The New York Mets sit front and center under the MLB spotlight ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, and it looks like Noah Syndergaard could be the most notable name changing teams.
The 26-year-old right-handed pitcher has become the centerpiece of the rumor mill because of a few factors across the league.
The San Francisco Giants and Cleveland Indians are among the franchises that have altered the complexion of the pitching market because of recent surges up the standings.
With fewer clear-cut sellers across the majors, the Mets have been thrust into trade discussions of all sorts involving Syndergaard.
The Mets will not be the only seller before Wednesday, as the Toronto Blue Jays have long been mentioned as a team willing to make deals.
As for the buyers, the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics have been the most active teams so far, with both ball clubs acquiring bullpen help Saturday, but the Twins could be far from done with their shopping in an attempt to fend off the Indians.
Most Intriguing MLB Rumors
Noah Syndergaard to San Diego
According to The Athletic and Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, one of the deals the Mets are exploring involves trading Syndergaard to the San Diego Padres and then using some of the prospects gained in that deal to land Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays.
Rosenthal added to his report by stating the Mets would receive pieces from the Padres in addition to Stroman, if it were to go down.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the Mets are considering not only Stroman for a trade but also other pitchers if a deal for Syndergaard is completed.
Passan noted that the trade market has slowed down because of the talks surrounding Syndergaard's future.
The potential three-team transaction sounds like the Mets are trying to complicate matters when it comes to shipping off one of their coveted trade targets.
Making a straight-up deal with the Padres would make more sense than trying to flip prospects in a short span to a team with an experienced pitcher who has extra years of team control.
San Diego is in possession of seven prospects in the MLB.com Top 100 list, and if the Mets work negotiations in their favor, they could produce a significant haul that impacts their future in a positive manner.
However, the Mets might face some difficulties in discussions with San Diego if they want certain prospects in return for Syndergaard.
According to The Athletic's Dennis Lin, the Padres have not shown much desire to part ways with Luis Urias, the team's No. 2 prospect who was recently called up to the majors.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported that teams believe the Padres are willing to deal Adrian Morejon, the No. 5 prospect in the organization who also recently made his MLB debut.
San Diego has enough young talent in its pipeline that could appease the Mets in negotiations, and Syndergaard would be an experienced piece to add to a talented young group in San Diego that has eyes on contending in the next few years.
If a deal is reached between the Mets and Padres, the impact of it will not be seen right away since the Padres are not a serious player in the National League playoff picture yet, but it could end up paying dividends as early as the 2020 campaign.
Marcus Stroman to Los Angeles Dodgers
According to Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Dodgers are considering a move for a starting pitcher because of the fluctuations in the market, and Stroman is one of their potential targets.
The Dodgers have a strong stable of starters led by Hyun-Jin Ryu and Clayton Kershaw, and adding a piece like Stroman would hand them one of the strongest rotations in baseball going into the postseason.
Shifting one of their current starters to the bullpen to make room for Stroman would also improve the club's overall pitching depth.
The Giants' recent surge is one of the reasons for change when it comes to availability on the bullpen market since they might have been inclined to deal Will Smith, Sam Dyson or Tony Watson if their struggles continued after the All-Star break.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' Felipe Vazquez could be an option for the Dodgers as well, but the Pirates are asking for a premium arm and bat in exchange for their closer, per MLB.com's Jon Morosi.
If the price for Vazquez is believed to be too steep in the eyes of the Dodgers front office, they could shift to the plan of acquiring a starter and rearranging their bullpen a bit.
In any deal, the Dodgers will likely be asked about one or more of their top four prospects.
Catcher Keibert Ruiz, infielder Gavin Lux, catcher/third baseman Will Smith and pitcher Dustin May are the most intriguing players in the Los Angeles farm system, and if a team is in discussions with the Dodgers, there is a good chance at least one of them comes up.
If the Dodgers pursue Stroman, they could face competition from other contenders, including the New York Yankees.
Morosi reported Friday that the Yankees are remaining in contact with Toronto over Stroman, but there was no clear momentum gained.
If that remains the case over the next few days, the Dodgers might be able to swoop in with their group of top prospects and acquire Stroman.
Mike Minor to Minnesota
According to Morosi, the Twins and Texas Rangers have discussed a trade for Mike Minor recently, but the progress of those talks is unknown.
Minnesota made its first move ahead of the deadline by acquiring Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins on Saturday to improve its bullpen.
With Cleveland sitting one game back of them in the American League Central, the Twins should look to make more improvements in order to avoid dropping into the wild-card race.
Solidifying the rotation with a move for a player like Minor would allow the Twins to put less pressure on their bullpen in the final two months of the regular season.
If Minor were to combine with Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Michael Pineda, the Twins would have a formidable staff that has the potential to go deep into games.
Since the start of June, Minor has reached the seventh inning in six of his nine starts, and in three of them he has lasted eight innings.
In the scenario in which the Twins acquire Minor, they could conceivably go to Taylor Rogers and Romo in the eighth and ninth innings to finish off a long outing from the southpaw.
The Twins have already displayed a willingness to improve their roster, and if the Rangers believe they are out of the playoff hunt, they could turn to the left-handed starter as a roster improvement.
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Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.