We checked in already today on one key factor for the pitching market: the availability of Rangers righty Yu Darvish. And we have just provided an overview of the remaining arms that could be available this summer. Here are some more notable pieces of information with a week to go until the trade deadline:
- The Nationals and Athletics are still engaged after completing one significant trade, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Whether A’s righty Sonny Gray could come up between the organizations isn’t yet clear, but there are now indications that the Nats are at least beginning to think about the possibility of pursuing a starter. The organization likely would do just that if it finds cause for significant concern with Stephen Strasburg, who just left his most recent start with forearm tightness. And it is worth bearing in mind that Washington will need another starter for 2018 with Joe Ross expected to miss the entire season after Tommy John surgery. But unless the Nationals find evidence of a larger problem for Strasburg, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post wrote yesterday, the club will probably keep its sights set on continuing to improve the bullpen. But a mounting list of injuries could perhaps force the organization to weigh alternatives even as it continues to pace the NL East by a hefty margin.
- Youthful outfielders are the Athletics’ top priority in Gray talks, Morosi notes in the above post and a subsequent tweet. One prospect that has drawn their attention is Yankees youngster Estevan Florial, Morosi says, with MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand noting on Twitter that New York is “not against including him in a trade package.” Of course, several other organizations rumored to have eyes for Gray also seem to have the types of young outfielders that would draw Oakland’s interest.
- While the Cubs addressed their most pressing rotation needs already, they are continuing to watch and discuss Justin Verlander with the Tigers, Morosi further reports. As Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network writes (Facebook link), Chicago seems to have the future payroll space needed to add Verlander without risking luxury tax complications. While it’s still unclear just how motivated the Cubs are on the veteran righty, it seems that a match remains plausible.
- Even after adding Trevor Cahill yesterday, the Royals are continuing to eye the market for rotation upgrades, according to Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter). Kansas City could even bump Cahill into the bullpen if a significant enough piece were to be found, Heyman notes. It’s worth noting that K.C. was able to add three arms to its current roster without taking on significant salary obligations; perhaps, then, there’s still a bit of flexibility remaining for the organization to make another upgrade.
- While the Brewers perhaps no longer are a favorite to land Gray, they could still be active on other hurlers. Rosenthal tweets that veteran Blue Jays reliever Joe Smith was of interest to Milwaukee in the offseason and could be pursued at the deadline. Smith has been knocked around a bit in his two most recent outings, which occurred on both ends of a DL stint. But he was carrying a 2.64 ERA prior to that point and is only earning $3MM this year. With 49 strikeouts and just eight walks in Smith’s 32 2/3 innings on the year, there’s obvious appeal; perhaps the Brewers could see an opportunity to achieve value on a solid relief option, though surely some other contenders will feel the same way.