The Yankees are 5-3 since the All-Star break, which further complicates the question of whether or not the team should buy or sell at the deadline, NJ Advance Media’s Randy Miller writes. “I don’t know how much the organization actually has publicly said (about the trade deadline),” said Andrew Miller, himself a regular candidate in trade speculation. “I feel like it’s been rumor and things that kind of have been assumed, and in reality I think all we can do is focus on the game at hand.” New York is 49-47 for the season and sits 4.5 games behind Toronto for the last AL wild card slot. Here’s more from around the AL East…
- The Orioles have been getting calls about Double-A southpaw Tanner Scott since the offseason, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. It’s possible Scott could be one of the prospects desired by the Padres in the rumored Melvin Upton-for-Ubaldo Jimenez trade talks between the two clubs, though Kubatko feels the O’s should keep Scott. A sixth-round pick from the 2014 draft, Scott has posted a 4.63 ERA and 6.6 BB/9 over 114 2/3 pro innings (mostly out of the bullpen), though he averages 11.5 K/9 and owns a 101-mph fastball.
- The Blue Jays have been talking to multiple teams about both starters and relievers, FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi tweets. Bullpen is the more pressing concern for Toronto, though if Aaron Sanchez is shifted to a setup role as planned, that leaves a big hole in the rotation (especially given Marcus Stroman’s inconsistency and Marco Estrada’s recurring back issues). Then again, Sanchez has been so good this season that the Jays could reverse course and keep him as a starter, which would increase their need for relief help.
- Though trading Evan Longoria makes some sense for the Rays, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times believes the club won’t and shouldn’t entertain the thought of dealing its longtime star. Longoria has too much value as Tampa’s franchise player on and off the field, and moving him would only fit if the Rays were pursuing a total rebuild, which doesn’t appear to be the case. There has been whispers that former Rays boss Andrew Friedman could be exploring a reunion with Longoria with the Dodgers, though the Rays are reportedly uninterested in Longoria trades now and perhaps whatsoever.
- Alex Rodriguez had “a very positive conversation” with Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner prior to Friday’s game and the subject of releasing the veteran slugger didn’t come up, sources tell ESPN.com’s Wallace Matthews. The meeting was initiated by Steinbrenner, though the reason isn’t known; it’s possible it could simply have been the owner touching base with A-Rod on any number of topics. It has been rumored that the Yankees could cut ties with Rodriguez in order to create roster space for younger players, as A-Rod hasn’t hit well this year and can only handle a DH role at this stage of his career.
- A Kyle Schwarber-for-Andrew Miller deal between the Cubs and Yankees has been one of the hottest rumors of this deadline season, though Chicago management has repeatedly said Schwarber isn’t on the market. Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron takes an interesting look at Schwarber’s fuure value, arguing that there are signs he may not develop into the top-tier slugger the Cubs believe he can be (though Cameron’s Mike Napoli comp is still flattering). While Schwarber has more value than Miller as a long-term piece, Cameron that a Yankees trade package of both Miller and Aroldis Chapman would justify the Cubs pulling the trigger on a deal.