The market for starting pitchers has more question marks than certainties this summer, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports observes. Rosenthal runs down a number of potentially available arms, noting that injuries and/or significant contracts make many of them tough sells. Regarding Zack Greinke, Rosenthal notes that while his contract always made an in-season trade seem like a long shot, the fact that the D-backs are contending and are in current possession of a Wild Card spot all but eliminates the possibility that he’ll be traded this summer.
With the draft out of the way, trade talk should slowly begin to heat up in the coming weeks. Here are a few more items of potential interest…
- FanRag’s Jon Heyman runs down a number of possible needs on clubs that are in contention, beginning with the Nationals. While there’s been much made of the team’s obvious need for bullpen help, Heyman suggests that the Nats won’t simply acquire a closer and consider their relief corps to be fixed. “We don’t need just one big reliever, we need two,” a Nationals source tells Heyman. One potentially available name on which the Nationals don’t appear to be especially keen, however, is closer A.J. Ramos of the division-rival Marlins. Heyman reports in his weekly National League roundup that Ramos is a ways down Washington’s list of potential targets.
- On the American League side, Heyman focuses on the White Sox, who have quite a few interesting trade pieces, as recently examined by MLBTR’s Jeff Todd. He suggests that there are indications the Sox do intend to move lefty Jose Quintana this summer — and they don’t think they’ll need to accept a sub-par return despite his struggles so far. There’s some “belief” that Chicago could be hoping to draw interest in Quintana from the Dodgers, Heyman notes in the N.L. post. Meanwhile, the organization isn’t as interested in fielding offers for first baseman Jose Abreu, per the report.
- Prior to trading designating Sam Dyson for assignment and trading him to the Giants, the Rangers also gave consideration to cutting right-hander Jeremy Jeffress loose, Heyman writes. However, Texas deemed Jeffress more likely to rebound from his struggles and kept him on the roster. I’d imagine that as was the case with Dyson, Jeffress would draw trade interest elsewhere based on his track record and 2016 success.
- Nick Groke of the Denver Post fielded some Rockies trade questions in his latest chat with readers, noting that there’s virtually no chance that the Rockies would even consider moving top shortstop prospect Brendan Rodgers this summer. Groke does, however, feel that outfielder Raimel Tapia is a plausible trade chip. The 23-year-old outfielder entered the season widely ranked among baseball’s top 100 prospects and is hitting .286/.375/.357 through a small sample of 32 plate appearances in a limited role.
- With the Athletics progressing into a youth movement, John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News writes that top infield prospect Franklin Barreto likely isn’t far from getting his first big league promotion, though Hickey suggests that in order to create playing time for Barreto, Oakland would first have to trade Jed Lowrie. Hickey also notes that the A’s feel confident that Trevor Plouffe, who was designated for assignment yesterday to clear a spot for top third base prospect Matt Chapman, will catch on with another club. It’s not clear, though, if the A’s expect to trade him or are preparing to release the 31-year-old.