The Braves are known to be in the market for rotation upgrades, and Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that GM Alex Anthopoulos has reached out to his old team, the Blue Jays, to discuss a potential Marcus Stroman trade. However, Morosi also adds that there’s “no evidence of progress in those negotiations.” Anthopoulos has suggested recently that he’s not interested in surrendering significant talent to acquire a rental, so it’s not surprising to see Atlanta exploring the possibility of adding a pitcher who is controlled through the 2020 season. The Jays, of course, have been active on the trade market in the past 24 hours, dealing Seunghwan Oh to the Rockies and J.A. Happ to the Yankees. But GM Ross Atkins downplayed the possibility of moving players controlled beyond the 2018 season earlier today, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet (Twitter link). “We’re not aggressively having those discussions,” Atkins replied when asked about moving some of his more controllable assets.
Some more chatter on the market for pitchers…
- Morosi also tweets that the Brewers and Mets have discussed a possible Zack Wheeler trade, though they’re not close to a deal. The Brewers, who acquired Joakim Soria from the White Sox earlier today, have been tied more to infield upgrades than rotation help in recent days, though they’ve generally been tied to myriad upgrade possibilities. Wheeler would affordably slot into the Milwaukee rotation both this year and next, before reaching free agency, and he’s been raising his profile as of late. In his past 10 starts, he’s worked to a 3.50 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 3.1 BB/9, 0.56 HR/9 and a 40.2 percent ground-ball rate through 64 1/3 innings. Of course, the Brewers are hardly alone in their interest. Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that there are eight to 10 teams that’ve shown some level of interest in acquiring Wheeler.
- Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams spoke to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon about the looming non-waiver trade deadline, and while he declined to go into too many specifics, Williams acknowledged his ongoing Matt Harvey negotiations with other clubs. While Harvey was shelled for eight runs in his most recent outing, that one poor showing didn’t do much to hinder interest. “I certainly didn’t have anybody call and drop out after that,” Williams told Sheldon. “…I think the body of work is there that shows that he’s been a good, consistent Major League pitcher since we acquired him. And the potential for him to help a team down the stretch is certainly there.”
- Prior to the their acquisition of J.A. Happ, the Yankees also spoke to the Twins about Ervin Santana “and others,” per Jon Heyman of Fancred (via Twitter). Both Jake Odorizzi and Kyle Gibson are controlled through the 2019 season and could theoretically emerge as trade candidates, while Lance Lynn is a free agent at season’s end and is quite likely already available (though he has not fared well at all in 2018). It seems likely, though, that New York’s pickup of Happ will end their looks at the Twins’ available starters.
- Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports in his latest notes column (subscription required) that some executives within the industry believe the Astros would sell low on recently demoted closer Ken Giles. Rosenthal adds that one team approached the Mariners about the possibility of a three-team trade, believing that they could get Giles and flip him to Seattle. While the M’s had interest, however, talks failed to progress. The Astros maintain that they’re not shopping Giles, however, per the report.