MLB Trade Rumors: Potential Deals to Watch for Heading into 2021 Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 23, 2021

MLB Trade Rumors: Potential Deals to Watch for Heading into 2021 Deadline

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    The MLB trade market is picking up steam ahead of the July 30 deadline.

    The Tampa Bay Rays struck the swap season's first major deal, acquiring slugger Nelson Cruz in a four-player trade with the Minnesota Twins on Friday.

    Who could be next to change jerseys? Let's check the rumor mill to find out.

Giants Eyeing Danny Duffy

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    Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

    The San Francisco Giants have the best record in baseball and a desire to supplement their roster with deadline reinforcements.

    Kansas City Royals starter Danny Duffy could be one of them, even though he's on the injured list with a left flexor strain for the second time this season. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Giants still have interest in the 32-year-old despite the injury.

    "Injuries don't give San Francisco much pause in general," she wrote.

    If the California native can get healthy, he might be a big get for this rotation. He has a 2.51 ERA, a 1.21 WHIP and a career-high 9.6 K/9 through 61 innings this season.

Padres Cast Wide Net for Deadline Additions

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The San Diego Padres are looking to make a splash. Again.

    It feels like this franchise has made one big move after another recently, and it could be more of the same at the trade deadline. The Friars "are expected to add a starting pitcher and possibly an outfield bat," according to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the options for an upgrade are extensive.

    Acee mentioned the Padres have had talks with the Minnesota Twins about starter Kenta Maeda and even discussed slugger Nelson Cruz, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday. San Diego has discussed star right fielder Joey Gallo with the Texas Rangers, plus pitchers Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles. The Padres have also examined Danny Duffy and Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray.

    Something certainly seems to be brewing in San Diego. The Padres could be among the biggest buyers at the deadline, though that may depend on their willingness to sacrifice some of the top prospects from their well-regarded farm system.

Yankees Eyeing Trevor Story

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    Ralph Freso/Associated Press

    Plagued by injuries and inconsistency from some of their healthy players, the New York Yankees haven't quite been themselves this season.

    Still, the team has a winning record and is not at all buried in the races for the American League East (eight games back) or a wild-card spot (4.5 games).

    Perhaps this spurs the front office into action ahead of the deadline, as New York is "among the teams" to discuss two-time All-Star shortstop Trevor Story with the Colorado Rockies, per ESPN's Buster Olney. If the Yankees win the Story sweepstakes, Olney surmised they would move Gleyber Torres back to second base.

    The 28-year-old will be a free agent at season's end and has seemingly run his course with the Rockies. While he's lagging behind his normal production levels (his .243 average and .316 on-base percentage are both the second-lowest of his career), his upside speaks for itself.

    Story owns career per-162-games averages of 34 homers, 23 steals, 99 runs and 99 RBI.

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