MLB trade rumors roundup: Astros add to bullpen, Brewers and Orioles in serious talks
Keep up with all the latest trade rumors around Major League Baseball
The Astros jumped into the fray on a busy Friday for trade hunters, acquiring righty reliever Ryan Pressly from the Twins for minor-leaguers Jorge Alcala and Gilberto Celestino, the teams announced. Pressly will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2019, so he's not a rental.
Pressly, 29, has a 3.40 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings this season. As is often the case with Astros pitchers, Pressly has posted very high spin rates with his breaking ball the last few years. Houston really likes pitchers with that innate ability to spin the baseball. Pressly will presumably join Chris Devenski and Hector Rondon in manager A.J. Hinch's late-inning mix.
Alcala, a right-hander, and Celestino, an outfielder, were ranked as the No. 10 and No. 15 prospects in the 'Stros farm system prior to the trade by MLB.com, respectively. The 22-year-old Alcala has a 3.29 ERA with 82 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings this season and has reached Double-A. MLB.com says that if he can't make it as a starter, he "has closer potential and could regularly hit 100 mph in shorter stints."
Celestino, 19, is currently in short season Class A and is hitting .317/.383/.476 with eight doubles and four home runs in 33 games. MLB.com says he draws comparisons to Albert Almora and has a "handsy stroke that sprays line drives to all fields." Pretty good haul for the Twins. The Astros get a pretty good under-the-radar reliever as well.
Now let's jump into more of Friday's rumors as we work our way toward the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.if you want to catch up, and you can track .
Brewers get Moustakas'
The Brewers have added Mike Moustakas in a three-player trade with the Royals. Brett Phillips and Jorge Lopez are going to Kansas City. Travis Shaw will presumably shift to second base, a position he's never played in the majors or minors. .
Brewers, Orioles in 'serious discussions'
The nature of said "serious discussions" is unknown. The Brewers and Orioles have been connected at various points in recent weeks, with Milwaukee reportedly showing interest in second baseman Jonathan Schoop as well as righties Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. All three players are under team control beyond 2018.
The Brewers definitely need middle infield help and another starting pitcher as well, especially in the wake of Brent Suter's elbow injury and Zach Davies' recent setback. The Orioles have already traded Manny Machado and Zach Britton, and there's no sense in stopping there. If you're going to tear it down, tear it all down.
Already this week the Brewers have added veteran righty Joakim Soria as bullpen depth. They came into Friday with the National League's third best record at 59-46. They are 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs in the NL Central. The O's, meanwhile, have baseball's worst record at 29-74.
Cubs, Rangers finalize Hamels trade
On Friday, the Cubs and Rangers announced the trade that sends veteran lefty Cole Hamels to Chicago in exchange for right-hander Eddie Butler, right-handed prospect Rollie Lacy, and a player to be named later. As well, the Cubs are paying $4-5 million of Hamels' remaining salary. .
Phillies pick up Cabrera
D-Backs land Escobar
Indians, Phillies interested in Gallo
The Indians and Phillies are among the teams to express interest in Rangers slugger Joey Gallo, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Grant says no trade is imminent and Texas would "likely have to be overwhelmed to trade Gallo," who will not be eligible for free agency until the 2022-23 offseason.
Gallo, 24, has clubbed 25 home runs in 99 games this season, though all that power comes with lots of strikeouts (138) and a low batting average (.190). Both Cleveland and the Phillies could use an outfield bat and Gallo, a natural third baseman, has transitioned into a full-time left fielder this season. He's also played some right field.
Mariners get Tuivalala from Cardinals
Tuivalala, 25, has pitched to a 3.69 ERA/109 ERA+ and a 2.36 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings for the Cardinals this season. For his career, he owns an ERA+ of 114 in 98 2/3 innings. Tuivailala leans primarily on a sinker and fastball, both of which sit in the mid-90s, and a hard slider. He's not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.
As for Elledge, 22, the former fourth-rounder has an ERA of 1.99 and a K/BB ratio of 4.17 in 50 minor-league relief appearances. This season, he's worked in the high Class A California League.
For the disappointing Cardinals, the question is whether this relatively minor trade augurs a deeper sell-off in the coming days.
