MLB Trade Deadline 2018: Date, End Time, Hottest Rumors, Predictions and More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJuly 28, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14:  Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets in action against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on July 14, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Nationals 7-4.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on July 31, and teams are scurrying to make moves.

On Friday, the Philadelphia Phillies traded for New York Mets second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, the Arizona Diamondbacks acquired Minnesota Twins infielder Eduardo Escobar and the Milwaukee Brewers got Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, per Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com.

The action doesn't look like it will take a pause as we inch closer to Tuesday's deadline, as rumors continue to fly.


Kyle Gibson

After struggling over his past two full seasons (5.07 ERA in 2016 and 2017), Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson has found a groove in 2018, striking out 126 batters in 129.0 innings and registering a 3.42 ERA.

He also just came off an impressive win against the Boston Red Sox, going eight innings while fanning seven and allowing one run.

Naturally, there's some interest in Gibson as the trade deadline approaches, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports notes that a deal is unlikely:

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

#Twins drawing as much interest in RHP Kyle Gibson as in any of their players., but would need to be “blown away” to trade him, source says. Gibson, 22nd overall pick of 2009 draft, finally becoming pitcher MIN envisioned. Ranks 12th in AL with 3.42 ERA, one more year of control.

The Twins are clearly in rebuilding mode, as the Escobar trade more or less signals the white flag. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier has also been the subject of trade rumors—Rosenthal connected him to Milwaukee. However, he's also a free agent after this year, so the Twins risk losing Dozier for nothing.

With Gibson under team control, as Rosenthal noted, the Twins can keep him around for at least a year and see how things develop. He should stick around.


Zack Wheeler

The Milwaukee Brewers may not be done making moves, as they are one of at least three teams looking at New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, per Andy Martino of Sportsnet New York: "The [Chicago] Cubs, [Cincinnati] Reds and Brewers are among the teams talking to the Mets about Wheeler, according to major league sources."

Martino noted that the Mets would look to shift Wheeler as soon as a Cabrera deal was reached. With that in the rearview mirror, expect Wheeler to be on the move soon.

The Brewers make a lot of sense after southpaw starter Brent Suter was unfortunately lost for the year with a torn UCL, which will require Tommy John surgery. Milwaukee needs to plug a hole in the rotation, and Wheeler can fit that bill. For the season, the 28-year-old has a 4.33 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 114.1 innings.

Wheeler has shown an ability to pitch deep into games of late, going into the seventh inning in six of his past 10 tries. He's also completed seven full frames in five of those instances. That could help the Brewers down the stretch. Look for Milwaukee to pull off a deal.


Texas Rangers Making Moves?

The Texas Rangers are 43-62 and in last place in the American League West, so it makes sense for them to move some players prior to the deadline.

And the player who seems most likely to go anywhere is closer Keone Kela, who has amassed 23 saves in 24 opportunities this year. Per T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, Kela is "more likely to be dealt than third baseman Adrian Beltre heading to Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline."

Kela is a 25-year-old right-hander who has struck out 43 batters in 35.2 innings. He would be a solid pickup for a contending team looking to strengthen its bullpen down the stretch. Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News connected Kela with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who apparently have some interest. With the Bucs rejoining the pennant race after a hot streak, the guess here is that they get a deal done.

As for future Hall of Famer Beltre, Sullivan noted that "the Rangers aren't as motivated to move Beltre as they are other players. There is still some sentiment to re-sign him after he becomes a free agent this offseason."

It's hard to fathom, but Beltre has been in the league since he was 19. When he broke in, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were trying to beat Roger Maris' home run record. Twenty years and a ton of accolades later, Beltre is hitting .294 at age 39.

He could be a boost to another team's closing run, but Beltre's value as a leader and strong veteran presence can't be replaced. He should stay.

Lastly, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has made trade talk recently. Per Evan P. Grant of the Dallas Morning News: "According to two major league sources, Cleveland and Philadelphia have been among the most aggressive in inquiring about Gallo."

However, Grant also wrote that "the Rangers would likely have to be overwhelmed to trade Gallo, and that possibility remains a long shot given that he has struggled at the plate this year."

A three-true-outcomes player, Gallo has struck out 138 times this year. On the plus side, he has swatted 25 home runs and knocked in 56 runners. It's remarkable that he's been able to post a solid .764 OPS despite the strikeout rate, but the 6'5", 235-pound outfielder can launch moonshots with the best of them.

That being said, it doesn't make much sense to deal him. Gallo is only 24, and there is no reason to give up on him now. He will be a Ranger past the deadline.