MLB trade rumors roundup: Nats-Rangers discuss Cole Hamels, Yankees angling for Chris Archer
The 2018 non-waiver trade is eight days away now, so, between now and then we here are CBS Sports are going to provide a daily — and constantly updated — roundup of the latest trade rumors. We’re also tracking all trades made, big and small, in our trade tracker. And in case you missed it, .
Now for Monday’s rumors:
Nats in on Hamels?
The Washington Nationals need help if they’re going to reach the postseason.
Although negotiations are at a preliminary stage and obstacles remain, the Nationals and Rangers have had trade discussions involving four-time All-Star Cole Hamels, sources told MLB.com Monday.
Morosi noted the Nationals would likely ask the Rangers to cover some of the outstanding financial commitment to Hamels.
Morosi also reported that the Mariners, Yankees, Phillies, and Braves have been connected to the southpaw.
Hamels has a 106 ERA+ this season. He’s allowed 1.7 home runs per nine, with most of that damage coming in home starts.
Harvey market taking shape
While Matt Harvey has hardly been the ace of yore since being dealt to the Reds, he has been better at both the run-prevention and command-and-control levels. Throw in some improvement in his stuff on Cincy’s watch, and you’ve got a viable trade chip. Speaking of which, the Harvey market seems to be developing …
Indeed, the Brewers and Mariners both need rotation help, and neither may have the goods to land a true ace via trade. So Harvey makes sense. That’s perhaps especially the case for the Brewers, since they just lost Brent Suter to a torn UCL. As for Harvey, he’s in his walk year, so the rebuilding Reds have no incentive to keep him around beyond July 31.
Yanks angling for Archer
Rays right-hander Chris Archer, thanks to his ace-ish upside and contract that’s team-friendly in the extreme, has been the subject of trade speculation for quite a long time. Maybe this time it finally happens? In any event, count the Yankees in …
The Yankees have definite needs in the rotation as they try to position themselves to catch the Red Sox down the stretch. As Crasnick notes, however, the optics and long-term considerations of trading Archer to an intra-divisional rival may complicate Brian Cashman’s efforts. On the other hand, the Yankees are one of the few contenders who may be able to meet the asking price on Archer when it comes to young talent going the other way.
Marlins keeping Realmuto?
The Marlins could be one of the busiest teams between now and the trade deadline. To wit, they’re receiving calls on a number of players according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman:
Derek Dietrich is perhaps the only name there that we haven’t covered in great detail. He’s an above-average hitter with experience on the infield and in the outfield alike. He has two more seasons of team control remaining.
Heyman also added that the Marlins view J.T. Realmuto as a building block — one who they could approach about an extension this winter:
It’s unclear how much of that talk is posturing and how much is legitimate.
Astros best fit for Britton?
Writing in The Athletic (subscription required and recommended), Dan Connelly names the Astros as potentially being the best fit for Orioles lefty closer Zach Britton. Britton’s start to the 2018 season was significantly delayed because of an offseason Achilles’ injury. Now age 30 and in his walk year, Britton has put up good run-prevention numbers, and he’s not far removed from 2014-16 stretch during which he was perhaps the best reliever in all of baseball.
Britton as a reliever with lockdown potential will no doubt be a coveted name in the coming days, but the Astros may be the best-positioned to land him. They have an arguable need for bullpen help from the left side, but they don’t need much else. That allows them to have a singular focus, and they also have a strong farm system to tap into.
Brewers getting creative?
The Brewers are expected to have a busy deadline. But here’s one you probably didn’t see coming: they’re at least considering adding Mike Moustakas and moving incumbent third baseman Travis Shaw to second base:
As Jon Paul Morosi of MLB Network notes, it seems more likely that the Brewers will use their prospect warchest to add some starting pitching instead.
Don’t be surprised if the Phillies or a different contender jump in on Moustakas, however. He has a 109 OPS+ and 19 homers so far this season.
Rox scouting O’s arms
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Rockies have been scouting Orioles starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, among other arms. The Rockies open Monday’s slate just two games back of the Dodgers in AL West and just 1 1/2 games out of second wild-card position. So they justifiably see themselves as contenders. As well, rotation depth is typically an ongoing concern when you play your home games at a mile above sea level (Rosenthal notes that Gausman is a Colorado native). Each has pitched solidly this season at the run-prevention level and quite good at the command-and-control level. Since the Orioles have already dealt Manny Machado, the fire sale is obviously on in Baltimore.
Boston wants bullpen help
By the sounds of it, the Red Sox want to get bullpen help sooner rather than closer to the deadline …
The big dogs! Boston ranks a strong third in the AL in bullpen ERA, but they do have some depth concerns behind elite closer Craig Kimbrel, particularly from the left side. As lefty relievers on the trade block go, Zach Britton is likely the prize. However, other teams with deeper farm systems may be better positioned than the Sox when it comes to landing Britton. At the deadline, though, relievers abound, so Dave Dombrowski should be able to get something done.
Ziegler market heating up?
Regarding the Marlins, here’s this from Jon Morosi …
Ziegler’s overall numbers — 89 ERA+, 2.19 K/BB ratio — don’t look all that strong, but as Morosi notes he’s been trending very much in the right direction. He an ERA in the 7.00s as recently as June 7, but now he’s whittled it down to 4.20. Ziegler also has experience closing and is on an expiring contract.
Indians want outfield help
Here’s this from Mark Feinsand …
That makes sense, as Cleveland is presently looking to Tyler Naquin and Melky Cabrera for regular duty in the outfield. Bradley Zimmer was first demoted and then lost for the season to a shoulder injury, and Lonnie Chisenhall is laid up with a calf strain. As well, Michael Brantley — while healthy and productive thus far — will always be a bit of an injury risk.
Brewers chasing Merrifield?
After missing out on Manny Machado, the Brewers may be setting their sights on a more modest target. Robert Murray of The Athletic reports that the Brewers may have interest in dealing for Royals super utility man Whit Merrifield.
Merrifield, who’s in his age-29 season and isn’t eligible for free agency until after the 2022 campaign, is batting .302/.371/.424 (120 OPS+) with 30 doubles and 17 stolen bases. He’s also seen time at four different positions. For his career, Merrifield owns an OPS+ of 107 across parts of three big-league seasons. The Brewers could use some stability at second base, and that would be where Merrifield would settle in if such a deal happens.
Phillies targeting Grandy
Granderson, 37, is on a one-year deal in Toronto, and he’s still capable of providing some on-base skills and occasional thump against right-handed pitching. He’s also seen time at all three outfield positions this season, although these days he’s definitely a stretch in center.