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.
D-Backs willing to eat money to trade Greinke
The Diamondbacks are willing to eat money to facilitate a Zack Greinke trade, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Heyman indicates Arizona may be willing to pay down as much as $10 million per year depending on the trade return. Here are Greinke's contract details:
- 2019: remainder of his $31.5 million salary
- 2020: $32 million
- 2021: $32 million
- $2 million assignment bonus if traded
It should be noted Greinke has a 15-team no-trade list and is believed to want to stay with the D-Backs. As good as he is, the money complicates things, as does the partial no-trade clause. Greinke is still excellent and would help a lot of contenders this year and the next as well. Finding a fit won't be easy though.
Red Sox among teams monitoring Abreu
According to Phil Rogers of Forbes, the Red Sox are "among the few teams monitoring" the availability of White Sox slugger Jose Abreu. Chicago could, in theory, trade Abreu at the deadline, then re-sign as a free agent after the season. They have resisted opportunities to trade him in the past because they value his leadership (and production), but his impending free agency may change things.
Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce have spent much of the season on the injured list, and, as a result, Boston's first basemen have hit .239/.303/.447 this year. That is comfortably below the .258/.339/.466 league average at the position. With Andrew Cashner added to the rotation and Nathan Eovaldi returning as the closer, the Red Sox could shift gears and look to bolster the offense now that the pitching has been solidified.
Phillies, Yankees interested in Stroman
Add the Phillies to the teams with interest in Blue Jays righty Marcus Stroman, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Philadelphia is seeking rotation help -- Vince Velasquez was demoted to the bullpen earlier this year and Jake Arrieta is pitching with a bone spur in his elbow -- .
Not only would Stroman help the Phillies make a postseason push this year, he would help them next year as well since he will be under team control as an arbitration-eligible player.
Elsewhere, Morosi also reports that the Yankees will be heavily scouting Stroman's Friday night start in Detroit. Given the injury uncertainty surrounding Luis Severino, the Yankees may indeed be in the market for rotation help.
As you've surmised, several teams are interested in Stroman, who is likely to move, and you can expect the Blue Jays will leverage all that interest into the best possible offer. The bidding war figures to be fierce.
Padres emerging as 'serious suitor' for Bauer
The Padres are emerging as a "serious suitor" for Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Morosi suggests San Diego could move outfielders Franmil Reyes or Hunter Renfroe, or infielder Luis Urias, to the Indians in a potential Bauer trade. The Padres are seeking a high-end rotation stabilizer.
At 55-40, the surging Indians are four games behind the Twins in the AL Central, and they currently sit in the top wild-card spot. Cleveland has indicated they may buy and sell at the trade deadline though. Bauer is due $20 million or so through arbitration next year, then will become a free agent. The Indians could cash him in as a trade chip now and look to add MLB ready pieces in return to help keep them in contention.
Twins have checked in on Boyd, Greene
According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the Twins have checked in with the AL Central rival Tigers about lefty starter Matthew Boyd and righty reliever Shane Greene. Minnesota is looking to add a starter and a reliever prior to the trade deadline, though not necessarily in the same trade. The Tigers are expected to set a high price for Boyd, especially to deal him within the division.
Earlier this year the Twins reportedly had interest in free agents Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel before they signed with the Braves and Cubs, respectively, so they've been looking for pitching help for a while now. Minnesota's lead in the AL Central is down to four games and their bullpen in particular has been sketchy the last few weeks. Relief ace Taylor Rogers has endured a big workload and could use some help.
Angels want players they can control beyond 2019
Angels GM Billy Eppler told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register the team is "absolutely" in the market to add players prior to the July 31 trade deadline, and their preference is to add players they can control beyond this season. Here's what Eppler told Fletcher:
"I would say our preference is to lean heavily in the direction of people that have control after this season," Eppler said. "That's not an absolute, but that is more where our sightline is focused. I am having conversations continually and will continue to have conversations with clubs."
The Halos are currently 5 1/2 games out of a postseason spot with four teams ahead of them in the wild-card race. Next season they figure to have a fully healthy Shohei Ohtani and Andrew Heaney, plus the great Mike Trout, giving them a better chance to contend than right now. Rotation help is a clear priority for the Angels at the moment.
Phillies sign Smyly
The Phillies have reportedly signed veteran lefty Drew Smyly, reports MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia hears he could join the rotation and start as soon as this weekend. Smyly opted out of his minor league contract with the Brewers earlier this week. Joining the Phillies immediately would explain that decision.
Smyly, 30, allowed seven runs in 12 2/3 innings across three starts with Milwaukee's Triple-A affiliate after being released by the Rangers last month. Texas is on the hook for his $7 million salary this year. The Phillies will only owe him the pro-rated portion of the league minimum. Smyly would figure to push Vince Velasquez back in Philadelphia's bullpen.