The first big Major League Baseball trade deadline domino fell Wednesday night, when the Texas Rangers shipped Joey Gallo to the New York Yankees in exchange for four prospects.
With Gallo no longer available, the focus shifts to Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, who has been the discussion of trade rumors for quite some time. Story's contract, combined with Colorado's place in the standings, makes him a natural target for contending teams.
Story's teammate Jon Gray has also been a subject of recent trade rumors as the pitching market tries to figure itself out underneath Max Scherzer before Friday's deadline.
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According to MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the San Francisco Giants "remain engaged" on Trevor Story.
San Francisco is one of three teams battling for playoff spots in the National League West, and it could use as much help as possible in fighting the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.
The Giants have dealt with a litany of injury issues to its infield, with Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt all on the injured list. Even if the Giants reach full strength before October, they could find a way to fit in Story by moving one of the four pieces to second base, or potentially the outfield.
As Morosi noted, the Giants now know the price that has been set on the market for a top hitter. The Yankees sent four prospects to the Rangers in exchange for Gallo. Colorado might receive less because Story would be a two-month rental. But the Rockies should fetch at least two solid players in return because of Story's reputation and how big of an impact he can make on a pennant race.
Colorado also might be motivated to drive up the price if a deal is done with a NL West rival because it would see Story for at least one series in 2021.
Morosi also noted that the Giants were in the Kris Bryant market as well. He is more versatile than Story since he has played six positions this season, but his price could be equally as high.
According to Morosi, the Rockies "are listening to teams" when it comes to Gray.
The right-handed starter is one of two players from the Colorado rotation who would be intriguing to contenders. German Marquez is the other, but he is under contract until 2024.
Gray is on an expiring deal and would be used as a two-month rental. Morosi listed San Francisco, the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies as suitors. Philadelphia had a deal for Tyler Anderson fall through earlier this week because of a medical issue with one of the prospects it was sending to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Philadelphia could use starting help behind Zack Wheeler in its attempt to chase down the New York Mets in the National League East.
The Giants and Padres need all the reinforcements they can get to remain competitive with the Dodgers, who are only going to get better once Mookie Betts and Kyle Seager return from the injured list.
However, the market on Gray and any other starter may have to wait until the Washington Nationals decide what to do with Scherzer.
As Morosi noted, "there's not likely to be clarity" on what Gray's return price would be until Washington makes a call on the most coveted trade asset on the market.
The Minnesota Twins could be inclined to move starting pitcher Jose Berrios, but the price to acquire him could be set too high.
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported that Berrios is likelier to move than outfielder Byron Buxton, but the Twins are firm in what they want back.
"The Minnesota Twins, who have entertained trading starter Jose Berrios and center fielder Byron Buxton, have remained steadfast in their asks for two players who would be excellent core pieces for their 2022 team," Passan wrote.
Minnesota already dealt Nelson Cruz to the Tampa Bay Rays, and it has some intriguing trade pieces available, but it can't just trade for the sake of trading.
Berrios has an arbitration year on his contract for 2022 and will become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. The extra year of team control should be intriguing to contenders, but it could also be one of the sticking points for a high demand from the Twins.
Minnesota is well within its rights to demand a high price back for its top starter, but there is always a chance its price changes if a deal is close to being done or a potential Scherzer deal sets the standard for the pitching market.