Here’s the latest trade chatter from around the league:
- The Athletics do not feel a need to wait until the deadline to begin moving veterans, sources tell MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. That may be true even (or especially) in the case of Sonny Gray. While he’s controllable, and doesn’t have to be traded, a rival exec says he thinks Oakland will be interested in dealing him early to avoid a month of injury risk. Possible rentals Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie are both said to be on the block as well, unsurprisingly.
- Other teams beginning to explore sell-side moves, per Feinsand, are the Braves, Marlins, Mets, and Reds. Those clubs are all obvious suspects given their placement in the standings. Atlanta could be an interesting team, though, since the organization seems to be prioritizing improvement in the on-field results and doesn’t have a lot of clearly valuable trade pieces.
- The Yankees and Red Sox are both looking over the Marlins roster and have asked about a few players, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Both New York and Boston have inquired on veteran third baseman Martin Prado, who is not terribly cheap and has spent a good chunk of the year on the DL. The Yanks are also expressing some interest in Miami first baseman Justin Bour, per the report; he’d offer a quality left-handed bat, though his affordable control will likely come with a fairly high asking price. The Fish are also said to have indicated an openness to dealing “anyone with a multi-year contract,” Nightengale adds. That would obviously free up quite a few intriguing potential trade candidates, including the club’s three quality young outfielders.
- Rival executives feel that the Tigers will market veteran righty Justin Verlander, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes, though Detroit’s intentions (and asking price) remain unclear. He’d be an easy product to pitch were this 2016, when Verlander was in vintage form. But he hasn’t followed that up with any degree of consistency thus far in 2017. Still, the $56MM he’s owed in 2018 and 2019 seems fairly reasonable, and it’s hard to ignore the top-line upside that still seems to reside in Verlander’s powerful right arm.
- The Padres, meanwhile, are apparently setting their sights high in talks involving southpaw Brad Hand, with one source telling Passan that GM AJ Preller hopes to achieve a return commensurate with that achieved last year by the Yankees for Aroldis Chapman. As Passan notes, that does seem steep — despite the fact that Hand does come with two more years of cheap arb control — but it likely won’t hurt to aim big at this stage of the proceedings.
- There, are, of course, some other talented relievers available. Two Marlins hurlers are also drawing interest from “multiple teams,” per Passan. AJ Ramos and David Phelps appear to be solid (albeit hardly perfect) late-inning pen options for contenders; indeed, MLBTR ranked them in a tie for 11th in the most recent list of the top fifty trade targets leaguewide. Both hurlers are reasonably expensive ($6.55MM and $4.6MM, respectively), so the salary-conscious Fish may see an opportunity to avoid some obligations. They each also can be controlled for an additional season via arbitration.