We’ll likely see plenty more action this summer, with the countdown already on to the July 30 trade deadline. Let’s dive into the latest MLB trade rumors and call-ups, with analysis on what it all means. Bookmark this page to read the latest updates throughout the season.
Cleveland Indians open to Jose Ramirez trade
Months after trading Francisco Lindor, the Cleveland Indians are now open to the possibility of shipping away All-Star third baseman Jose Ramirez. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Cleveland would need to be floored by an offer to pull the trigger, but the level of interest from rival clubs is there. If Ramirez is traded, it will have a significant impact on the MLB playoff race.
Texas Rangers weighing Joey Gallo’s future
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Texas Rangers are weighing several options with Joey Gallo. First, the franchise hopes to sign him to a multi-year extension with a deal that would ensure he is a part of the team’s core for years to come. But Texas also knows Scott Boras reps Gallo and the MLB agent is known for getting his stars to the open market.
If talks don’t progress, the Rangers are prepared to trade the All-Star outfielder before the July 30 deadline. He is under team control through 2022, so the acquisition cost is high. The San Diego Padres and New York Yankees are among the teams who already reached out. But, as of now, many in MLB expect Gallo to stay.
Washington Nationals expected to be sellers
The Washington Nationals have bounced around the MLB standings in recent months, with most of their time in the cellar of the NL East. Sitting well below the .500 mark and with injuries mounting, the Nats are finally expected to commit to selling at the trade deadline.
Max Scherzer is the most targeted candidate, as discussed below. But there are other possibilities, with general manager Mike Rizzo willing to move significant talent. Washington will listen to offers on reliever Daniel Hudson, who should attract significant interest as a set-up man. Jon Lester and Josh Bell are also potential trade candidates. If a team is willing to deal with some injury issues, Kyle Schwarber and Yan Gomes could be moved.
Philadelphia Phillies will be aggressive at MLB trade deadline
Sitting a few games back in the NL East, MLB rumors are spreading about the Philadelphia Phillies potential level of activity at the trade deadline.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Philadelphia is interested in Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Merrill Kelly, who would provide a strong back-end starter for the team in the playoff chase. MLB.com’s Jon Heyman reported Philadelphia’s scouts are also watching the Chicago Cubs and could be in pursuit of Craig Kimbrel.
One thing that has become increasingly clear, MLB’s luxury tax won’t be a barrier for the front office preventing any blockbuster trades.
Washington Nationals discussing Max Scherzer trade
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Washington Nationals have opened discussions with rival cubs about ace Max Scherzer. In a contract year, the future Hall of Famer instantly becomes the best talent on the market and someone who could pitch near the front of any postseason rotation.
Washington doesn’t typically sell, but there’s strong reasoning behind this exploration. Scherzer will likely depart in free agency, considering where the Nationals sit as a contender. Given any return for him would likely exceed the compensatory pick the Nats would receive for losing him, there’s at least a possibility Scherzer gets dealt.
San Francisco Giants open to moving top prospect
The San Francisco Giants are approaching the trade deadline with an aggressive mindset, wanting to seize on the opportunity they have in 2021. With a deep farm system, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reports the Giants are open to trading top prospect Joey Bart.
Bart, one of the top catcher prospects in MLB, has a bright future behind the plate thanks to his powerful swing. But with Buster Posey potentially returning in free agency and Patrick Bailey developing, San Francisco is open to moving Bart if the deal is right. However, for it to even be considered, the Giants would need an impact player with multiple years of team control.
Los Angeles Dodgers interested in Ian Kennedy
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Los Angeles Dodgers are considering a run at Texas Rangers closer Ian Kennedy. Rosenthal does note that there’s a possibility Texas could stretch him back out into being a starter, but the likelier outcome is the veteran serving as a set-up man for Kenley Jansen.
Kennedy, playing on a one-year deal, is rebounding nicely this season in Texas after a disastrous 2020 season. The 36-year-old owns a 2.59 ERA and 9.48 K/9 across 31.1 innings, recording 15 saves and holding opponents to a .233 batting average. Given the Rangers are rebuilding, expect Kennedy to be on a new team by July 31.
Kansas City Royals open to discussing Whit Merrifield trade
The Kansas City Royals have viewed Whit Merrifield as part of their long-term core for years. But after constantly rejecting trade calls on him one deadline after another, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that Kansas City is more open to trading him this year.
