Impact MLB Trades That Could Still Go Down Before the Deadline
We've already seen a flurry of activity on the summer trade market, and there's still ample time for contenders to add another piece or two for the stretch run.
The non-waiver trade deadline is Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, after which time players will need to clear waivers in order to be dealt.
Top available starting pitchers J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Nathan Eovaldi have already found new homes, as have relievers Brad Hand, Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia and Joakim Soria.
Mike Moustakas, Eduardo Escobar and Asdrubal Cabrera were also all dealt to contenders on Friday.
Those moves all came on the heels of the Los Angeles Dodgers landing the biggest rental on the market when they sent five prospects to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Manny Machado.
What deals might still be forthcoming?
Ahead is a look at four impact trades that still have a very real chance of going down before the deadline.
Seattle Mariners Acquire Matt Harvey
The career renaissance of Matt Harvey has been one of the more intriguing storylines leading up to this year's trade deadline.
After a 2017 season that was beset by injuries, Harvey stumbled out of the gates to a 7.00 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 27 innings before the New York Mets designated him for assignment on May 4.
He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds a few days later in exchange for catcher Devin Mesoraco and cash in a deal that looked like a low-risk/minimal-reward move for both sides.
While Harvey has not recaptured the magic that made him the toast of New York early on in his big league career, he's at least returned to serviceable form. He went 5-3 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in his first 12 starts in a Reds uniform before getting shelled by a red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates team on July 22.
He rebounded nicely on Saturday, though, allowing just two hits and two earned runs over five innings in a no-decision against the Philadelphia Phillies.
That's enough to make him one of the top remaining starting pitching options in a market that has already seen J.A. Happ, Cole Hamels and Nathan Eovaldi find new homes.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Seattle Mariners are among the teams showing interest.
Seattle's rotation has been a surprising strength to this point with a 4.13 ERA that ranks seventh in the American League.
However, relying on Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales to duplicate their first-half performance is a risky proposition for a team with postseason aspirations. And ace James Paxton continues to have a hard time staying healthy.
As a rental, Harvey should still be attainable for a Mariners team that has one of the thinnest farm systems in baseball.
Cleveland Indians Acquire Adam Jones
A disappointing season from 2017 rookie standout Bradley Zimmer has left the Cleveland Indians with a significant hole to fill in center field.
The former first-round pick swiped 18 bases in 19 attempts and played stellar defense (4 DRS, 8.4 UZR/150) last season, but he struggled to a 63 OPS+ in 34 games to open 2018 before he was optioned to Triple-A on June 5. He suffered a shoulder injury just days after being demoted and will miss the remainder of the season following surgery.
In his absence, the Indians have used Tyler Naquin (183 PA, 74 OPS+), Rajai Davis (171 PA, 59 OPS+) and Greg Allen (150 PA, 42 OPS+) in center field, and the position as a whole has produced a brutal .218/.263/.298 line.
Adam Jones fits the bill.
The 32-year-old is no longer the MVP-caliber player he was in his prime, but he's still a productive hitter and an experienced veteran. He's been roughly a league-average offensive performer with a 103 OPS+, but that still makes him a significant upgrade over the current options.
Jones has full 10-and-5 veto power, but as a free-agent-to-be playing for one of the league's worst teams in the Baltimore Orioles, he'd likely welcome the chance to move to a contender with open arms.
In fact, the Indians might be his preferred destination, as they have a clear path to everyday playing time and are all but a lock to be playing in October.
Milwaukee Brewers Acquire Kyle Gibson
On July 6, a 53-35 Milwaukee Brewers team had the best record in the National League and a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central. Since then, they've gone 8-11 with a minus-five run differential and seen that lead in the standings turn into a half-game deficit.
If anyone needs to make a splash at the deadline, it's the Brew Crew.
While they've already added reinforcement to the bullpen with the addition of Joakim Soria and a power bat to the lineup with Mike Moustakas, they still need starting pitching help.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the Brewers have been in talks with the Minnesota Twins regarding infielder Brian Dozier, and a large deal could materialize to also include Kyle Gibson.
Dozier no longer looks like a potential target with Travis Shaw shifting over to second base following the addition of Moustakas, but Gibson would still be a great fit.
While he's more than just a rental with team control through next season, Milwaukee should be able to get a deal done without giving up top prospects Keston Hiura or Corbin Burnes.
It's not the sexiest name out there, but he'd be a stabilizing addition to the starting staff as the team gears up for the stretch run.
Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Jose Leclerc and Jake Diekman
The Los Angeles Dodgers are not finished adding to their roster, even after swinging a blockbuster deal to acquire Manny Machado.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the team is now pursuing "a reliever to help out closer Kenley Jansen," and they're casting a wide net in their search.
Last summer, the Dodgers added one of the top rental relievers on the market (Tony Watson) and a controllable bullpen arm (Tony Cingrani), and a similar approach could be employed this time around.
The Texas Rangers provide an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Think the Washington Nationals acquiring Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from the Oakland Athletics last year, only on a slightly smaller scale.
Closer Keone Kela might be the Rangers' most attractive trade chip, but he's far from the only useful arm they have readily available in trade talks.
A package of Jake Diekman and Jose Leclerc would give the Dodgers two quality arms—one rental (Diekman) and one controllable (Leclerc)—and the two together would likely come at a smaller acquisition price than Kela.
- Diekman: 46 G, 14 HLD, 3.79 ERA, 10.9 K/9
- Leclerc: 39 G, 13 HLD, 2.39 ERA, 12.7K/9
Would that be enough for the Dodgers to feel comfortable with the bullpen down the stretch?
With Brad Hand, Zach Britton, Jeurys Familia, Joakim Soria and Seunghwan Oh already off the market, the crop of quality relievers is rapidly dwindling. The Dodgers would be wise to move quickly, and the Rangers look like the perfect trade partner.