Holding two game-changing trade chips puts the Yankees in an enviable position, and Tyler Kepner of the New York Times argues that the organization should exercise every bit of leverage it possesses. There’s plenty of demand for the southpaw relief duo of Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, and New York is perhaps uniquely well-suited to sit back and wait for someone to overwhelm with an offer. (After all, the club is within striking distance of contention, can utilize the qualifying offer or extend Chapman, and still controls Miller for two seasons.)
Here’s more on some major trade deadline storylines:
- We’ve seen rather clear indications that the Cubs won’t be parting with Kyle Schwarber, whether for Miller or anyone else, but that hasn’t stopped the idea from being batted around. Bob Nightengale of USA Today looks at the concept, noting that president of baseball operations Theo Epstein continues to be clear that he has no intentions of moving Schwarber — but also that he is letting teams know that the ballclub is looking for an impact addition. For those interested in all of the dimensions of the Cubs’ decisionmaking on their injured young slugger, this piece is worth a full read.
- With the Cubs looking at any number of possible means of upgrading at the deadline, GM Jed Hoyer says to “expect the unexpected,” as Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com writes. Hoyer noted that “you can’t have untouchables and you have to be willing to explore bold ideas,” but also suggested the organization will be hesitant to part with certain assets. “We really like our core and I think that’s something that we plan to build around,” he said.
- We’ve heard plenty of chatter surrounding the Rays, potentially involving just about any player on their roster. They’ve been tied, in particular, to the Rangers (see here and here). But the two clubs have “nothing brewing at the moment,” per Crasnick (via Twitter).
- One league executive tells ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter link) that the Dodgers are “big-game hunting,” indicating that the organization is primarily interested in the kind of “elite-level players” that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has cited previously. Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Jon Morosi says that the Dodgers and Rays have been in trade talks of late, though it’s not clear where the focus lies in those discussions. (Morosi seemingly suggests that Evan Longoria is of interest to Los Angeles, but says there’s no real chance of him changing hands this summer.)
- Though the Indians aren’t generally the type of organization to engineer major deadline swaps, that could change this year. As MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports, president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti suggested that budget constraints won’t be a problem. “I don’t think economics will have an impact on which players we acquire,” he said. “I think we’ll have the flexibility that we need to acquire a player. I think our difficult decisions are going to come down to what level of talent are we willing to part with to acquire players, and whether or not there’s the right fit out there.” That’s certainly an interesting point to keep in mind as Cleveland works to bolster its roster, as the team might be inclined to take on a somewhat more expensive player than might normally be expected if it helps avoid the loss of significant prospect assets.
- Antonetti also suggested that the Indians aren’t necessarily particularly focused on their bullpen. Instead, he said, the club is open to improving everywhere but the rotation — where a stacked group is hardly in need of change. Though the relief corps still seems the biggest area of concern, the recent news on Michael Brantley could increase the need for a lineup boost, with Antonetti acknowledging that could be a factor in his approach over the next ten days.