Kansas City’s asking price would be through the roof. The team is likely a year out from contending for a playoff spot and Merrifield is an outstanding player. Even more valuable for the organization, he is owed just $3.25 million next season and there is an $11 million club option in 2023.
If another team wants to acquire one of the best contracts in MLB, it’s going to take a huge return. It’s smart for the Royals to hear teams out, but it would be stunning if Merrifield is traded.
Multiple teams ‘engaged’ on Trevor Story trade
As the MLB trade deadline approaches, pressure is building on the Colorado Rockies to make a decision. Either they deal All-Star shortstop Trevor Story now for prospects or let him walk in free agency and receive a compensatory pick.
According to The Denver Post‘s Patrick Saunders, approximately eight teams have engaged the Rockies in trade discussions. Furthermore, one unidentified club has at least weighed the possibility of shifting Story to center field if they acquire him.
Given the impressive return the Minnesota Twins received in the Nelson Cruz trade, it would be a surprise if Colorado keeps Story past July 30. In the coming days, we should see a bidding war for the slugger’s services.
Kris Bryant ‘as good as gone’
The Chicago Cubs know Kris Bryant isn’t re-signing with them this winter. So, with the days counting down until his contract expires, Chicago is expected to trade the star slugger.
As one industry source told ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Bryant is as good as gone. Capable of playing both corner outfield spots, first base and third base, there are plenty of teams interested in a blockbuster trade. Chicago won’t net an elite prospect, since Bryant is a half-season rental and is struggling as of late. But multiple bidders should drive up the price a bit.
San Francisco Giants interested in Starling Marte, Danny Duffy
The Giants will be aggressive buyers at the MLB trade deadline, using a deep farm system to address needs throughout the roster. Among the targeted positions, starting pitching and outfield.
Craig Mish of The Miami Herald noted that San Francisco is particularly interested in Miami Marlins center fielder Starling Marte. He would be a significant upgrade over Steven Duggar and Austin Slater, providing the Giants with a defensive and offensive upgrade.
Meanwhile, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the team is interested in Kansas City Royals pitcher Danny Duffy. The lefty is on the injured list for the second time with a left flexor strain. It would be a significant risk for the Giants, but Duffy would add depth to the rotation and could pitch out of the bullpen.
New York Mets targeting starting pitchers
Even when Jacob deGrom returns from the injured list, pitching will be a need for the Mets. In a recent interview, acting general manager Zack Scott made it very clear that adding rotation depth is a crucial focus for the front office in the next few weeks.
A Max Scherzer trade isn’t happening, but there are other options. The Texas Rangers could move either Jordan Lyles or Kyle Gibson, the Miami Marlins could make a starting pitcher available, José Berríos is a trade candidate and Chicago Cubs starter Zach Davis can eat innings.
Miami Marlins will trade Starling Marte
Craig Mish of The Miami Herald reported that the Marlins’ efforts to sign Starling Marte to a contract extension ended. Marte wanted to remain in Miami, but the impending free agent declined to sign the three-year extension worth $10 million per season. As a result, Miami will trade him.
The New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies are viewed as the most likely landing spots for a Marte trade. He’s enjoying an outstanding season and is one of the best defensive center fielders in MLB this season. With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, Marte will be playing for a new team on July 31.
Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals ‘acting like buyers’
The second half of the MLB season is underway and with the NL East up for grabs thanks to mets’ injuries, rivals are planning to take advantage. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that both the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals are acting like buyers right now.
The Nationals’ front office doesn’t like to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline, which always made a Max Scherzer blockbuster unlikely. But the team has struggled as of late, making the decision to approach July 30 as buyers a surprise. As for the Phillies, bullpen is the most glaring need and there are some intriguing options available.
Atlanta Braves to be cautious buyers
After losing Ronald Acuna Jr. to a torn ACL, many figured the Braves would back off a playoff push and focus on 2022. Instead, we’ve seen two deals this past week. Atlanta acquired Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt, filling the void in right field and at backup catcher.
The Braves might not be done, but ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports the franchise won’t be swinging a blockbuster. Instead, Atlanta will likely direct its focus toward improving its bullpen. With the New York Mets struggling, a few small additions could be the difference in the NL East.
Houston Astros interested in pitching
Even with Alex Bregman on the injured list, the Houston Astros have one of the most productive lineups in MLB. They are also one of the most talented teams in baseball and remain the favorite to win the AL West.
