MLB trade rumors: Updates on latest news, buzz during 2021 season

Washington Nationals could trade former top prospect

It wasn’t that long ago that Carter Kieboom was viewed as one of the best prospects in baseball. A right-handed third baseman with outstanding raw power, he was projected as the heir to Anthony Rendon. Fast forward to July 2021 and he could be on the move.

MLB insider Robert Murray wrote that teams are expected to call the Washington Nationals about Kieboom and the front office might be receptive to discussions. He struggled in the majors during the COVID-shortened 2020 season, posting a .202 batting average and .212 OPS in 122 at-bats. This season, Kieboom has spent a majority of the year with Washington’s Triple-A affiliate and the numbers (.248 BA, .788 OPA) aren’t entirely promising.

He doesn’t turn 24 until September and there’s still plenty of raw talent in his bat. It’s possible a change of scenery fixes things for him, but it would require the Nationals to start climbing the standings just to consider buying.

Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland A’s potential fits for Nelson Cruz

With the Minnesota Twins willing to ship off key pieces by July 30, designated hitter Nelson Cruz becomes one of the most intriguing options for AL clubs. He is only a DH at this point in his career, limiting the field of suitors, but it hasn’t stopped teams from reaching out.

MLB Network reported that the Oakland A’s and Toronto Blue Jays are possibilities for a Cruz trade. The 41-year-old slugger is defying Father Time. Heading into the All-Star Break, Cruz has 18 home runs, a .296 batting average and a .914 OPS on the season. No matter what team he lands with, it will be a huge addition with playoff implications.

New York Mets among teams interested in Adam Frazier trade

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be sellers at the MLB trade deadline and no player on their roster is generating more interest than Adam Frazier. A 29-year-old infielder who was named a starter in the All-Star Game this season, Frazier’s versatility and bat are huge factors that make him one of the most coveted players this summer.

Chicago Cubs to be sellers at MLB trade deadline

After a hot start to the season, the Chicago Cubs have plummeted down the standings. With a majority of their lineup and bullpen carried by impending free agents, Chicago could be one of the most active teams at the MLB trade deadline.

According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney and Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are preparing to be sellers this summer. Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel are the headliners of players who could be moved, but Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo will also be on the trade block. While it won’t be a total rebuild, expect the Cubs to sell off a majority of their veteran, MLB assets in the next few weeks.

Miami Marlins offered Starling Marte a contract extension

After a surprising 2020 season, the Miami Marlins have come crashing down to earth this year. Miami’s rotation is one of the best in baseball, but it is backed by one of the most unproductive lineups. With the trade deadline approaching and the Marlins outside the playoff hunt, Starling Marte is viewed as a top trade candidate.

But Miami is seemingly ready to try and keep him. The Miami Herald’s Jordan McPherson and Craig Mish reported that the Marlins offered Marte a multi-year extension. If he declines in, then the franchise will consider moving him before July 30.

San Diego Padres expected to be aggressive buyers

The Athletic’s Jayson Stark spoke to multiple MLB executives about the upcoming trade deadline. While there is some split on what teams might sell, many around MLB believe the San Diego Padres will be one of the most aggressive buyers this summer.

San Diego might need another starting pitcher following Dinelson Lamet’s most recent setback with his pitching elbow. Additionally, the bullpen has become a problem spot as of late and could use reinforcements. But the player everyone is keeping an eye on, Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo. If the Padres can land him, they’ve got a great argument as the best team in baseball.

Multiple teams still pursuing Eduardo Escobar

Over a week ago, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that the Arizona Diamondbacks were trading Eduardo Escobar to the Chicago White Sox. When the power-hitting infielder wasn’t in Sunday’s lineup and more reports surfaced the next day, a trade seemed imminent. Things have changed.

MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that the White Sox came close to acquiring Escobar, but a deal never came to fruition. Instead, Arizona is still discussing him with multiple clubs and there’s now a real chance Escobar lands elsewhere. We likely won’t see a trade for at least another week but Escobar will be on a new team Aug. 1

New York Mets discussed Josh Donaldson trade

While the New York Mets will soon get J.D. Davis back soon, he may not be holding down the third base job for long. With the MLB trade deadline approaching, New York is exploring its options at the hot corner. One name they’ve checked in on, per Sportsnet New York’s Andy Martino, Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson.

Minnesota would be more than willing to trade its star third baseman. He is owed $21 million this season, $42 million over the following two seasons and would be owed an $8 million buyout in the 2024 offseason. Chances are the Mets called to see how much of the Donaldson contract the Twins would cover.

Toronto Blue Jays among teams interested in top closer

The Toronto Blue Jays made their first notable trade of the summer, acquiring Corey Dickerson and Adam Cimber from the Miami Marlins. But it seems the Blue Jays aren’t done yet, targeting a premium closer for the back of the bullpen.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Toronto is among the teams interested in Pittsburgh Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez, who is expected to be moved before July 30.

Rodriguez, age 31, enters July with a 2.59 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and .193 batting average allowed. While he doesn’t receive a ton of save opportunities with the Pirates, he is fantastic when called upon. Under contract through 2023, it would likely cost a high-end prospect to land him.

Oakland Athletics won’t pursue Trevor Story

The Oakland A’s could be fairly aggressive at the MLB trade deadline, seeking multiple bats to improve a lineup that struggles to consistently produce. But, following earlier rumors that Trevor Story could be a target, that idea no longer seems to be a possibility.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the Athletics are unlikely to pursue the All-Star shortstop. Instead, the club will prioritize finding a corner outfielder and a designated hitter.

