MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Heading into 2019 Draft

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJune 3, 2019

Seattle Mariners' Mike Leake
Seattle Mariners' Mike LeakeStephen Brashear/Associated Press

The 2019 Major League Baseball draft is upon us. Over the next three days, MLB teams will take turns signing some of the top college and high school players in the country, hoping these prospects eventually become major league stars.

For the most part, these prospects won't actually affect the 2019 season. Many of them, however, could be leveraged as part of trades that will.

With teams preparing to make their picks—the Baltimore Orioles will kick off Round 1—now is the perfect time to examine some of the latest trade buzz surrounding Major League Baseball.


Mariners Firmly in Selling Mode

The Seattle Mariners are sending outfielder Jay Bruce to the Philadelphia Phillies. This doesn't come as a surprise, as Seattle is sitting well below .500 and has the feel of a team that needs focus on the future and not this season. Therefore, dealing the 32-year-old slugger makes sense.

Jim Salisbury @JSalisburyNBCS

Hearing the Jay Bruce deal is complete. Not out of question he is in Dodger Stadium for series finale today. Phillies need win to avoid sweep.

In return, the Mariners will receiver minor league infielder Jake Scheiner. The Phillies will also get roughly $18 million in order to help cover Bruce's salary, according to The Athletic's Matt Gelb:

Matt Gelb @MattGelb

Phillies will trade infielder Jake Scheiner to Seattle for Jay Bruce. They'll get about $18 million from Mariners.

However, the Mariners don't appear likely to stop with Bruce when it comes to selling off veteran assets. According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Seattle has also discussed trading the likes of Edwin Encarnacion, Tim Beckham and Mike Leake:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Mariners are deep in sell mode. “Trying to trade everyone,” as one rival put it. Beyond Bruce, also talking about Encarnacion, Healy, Gordon, Beckham, Leake, etc. Talks said to be “ongoing” with Phillies on Bruce.

The Mariners already have four draft selections in the top 100, which they could turn into a solid foundation for the future.

"It's exciting for us because it's an opportunity for our scouts and our organization to make a little bit bigger impact than what we've done over the last couple years," amateur scouting director Scott Hunter said, per Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.

By selling now, Seattle could end up with even more chances to strike gold in the draft.


Royals Also Looking to Sell

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

Just a few short years ago, the Kansas City Royals were World Series champions. Now, they're just another middling team going nowhere fast.

It's no surprise that the Royals, who are sitting in the AL Central basement, are looking to move almost anyone in order to begin the rebuilding process.

"According to a source, the Royals have started to let it be known that nearly anybody on their roster is available in a trade, with shortstop Adalberto Mondesi and third baseman Hunter Dozier among the select untouchables," Mark Feinsand of MLB.com wrote.

According to Feinsand, second baseman Whit Merrifield is the most "intriguing" trade candidate on the roster. Not only is he having a strong season—he's batting .300—but he's also playing on a team-friendly four-year, $16.25 million contract.

In addition to Merrifield, the Royals could move Jorge Soler, Alex Gordon, Danny Duffy or Ian Kennedy, according to Feinsand.


Greene Could Be A Commodity

Another tidbit from Feinsand involves Detroit Tigers reliever Shane Greene.

According to the reporter, Greene could be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market, should Detroit decide to make him available.

"For a team looking to add to its bullpen, Greene is probably going to be the best arm out there," an unnamed Major League scout said, per Feinsand. "That wouldn't have been the case last summer."

This isn't the first time Greene's name has come up in trade chatter, either. Paul Crane of 92.9 The Game reported last month that the Atlanta Braves were at least talking with the Tigers about making a deal:

Paul Crane @PaulCrane7

Hearing ATL talking with DET about RP Shane Greene. Price may be too high w/young arms but talking. @929TheGame @MikeConti929

Ironically, it was Atlanta who just handed Detroit its 34th loss of the season over the weekend. If the Tigers continue to slide, expect Green to continue cropping up in trade rumors.