Jose Martinez a fit with Yanks?
On Thursday, the Yankees lost Aaron Judge for at least three weeks . Given that the Yankees are playing at a 104-win pace, the loss of a player -- even one as excellent as Judge -- for a month or so shouldn't waylay them. The Yanks, however, are trying to run down the Red Sox in the AL East and thus avoid playing in the "knockout" Wild Card Game. As such, Judge's absence becomes more meaningful.
So would GM Brian Cashman look to the trade market for a potential plug-in? Buster Olney has a name to ponder ...
Martinez, who just turned 30, is batting .295/.358/.464 (123 OPS+) this season, and for his career he owns an OPS+ of 129 in 699 plate appearances. He can hit, and he's not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. What he can't really do is field. He's one of the worst defensive first basemen in baseball, and while he's perhaps less of a liability at an outfield corner, the Cardinals already have a crowded outfield. Because Martinez is a such a poor fit on the St. Louis roster, they can move him before the deadline even if they don't commit to a full-on sell-off.
The question for the Yankees is how Martinez would fit after Judge returns. He would of course be a capable bench bat, and perhaps they could tolerate his defense at first base enough to make him the non-primary half of a first base platoon with Greg Bird. For the time being, though ...
Clint Frazier, the obvious replacement for Judge under normal circumstances, has been out since mid-July after suffering a concussion.
Twins inclined the keep Gibson
Thirty-year-old right-hander Kyle Gibson has been a pleasant surprise for the Twins this season, as he's thus far put up a career-best ERA of 3.42 and back it up with a career-best K/BB ratio of 2.52. Given that the Twins have little hope in the AL Central and given the demand for rotation help this time of year, the Twins could like fetch a nice return for the organizational lifer. However ...
As Rosenthal points out, Gibson isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2019 season, so the Twins -- likely hoping to contend next season -- have cause to keep him. For now, they haven't been persuaded to change those plans.
Braves angling for Beltre?
Here's this compelling nugget from MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan:
The Rangers are likely not done before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Clubs are asking about their relievers and the Braves have become a longshot possibility to acquire third baseman Adrian Beltre. The Braves are in need of a right-handed bat plus veteran leadership to help lead a young team. Beltre would provide that while sharing time at third base with the switch-hitting Johan Camargo.
The Rangers are reportedly not inclined to trade Beltre and may even want to explore an extension with the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer. The Braves, though, need an upgrade at the hot corner, and Beltre IS solid offensively and defensively. On the other hand, Camargo has thus far been stronger from the right side, so Beltre as a right-handed hitter isn't an ideal fit.
Holland is going away
The Cardinals made a flurry of roster moves on Friday, and chief among them is their decision to designate reliever Greg Holland for assignment. This means Holland is off the Cardinals' 40-man roster, and they now have seven days to trade him or place him on irrevocable waivers.
Given that Holland has been terrible this season (7.92 ERA in 32 appearances, six unearned runs allowed, as many walks as strikeouts) and is owed the balance of a $14 million salary, a waiver claim seems unlikely. Rather the Cardinals will probably trade him while kicking in significant cash and getting back nothing of note in return.
Jon Heyman tweets that he's heard multiple teams have interest in Holland. Holland has dominance in his past and usefulness in his recent past (2017 with the Rockies), and perhaps some teams see a path for him to contribute down the stretch. That said, it'll be surprising if Holland winds up pitching meaningful innings for a contending team in 2018.
A's not done
The Athletics may be looking to add more pieces as we work our way toward July 31 ...
On the outfielder front, lefty hitters possibly available include Shin-Soo Choo of the Rangers, Jay Bruce of the Mets (he's on the DL, which makes him more likely to be a target during the August waiver period), Derek Dietrich of the Marlins, and Curtis Granderson of the Blue Jays.
Pressly a chip for Twins?
Here's Ken Rosenthal on the increasing deadline stock of Twins right-handed reliever Ryan Pressly ...
Across parts of six big-league seasons, Pressly owns an ERA+ of 112, and over the last two years he's made significant strides at the command-and-control levels. He throws 96 with a hard slider and change-of-pace curveball. The Twins are essentially out of contention, which means they should be open to flipping guys like Pressly.
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