Yu Darvish is pitching tonight for the Rangers, so clearly there’s nothing imminent. Indeed, Texas seems likely to take its decision on the ace to the latest possible moment, even as it begins to solicit interest. As that process begins to take place, it’s important to note that Darvish possesses partial no-trade rights. While it’s not at all clear whether he’d get in the way of a deal, particularly given that he’ll be a free agent in a few months regardless, that adds another potential hurdle. Per Jim Bowden of Sirius XM, via Twitter, Darvish currently can block trades to the Cubs, Indians, Pirates, Red Sox, and Rockies (along with five other teams that are in no position to consider a rental starter).
Here’s the latest trade deadline chatter:
- While the Athletics continue to weigh their options with first baseman Yonder Alonso, the club has not actually engaged in any extension talks with his reps, per ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (Twitter link). While a new deal seems unlikely to come to fruition (yet more than it did already), the A’s are struggling to drum up interest in the breakout performer. Indeed, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com suggests on Twitter that the Yankees are the only team firmly pursuing Alonso at this time. Trouble is, it seems, Oakland isn’t enamored of the Yanks’ offers to date.
- Meanwhile, the division-rival Red Sox could conceivably look into some outside-the-box possibilities to improve their offense, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe writes. He bases that assessment on the difficulty of finding a significant offensive threat capable of playing third as well as the ongoing struggles of Mitch Moreland since he suffered a toe injury. Boston might consider a first baseman, Speier says, or perhaps even an outfielder that could lineup at DH — if Hanley Ramirez is capable of spending more time at first. While it doesn’t seem there’s any indication of internal interest at this point, Speier cites Alonso, Lucas Duda, and Jay Bruce as rental players that could hold some appeal.
- Marlins closer A.J. Ramos is drawing interest from as many as eight to ten teams, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro tweets. With momentum perhaps building toward a deal, Ramos tells MLB.com’s Jeremy Vernon that he hears the rumors, but is trying to stay focused on his current job. “It’s good, but also it’s a little bit bittersweet,” he said of the fact other teams are looking to deal for him.
- A handful of clubs have reached out to the Marlins about high-priced slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Jon Heyman of Fan Rag reports, but the expectation remains that he will not be seriously marketed this summer. Still, the club is keeping Stanton “apprised of every contact” it receives, which evidently was a commitment made to the star. With full no-trade protection, he can control his destiny.
- Interest in Padres righty Trevor Cahill is increasing as the deadline draws near, a team source tells MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell (via Twitter). While the possible introduction of Darvish to the market would knock Cahill down a peg among rental arms, it likely wouldn’t reduce the demand. After all, he’s still exceptionally cheap and has been one of the game’s most productive starters when healthy in 2017. For teams that want to take a shot at a continuation of that surprising success, Cahill should hold quite a lot of appeal.
- Interestingly, in his recent run-down of the market for Athletics righty Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network noted that even the Padres have asked about the hotly pursued starter. That may be chalked up mostly to due diligence; though the Pads no doubt would love to install such an arm into their rotation for the next two years, it’s hard to see sufficient motivation to beat the offers of other organizations that will highly value the ability to utilize Gray for the next several months.
- Among Giants players, infielder Eduardo Nunez is drawing the most interest, Olney tweets. That’s hardly surprising, as he’s a pending free agent who can play all over the infield. It still seems a bit difficult to imagine that the Giants won’t find a worthwhile arrangement involving Nunez, who could fit with quite a few different contenders.