MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEARS TEAMS POSITIONING FOR MOVES TO WIN A PENNENT

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Tampa Bay 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 Boston 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.

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.

Jon Heyman also added that the Marlins view J.T. Realmuto as a building block — one who they could approach about an extension this winter.

Dan Connelly names the Houston 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.

Apr 26, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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

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.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets that the Rockieshave 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.

Ken Rosenthal regarding the Phillies and Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson. 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.

The Washington Nationals do have someone on hand to watch Hamels in action tonight, as Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports on Twitter. The Braves, Cubs, Phillies, Yankees, and Diamondbacks do as well.

Hamels has a long history of good work in the postseason, even if his most recent appearance — a 2016 dud for the Rangers — did not go as hoped. All told, he has thrown 98 1/3 innings of 3.48 ERA ball over 16 playoff starts. Hamels was also named the MVP of the 2008 World Series.

The Atlanta organization may be looking at lefty reliever Jake Diekman, MLB.com’s.

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The Cleveland Indians acquisitions of Brad Hand and Adam Cimber from the San Diego Padres in this week’s blockbuster trade likely means that the Tribe will let Cody Allen and Andrew Miller leave after the season, Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The Milwaukee Brewers has the most glaring need of any contender for middle infield help, and the Brew Crew has been connected to both Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar in reports.

Ervin Santana will make his season debut on Wednesday when he takes the hill for a start in Toronto, Minnesota Twins skipper Paul Molitor told reporters (including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger).  Santana underwent surgery on the middle finger of his throwing hand back in early February, a procedure that was thought to require only a 10-to-12 week rehab stint.

Hearing Chris Archer‘s name in trade chatter is hardly a surprise. It would be much more shocking if the right-hander wasn’t being mentioned with the non-waiver Trade Deadline only eight days away.

The Rays have been receiving interest in Archer for more than two years, holding on to their ace each time. Will Tampa Bay finally make the move to deal Archer, presumably for a haul of prospects?

“He’s been pursued for the last two or three years and they’ve never pulled the trigger,” one executive said. “It’s still more likely than not that the Rays value him more than any other team does. They don’t think they’re far off from being relevant in the postseason picture, and he’s got three years left. They have to think through it and make sure they’re making the right decision.”

According to a source, multiple teams have expressed serious interest in Archer, who is 3-4 with a 4.30 ERA in 16 starts this season. Despite the uninspiring numbers so far this year, Archer’s Sunday start — he allowed three earned runs over six innings, striking out 13 batters without issuing a walk against the Marlins — reminded everybody why he’s been so coveted. CONTINUE READING, by  MLB.com

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As the Yankees quest for an impact starting pitcher continues, we can now add Baltimore Orioles righty Kevin Gausman to a list that includes at least Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Madison Bumgarner, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Archer and Michael Fulmer. According to Orioles reporter Roch Kubatko, the Yankees have checked in on Gausman’s availability with Baltimore.

The Dodgers placed third baseman Justin Turner on the 10-day disabled list with a groin injury on Monday. Previously, the club has handled Turner’s absence by using Max Muncy, Kyle Farmer, and Logan Forsythe at the hot corner. However, the Dodgers recently acquired shortstop Manny Machado from the Orioles. Machado is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner at third base. Understandably, the Dodgers will move Machado over to third base while Turner is out, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Chris Taylor is starting at shortstop to open a three-game series in Philadelphia Monday night.

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Matt Harvey’s stay in Cincinnati may end up being a brief one. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Reds are looking to trade the former All-Star pitcher before the Jul. 31 deadline, calling it a “main focus” for them. Crasnick also lists the Seattle Mariners and the Milwaukee Brewers as clubs that have inquired about Harvey and notes that the San Francisco Giants had interest in Harvey when he was still with the New York Mets. CONTINUE READING, by  Darryn Albert

 

 

 

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