While the Tigers have drawn interest in Justin Verlander during the run-up to the deadline, there are no active talks as of this morning, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (via Twitter). As Morosi notes, that’s of added significance given that Verlander possesses full no-trade rights — meaning he’d need to be afforded some time to approve any deal that might take place. Most recent indications have been that Verlander would not end up moving this summer, with his expensive contract and the Tigers’ relatively lofty trade requests posing barriers. But his recent run of solid outings had perhaps made him a more intriguing target, and it remains possible that a late-breaking move could occur. That’s quite unlikely, though, per Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter link) who hears that neither Verlander nor outfielder Justin Upton will be on the move today.
More market chatter:
- The Rangers are “reluctantly willing” to engage in trade talks on reliever Alex Claudio, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). He becomes the latest Texas player to hit the rumor wire, joining fellow relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Keone Kela (though as Grant notes, Jeffress may just end up being DFA’ed). Among those hurlers, Claudio — a 25-year-old southpaw — is likely the one that Texas is least inclined to deal. While he doesn’t record many strikeouts, Claudio allows few free passes and has turned into a groundball monster over the past two seasons. He’s also cheap and controllable for four more seasons. Grant hints that Texas could consider attempting to package Claudio with Yu Darvish if that’d move the needle significantly in the effort to achieve a big return for the star hurler. That could indeed present an intriguing potential package for a team eyeing Darvish, providing a quality and controllable pen lefty to go with the rental starter, though such a swap would no doubt still be tricky to work out.
- Despite prior indications that the Mets would find a taker for Asdrubal Cabrera by the deadline, the team is “way less optimistic” of that possibility today, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). Indeed, that may well extend to other veterans (beyond those already dealt, of course), per Marc Carig of Newsday (via Twitter). As Sherman explains, hanging onto Cabrera past the deadline doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be traded, as he and other Mets veterans carry large enough salaries (on short enough terms) to clear waivers in August. Of course, making deals after the non-waiver deadline generally means working under additional constraints with reduced leverage. And in the Mets’ case, keeping the veterans would complicate the club’s roster plans.
- The Padres are still telling interested teams they will hold firm on their asking price or wait to deal lefty Brad Hand, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (via Twitter). That’s unsurprising at this point, though perhaps some have believed San Diego would begin to draw back the sticker price on deadline day. So far as has been reported, no teams are ready to hand over the kind of top-tier talent the Pads want for the controllable and excellent southpaw.
- The Twins now seem likely to deal righty Brandon Kintzler as the volume of phone calls increases, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand suggests on Twitter. The opposite is true of Marlins starter Dan Straily, Feinsand tweets. While Straily continues to be discussed, there hasn’t been any evident traction.