MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Big Names on the 2021 Trade MarketJuly 19, 2021
MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Big Names on the 2021 Trade Market
The Miami Marlins could suddenly hold one of the better trade assets on the market.
Several MLB clubs could be in pursuit of a new center fielder. Marlins star Starling Marte is in the final season of his contract and could soon be on the move after things went south during extension talks.
Here are the latest trade rumors in baseball, including Marte's future, the Seattle Mariners' stance on Mitch Haniger and the Minnesota Twins' approach to the deadline.
Starling Marte Could Be Traded After Rejecting Marlins Extension Offer
The Marlins had shown some interest in extending Marte prior to his contract expiry. It seemed to make sense, with the franchise hoping to be more competitive. However, he now figures to be on the move.
Craig Mish of SportsGrid and the Miami Herald reported extension talks between Marte and the team have finally come to an end. Mish noted Marte had previously said he wanted to stay in Miami, but he also preferred not to engage in extension talks and distract from his play in the second half of the season.
It could be a matter of weeks before Marte is dealt. Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported the Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros and New York Yankees could all express interest in Marte.
The 32-year-old could be an upgrade for any of the above clubs. Marte came into Sunday's game slashing .287/.391/.446 with seven homers and 18 stolen bases. He also ranked in the 91st percentile in outs above average.
There is always the possibility the Marlins retain Marte with the hopes they can re-sign him in the offseason. However, it's more likely Miami capitalizes on his current value, especially with numerous clubs searching for outfield upgrades and Marte possibly being the best center fielder available if Byron Buxton stays put.
Mariners Have Large Asking Price for Mitch Haniger
Another outfielder who could be on the move before July 30 is Seattle Mariners right fielder Mitch Haniger, though that seems unlikely.
Haniger still has another season of club control in 2022. Corey Brock of The Athletic reported the M's will probably keep Haniger unless they are "floored" by an offer. This is pretty much in line with what Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto has said regarding the team's stance at the deadline.
"We'll do the right thing for the team, and we will always weigh the present with the future," Dipoto said, per Brock. "The present means something to us because the team is playing incredibly well, and if we have the ability to help the team in the short term we'll do that."
Seattle has been playing some good baseball despite a -51 run differential. The Mariners improved to 50-44 after Sunday's win over the Los Angeles Angels and are 22-17 since the start of June.
Dipoto probably won't deal Haniger—the team's most productive hitter—when the M's are just 2.5 games back of the Wild Card. Haniger came into Sunday's game hitting .265 with 22 homers and a 131 OPS+. Seattle needs that kind of run-producer in the lineup.
Perhaps a team needing an outfielder will indeed sell high on Haniger. The Mariners have top outfield prospects in Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez waiting in the wings, so they could at least be inclined to listen.
That said, it doesn't appear as though Haniger is going anywhere.
Twins Unlikely to Move Controllable Assets
While the Mariners might still be a bit in between buying and selling, the Minnesota Twins are bona fide sellers. Still, they are not keen on dealing their most valuable assets.
Buster Olney of ESPN reported rival teams have suggested the Twins are not feeling pressured to trade players under club control through 2022. In other words, both center fielder Byron Buxton and right-hander Jose Berrios are more likely to stay put than be on the move.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the Twins could consider trading Buxton, who is on the injured list with a fractured hand, were he to decline Minnesota's extension offer, which is thought to be in the range of $70 million. However, a trade could just as easily happen in the offseason when the two sides have another chance to talk about a deal.
Berrios would be incredibly valuable if the Twins chose to shop him. The 27-year-old has a 3.48 ERA in 18 starts this season, with a career-best 1.10 WHIP. His age and club control would make him enticing to any number of teams needing starting pitching.
Minnesota, though, isn't exactly stocked with young arms. Berrios is already the ace and could be the No. 1 guy for years to come, which is important for a Twins team that will likely hope to get back on the winning track as soon as possible.
All stats obtained via Baseball Reference or Baseball Savant, unless otherwise noted. Stats are accurate prior to the start of play on July 18.