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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Zach Britton, Jacob deGrom and More

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 20, 2018

Baltimore Orioles' Zach Britton throws against the Texas Rangers in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 14, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles possess one of the most coveted trade targets even after the Manny Machado deal.

Since they are stuck in the American League East cellar, the Orioles are expected to be one of the top sellers as the MLB trade deadline approaches.

With Machado offloaded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for five prospects, the focus has shifted toward reliever Zach Britton, who is the most talked about available player on the market. 

While it appears Britton will be dealt before the trade deadline, there are other players mentioned in trade discussions who will be harder to move because of the high demand their teams expect in return. 

One of the most intriguing teams on the trade market could be the New York Mets, who sit 13 games out of first place in the National League East and have some pitchers who could help out contenders at the right price. 

Below is a look at the latest buzz surrounding the top players on the trade market as play resumes after the All-Star break. 

        

Interest in Britton Heating Up 

Britton's potential landing spot could dictate the remaining market for pitchers, just like Machado's trade to the Dodgers affected position players. 

Among the teams interested in the services of the reliever are the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, per Fancred's Jon Heyman.

The list of potential destinations for Britton will continue to grow in the coming days, especially after Brad Hand was traded to the Cleveland Indians along with Adam Cimber, as The Athletic's Jim Bowden noted on CBS Sports HQ

Ben Margot/Associated Press

"All the teams that lost out on Hand are going to take their attention and put it on Zach Britton," Bowden said. 

Bowden mentioned the Houston Astros, Cubs and Yankees as the teams with the most interest in the 30-year-old reliever. 

There have been concerns expressed about Britton's health because he is coming off an Achilles injury, but he's proved in his recent outings that he is back to full strength. 

Since Britton is the top name on the wishlists of many contenders, the Orioles could drive up the price in order to get the maximum return. 

Each of the teams mentioned above is in need of a bullpen upgrade, and although Britton may have a steeper price tag than other relievers, he'd be worth the risk. 

      

DeGrom, Syndergaard Generating Interest, But Mets Setting High Price Tag 

Britton's price tag may be considered cheap compared to what the Mets want in exchange for starting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. 

According to James Wagner of the New York Times, teams have made calls to the Mets about the pair of starters, but the asking price is steep: 

James Wagner @ByJamesWagner

Hearing more of the same re: Mets at the trade deadline. Teams have called on Jacob deGrom & Noah Syndergaard, but Mets most interested in elite prospects (close to the majors) and/or MLB players.

The Mets are looking for a similar return as the San Diego Padres got for Hand. The Padres received top prospect Francisco Mejia, who is at Triple-A and should make an impact in the majors soon. 

However, bringing in a top-notch prospect or an MLB player will be difficult since the teams expected to dive into the starting pitcher market don't have a ton of that at their disposal. 

Of the two starters mentioned, deGrom should be coveted more because of the season he's producing despite the Mets' struggles. 

The NL All-Star carries a 1.68 ERA and 149 strikeouts with his 5-4 record, and he's also given up 23 earned runs in 123.1 innings. 

Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

In his first start back from the disabled list July 13, Syndergaard conceded seven hits and one earned run in five innings. 

If he puts together another solid start or two before the trade deadline, Syndergaard's stock could rise. 

Trading either one of their star pitchers would be a difficult decision for the Mets no matter how impressive the package presented to them by a contender is. 

If they think they can get the right deal for deGrom or Syndergaard before the trade deadline, the Mets should pursue it, but there's always the possibility of making a deal in the offseason as well. 

        

Brewers Looking At Dozier After Missing Out On Machado

With the Machado sweepstakes over, the focus of some contenders remains on infielders. 

The Milwaukee Brewers, who are looking for upgrades in the middle of the infield, are looking at Brian Dozier among others to fill their need, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal: 

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Among the players the #Brewers are expected to target now that they have lost Machado: #Twins 2B Brian Dozier. Team also will explore pitching upgrades as well.

Adding a middle infielder with a strong bat would provide balance to Milwaukee's order and patch up a key hole on the field for the team fighting for the NL Central title alongside the Cubs. 

Although Dozier is hitting .230, he has 16 home runs and 48 RBI in 93 games, and he's hit at least 28 home runs in each of his last three seasons. 

Bringing in extra power to a lineup that already includes Christian Yelich, Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar would add another dimension to the Brewers lineup. 

If they aren't able to bring in Dozier, the Brewers need to make some sort of upgrade in order to keep pace with the Cubs, who possess one of the best lineups in the NL. 

       

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference

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