The Astros’ needs are obvious, bullpen is a weak spot for this postseason contender. But it might not be the only area Houston attempts to address. Recently, general manager James Click told reporters that the team will entertain the idea of adding a starting pitcher. While it’s a bit of a surprise, given Houston’s rotation is one of its strengths, shifting pitchers around could help the bullpen and ease a large workload on young hurlers.
New York Yankees exploring trades for outfielders
According to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, the New York Yankees have engaged in discussions with the Texas Rangers (Joey Gallo) and Miami Marlins (Starling Marte). Texas has set a very high asking price for its All-Star outfielder and Miami is still hoping it can sign Marte to an extension.
With Aaron Judge on the COVID IL, the Yankees need outfield more than ever. Brett Gardner has proven to be nothing more than a depth player and Clint Frazier struggled before missing time. One thing is clear, New York still doesn’t plan to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.
New York Mets among teams interested in Kris Bryant
As the Chicago Cubs open up the phone lines to contenders, All-Star slugger Kris Bryant is among the players generating the most buzz. Among the teams interested in acquiring him, to the surprise of no one, the New York Mets.
An impending free agent, Bryant’s trade value is somewhat limited as a rental. Fortunately, a strong market and his versatility should help Chicago net a top-10 prospect from another club’s farm system as the centerpiece of a larger return.
Minnesota Twins open to Byron Buxton trade
Everyone, especially the Minnesota Twins, knows what Byron Buxton is capable of when healthy. The star outfielder played at an MVP-caliber level in the first half of the season before a hip injury then a fractured hand sent him to the IL twice. Now, still healing from the latest injury, Minnesota is weighing his future.
As reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Twins are exploring a contract extension with Buxton. He is set to become a free agent in 2023 and the franchise wants him as part of its core. But if he rejects the reported offer, it’s expected that the Twins will start fielding trade calls and a 2021 move is likely.
Chicago Cubs to hold fire sale at MLB trade deadline
A hot start to the 2021 season proved to be a fluke and the Chicago Cubs are plummeting further and further down the standings. With no end in sight and far too many holes to address in one month, Chicago will be sellers at the trade deadline.
Kris Bryant, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo are obvious trade candidates and there’s a strong possibility at least two are on new teams by July 31. Beyond them, Craig Kimbrel, Ryan Tepera, Zach Davies and Andrew Chafin will be targets for pitching-needy contenders.
Trevor Story trade talks heating up
With the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby hosted at Coors Field behind them, MLB.com reports the Colorada Rockies are preparing to ramp up trade talks involving star shortstop Trevor Story. However, the front office isn’t feeling pressured into making a deal.
There will be no shortage of teams interested in the slugging infielder. While he is off to a cold start this season, a change of scenery and move to a competitive environment could turn things around.
Here’s where things get tricky for Colorado. There is a depressed return for half-season rentals, in part because the acquiring team can’t use a qualifying offer on the player, With diminishing returns in terms of prospect capital, Colorado must weigh getting MiLB talent now or acquiring a compensatory pick in the 2022 MLB Draft after Story leaves in free agency. As of now, bet on a trade.
New York Yankees interested in Joey Gallo trade
It’s been a disappointing season for the New York Yankees and a lack of consistent production in the outfield is a big part of the problem. With the MLB trade deadline approaching, the New York Post‘s Joel Sherman reports that Joey Gallo is on the Yankees’ radar.
The fit isn’t a surprise. Gallo is a Gold Glove defender in right field and even capable of holding his own in center field. He’d provided the left-handed power the Yankees’ lineup is missing and be a consistent threat to get on base at least 40% of the time.
We’ve also seen remarkable play from the star outfielder in recent weeks. Since June 17, Gallo owns a .296/.462/.859 slash line with 13 home runs and a 238 wRC+ in 93 plate appearances. Under team control through the 2022 season, it would cost a lot for the Yankees to acquire him.
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.
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.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the New York Mets are among the teams who have checked in on Frazier.
Primarily a second baseman, Frazier can also play left field and has taken reps at shortstop. If acquired, he might see a majority of his starts with Jeff McNeil (.656 OPS) sliding into a utility role. one huge bonus for New York, Frazier is under contract through the 2022 season. But for a variety of reasons, acquiring him will cost significant prospect capital.
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.
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.
