MLB Trade Deadline 2019: BS Meter, Predictions on All the Last-Minute Rumors
After a relatively quiet week, there have been a flurry of rumors and finalized deals in the last couple of days before the trade deadline.
The New York Mets pulled off the first surprise and landed Toronto Blue Jays ace Marcus Stroman. While the NL East franchise was expected to play a major role on the market, they weren't expected to acquire a big-name player.
But they're still going to sell.
Mets pitchers Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Edwin Diaz are popular names on the rumor mill, which also features Madison Bumgarner, Trevor Bauer and Robbie Ray. Closers Shane Greene and Alex Colome are also garnering major interest.
What should you believe, though? Teams are constantly looking for leverage, and some credible reports still have a source-driven agenda.
Let's take a thoughtful dive into the biggest news before Wednesday's deadline.
'Increasingly Unlikely' Bumgarner Is Traded
Star pitcher Madison Bumgarner is a hot topic, but the latest news suggests he won't be on the move.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports it seems "increasingly unlikely" he will be traded before the deadline.
Between the San Francisco Giants' recent surge and Bumgarner's generally snippy attitude toward a trade, it's a logical conclusion for 2019. The franchise is no longer compelled to sell at the deadline, and Bumgarner certainly hasn't solicited a move.
Since neither the Giants nor Bumgarner are pressing for a trade, the most likely result is no deal.
B.S. Meter: Low
Prediction: The attitude stays put
Padres, Mets 'Not Close' to Syndergaard Trade
One of these days, Noah Syndergaard will no longer be a member of the New York Mets.
It just seems "one of these days" isn't before the trade deadline.
Rosenthal reported Sunday that the Mets and San Diego Padres weren't close to a trade for the pitcher.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network added the Padres will not include top prospect MacKenzie Gore in a deal. Per Andy Martino of SNY, previous discussions have included outfielder Manuel Margot and pitcher Adrian Morejon, who made his MLB debut on July 21.
Unlike teammate Zack Wheeler, the 26-year-old Syndergaard is under team control through the 2021 season. Even if he struggles to close 2019, his trade value won't drop significantly.
The Mets shouldn't be rushing to trade him, but San Diego must avoid overpaying despite having a stellar group of prospects.
B.S. Meter: Low
Prediction: Mets keep Syndergaard until offseason
Red Sox Will Make 'Impact Bullpen Move'
Although the rival New York Yankees will probably win the AL East, the Boston Red Sox are in contention for a wild-card spot. But for the reigning champions to make the final ascent, they're going to need a little help in the bullpen.
ESPN's Buster Olney reported Boston is interested in Edwin Diaz, who saved 57 games with a 1.96 ERA for the Seattle Mariners last year.
The Sox should tread carefully, though.
In 2019, Diaz's ERA has ballooned to 4.95, and his WHIP has nearly double (from 0.79 to 1.45). Olney noted an offer for Diaz would presumably include Bobby Dalbec or Triston Casas—the top prospects in Boston's thin farm system, per B/R's Joel Reuter.
But as ESPN's Jeff Passan added, Casas' defensive skills remain in question. He's more likely a first baseman, where the Mets boast rookie sensation Pete Alonso.
Unless the Red Sox think Dalbec is worth dealing for Diaz, they'll be looking elsewhere for that impact addition—and trying to keep their prized prospects, too.
B.S. Meter: Mild
Prediction: Boston adds a less expensive reliever
Astros the Favorite for Zack Wheeler
Consider 2019 the summer of the Mets.
Unlike his teammates Diaz and Syndergaard, though, Zack Wheeler is probably not long for New York. The 29-year-old is headed for free agency this offseason, and Tim Britton of The Athletic notes the team "hasn't seriously explored" an extension.
The Mets are in a strange spot as both buyers and sellers at this deadline, but they are really not a contender in 2019. Not extracting max value for a player they will lose seems foolish.
And according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, two general managers predicted the Houston Astros will acquire Wheeler.
The issue is New York general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, who's a complete wild card. Will he demand Forrest Whitley—the Astros' top prospect—for a player who could be a rental? Houston would be better off trying to sign Wheeler in free agency.
Houston's interest in Wheeler is legitimate, but the Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees have a greater need.
B.S. Meter: Medium
Prediction: Wheeler is dealt, but not to Astros
Amid Phillies' Interest, White Sox Will Deal Colome
Basically every contender needs bullpen help, and the Philadelphia Phillies are peeking at the Chicago White Sox for reinforcements.
According to Morosi, the Phillies have shown continued interested in White Sox closer Alex Colome.
The 30-year-old is having an excellent year for Chicago, notching 21 saves while posting a 2.27 ERA and career-best 0.78 WHIP. Ordinarily, a non-playoff team would strongly consider a move involving its closer—a high-value luxury position.
But the White Sox are hoping to contend in 2020, and Colome could be a major contributor to that team.
If Philadelphia is going to acquire him, it will likely have to offer something Chicago simply cannot pass up. However, it's unlikely the Phillies extend such an offer. Investigating his availability is wise, but those discussions might not be more than a necessary check.
B.S. Meter: High
Prediction: White Sox don't trade Colome
Brewers GM Unsure If They'll Add More Pitching
If the Milwaukee Brewers are to make a serious run at a World Series, they'll likely need to bolster the rotation.
General manager David Stearns isn't admitting it, though. Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes Stearns said he was unsure whether the team would add another arm.
Monday, the Brewers acquired Jordan Lyles from the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played for the Crew last season, posting a 3.31 ERA over 16.1 innings. Lyles mustered a 5.36 clip with Pittsburgh this year, and that performance fits his career-long trend as a starter.
Milwaukee shouldn't be done yet.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the Brewers are still in discussions for Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray, along with the Astros and Yankees. Granted, the expensive price tag on Ray will likely prevent Milwaukee from making that splashy move.
Nevertheless, a combination of lower-level prospects should be enough for the Brewers to add reinforcements.
B.S. Meter: High
Prediction: Brewers miss Ray, add another pitcher