jose-berrios.png
USATSI

The trade deadline is this coming Friday and already two of the best available players have been moved. The Rays acquired Nelson Cruz last week and the Padres brought in Adam Frazier over the weekend. Here's the latest trade deadline buzz.

Dodgers, Padres interested in Berríos

Jose Berrios
TOR • SP • 17
ERA3.48
WHIP1.04
IP121.2
BB32
K126
View Profile

The Twins are discussing right-hander José Berríos with multiple teams, including the Dodgers and Padres, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. SNY's Andy Martino reports the Mets are not among those teams, however. Berríos is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through next season, so he's not a rental. Minnesota has presumably set a high asking price.

Both the Dodgers and Padres have lost multiple starters to injuries. For Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw has a forearm issue and Dustin May had Tommy John surgery, plus Trevor Bauer is unlikely to return given the investigations into sexual assault allegations against him. San Diego is without Mike Clevinger (Tommy John surgery), Dinelson Lamet (forearm), and Adrian Morejon (Tommy John surgery). It should be noted it serves the Twins well to pit the two NL West rivals against each other in a bidding war. 

Brewers eye Donaldson

Josh Donaldson
MIN • 3B • 20
BA.249
R42
HR15
RBI42
SB0
View Profile

The Brewers entered Monday with a 6 1/2 game lead in the NL Central, but the lackluster offense could really use a boost. Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson is one of the players the Brewers are "considering," according to Robert Murray of Fansided. This would be quite the move. Donaldson is due $42.5 million in 2022-23 with a $16 million club option (that has an $8 million buyout) for 2024. The Brewers don't have the resources to be a huge-spending team, but remember, they were involved in rumors surrounding then-free-agent third baseman Justin Turner over the winter. Donaldson, 35, is past his prime, but he still has 15 homers with a 132 OPS+. 

Athletics interested in Rodríguez

Richard Rodriguez
ATL • RP • 48
ERA2.82
K/97.7
WHIP.83
S14
BS3
View Profile

The Athletics are among the teams with interest in Pirates closer Richard Rodríguez, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Oakland is known to be seeking bullpen help and Rodríguez, who will remain under team control through 2023, is among the best available relievers. Pittsburgh is in a full-blown rebuild and trading a 31-year-old closer only makes sense.

It should be noted that Rodríguez saw one of the largest spin rate declines in baseball once MLB began cracking down on foreign substances. From Opening Day through June 20, the day before the new enforcement took effect, Rodríguez allowed six runs in 28 1/3 innings and held opponents to a .449 OPS. Since June 21, he's allowed six runs in 10 innings with a .714 OPS. Interested clubs will undoubtedly consider the spin rate and performance declines when considering a run at Rodriguez.

Padres discussing Hosmer

Eric Hosmer
SD • 1B • 30
BA.265
R34
HR8
RBI49
SB5
View Profile

Padres first baseman Eric Hosmer has popped up in recent trade discussions, reports The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. The Adam Frazier trade pushed San Diego over the $210 million luxury-tax threshold, and dealing Hosmer would allow them to get back under and avoid the associated tax and future draft pick penalties.

Hosmer, 31, is owed the remainder of his $21 million salary this season plus another $60 million from 2022-25. The Padres would have to attach a pretty significant prospect or young big leaguer (or a combination of both) to Hosmer to unload most or all of that money. Should they succeed in trading Hosmer, San Diego could put Frazier at second and Jake Cronenworth at first.

Mets focused on rentals

Even after acquiring Rich Hill, the Mets are still looking to add more pitching, though they remain focused on rentals rather than players with long-term control, according to SNY's Andy Martino. New York currently has six starting pitchers on the injured list (Carlos Carrasco, Jacob deGrom, Joey Lucchesi, David Peterson, Noah Syndergaard, Jordan Yamamoto).

The best free agent-to-be starter is Max Scherzer by a mile. Would the Nationals trade him within the NL East? Would they trade him at all? And would Scherzer waive his no-trade clause to join the Mets? Pairing Scherzer with deGrom in the postseason would be appealing, I imagine. Other rental starters include Pirates lefty Tyler Anderson and Cubs righty Zach Davies.

No active talks involving Ramírez

Jose Ramirez
CLE • 3B • 11
BA.252
R64
HR20
RBI57
SB10
View Profile

Cleveland is not currently engaged in any "active talks" involving star third baseman José Ramírez, reports MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Morosi says the asking price is extremely high, understandably. Cleveland has lost five of its last seven games to fall nine games behind the White Sox in the AL Central, and five games behind the second wild card spot.

Ramírez, 28, is having another All-Star caliber season, and team holds very affordable club options for 2022 ($11 million) and 2023 ($13 million). He's a bargain at twice that price. As with Francisco Lindor, it seems unlikely Cleveland will be able to re-sign Ramírez as he approaches free agency, so a trade could happen at some point in the next two years. It just doesn't seem likely right now.

Twins have had preliminary talks about Kepler

Max Kepler
MIN • RF • 26
BA.220
R36
HR13
RBI38
SB8
View Profile

The Twins have had preliminary trade discussions involving outfielder Max Kepler, according to MLB.com's Jon Morosi. Last week Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Yankees are among the clubs to inquire about Kepler. Minnesota has already dealt Cruz and they have several other candidates to be moved (José Berríos, Byron Buxton, Michael Pineda, etc.).

Kepler, 28, is a very good albeit perplexing player whose underlying data (exit velocity, chase rate, etc.) suggest he should be better than he's been. He is signed to a team-friendly contract that will pay him $15.25 million from 2022-23, and includes a $10 million club option for 2024. The Yankees badly need outfield help and a lefty bat. Kepler checks both boxes.

Marlins working to move several players

Miguel Rojas
MIA • SS • 19
BA.270
R39
HR5
RBI27
SB8
View Profile

In addition to free agent-to-be Starling Marte, the Marlins are working to trade several players prior to the deadline, including outfielder Adam Duvall and various relievers, reports MLB Network's Peter Gammons. Gammons notes the Reds have asked about shortstop Miguel Rojas, though Miami keeps declining overtures. They seem likely to keep Rojas.

At 43-57, the Marlins are in last place in the NL East despite having a positive run differential. Duvall is a rental working on a high power/low on-base season whereas Rojas is a team leader with an affordable $5.5 million club option for 2022. The Marlins view him as part of their core. Relievers Richard Bleier, Dylan Floro, and Yimi García could interest contenders.

Yankees add bullpen depth 

Clay Holmes
NYY • RP • 35
ERA4.93
K/99.4
WHIP1.43
View Profile

The Yankees and Pirates agreed to a trade on Monday evening, the two clubs announced. Right-handed reliever Clay Holmes goes to the Yankees while the Pirates get minor-league infielders Hoy Jun Park and Diego Castillo. 

Holmes, 28, has an issue with walks, but he will miss bats. The 6-foot-5 reliever has a 5.57 ERA in 119 2/3 career innings. 

Park, 25, is hitting .327/.475/.567 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in 48 Triple-A games this season and is likely to get a shot in the majors with the Pirates. He's mostly played second and short, but has also seen time in the outfield. Castillo, 23, is hitting .277/.345/.504 with 11 homers and 32 RBI in 58 Double-A games. He's split time between second, third and short this season.