There is no shortage of trade candidates that fit Oakland’s needs. David Peralta would be an affordable option or the Athletics could swing a deal for Mitch Haniger. If they are willing to acquire a DH-only, Nelson Cruz would provide outstanding production and would be a hit in the clubhouse.

Max Scherzer likely staying put

As the Washington Nationals slipped down the standings, MLB rumors hinted toward Max Scherzer potentially being moved in July. He’s a free agent at the end of the 2020 season and Washington could acquire a high-end prospect for him. But circumstances have changed.

The Nationals are now approaching the .500 market, a sign that they might still have a shot at the wild-card spot. Even if they slip in the next few weeks, ownership has been very hesitant to tear things down. But even if Washington was willing to make a deal, there might be another complication.

Scherzer can block any tae and hisa gent Scott Boras hinted to NBC Sports that the three-time Cy Young winner might want a contract extension to approve a trade. Teams might be hesitant to give up a significant prospect and to sign a 37-year-old pitcher to one of the largest contracts in MLB. For now, it looks like Scherzer will stay.

Eduardo Escobar on the move?

With the Arizona Diamondbacks sitting at the bottom of the MLB standings, infielder Eduardo Escobar will likely be moved in July. He was pulled in the 8th inning from Saturday’s game and kept out of the lineup on Sunday. NBC Sports Chicago reported that Escobar would be moved, but a team had yet to be determined. However, appeared as a pinch-hitter hours later.

While it seems we might be waiting a few more days for a trade, Escobar will be traded this summer. He’s in the last year of his deal and the Diamondbacks wpuld greatly benefit from acquiring any prospects possible. For teams like the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, Escobar would be a fantastic addition.

Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager a July trade candidate

While the Seattle Mariners have been a pleasant surprise this season, they aren’t remotely good enough to compete for an AL wild-card spot. As a result, Kyle Seager is facing 11 consecutive seasons without ever appearing in a postseason game. Fortunately, another club might change that.

MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand notes that Kyle Seager is a popular name circling in MLB trade rumors, especially with several clubs needing a third baseman.

The 33-year-old’s contract does complicate matters a bit. He is owed $18 million this season and there is a $15 million option for the 2022 season. If Seager is traded, that becomes a player option he’d almost certainly exercise.

But there is likely a desire to join a playoff contender, so a team could negotiate a higher buyout this offseason to make a deal happen. While Seager wouldn’t be an impact bat, he is better than what a few teams are throwing out in their lineups.

New York Yankees to pursue José Berríos trade?

The Yankees are starting to climb back up the MLB standings, returning to the postseason picture. Amid a myriad of injuries and poor performances, New York is expected to be in the market for starting pitching in July.

MLB.com’s Jon Morosi believes the Yankees could make a major bid for Minnesota Twins ace José Berrios. Under contract through the 2022 season, Minnesota could land an impressive haul for its top right-handed pitcher.

We examine what a Berrīos trade, along with two others, might look like for the Yankees.

Chicago White Sox discussing Eduardo Escobar trade

The White Sox are in desperate need of a second baseman. Ever since Nick Madrigal underwent season-ending surgery, Chicago’s second basemen have one of the lowest OPS (.639) in baseball. Seeking another big bat to add to the lineup, it seems the White Sox might have someone in mind.

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the White Sox are engaged in trade discussions for Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eduardo Escobar.

Escobar has split time between second and third base this season with Arizona, posting a .989 fielding percentage in the middle infield. He would likely take that same spot in Chicago’s lineup, but his versatility might also allow Yoan Moncada to rest more.

Speaking of White Sox trade targets, we explored the possibility of Whit Merrifield to Chicago.

Players most likely to be moved at MLB trade deadline

MLB returning to its standard postseason format reduces the playoff field, leading to fewer teams competing this season. While we aren’t seeing many deals right now, that will change in July and several clubs will have pieces to move.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden previewed the upcoming trading season, highlighting a few players who are being shopped and may be playing elsewhere by August 1.

  • Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar
  • Baltimore Orioles third baseman Maikel Franco
  • Detroit Tigers closer Michael Fulmer
  • Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd
  • Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco
  • Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger

Milwaukee Brewers eyeing two positions on trade market

The Willy Adames trade is already working out nicely for the Milwaukee Brewers, with the 25-year-old shortstop providing strong defense and a .748 OPS in his first 25 games with the club. Now, Milwaukee is turning its attention towards other positions of need.

Fansided’s Robert Murray reports that the Brewers plan to upgrade at the corner infield this summer. Travis Shaw is on the 60-day IL and with Keston Hiura unable to hit MLB pitching, first base is also a huge hole. The likes of Mike Moustakas, Kyle Seager and Jesus Aguilar could be targets for the Brewers. In addition to first base and third base, the Brewers want to upgrade their bullpen.

St. Louis Cardinals in market for starting pitchers

If the Cardinals want to gain ground in the NL Central, they need to make some big moves. Injuries have decimated an already shaky rotation, turning an issue into a glaring Achilles’ heel. Entering June 13, St. Louis ranked 18th in rotation ERA (4.42) and it’s only worsening.

According to MLB insider Robert Murray, the Cardinals are very much in the market for starting pitching. While Max Scherzer would be the dream target, few expect him to be moved by Nationals. So, St. Louis must turn its attention to other hurlers.

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