki has been very sensible about the whole process.
"It's one of those things where it could happen," he said, via Berardino. "There's really not much to even think about. It's part of the business. I'm just taking it day by day here and having fun with my teammates and going out and winning ballgames."
A trade may be imminent, but Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal claims there is a movement in Minnesota to keep Suzuki:
Sources: #Twins’ field people pushing to keep Suzuki. Quick extension unlikely, but other catchers in organization much less advanced.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2014
Considering Suzuki's season and the contract impasse, it makes more sense for the Twins to sell him to the highest bidder.
Barnes Could Have A Suitor
According to The Denver Post's Patrick Saunders, the Toronto Blue Jays are taking a look at Brandon Barnes:
The Toronto Blue Jays have been scouting Barnes, the Rockies’ utility outfielder. With Michael Cuddyer due back in mid-August, a Barnes deal, at the right price, could make sense, but an MLB source says Toronto has not yet put together a deal for Barnes.
Should the Blue Jays make a definitive move for Barnes, this could be a transaction that works out nicely for both clubs.
Barnes plays all three outfield positions and gives the Blue Jays quality depth in the wide expanses of grass. He's not striking the ball with much authority, as his .246 average will attest to, but it's better than that of Anthony Gose (.239) and Colby Rasmus (.215).
Gose's average is a bit misleading, as he does have a very strong .342 on-base percentage for the year. Barnes is also capable of some extraordinary glove work at times:
The Blue Jays are locked in a tight battle for the AL East crown. As it stands, they are just 3.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles. The team's overall play has deteriorated as of late and could really use a shot in the arm to make a playoff push.
A Barnes trade could allow the Rockies to play the seller's game a bit without giving up Troy Tulowitzki. They need to regroup after this season and gain some assets while they still can. Trading Barnes allows them the opportunity to rebuild and take the pressure off trading a cornerstone player like Tulo.