The 2021 season has arrived and that means MLB trade rumors are about to start flying. It proved to be an eventful offseason, with plenty of stars and front-line pitchers being moved. We’ll likely see plenty more action this summer, with the countdown already on to the July 30 trade deadline.
While the rumor mill is fairly quiet for now, it won’t take long for that to change. The Colorado Rockies are headed for a rebuild after sending Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals, opening the door for a potential Trevor Story trade. Everyone will also be keeping an eye on the Cincinnati Reds (Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray), Texas Rangers (Joey Gallo) and Chicago Cubs (Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras) as teams to monitor before the MLB 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.
Update: April 17, 7:50 PM EST
Latest on when Houston Astros stars might return from COVID-19 scare
After a hot start to the season, things were looking good for the Astros. Suddenly, Houston was forced to place stars Jose Altuve, Yordan Álvarez and Alex Bregman on the 10-day injured list due to COVID concerns.
All three stars were joined by teammates Robel Garcia and Martin Maldonado on the IL on April 14. They’ve already missed the three-game series against the Colorado Rockies and won’t be available for a two-game set at Coors Field.
The best-case scenario, per The Houston Chronicle‘s Chandler Rome, would be a return on Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels. However, there is much still up in the air and with the Astros riding a six-game losing streak entering play on April 17, it’s clear they can’t afford to be without their sluggers.
Arizona Diamondbacks, Kansas City Royals make trade
After losing Ketel Marte to a right hamstring strain, which is expected to sideline him multiple weeks, the Diamondbacks needed depth in the outfield. On Saturday, Arizona struck a trade with the Royals that should make both clubs happy.
According to The Arizona Republic‘s Nick Piecoro, Kansas City is sending outfielder Nick Heath to the Diamondbacks in exchange for pitcher Eduardo Herrera. Upon his arrival and clearance of COVID-19 protocols, Heath will provide depth in center field for Arizona.
The 27-year-old outfielder made his MLB debut last season, appearing in 15 games and posting a .154/.313/.231 slash line in 18 plate appearances. Heath offers plenty of speed, giving him the ability to cover a lot of ground in center. But he’s not a reliable hitter, posting just a .255 slash line across 84 games in 2019 at the Double-A level. However, he stole 60 total abses in the minors two seasons ago and might profile as a long-term fifth outfielder.
Herrera, a 21-year-old righty, rated as the No. 37 prospect in Arizona’s farm system by FanGraphs. Signed as a catcher, Herrera is still learning how to control his pitches. If he ever gains control of his electric fastball, he could reach the majors in a few years as a reliever.
New York Yankees option Domingo German
A breakout pitcher in 2018, Domingo German’s spiral downward has continued. After missing the 2020 season due to a suspension for domestic violence, the 28-year-old southpaw made his way back to the mound as part of the Yankees’ Opening Day rotation. After just two starts, he is headed to the minors.
German allowed 12 hits, seven earned runs and four home runs during his short stint in New York. The Yankees will hope that some time at the alternate site can help the righty rediscover the form that made him an effective starter a few years ago.
Luis Severino, who is recovery from Tommy John surgery, just started throwing sliders off the mound. He is expected to rejoin the rotation this season, but a realistic return would likely be in July.
Thairo Estrada traded to San Francisco Giants
After being designated for assignment by the New York Yankees, Thairo Estrada was sent to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday for cash considerations. The 25-year-old was DFA’d following New York’s own trade, acquiring infielder Rougned Odor to bolster its depth.
Estrada struggled during the 2020 season with the Yankees. Across 52 plate appearances, he only posted a .167/.231/.229 slash line and struck out in 36.5% of his trips to the dish. The 25-year-old will serve as insurance for the Giants at third base.
Updated: April 8, 8:25 AM EST
Oakland A’s closer Trevor Rosenthal to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome
Traditionally quiet in free agency, the Oakland Athletics surprised many this offseason by signing star closer Trevor Rosenthal. One of MLB’s most talented bullpens got even deeper and Rosenthal was expected to be a key piece for the team’s postseason push. Everything changed on Opening Day.
Rosenthal was placed on the 10-day injured list with a shoulder issue and the problem didn’t go away. Eventually, Oakland sent him for testing and the specialist he visited specializes in treating thoracic outlet syndrome. Now, per The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Matt Kawahara, Rosenthal is considering surgery.
After being diagnosed with TOS, the 30-year-old closer will undergo surgery. The Athletics will likely be without him for at least three months and the track record from complete recoveries immediately after TOS isn’t the greatest. With Rosenthal sidelined, expect Jake Diekman and Lou Trivino to serve as the Athletics’ top relievers.
Rougned Odor traded to New York Yankees
We’re only a week into the 2021 season and we’ve already seen a few deals go down. The New York Yankees, always looking for ways to improve their bench, struck a deal with the Texas Rangers for Rougned Odor.
The 27-year-old was once a star slugger for the Texas Rangers, but was designated for assignment shortly before Opening Day. Seeking more left-handed power to unleash in Yankee Stadium, New York acquired him for outfield prospects Antonio Cabello and Josh Stowers.
