The MLB non-waiver trade deadline is less than a week away. The rumors are swirling and the buyers and sellers are yet to be set in stone. The extra wild-card spot has generated more buyers this year.
The NL Central bottom dwellers are destined to be the most active sellers. The Houston Astros have already made a few deals and the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs are the teams who have the most rumored marquee players on the trading block.
Can Chicago finally find a few home for Ryan Dempster? Will the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers acquire pitching help?
Here are the latest MLB trade rumors gaining the most traction.
– The Dodgers have a leg up on the competition to acquire Dempster. Chicago has asked for minor-league pitcher Allen Webster. If Los Angeles don’t want to part with him, they have Zack Grienke and Josh Johnson in their sights.
– Grienke’s list of suitors keeps growing as Milwaukee keeps losing games. Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, and Chicago White Sox all occupy that list. Atlanta and Texas have the best top-tier prospects, but Grienke would have to agree to sign an extension if Milwaukee hopes to get the maximum return for him.
– Josh Johnson is another pitcher on many teams’ wishlist. The Miami Herald doesn’t believe a deal will happen unless they get an offer too good to turn down. They have already dealt Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, so anything is possible.
– The Cincinnati Reds are looking to acquire a speedy outfielder. The Minnesota Twins’ Denard Span and Philadelphia Phillies’ Juan Pierre are their top trade targets. Span has more tools than Pierre, but would cost more. The Washington Nationals are rumored to be looking at Span as well, so a small bidding war could take place.
– The Twins hot and cold starter, Francisco Liriano, could land on the team who loses out on the Garza, Dempster, and Grienke sweepstakes. The St. Louis Cardinals, Washington, Texas and both Los Angeles teams are rumored to be scouting him. He is a high-risk/high-reward player, but a team wouldn’t have to mortgage their future to obtain him.
– Matt Garza was supposed to be the belle of this year’s trading deadline, but an average first-half have dulled trade offers. The best rumored offer has been a package from the Dodgers that would include 20-year old pitching prospect Zach Lee. Dempster’s unwillingness to agree a trade to Atlanta has left Chicago in a difficult situation. The Dodgers appear to be his ideal destination, but a Dempster rental won’t haul the level of prospects Chicago covets.
– The Los Angeles Angels are talking to the Tampa Bay Rays about pitchers Wade Davis and James Shields. Davis is a cheaper option and could pitch at the back-end of the rotation or come out of the bullpen.
– The New York Yankees aren’t expected to trade for third base fill-in for Alex Rodriguez. Mark Reynolds and Chone Figgins would have been ideal candidates, but Eric Chavez is expected to take over the everyday role.
– Hoping to stay in the AL East division race, the Baltimore Orioles are hoping to land a mid-rotation starter. They are finding it difficult since every team is asking for top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado. They are rumored to be shopping prospects Jonathan Schoop and Xavier Avery, but aren’t looking for a pitching rental. Jason Vargas, Joe Blanton, Shaun Marcum, and Liriano are the pitchers rumored to be Baltimore’s trade targets.
– The shortstop trade market is saturated with starter-level talent. Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar, Marco Scutaro, Jimmy Rollins, Jamey Carroll, Brendan Ryan, and Jed Lowrie are all on the trading block. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, Oakland A’s, San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay, and Milwaukee are all looking for shortstop help. Drew is getting the most interest from Pittsburgh and Boston.
– Justin Upton is no longer on the trading block. I didn’t see the Arizona Diamondbacks being serious about trading their franchise player. They just wanted to see what kind of offers were out there.
– Milwaukee could deal Aramis Ramirez before July 31st. He is in the first year of a three-year deal. San Francisco and the Dodgers are in need of third base help. Los Angeles just acquired Hanley Ramirez, but he was a horrible third baseman in Miami.