Athletics righty Sonny Gray is an obvious target for contenders, and he’s among the players touched upon in a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today (which also delves into some analysis and predictions). The Brewers “may be the most aggressive” suitor for the Oakland starter, per Nightengale, with the Royals even entering the picture to some extent. He guesses, though, that the Astros are most likely to land Gray. That’s not to say that it’s Houston’s first choice; Nightengale says that the team spoke with the Tigers on Michael Fulmer but “came up empty.”
We’ll see if the ’Stros continue to push for Fulmer, who’d surely require a major haul of prospects. Here are some more notes from Nightengale and others:
- If Gray is the top starter who’s likely to be dealt, the best position player on the market is probably Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez. The Cardinals were said previously to have looked into the high-powered slugger, but Nightengale says they won’t spend big on a rental of his ilk. Rather, he says, the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks are the three clubs that have “shown the most interest” in Martinez. We’ve also heard of a few other organizations poking around on the righty slugger, so there seems to be no shortage of interest.
- The Phillies aren’t in contention — far from it — but are still showing interest in Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon, Nightengale adds. Other organizations are also said to be looking into the speedy veteran, who is under contract for $38MM over the next three seasons. It’s a bit surprising to see this particular link, as the Phils already control Cesar Hernandez and have variety of interesting middle infield prospects moving toward the majors. CSNPhilly.com’s Corey Seidman argues as much, but notes that Gordon could conceivably be involved in some of the broader talks between the clubs.
- As many as 10 teams are still in the mix for Marlins righty David Phelps, tweets Nightengale. Phelps is indeed an attractive trade chip, though it’s unlikely that all 10 of those clubs are expressing serious interest and making competitive bids to acquire him. Nightengale names the Yankees, Red Sox, Brewers, Cubs, Rockies, and Rangers as the chief pursuers of Phelps.
- MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand provides a variety of market notes. Among them: the Marlins are shopping Brad Ziegler aggressively. The team is willing to hold onto a major portion of his salary to get a deal done, per the report. That’s no surprise, given that he struggled through 29 innings before hitting the DL with a back issue. With a discount on the free-agent deal, there ought to be some interest. After all, the crafty 37-year-old maintained a 2.05 ERA over 136 innings in the prior two campaigns.
- It’s not surprising to hear that the Tigers are asking for quite a haul in exchange for Fulmer, given that he doesn’t need to be dealt. And the organization is perhaps well served to maintain a lofty ask on Martinez, allowing suitors to bid up his return. But dealing some of the organization’s other veterans may require more give and take. A pair of rival executives tell ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (via Twitter) that Detroit may have trouble making deals at its current asking prices.
- Jed Lowrie has been one of the most oft-speculated trade candidates of the summer, but MLB Network’s Peter Gammons tweets that, to this point, the Athletics haven’t received so much as a single inquiry into his availability. Lowrie is obviously available in trade — as is the case with most of the Oakland roster — and it is indeed somewhat surprising to hear that interest in him is so scant. The versatile, switch-hitting 33-year-old is batting .272/.339/.455 with 10 homers, 27 doubles and two triples this year. Even if a contending club doesn’t view Lowrie as a starter, his $6.5MM salary and $6MM club option aren’t exactly outlandish for a productive utility option.
- The Red Sox are one team rumored to have some level of interest in Lowrie, though Boston has been most closely connected with Todd Frazier in its third base search. Odds are, a source tells ESPN.com’s Scott Lauber (Twitter link), the Sox won’t be parting with significant prospect assets to meet its needs at the hot corner and in the bullpen. That likely wouldn’t be necessary for Lowrie or Frazier; one wonders, though, whether the club will still at least look into more significant deadline additions.
- We haven’t heard much detail as yet on Mets righty Addison Reed, who looks to be one of the best available relievers. But he’s generating “plenty of trade interest,” in the words of Newsday’s Marc Carig (via Twitter). That’s to be expected given the dominant form of the pending free agent. Over 43 2/3 innings this year, Reed owns a 2.47 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and just 1.0 BB/9.