MLB Trade Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on Chris Sale, Wade Davis and More

Ryan McCrystal@@ryan_mccrystalFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2016

Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis celebrates their 4-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

MLB's August 1 non-waiver trade deadline is quickly approaching, and the rumor mill is churning. 

The first blockbuster move of the season was officially completed Monday with the Chicago Cubs' announcement that they had acquired New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in exchange for prospects.

Monday's move may start a chain reaction of other deals, especially in the National League, as teams look to keep pace with the Cubs.

Here's a look around the league at some of the latest rumors and reports.

                          

Chris Sale, White Sox

Jul 18, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Chicago, 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his team-imposed suspension for a clubhouse outburst, Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale remains the hottest name on the trade market.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports broke down the market for Sale on Monday, naming Boston Red Sox prospects Yoan Moncada and Andrew Benintendi as well as Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Julio Urias as potential young stars who could help pry Sale from Chicago. 

Many teams will likely view the asking price as exorbitant, but Sale's value is sky-high thanks to his team-friendly contract, which goes through the 2019 season. According to Spotrac, Sale is set to earn $39.5 million from 2017 through 2019, a bargain rate for a top-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. 

                 

Wade Davis, Royals

Jun 26, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher Wade Davis (17) delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The defending champion Kansas City Royals, who are struggling to stay above .500, are reportedly willing to listen to offers for closer Wade Davis. However, the asking price will be steep, according to ESPN.com's Jayson Stark:

Passan added that the Royals are specifically interested in Washington Nationals prospect Lucas Giolito, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. 

Davis is under contract through the 2017 season, so it's reasonable to expect a more enticing package than the New York Yankees received for Aroldis Chapman, who will be a free agent after the 2016 campaign. 

However, the Royals may have a hard time drumming up enough interest in Davis to drive the asking price that high.

One of the teams interested in obtaining Chapman was the Cleveland Indians, but the Royals are unlikely to entertain the idea of shipping Davis within the division. That may leave the Nationals as one of the only viable trade partners, decreasing their incentive to offer a top-flight prospect. 

                 

Edinson Volquez, Royals

Apr 10, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez (36) delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Another potential casualty of the Royals' disappointing season is Edinson Volquez, who is under contract through the 2017 season.

According to Spotrac, Volquez's contract has a $3 million buyout option at the end of the 2016 season, so a team could view him as a rental if it's willing to buy him out at the season's end. 

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney reported that the market for Volquez has at least one suitor:

Volquez originally broke into the big leagues with the Texas Rangers in 2005 before being shipped to the Cincinnati Reds in the deal that brought Josh Hamilton to Texas. 

After a rough start to the season, Volquez has shown signs of settling down in recent weeks. Over his past five starts, he's posted a 2.84 ERA.

                  

Hector Santiago, Angels

Jul 15, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Hector Santiago (53) in the first inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick reported that the Los Angeles Angels are listening to offers for lefty starter Hector Santiago.

Santiago, who was selected to his first All-Star Game in 2015, is in the midst of a disappointing season with a career-worst 4.38 ERA but has been regaining his All-Star form in recent weeks. 

In his past seven starts, Santiago is 5-0 with a 2.28 ERA.

Due to his recent hot streak and track record of success, the asking price for Santiago could be steep. 

Santiago is earning just $5 million this season, according to Spotrac, and will likely see only a marginal bump in salary in 2017, his final season of arbitration before he hits the free-agent market for the first time in 2018.

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