This deal breaks down very differently for both teams. As mentioned with New York, Odor should provide some excellent power and he is under contract through the 2022 season. With the Yankees chasing a World Series title, Odor is a nice weapon to have off the bench. As for the Rangers, who are paying nearly all of his remaining $27 million salary, this is buying two intriguing prospects with some upside.
MLB trade rumors: Atlanta Braves acquire Orlando Arcia
Once a top prospect for the Milwaukee Brewers, Orlando Arcia found a new home just a few days into the season. Milwaukee traded him to the Atlanta Braves, with two pitchers joining the Brewers.
Arcia, who is under contract via arbitration through 2022, is a wizard with the glove. He was one of the slickest-fielding shortstops in the National League from 2017-’19, but his bat could never match his work in the field. After several years of hoping he’d return to the player who hit 15 home runs in his age-22 season, Milwaukee finally moved on.
After clearing COVID-19 protocols, the 26-year-old will serve as infield depth for the Braves. He primarily played shortstop with the Brewers, but has a little experience at third base. Atlanta will use him as a defensive replacement late in games. In exchange for Arcia, Milwaukee received pitchers Chad Sobotka and Patrick Weigel.
Updated: April 5, 1:50 PM EST
New York Mets discussed contract extension with Jacob deGrom
The New York Mets just signed one huge contract, making Francisco Lindor one of the highest-paid players in MLB history. It seems team owner Steve Cohen might not be done spending, with New York open to the idea of a long-term deal with its biggest star.
According to Yahoo Sports’ Andy Martino, the Mets and ace Jacob deGrom engaged in preliminary discussions on a contract extension this spring. However, talks didn’t advance very far and neither side expects things to resume until after the 2021 season concludes.
New York signed the 32-year-old righty to a five-year, $137.5 million extension in 2019. Since that deal was signed, deGrom has twice led the National League in strikeouts, won his second Cy Young Award and is a two-time selection to the All-MLB First team.
While deGrom is on the older side for pitchers seeking an extension and won’t be eligible for free agency until 2023, if he exercises his opt-out clause, it makes sense for New York to explore a long-term deal. Dating back to the 2018 season, deGrom has the lowest ERA (2.10), highest fWAR (18.7) and owns the fifth-best K-BB rate (27.3%) over that span.
If the Mets reach the postseason this year on deGrom’s shoulders and he is in the running for a third Cy Young Award, it wouldn’t be a surprise if his asking price gets even higher.
Updated: April 4, 11:10 AM EST
Multiple teams interested in signing Anibal Sànchez
The regular season is already underway, but there are still some prominent MLB free agents available to bolster clubs. With many looking for more pitching depth for this 162-game season, the need for reliable rotation arms is stronger than ever. Unsurprisingly, one of the top free-agent pitchers left is generating interest.
According to The Washington Post‘s Jesse Dougherty, the Washington Nationals are among a handful of clubs interested in Anibal Sánchez. The 37-year-old impressed during a showcase in January, but turned down offers so he could see how MLB handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
The righty is reportedly ready to return and could make a decision within the next week. Sanchez pitched for the Nationals last season, making 11 starts for the club and covering 53 innings. Before that, he made 30 starts for Washington in 2019 and posted a 3.85 ERA.
MLB trade rumors: Latest on Trevor Story contract talks
When Colorado moved Arenado, it was largely done for financial reasons. The trade further signaled that this club, projected to finish toward the bottom of the MLB standings, is on the verge of retooling the roster. With star shortstop Trevor Story set to hit the open market this offseason, trading him only makes sense.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported in March Rockies’ ownership doesn’t have the budget to afford a big signing. Throughout spring training, Story also made it clear that there haven’t been any negotiations with the team and he is preparing like this will be his walk year.
The 28-year-old shortstop has become a star very quickly. Not only is he outstanding defensively, but the 28-year-old’s bat is among the best at a very talented position. Story is a two-time All-Star selection (2018, ’19) and two-time Silver Slugger Award recipient (2018, ’19). In a shortened 2020 season, he hit 11 home runs, stole 15 bases and posted a .874 OPS.
If Story is made available, teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers will certainly come calling.
Arizona Diamondbacks call-up top prospect Geraldo Perdomo
The Chicago White Sox made some waves by putting top prospect Andrew Vaughn on their Opening Day roster. On Saturday, the Arizona Diamondbacks are going to be the first team to actually call up one of their top prospects during the 2021 MLB season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that infielder Geraldo Perdomo has arrived in San Diego and could make his MLB debut this weekend for the Diamondbacks. He will be taking the place of shortstop Nick Ahmed, who is sidelined by knee discomfort that has bothered him since March 24.
Perdomo ranks as the No. 3 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks farm system, per MLB Pipeline. A signee from the 2016-’17 international class, the 21-year-old infielder has turned into a steal for a $70,000 investment. A 6-foot-2 shortstop, the 21-year-old last played in the 2019 season between the Low-A and High-A levels. In 93 at-bats for High-A Visalia, Perdomo posted a .301/.407/.387 slash line.
He isn’t expected to be up long with the Diamondbacks, but this is an excellent opportunity for a young player. Plus, fans will get the chance to watch the team’s shortstop of the future.
MLB trade rumors: What players could be dealt this season?
- Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo
- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sonny Gray
- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Luis Castillo
- Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras
- Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant
- Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader
- Baltimore Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander