The Rundown Lite: More Deadline Intel as Teams Decide Whether to Buy or Sell
Some authentic trade rumors are crossing my desk this afternoon and things are becoming clearer with regard to which front offices are selling and which ones are buying, so I thought I’d keep you updated.
- The Rangers have a lot of holes these days and few prospects. They appear to be confirmed sellers.
- The A’s have acquired Jake Diekman from the Royals, strengthening one of baseball’s best bullpens. Kansas City will receive prospects Ismael Aquino and Dairon Blanco in return.
- The Athletics have now turned their attention toward acquiring a starter and could be interested in Zack Wheeler of the Mets or the Reds’ Tanner Roark.
- According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, there’s a proposed idea floating among front offices that could keep both Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman away from the Bronx. It would involve the Mets shipping Syndergaard to the Padres and then acquiring Stroman from the Blue Jays.
- MLB Network’s Jon Morosi adds on to Rosenthal’s report, indicating that according to the opinion of a rival executive, the Padres are the best positioned team to land Syndergaard. That would force the Yankees to look elsewhere in a pitching market mostly bereft of top talent. That is, unless Arizona made Zack Greinke and/or Robbie Ray available, and…
- The Diamondbacks have decided to back up the truck and make most of their best players available to contending teams. The D-Backs are 52-52 so this is somewhat of a surprise, but they’re never going to catch the Dodgers and it looks like they’d rather retool than fight for a Wild Card berth.
- Add the Twins to the list of teams that would like to acquire Syndergaard.
- The Nationals and Indians have reversed course also and both teams may be buyers now. A month and a half ago, both teams seemed destined to finish as also-rans, but each is now strongly positioned to make a run for their respective division leads. The Nationals need bullpen help, the Indians need a power bat. Each team has rotations good enough for an extended playoff run.
- Meanwhile, the Astros are making a strong push to acquire Stroman, too.
- The Giants are 25-10 in one-run games and boast one of the best bullpens in the game. They’ve reversed course and are now officially buyers. They’ve made a few fringe moves in recent days to free up roster spots, including sending Derek Holland to the Cubs. The Giants’ bullpen is so stacked that they could theoretically subtract a veteran arm or two to acquire a starter and still contend for a playoff berth.
- Since the Giants will be buying, it might make sense to see about extending ace Madison Bumgarner, whose last contract was very team-friendly.
- Morosi also reports that the Dodgers are interested in Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez and that Pittsburgh is likely to ask Los Angeles for prospects that may include pitcher Dustin May or catcher Will D. Smith in any potential package. Pirates outfielder Starling Marte could be intriguing to a number of teams, too.
- The Braves are reportedly interested in adding a reliever or versatile bat, and the Blue Jays sent a high-level scout to watch Atlanta right-hander Tristan Beck start for Class A Florida on Friday. MLB Pipeline ranks Beck as Atlanta’s No. 18 best prospect. Ken Giles, Daniel Hudson and Eric Sogard are probably all on the Braves’ radar.
- With Ben Zobrist officially set to return to the Cubs, it would seem that both Sogard and Whit Merrifield are no longer on their radar. The Royals seem intent on holding onto Merrifield anyway, and though the Cubs have reportedly inquired, the teams may be a better fit this winter.
That’s it for now. I’ll keep you posted if anything pops.