MLB Trade Deadline 2020: Thursday's Latest Rumors on Top Stars

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIAugust 27, 2020

Cincinnati Reds' Trevor Bauer pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Trevor Bauer's future with the Cincinnati Reds may well be determined in the next few days.

At 11-17, six games back of the the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central and four games back of the wild card, the Reds have to decide whether to sell or stand pat at Monday's trade deadline.

If they become sellers, no one will command a higher price than Bauer, whose sterling 1.65 ERA, 0.735 WHIP and 49 strikeouts on nine walks would boost any contender's starting rotation. The only debate is whether the Reds believe they can be that contender.

"I think they are going to try [to] win," one NL exec told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. "I suppose if they lose for a week straight, they could consider it, but it would surprise me."

An American League executive countered to Feinsand that the Reds won't be able to afford Bauer next year anyway and could look to capitalize while they can. In any case, it's looking increasingly like Cincinnati will wait as long as possible before making a decision.

It will be worth watching to see what that does to the 29-year-old's trade market.

Across Ohio, Cleveland has its own conundrum with starting pitcher Mike Clevinger.

The right-hander made his first start Wednesday against the Minnesota Twins following a 20-day stint at the club's alternate site. He was sent away from the team after breaking COVID-19 protocols with teammate Zach Plesac on a trip to Chicago in early August.

USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported the team is "at least open to listening to offers" but that it doesn't appear there's a clear intent to sell. Cleveland is just a half-game back of the Minnesota Twins for first in the AL Central and could make a deep postseason run with this year's roster.

Still, after Clevinger went six innings with eight hits, two earned runs, one walk and six strikeouts on Wednesday, there could be a few offers worth listening to.

As for the Twins, the owners of the AL's best record (20-12) don't appear willing to make a move just yet. Instead the club is focused on getting a number of players back from the injured list, including Mitch Garver, Byron Buxton and Josh Donaldson.

President of baseball operations Derek Falvey told Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune getting healthy would add more to the lineup than any trade could this year.

"Those types of talents, you don't acquire at the deadline, more often than not," he said. "You don't get that kind of impact [in deadline trades]."