The two major deals finalized ahead of Wednesday's MLB trade deadline caught plenty of people off guard.
The Cincinnati Reds followed in the footsteps of the New York Mets' Marcus Stroman acquisition by bringing in Trevor Bauer in a three-team deal that was completed Tuesday.
With Stroman and Bauer off the market, contenders across the league have hours remaining to scramble for pitching help.
Noah Syndergaard remains one of the top trade targets, and other hurlers are likely to receive more attention since championship chasers, like the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, have yet to upgrade their respective pitching staffs.
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According to The Athletic's Robert Murray, front-office personnel across baseball have the opinion that Syndergaard will remain with the New York Mets.
The pitcher himself even indicated that when speaking with reporters Tuesday night, as MLB.com's Anthony DiComo noted.
Those bits of information have to be disheartening for the teams that have reached out to the Mets over the last few weeks in an attempt to pry the right-handed hurler away from Queens.
SNY's Andy Martino reported Tuesday the San Diego Padres submitted what they think is a sufficient deal to the Mets for Syndergaard, but it was not enough to get a deal done.
San Diego's list of potential trade candidates dwindled Tuesday night when it sent outfielder Franmil Reyes to Cleveland as part of the three-team Bauer deal.
Reyes' departure from the Padres could mean something to the Syndergaard talks slowing down since The Athletic and Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal tweeted the Mets are expecting players who are available to contribute in the majors in exchange for the 26-year-old.
The expectation for a large return from the Mets perspective makes sense since they would be parting ways with a pitcher who has two years of team control left on his contract.
New York wants to get a good enough return to benefit it immediately, and if not, it can ride with Stroman and Syndergaard as a strong 1-2 punch on the mound for at least another year.
Of course, negotiations could always change Wednesday with Bauer off the market, but as of right now, it appears that the Mets' price tag is too high for anyone to meet.
According to Yahoo's Tim Brown, Houston and San Francisco have "engaged" in conversations surrounding Madison Bumgarner.
Before Tuesday, the rumors over the last few days involving Bumgarner were scant because contenders targeted other players and the Giants' position in the standings justifies them keeping the southpaw for the stretch run of the regular season.
San Francisco is 2.5 games behind the second wild-card position in the National League, and it could benefit from Bumgarner's experience to make a push into a playoff spot in Bruce Bochy's final season as manager.
Houston is one of the ball clubs mentioned the most when it comes to finding help in the rotation.
Adding Bumgarner to a staff that includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole would further the Astros' shot at winning the World Series.
However, MLB.com's Mark Feinsand reported it is "doubtful" the Giants move Bumgarner before 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.
While he comes with a plethora of postseason experience, Bumgarner might not be the best option in terms of contract status for the Astros.
If they were to acquire the left-handed pitcher, they would have Cole and Bumgarner entering free agency at the end of the season, and it would be difficult to re-up both of their deals.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that interest in Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray has intensified.
On Monday, USA Today's Bob Nightengale tweeted that teams in discussions with the Diamondbacks "fully expect Ray to be dealt by Wednesday."
Although Arizona is only a half-game behind San Francisco in the standings, it is taking a different approach to its possible postseason contention.
Since there is so much interest in the southpaw, it makes sense for the Diamondbacks to entertain offers from some potential champions who could grow desperate to acquire pitching Wednesday.
Nightengale added Atlanta to the collection of franchises intrigued by the possibility of adding Ray. The Yankees, Astros, Twins, Phillies and Brewers are also in the mix.
Milwaukee and Philadelphia already made deals to bolster their rotations by bringing in Jordan Lyles and Jason Vargas from division rivals.
Atlanta and Minnesota have added to their bullpens in recent days, with the Braves dealing for Chris Martin and the Twins picking up Sergio Romo.
The Yankees and Astros have yet to make a roster-improving transaction, and they could be waiting for prices to fall a bit to swoop in and make the deal that best suits their roster.
The top two teams in the American League have been linked with numerous starting pitchers, and with Bauer and Stroman off the market, it would not be surprising to see them switch their hunts to Ray and others in order to make some type of addition Wednesday.
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