Here’s the latest on some notable players whose names have popped up in trade speculation…
- The Phillies are scouting the Marlins’ rookie league affiliate for prospects in a possible Jeremy Hellickson trade, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). The two NL East rivals have been connected to Hellickson rumors for a few weeks now, as Miami is known to be searching for rotation help. Given the lack of premium talent within the Marlins’ farm system, Hellickson could be a more reasonable acquisition than other Marlins targets like Jake Odorizzi, Matt Moore or even Chris Sale. The Pirates, Red Sox and Orioles are among the teams also linked to Hellickson in trade rumors.
- The Rangers are exploring many trade options and have been linked to multiple teams, though they don’t appear to have had any “substantive talks” with the Reds, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News tweets. Texas has been linked to Jay Bruce, and the right fielder could be a fit with Shin-Soo Choo constantly battling injuries and Prince Fielder gone for the season, though Grant seems to imply that the Rangers’ interest in Bruce didn’t get too far. Anthony DeSclafani would certainly the attract the Rangers and other pitching-needy teams if Cincinnati made him available, though DeSclafani’s breakout year may have also made him into a building block for the rebuilding Reds.
- The Braves are “aggressively shopping” Erick Aybar and left-handed relievers, a rival executive tells Ken Rosenthal (Twitter link). Aybar would seem to have limited trade value given his horrible year at the plate, as his brief hot streak in June gave way to more struggles in July. Southpaws Hunter Cervenka and Ian Krol have generated some trade buzz already, and it’s possible Atlanta could be trying to sell high on Dario Alvarez. (UPDATE: Rosenthal’s tweet also listed Jeff Francoeur as a trade chip, but he has since issued a correction saying that the Braves aren’t shopping Francoeur and will only deal him if they get a big offer.)
- The Twins are in “listening mode — at best” on right-hander Kyle Gibson, a source on a contender tells Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter links). The Twins “appear more focused” on trading Ervin Santana or Ricky Nolasco, which is no surprise given that the team would love to get some salary relief from either of those big contracts. Gibson has yet to truly live up to his former top prospect status, though he put up solid numbers in 2015 as a low-strikeout ground ball specialist. Gibson will become eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, and he is under team control through 2019.
- Also from Berardino (Twitter links), he speculates that the Twins could try to position themselves as the proverbial “third team” in a three-team trade. The Twins have some prospect depth that could be offered to contenders short on quality minor leaguers (Berardino cites the Marlins, Tigers, Mets and Orioles here) to help facilitate some deals, with Minnesota receiving some players who could help them next season but who are also still in their pre-arbitration years.