MLB Trade Rumors: Latest on Brian Dozier, Zach Britton and MoreJuly 22, 2018
On Saturday, the New York Mets traded closer Jeurys Familia to the Oakland Athletics in exchange for two prospects and international bonus pool money.
That deal took one of the bigger names remaining off the trading block, but numerous position players and pitchers are bound to change cities before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Here's a look at the latest news on two second basemen and the most-coveted reliever on the market.
Per ABC 5 Eyewitness News sports anchor and 1500 ESPN Radio host Darren Wolfson, there's some trade chatter surrounding Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier:
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic also said the Milwaukee Brewers are interested in Dozier:
Four players (Jonathan Villar, Brad Miller, Eric Sogard and Hernan Perez) have played second base for the Brewers this season. Villar has been there the most (74 games), but he's currently on the 10-day disabled list with a sprained thumb. Prior to the injury, Villar was batting .261 with a .693 OPS.
The issue is that none of the four aforementioned players are hitting particularly well this year, so the Brewers may want to find someone with a little more pop at second base.
Although he is currently experiencing a down year, Dozier could help in that regard. For the year, the Twins' second baseman has 16 home runs. He only has a so-so .724 OPS this year, but the 31-year-old Dozier sports a .774 OPS lifetime and may experience some positive regression soon.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers dealing for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, the National League pennant race just got much tougher for the senior circuit's other 14 teams. The Brewers should make a move here to try to keep up.
Per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, numerous teams have interest in New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera:
Putting two and two together, it's clear the Brewers are looking for a second baseman, as they have reported interest in two of the best ones on the trading block. The Arizona Diamondbacks, however, could be a better fit.
Cabrera has been a shortstop for most of his career, so he's a capable middle infielder who can handle either position. Second baseman Ketel Marte (nine home runs, .247 batting average, .745 OPS) and shortstop Nick Ahmed (12 home runs, .226 average, .702 OPS) haven't done poorly at the plate this year, but Cabrera (17 home runs, .819 OPS) would be an upgrade over either of them at the dish.
It also helps that Cabrera is a switch hitter, as he can replace Ahmed on days Arizona is facing a righty. For the season, Ahmed is managing just a .650 OPS against righties, although his lefty OPS is a solid .800. Against lefties, Cabrera (at second) and Ahmed could handle the middle infield responsibilities.
Ultimately, Cabrera is in the midst of a solid two-and-a-half year run where he's posted 54 home runs and an .806 OPS. He should be a strong asset for any team that picks him up prior to the deadline.
Per Buster Olney of ESPN, expect Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton to get moved sooner rather than later:
A look at the bottom half of the league in bullpen ERA reveals that numerous contenders need some relief help. Of note, the Seattle Mariners (16th), Philadelphia Phillies (17th), Atlanta Braves (19th), St. Louis Cardinals (24th), Colorado Rockies (28th) and Cleveland Indians (29th) are there.
The Tribe made some moves for bullpen help recently, so they are likely out of any bidding for Britton, but a desperate team looking for a solid arm may go over the top and give the Orioles an offer they can't refuse.
Of note, the Braves look like a very good fit. Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave reasoning why:
"Arodys Vizcaino is on the disabled list again, and despite converting 15 of 17 save chances, the Braves would benefit from adding another option. A.J. Minter and Dan Winkler have both worked the ninth, but their performances have left room for improvement.
"Adding a pitcher such as Britton could help the rest of the unit fall into place. Vizcaino, Minter and Winkler wouldn’t routinely handle the ninth, giving manager Brian Snitker an abundance of options for the late innings."
Vizcaino has a sterling 1.65 ERA this season, but he's on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. It's possible that Vizcaino has complications or doesn't return as effective as he was prior to the injury. Hopefully Vizcaino comes back soon and 100 percent healthy, but if not, Britton would be a huge asset to the Braves bullpen.
Atlanta may have an added incentive to obtain Britton: Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies are in the mix. First-place Philadelphia leads second-place Atlanta by just a half-game in the NL East, and if one of those teams gets the O's southpaw, the slight edge likely goes to that squad down the stretch for the division title.