Yahoo’s Jeff Passan has a landslide of trade chatter in his latest “10 Degrees” column, but he first kicks off with a look at what he terms “new depths of dysfunction” among the Mets’ front office and ownership. Passan echoes previous reports which have suggested that COO Jeff Wilpon is as caught up with whether the cross-town Yankees win or lose as he is with his own team’s success, and he also explores the startling lack of organizational communication that became increasingly apparent with this weekend’s Yoenis Cespedes debacle.
Passan also notes that a GM from another team and another exec from a second team have both wondered to him whether Wilpon is so concerned with the public perception of his team that he’d push for a trade of Jacob deGrom in an effort to engender some positive P.R. among a fanbase that has clamored for a rebuild. Most still expect the Mets to hang onto both deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, he adds, but even the notion that some teams feel Mets ownership could plausibly be leveraged or taken advantage of in that manner has to be unsettling for Mets fans.
Some more highlights from a column that anyone who follows the trade market should check out in its entirety…
- The Rays aren’t planning to operate as a strict buyer or seller over the next eight days, Passan writes. Tampa Bay is marketing rental pieces like right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and injured catcher Wilson Ramos to other clubs but is also willing to part with prospects to acquire affordable, controllable pieces that can be retained for years to come. Passan spoke to someone familiar with the Rays’ talks surrounding Chris Archer who said he’d be “completely stunned” if Archer were actually traded this summer given the three reasonably priced years of control he has remaining on his contract.
- While Ervin Santana hasn’t pitched in the Majors this season after undergoing surgery to repair a tendon in his right middle finger this February, scouts are planning to closely watch the Twins right-hander’s 2018 debut this week, Passan notes. Santana likely only has enough time to make a pair of starts before the non-waiver deadline, and that may or may not be enough to convince a team of his ability to help down the stretch. But he’s also owed the balance of a $14MM salary this season — about $5.2MM through season’s end — which could allow him to clear waivers in early August and emerge as a trade candidate next month.
- The Yankees have been tied to multiple rentals this summer, but they’ve also been inquiring on controllable relief arms and, in some cases, showing a willingness to include Brandon Drury in those trade talks. Drury was added as a depth piece late in the offseason and opened the year as the Yankees’ third baseman, but the near-immediate success of Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar made him relatively superfluous in the season’s early stages. Drury has appeared in just 16 games for the Yankees this season despite the fact that he’d established himself as a solid contributor at the big league level over the past two years with the Diamondbacks.
- The Rangers are willing to pay down a “significant” portion of Shin-Soo Choo’s remaining contract — he’s still guaranteed about $7.4MM through the end of 2018 plus $21MM in each of the next two seasons — but his lack of defensive value is a roadblock to a deal. Choo fits best on an AL club where he can serve as a designated hitter, but there’s no American League contender with much of an opening, and teams in both leagues would likely be reluctant to use him in the outfield.
- A bit more surprisingly, Passan reports that the Royals are “poking around” on Mariners first baseman Ryon Healy in case he’s deemed redundant once Robinson Cano returns from his 80-game suspension. The Mariners have already expressed a desire to keep Dee Gordon at second base, which could push Cano to first base once he returns. That’d take away at-bats from Healy, who is showing impressive power but dismal on-base skills, with a .244/.274/.466 and 20 homers through 325 plate appearances. Healy is controlled through the 2022 season and won’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2019 season, so while the Royals are obviously a rebuilding club, he could be a long-term piece for them if they’re able to boost his on-base percentage to a passable level.