“The Braves’ interest in Mike Moustakas is minimal at best,” ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick writes in a tweet, following up on an earlier report which stated that Atlanta was looking at the Royals third baseman. Moustakas and the Braves have been linked in rumors even dating back to last offseason due to Atlanta’s lack of third base depth, though the team is reportedly satisfied with Johan Camargo at the hot corner. Interestingly, Crasnick notes that the Braves weren’t sure “how Moustakas would adapt to a bench role,” implying that the team would have platooned the duo at third base. Moustakas has long has problems against left-handed pitching, while the switch-hitting Camargo has crushed lefties (1.008 OPS in 156 PA) and struggled against righties (.701 OPS in 382 PA) in his brief Major League career.
- The Mariners are one of the teams who have recently called the Marlins about Brad Ziegler. After a tough start to the season that saw him lose his closer’s job, Ziegler has pitched much better over the last two months and has reignited some trade interest. Ziegler is a free agent this winter and is still owed around $3.2MM of his $9MM salary for the 2018 season. Among other Miami relievers mentioned as trade candidates, interest in lefty Adam Conley is “picking up steam” since other southpaws like Brad Hand and Zach Britton are no longer available, according to one source.
- Wilson Ramos could be on the verge of a minor league rehab assignment, as the Rays catcher is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a hamstring strain. There’s still a chance Ramos could be moved before the July 31 trade deadline, if he continues to progress and is on pace for a return early in August.
- “The Orioles are willing to engage” teams in discussions about Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop. We’ve heard both players be mentioned in trade talks, though this is the first confirmation that Baltimore is open to moving either. Schoop has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining while Gausman has two, so these players have more value to the rebuilding O’s than other recently-moved stars like Manny Machado and Britton. As one scout tells Crasnick, Gausman and Schoop are “the real rebuild pieces.”
- The Rangers have only received “a couple of nibbles” in Shin-Soo Choo, and aren’t generating much more interest in either Cole Hamels or their bullpen trade chips. Part of the issue is that the Rangers’ players aren’t standing out amidst a deep market for relief options, and Hamels’ poor performance over his last five starts has raised concerns among rival evaluators. Some Rangers officials believe Hamels’ struggles may be influenced by stress over the trade rumors.