Major League Baseball has a trade deadline coming up on July 31 and for the first time in this era, there won't be any August waiver trades allowed after the deadline. It's a hard deadline. Because of that, perhaps the 2019 deadline turns out to be a crazy one even by the already crazy standards of trade deadlines.
No doubt deals are on the way, and we'll be here each day to roundup the latest on the rumor mill. Let's get to it.
Giants still planning to sell
Here's an excerpt from Jeff Passan's wide-ranging, must-read piece on ESPN:
Even with their best run of the year, the Giants are three games below .500 and have the third-worst run differential in the NL. They are selling. One more time, a bit slower. They. Are. Selling.
Yes, the Giants are within range of playoff position, and there no doubt is some holdover reluctance to tear it down even though Farhan Zaidi is at the switch. That said, the Giants remain a playoff longshot thanks in part to the crowded NL fray, and they don't project well moving forward. Some fans may not like a teardown under the current circumstances, but Zaidi appears willing to wear whatever blowback comes his way.
Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith are the most tradable pieces the Giants have, so it seems likely they'll be moving elsewhere. Mad Bum's partial no-trade clause gives him some control over the situation, but as we've seen so often in the past such contract provisions are really a means of negotiating leverage with the player's new team.
Rangers may move Minor
The surprising Rangers right now are five games above .500, but thanks to the top-heavy nature of the AL this season they're four games out of playoff position and behind three teams in the race for the second wild-card spot. That means their odds of cracking the playoffs are somewhat long (the SportsLine Projection Model right now gives Texas just a 2.0 percent of making the postseason), and as such they could be sellers.
No doubt, their most valuable trade asset is veteran lefty starter Mike Minor, who at age 31 is working on a career year. Jon Morosi tweets that the Rangers are "increasingly likely" to move Minor and that the Brewers and Phillies are among the teams with some level of interest. Both the Brewers and Phillies are heavily invested in making the playoffs this season, and both teams have need in the rotation. So this one certainly passes the sniff test.
Mariners getting calls on Santana, Elias
Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto loves nothing if not idle transactioning, so it follows that the M's will probably make a move or three before July 31. They're non-competitive and as such may be looking to flip their remaining useful veterans. Said performers, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, include power threat Domingo Santana, who has 19 homers and 19 doubles on the year, and lefty reliever Roenis Elias, who's been solid enough (108 ERA+ in 42 innings).
Reds' asking price on Castillo is high
Luis Castillo of the Reds has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball this season. He's just 26, and he's not eligible for free agency until after the 2023. In other words, he's the kind of player the Reds should be keeping, not shopping. Cincy is very likely taking the sensible approach, but MLB.com's Jon Morosi writes that they're at least answering the phone on Castillo:
Castillo is not "available" in a practical sense of the term, and yet the Reds haven't hung up the phone on teams who have called. They are waiting to be wowed, while feeling content to open 2020 with a largely unchanged pitching staff.
That's as it should be. The Reds shouldn't even think of moving Castillo right now unless a king's ransom in top-100 prospects is coming back their way.