MLB Trade Rumors: Top Reports Following 2021 Deadline

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IJuly 31, 2021

MLB Trade Rumors: Top Reports Following 2021 Deadline

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    Derrick Tuskan/Associated Press

    Friday's MLB trade deadline has come and gone, and what a deadline it was.

    The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins tore things down in the hopes of adding future assets, while clubs such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees went for the jugular. Multiple stars changed teams and will now try to help their new organizations make deep playoff runs.

    One such star who did not get dealt was Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. The 28-year-old was widely expected to be moved, but the Rockies elected to keep him.

    Here are the latest rumors on why the Rockies retained Story and right-hander Jon Gray, as well as the Seattle Mariners' pursuit of Jose Berrios and the San Diego Padres' attempts to slash payroll.

Rockies with Mixed Intentions Regarding Trevor Story and Jon Gray

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Trevor Story will be a free agent after this season and is having the worst offensive campaign (.741 OPS) of his career. Perhaps it isn't a surprise, then, that the Rockies didn't trade him before the deadline.

    Story has not shown any signs of wanting to re-sign with Colorado in the offseason. Yet Rockies general manager Bill Schmidt said the team preferred to make the qualifying offer to him and possibly receive a compensation pick this winter rather than indulge one of Story's trade suitors.

    "With what we were offered, we thought the [competitive balance] pick was better suited for us and we could have Trevor on our team for another two months," Schmidt said, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. "If [any deals] were close, we probably would’ve got to the finish line."

    Saunders reported the Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays, among others, all had conversations for Story. However, he added many clubs felt the Rockies were never serious about trading the star shortstop.

    The Rockies definitely weren't about to trade Gray. Although the right-hander will be a free agent after the season, Saunders reported Colorado has begun preliminary contract talks with the 29-year-old.

    Keeping Gray is a rather puzzling choice. He would have been one of the better pitching assets available, and the Rockies are nowhere close to being a contending team again.

    In any event, Colorado's front office has made some head-scratching decisions dating back to the Nolan Arenado trade.

Mariners Tried to Trade for Jose Berrios

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    Jim Mone/Associated Press

    Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said after he traded closer Kendall Graveman that his decision to shake things up would ultimately make sense.

    Dipoto ended up acquiring a few controllable assets, including reliever Diego Castillo. However, he struck out on landing the big fish in Jose Berrios.

    Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported the M's had talks with the Twins for Berrios. However, Minnesota reportedly wanted multiple top prospects, with Morosi naming Emerson Hancock and George Kirby as pieces the Twins sought in addition to another top-10 prospect in Seattle's system.

    Dipoto deemed the asking price to be too high. The Twins pivoted, sending Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for top prospects Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson. Though Minnesota got a haul for Berrios—probably even bigger than it initially hoped—the deal also gives the Blue Jays a legitimate No. 2 arm in the rotation.

    The Mariners, meanwhile, failed to make the kind of splashy move some believed they would make after Dipoto's comments. It remains to be seen how the events of the deadline will go over in the locker room given Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported players felt "betrayed" by the Graveman trade.

Padres Wanted Teams to Eat Eric Hosmer Contract for Top Prospect

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    Derrick Tuskan/Associated Press

    The San Diego Padres made a big move to acquire Adam Frazier but were otherwise mostly silent at the deadline. That could be due to their inability to move Eric Hosmer.

    Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin of The Athletic reported Monday that the Padres were floating the veteran first baseman in trades in the hopes of staying below the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold. Hosmer is owed $60 million over the course of the next four years.

    San Diego was willing to go to great lengths to move Hosmer, even showing a willingness to attach top prospects in exchange for eating Hosmer's deal. 

    Jon Morosi reported 19-year-old outfielder Robert Hassell was a "popular ask." However, he added Padres general manager A.J. Preller was only willing to trade Hassell if trade partners were willing to take on the majority of Hosmer's deal. Clearly, nobody budged.

    Trading Hosmer would have made sense for the Padres. Aside from getting below the CBT, the move would have allowed Jake Cronenworth to slide to first base, with Frazier playing more of a full-time role at second base.

    Alas, Padres manager Jayce Tingler will have to sort out his lineup cards and move things around. Meanwhile, management will likely have to prepare to be over the CBT threshold.


    All stats obtained via Baseball Reference