- With the Pirates enjoying a midseason resurgence, general manager Neal Huntington made it clear last week that he’d like to strengthen the club’s roster prior to Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Pirates have since been connected to relievers Keone Kela and Brad Brach in trade rumors, though they’re also interested in upgrading their starting staff. Pittsburgh, like many teams, is seeking a “controllable starter,” Rosenthal reports. However, he suggests that the Bucs don’t appear to be aggressive suitors for Rays right-hander Chris Archer, who’s under control through 2021 and has drawn vast interest leading up to the deadline.
- Rangers slugger Joey Gallo was in the rumor mill Saturday, though it’s “unlikely” the team will deal him this summer, Rosenthal hears. Meanwhile, teammate Jake Diekman is the likeliest Ranger to end up on the move, Rosenthal adds. The left-handed reliever possesses a strong track record and an affordable salary ($2.7125MM), but he’s not controllable beyond this season. Diekman, 31, has pitched to a 3.79 ERA/3.48 FIP with 10.89 K/9, 5.45 BB/9 and a 45.4 percent groundball rate in 38 innings this year. Along with his control problems, Diekman has been surprisingly poor this season versus left-handed hitters, who have slashed .273/.429/.364 against him (on the other hand, righties have only hit .192/.292/.309). Historically, Diekman has been tough on both lefty- and righty-swingers.
- The Braves have interest in both Diekman and fellow Rangers reliever Kela, Rosenthal and Joel Sherman of the New York Post suggest. Moreover, Atlanta’s willing to move left-hander Luiz Gohara to upgrade its team, per Rosenthal, with Sherman noting that the Rangers have been scouting the 21-year-old. Gohara hasn’t pitched much in the majors this year (19 2/3 innings, nine appearances, one start), in part because of injury issues. But he showed well during a five-start debut in 2017, after which Baseball America ranked him as the game’s 23rd-best prospect. There’s a “good chance” the Rangers will acquire Gohara if he “shows anything at all” in the minors Sunday, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets.
- Sticking with Texas and Atlanta, Rosenthal reports that the Braves have greater interest in bolstering their pitching (perhaps via Diekman and Kela) than acquiring Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre. Rosenthal doesn’t rule out a Beltre acquisition for the Braves (though, as a 10-and-5 player, he’d need to approve the trade), but he points out that incumbent third baseman Johan Camargo has actually outhit the eventual Hall of Famer this season. The switch-hitting Camargo, 24, has done so on a league-minimum salary, too, while the 39-year-old Beltre is owed the balance of $18MM.