MLB trade rumors roundup: Blue Jays hope to deal Josh Donaldson, several Orioles generating interest
Keep up with all the latest trade rumors around Major League Baseball
The 2018 non-waiver trade is nine days away now, so, between now and then, we here are CBS Sports are going to provide a daily -- and constantly updated -- roundup of the latest trade rumors. We're also tracking all trades made, big and small, in our trade tracker.
Here are Sunday's rumors:
Blue Jays hope to trade Donaldson
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Blue Jays "hope" to trade impending free agent Josh Donaldson at some point. Donaldson is currently on the disabled list with a calf strain and, while his rehab work is reportedly progressing well, he is not expected to play prior to the July 31 deadline. Shoulder and calf trouble have limited the former AL MVP to 36 games in 2018.
Between the injuries and sub-par performance when healthy (.234/.333/.423), as well as a hefty salary ($23 million), the Blue Jays may not get a significant return for Donaldson despite his track record. The question is this: Can they get something in a trade more valuable than the supplemental first-round pick they would receive after the season, should he reject the qualifying offer and sign elsewhere as a free agent? I think so, but Donaldson's market is unclear at the moment.
Keep in mind the Blue Jays do not necessarily have to trade Donaldson by July 31. They can wait until he's healthy, plays in a few games to showcase himself, and then move him in an August waiver trade. Justin Verlander was traded in one last year, so a large trade is possible after July 31.. Most August waiver trades are smaller deals, though
O's getting lots of calls
Not surprisingly, the Orioles are fielding lots of phones calls about lots of players in the wake of the Machado trade. The following clubs have checked in about the following Orioles, according to Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports:
It should be noted Bundy, Gausman, and Schoop are not impending free agents, so the O's don't have to move them prior to the trade deadline. They can hang on to all three players and revisit trade calls at some point in the future if they don't get an offer they like. Schoop will be a free agent after 2019, Gausman after 2020, and Bundy after 2021.
Teams scouting Gray
Teams are scouting Yankees right-hander Sonny Gray, who has disappointed since arriving in New York last summer, reports Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. Gray has a 5.34 ERA in 96 innings overall this season, and he's been considerably better on the road (3.62 ERA) than at Yankee Stadium (7.62 ERA). Cafardo adds teams are under impression the Yankees want to move Gray.
The Yankees, of course, are looking to add a starting pitcher themselves, and as poorly as Gray has performed, trading him would create another rotation need. The team is already cycling through fifth starters in the wake of Jordan Montgomery's Tommy John surgery. Trading Gray would mean needing to add two starters -- one to replace Gray and one to replace Montgomery.
Gray is an intriguing buy-low candidate. He's been better on the road and has a history of strong performance -- he finished third in the 2015 AL Cy Young voting, remember -- plus he's healthy and is under control next season as an arbitration-eligible player. A team with a more pitcher friendly home ballpark may view Gray as bounceback candidate.
Dodgers interested in Brach
In addition to Zach Britton, the Dodgers also have interest in Orioles reliever Brad Brach, reports Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. The Dodgers have shifted their focus to finding bullpen help now that they've acquired Machado and upgraded their offense. The Orioles are obviously selling and Brach is an impending free agent, so he figures to be moved before the deadline.
The 32-year-old Brach has struggled this season, pitching to a 4.34 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 37 1/3 innings. That's after pitching to a 2.79 ERA with 336 strikeouts in 319 2/3 innings from 2013-17. Given the Machado trade, it stands to reason the O's are familiar with the Dodgers' farm system. A deal could come together quickly should Los Angeles decide to pursue Brach.
Mariners looking to add pitching help
Not surprisingly, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told reports, including Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, that pitching is his priority leading up to the July 31 trade deadline. The team is open to position player help, of course, but pitching is atop the shopping list.
Here's what Dipoto told reporters:
"We've certainly had our feelers out there on a variety of different things that would help our pitching staff, whether it be bullpen or starting pitching," he said. "And we've even kept some feelers out there for the potential to add a position player, whether it's something versatile or just an addition that might help us in some way, whether it's upgrading defense or it's helping add a boost to our offense. But we do know that with Cano coming back that's maybe not something I would call a primary concern. We would prefer to focus on pitching."
The Mariners are expected to get James Paxton back from the disabled list early next week. Wade LeBlanc and Marco Gonzales have gone from fun surprises to crucial members of the rotation given Felix Hernandez's struggles and Mike Leake's uneven season. Plus the Mariners play so many close games that adding another quality reliever wouldn't be a bad idea.
Bottom line, it is never a bad idea for a contending team to adding pitching depth. The Mariners have lost nine of their last 13 games and are now only three games up on the surging A's for the second AL wild card spot.
Cabrera the next Met to go?
Cabrera, 32, entered Sunday hitting .280/.332/.487 (125 OPS+) with 21 doubles, 17 homers and 53 RBI. He's only played second base this season, but has experience at shortstop and third base. At this point in his career, it would be a mistake to put him at short much more than just spot starts, but he could be non-terrible at second or third.
Olney mentions the Brewers, Indians and Phillies among teams showing interest in Cabrera. The Brewers appear to be looking for help at both second base and shortstop. For the Indians, Jason Kipnis is in the middle of his second straight bad season and Cabrera would likely be an upgrade the rest of the way. The Phillies need the help at shortstop
Red Sox among teams evaluating Fiers
The Red Sox are among the teams evaluating Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Fiers has a 3.49 ERA in 19 starts and 111 innings this season, and the Red Sox got a firsthand look at him Saturday night. He struck out six in 6 1/3 scoreless innings in a win over the BoSox. Fiers has a 2.47 ERA in his last 10 starts and 62 innings.
Between his strong recent performance and the fact he is under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next season, Fiers has quickly become an interesting trade chip for Detroit, who signed him to a one-year deal over the winter after he'd been non-tendered by the Astros. Some teams may have reservations about Fiers given his low strikeout rate (6.7 K/9) and low ground ball rate (39.4 percent), but he's getting outs, and contenders are always looking to add arms. The Tigers should net themselves a nice little prospect for Fiers before the deadline.
The Athletics have also shown interest in Fiers, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com.
At least one team interested in Iglesias
At least one team is interested in Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias, reports Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. Iglesias, an impending free agent, is hitting .269/.307/.385 with 23 doubles and three home runs this season. Fenech says a team had a scout at Comerica Park on Saturday, and that scout saw Iglesias rip a two-run double and a two-run homer. He is known more for his standout glovework than his bat, however.
This is just my speculation, but the Brewers seem to be an obvious fit for Iglesias after losing out on Machado. Their shortstops haven't hit at all this season (.212/.264/.302), so even Iglesias' modest bat would be an upgrade. Add in the defense and he represents a sneaky good addition for the Brew Crew. The Phillies could be another possible landing spot. Maybe the Diamondbacks too, though they already have a glove-first shortstop in Nick Ahmed.
Royals make minor trade for Goodwin
The Royals have acquired outfielder Brian Goodwin from the Nationals for minor league righty Jacob Condra-Bogan, the teams have announced. The move cleared a roster spot and allowed Washington to recall lefty reliever Sammy Solis from Triple-A.
Goodwin, 27, has been unable to carve out a role with the Nationals since being a first round pick in 2011. He is a career .246/.315/.464 hitter with 16 home runs in 144 big league games. The Royals figure to give him plenty of playing time, and may install him as their everyday center fielder.
The 23-year-old Condra-Bogan has a 3.00 ERA with 40 strikeouts and only three walks in 27 Class-A innings this season, all in relief. MLB.com did not rank him among Kansas City's top 30 prospects prior to the trade.
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