From a production standpoint, there’s plenty to like. Donaldson walks in 13.2% of his plate appearances, boasts a .832 OPS and still provides quality defense at third base. He would be a great addition for the Mets, but it would all come down to cost.
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.
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.
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.
German Marquez trade unlikely for Colorado Rockies
As teams look around the league for starting pitching, one emphasis is finding talent who is being wasted. Naturally, many clubs look towards Coors Field and imagine what someone like German Márquez could do away from the altitude and Colorado’s coaching staff. But they might have to look elsewhere.
According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies are leaning against trading Marquez this summer. He is under team control through 2024 and a very low salary is a huge plus for a team desperate for pitching without spending a ton of money. Marquez could land a haul of prospects because of his contract, but Colorado’s issues developing starting pitching might ultimately keep them from moving him.
Baltimore Orioles listening to offers on big bats
Baltimore is still at the early stages of its rebuild and with some nice, young talent contributing in the majors, some bigger names could be dealt this summer.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand notes the Orioles are fielding calls on Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander. However, the price to land either player is reportedly very high.
Mancini, age 29, missed the 2020 season to undergo treatment for colon cancer. He is back in Baltimore’s lineup this year and is an emerging star, crushing 11 home runs with 45 RBIs and a .482 SLG in 59 games. When he last played a full season, Mancini hit 35 homers with a .291 average in 2019. Under team control through 2022, Mancini will generate a ton of interest from AL teams.
MLB trade rumors: What players could be dealt this season?
- Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo
- Texas Rangers closer Ian Kennedy
- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sonny Gray
- Colorado Rockies pitcher Jon Gray
- Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer
- Minnesota Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons
- Minnesota Twins pitcher Michael Pineda
- Detroit Tigers pitcher Matthew Boyd
- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney
- Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras
- Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant
- Baltimore Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini
- Baltimore Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander
San Diego Padres interested in Joey Gallo?
The Padres aren’t just one of the best teams in MLB, they also have one of the deepest rosters. Without dipping into the minors, San Diego has Ha-Seong Kim, Jorge Mateo and Jurickson Profar in super-utility roles. But it seems San Diego wants to add another impact bat, someone who AJ Preller is very familiar with.
According to The Athletic’s Dennis Lin, the Padres remain interested in Texas Rangers star outfielder Joey Gallo. The front office pursued deals for him before, but it might be more likely this summer with the Rangers more committed to a rebuild and Gallo closing in on free agency.
Gallo is the definition of a three-outcome player, but the Padres recognize a capable defender in right field with outstanding power and a .369 OBP. The 27-year-old, who won’t be a free agent until 2023, would also benefit from being placed into a lineup with great hitters around him. If the Padres land Gallo, they might be the World Series favorite.
Pittsburgh Pirates expected to be among most active sellers
No team is more committed to rebuilding than the Pittsburgh Pirates. Improvements have been made to the farm system since Ben Cherington took over, but there’s a lot of work to be done. Fortunately, for a club with one of the worst records in baseball, there is plenty of talent to move.
Adam Frazier, arguably the Pirates’ best player, is drawing interest from across the league. While he doesn’t have the pedigree of Trevor Story, Frazier is on an affordable contract through the 2022 season and carries a .332/.394/.472 slash line. Better yet, whether a contender needs a corner outfielder or second baseman, Frazier plays both.
Pittsburgh could also make closer Richard Rodriguez and outfielder Bryan Reynolds available. Rodriguez, 31, is arbitration-eligible through 2023 and owns a 1.85 ERA in 24.1 innings. Reynolds, who won’t be a free agent until 2026, can play all three outfield spots and owns a combined .281/.359/.469 slash line over the last three seasons.
What teams will be sellers at MLB trade deadline?
Ordinarily, it would be too early in the season for clubs to start making big decisions about their 2021 season. But things are a bit different this year, especially since the MLB Draft was moved to the All-Star Break. With more clubs evaluating their rosters and potential trades, bigger moves could happen sooner than usual.
It seems many around the league are keeping an eye on the Arizona Diamondbacks, per Stark. Arizona sits in the cellar of the MLB standings and there is no reason to believe things will improve this year. As a result, those needing impact bats are looking at Eduardo Escobar (13 home runs, 39 RBIs) and Ketel Marte (.977 OPS) as targets at the trade deadline this year. Marte will likely stay, but it would be a surprise if Escobar and Peralta are still with the D-Backs in August.