MLB Rumors: Latest Trade Buzz and Predictions for Top 2018 Players Available

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 25, 2018

TORONTO, ON - JULY 22: J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on July 22, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

On Tuesday, the New York Yankees acquired Baltimore Orioles reliever Zach Britton in exchange for three prospects.

That move takes one of the biggest remaining names off the trading block, but there are still a few other transactions set to take place between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Here's a look at three of the top players involved in trade rumors and predictions for where they will be in August.


J.A. Happ

Per Andy Martino of Sportsnet New York, the Jays have dropped their asking price for left-handed starting pitcher J.A. Happ, who is 10-6 with a 4.18 ERA and 130 strikeouts this season:

Andy Martino @martinonyc

Source: Jays asking price on J.A. Happ has dropped from a few weeks ago. We asking teams for top 3 prospedt-types, now are being more realistic

Left-handed starting pitchers aren't exactly a dime a dozen, so Happ should have numerous teams after him as the deadline nears.

The team that makes the most sense is the Philadelphia Phillies. On July 17, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported that the Phillies were interested in Happ, noting that "there is definite interest."

Phillies general manager Matt Klentak threw some cold water on the idea of acquiring a starting pitcher, per Bill Evans of NJ Advance Media, saying that "(the Phillies) were hoping to stay out of the starting pitcher trade market, that's one you would like to stay out of."

However, Klentak also said that he'd "love to include a lefty" and that "if (the Phillies) have to opportunity to sign a lefty or trade for one, we'll look into it, but we won't force it."

The Phillies' rotation is entirely right-handed, so adding a lefty would be a great fit for the team. He could easily slide into the No. 3 spot behind Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta. As for Klentak's remark about the team not forcing anything, it may not have to if the Jays dropped their asking price.

With the Phils in the midst of a tight division race with the Atlanta Braves (and perhaps the Washington Nationals if that team can finally string together some wins), they need to add some reinforcements for the stretch run. Happ would be a good start.

Prediction: Trade to Philadelphia


Chris Archer

Although he allowed three second-inning runs, Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer looked phenomenal against the Miami Marlins on Sunday, punching out 13 batters in six strong innings.

It was an encouraging sign for the 28-year-old, who was making his third start after coming off the disabled list due to an abdominal strain.

That was also good news for a few teams who could be looking to add Archer for the stretch run.

A few teams are in the mix. Per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the New York Yankees have inquired about Archer.

However, he reported that the odds of him being moved seem slim:

Jerry Crasnick @jcrasnick

The #Yankees are among the clubs that have inquired on Chris Archer. But other teams are skeptical the #Rays will move Archer -- period -- much less to a division opponent when he's under contract at a reasonable price through 2021. That never helps the trade dynamic.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and The Athletic reported that the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers are also in the discussion:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

In this column, an exploration of the #Padres’ interest in #Rays’ Archer: https://t.co/vARe8gcJyN $

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

#Brewers continue to cast wide net in search for upgrades, sources tell me and @ByRobertMurray. They are among the teams pursuing #Orioles’ Britton and also considering #Rays’ Archer. Had extensive discussions with #Orioles on Machado; know which prospects O’s like.

Archer's contract runs through 2019, but the Rays have club options in 2020 and 2021. Still, that hasn't stopped teams from looking into him.

Unless Tampa is floored with an offer it can't refuse, it's hard seeing Archer going anywhere when the team can hypothetically retain him for the next few years and hope he's part of a brighter, playoff-contending future.

Prediction: Stays with Tampa Bay


The last-place New York Mets are playing out the string, and they've already begun trading proven veterans for prospects. Closer Jeurys Familia is now an Oakland Athletic, and the next player to go could be second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, who has hit 17 home runs to go along with a .806 OPS.

Per Buster Olney of ESPN, a few teams are after Cabrera:

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Asdrubal Cabrera could be the next Met to move: He's hitting .280, .332 OBP, 17 homers, positional flexibility. Brewers, Cleveland, Phillies among the teams with interest in him.

The Milwaukee Brewers make the most sense, as they have rotating doors at shortstop and second base. Per Baseball-Reference, three players have manned short for 24 or more games, while a quartet has seen action for 12 or more games at second. Cabrera, who is a shortstop by trade but has played second base of late, can put a lockdown on one of the middle-infield positions.

Rosenthal also noted that the Brew Crew could be after Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well, so it's clear Milwaukee is looking for someone in the middle infield. However, Cabrera may be a better fit for the Brewers than Dozier thanks to his positional versatility.

Prediction: Trade to Milwaukee