After dealing Mark Melancon, the Pirates may not be done with their deadline moves, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets. The team isn’t necessarily looking to act as a seller, though; instead, Pittsburgh is targeting a starter. The Melancon swap, after all, doesn’t represent full-blown capitulation, as it brought back a quality, major league level reliever in Felipe Rivero. Pittsburgh is said to be talking with the Rays, among other teams, and one can’t help but wonder whether the Bucs see an opportunity to achieve some value on an underperforming arm with a favorable contract situation.
Here are some more notes on major pitchers whose names are in discussions as the deadline approaches:
- The Rangers have spoken with the White Sox about Jose Quintana as well as Chris Sale, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets, but there’s no more reason to believe the sides are closer on the former than there is to think they’ll line up on the latter. At this point, there’s a difference of opinion between the teams on those southpaws’ values, per Rosenthal.
- There’s no chance that the Athletics will deal righty Sonny Gray at the deadline, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports. It is hard to call that a surprising revelation, given that we’ve heard no signals out of Oakland that he’d be made available. The A’s are obviously uninterested in selling low on a 26-year-old pitcher who had pitched like an ace heading into this season, but who has struggled badly in 2016. Gray’s strikeout rate has held steady, and he isn’t giving up many more walks than is typical, but he carries a 5.43 ERA over 107 2/3 innings and missed time with a trap strain. The 2016 downturn will at least tamp down Gray’s arbitration salary, and with three more years of control, it certainly behooves the Athletics to hold onto him at least until he can rebuild some value.
- Meanwhile, word is the Athletics could still deal southpaw Rich Hill even though he won’t return to the mound before the deadline and just hit the 15-day DL. Heyman tweets that there’s still “significant interest” in the veteran despite his lingering blister issues. Though he carries a risky profile given his recent and prior injury issues and lack of a productive big league track record prior to his out-of-nowhere breakout late in 2015, Hill has been aces when healthy in 2016. Over 76 frames, he owns a stellar 2.25 ERA with 10.7 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
- While none of these names are of the level of the pitchers discussed above, the Twins are said to be shopping Ricky Nolasco, Tommy Milone, and Fernando Abad, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter). Nolasco and Milone could both conceivably be looked at by teams in need of some rotation depth, while Abad remains a useful LOOGY option for organizations that hope to bolster their pen. None, of course, seem particularly likely to draw major returns; if anything, Nolasco would likely be moved for a bit of salary relief.