MLB Trade Deadline 2020: Latest Rumors on Trevor Bauer, Josh Hader and More

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 29, 2020

Milwaukee Brewers' Josh Hader pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)
Aaron Gash/Associated Press

Monday's MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and rumors flew from everywhere Friday as teams neared or passed the midpoints of their respective seasons.

Only a month's worth of games remain before the league embarks on a 16-team postseason for the first time in history, and it's possible we see a flurry of movement before 4 p.m. ET on Monday as teams ramp up for playoff pushes.

Pitching has been the primary focus for MLB trade rumors this season, and that was the case Friday with more news dropping on that front.

Here's a look at some recent chatter.


Cincinnati Reds RHP Trevor Bauer

In what might end up being the weirdest year in baseball history, the 14-17 Cincinnati Reds find themselves just one game back of the 15-16 New York Mets for the eighth and final National League playoff spot.

The Reds might as well go for it and see whether they can pull off a run in September and get into the playoffs, so dealing staff ace Trevor Bauer appears off the table, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network and WFAN Radio 660.

"Reds are planning to go for it—meaning buy, not sell," Heyman said. "So ace Trevor Bauer is likely to stay put. Reds mainly need to get hitters and relievers to play to their abilities. They are underperforming at 13-17 but are only 1 game out of 8th playoff spot."

The Reds won their third game in a row Friday, taking down the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs 6-5. Their starting pitching has been exceptional, with Bauer leading the way at 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 32.2 innings. The Reds do not have a good reason to get rid of the superstar at this stage.


Milwaukee Brewers LHP Josh Hader

The San Diego Padres are emerging as a National League contender, thanks largely because of superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. but also because the team is mashing the ball, earning the moniker "Slam Diego" for its penchant for hitting grand slams.

But the Padres could use a bit more help on the pitching front. On that note, MLB insider Robert Murray dropped this report: "Sources: Padres among teams to check in on Brewers’ Josh Hader."

The left-hander has been one of the game's greatest relievers in recent years, capable of closing games or coming in during high-leverage situations and eating multiple innings at a time. He's thrown 9.1 scoreless innings and struck out 13 this year.

Hader isn't eligible for free agency until 2024, so Milwaukee should be asking for a massive haul in return. The good news is that the Padres have an embarrassment of riches in their farm system, which MLB.com ranked second in March.

San Diego has the resources to get a deal done, but it's also possible the 14-17 Brew Crew decide to hang on to Hader and make a run.


Cleveland Indians RHP Mike Clevinger

Mike Clevinger has been one of the more surprising names reportedly on the trading block this year. For starters, he's good. And so is his 20-12 team, which is likely headed to the playoffs.

In addition, he's under team control for two more full seasons, so Cleveland doesn't have to worry about losing him in free agency for nothing more than a compensatory pick to a team willing to break the bank quite yet. 

Yet his name has been thrown out there, with Heyman providing this information: "Clevinger is definitely being talked about in trade scenarios. [The] Indians are known to listen on everyone and some see winter trade as more likely. Price said to be 'ridiculous.' But it should be. Talented (141 ERA plus), young (29) and not a free agent for multiple more years."

The primary issue here is that Cleveland's bats are not ready for prime time based off their performance this season, with the team languishing in the bottom five in batting average leaguewide despite going off for 20 hits in a 14-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday.

Still, Cleveland has too much talent in its lineup to hang out down there forever, with Jose Ramirez, Francisco Lindor and Carlos Santana pacing the lineup's efforts. With strong pitching acting as the backbone of the team, Cleveland could enter the playoffs with the most dangerous and well-rounded roster so long as the bats cooperate.

But that sentiment is dependent on the pitching staff sticking together, which isn't a guarantee based off the Clevinger rumors.

The Tribe have a good staff outside Clevinger, namely ace Shane Bieber, but the 29-year-old helps form one of the league's deepest rotations, which would be highly beneficial come playoff time.