Trade deadline tracker: The latest buzz we’re hearing as 4 p.m. ET nears

Trade deadline tracker: The latest buzz we’re hearing as 4 p.m. ET nears

The 2021 MLB trade deadline is approaching fast, with front offices weighing their biggest needs before 4 p.m. ET arrives.

Where will things go on deadline day after a flurry of activity leading up to Friday’s final countdown?

Kris Bryant and Craig Kimbrel enter the day still with the Cubs, but will they follow Anthony Rizzo in being dealt away from Chicago? How will the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres react to the Los Angeles Dodgers making a blockbuster trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner? Will the New York Yankees follow their acquisitions of Rizzo and Joey Gallo with another big move? And will the New York Mets finally make a major deal Friday?

Whether your favorite club is looking to add or subtract — or stands somewhere in between — here’s the freshest intel we’re hearing, reaction to completed deals and what to know for every team as trade season unfolds.

Watch: Baseball Tonight trade deadline special at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN
Grades for every MLB trade deadline deal (ESPN+)

MLB trade deadline buzz

July 30 updates

Braves make under-the-radar outfield moves: Atlanta has completely remade its outfield. First it got Eddie Rosario from Cleveland and now it’s acquiring Adam Duvall from Miami for Alex Jackson. These aren’t splashes. The cost isn’t high. But the Braves are getting better. How will NL East respond? — Jeff Passan

Twins and Blue Jays finalizing Berrios deal: Toronto added a two-time All-Star to its rotation, but gave up two top prospects to do so. Grading the deal

Why Rays could fit for a Trevor Story deal: The Rays acquired Nelson Cruz last week and have traded away Rich Hill and Diego Castillo, but they might not be done as they’re in on both Trevor Story and Kris Bryant. Story would be interesting as Wander Franco hasn’t really gotten it going at the plate (.220/.283/.349). He’s been solid in the field, but Story might be an upgrade at shortstop and the Jays can still use Franco at second or third. The Rays are also 27th in the majors in OPS against LHP. Cruz helps there, but bringing in another right-handed bat makes sense. And no team has a deeper farm system than the Rays to entice the Rockies, with the Rays likely looking to strike a deal with the Rockies including cash to pay down Story’s remaining salary. — David Schoenfield

Could the Nats deal another veteran? After trading away Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber and Brad Hand on Thursday, veteran catcher Yan Gomes could be next, according to reports. The Blue Jays and A’s are possibilities. The Blue Jays are 21st in the majors in catcher OPS, hitting .221/.288/.366, while the A’s rank 17th with a .679 OPS. Gomes is hitting .271/.323/.454 and has plenty of playoff experience. While he may back up Sean Murphy in Oakland, you could see him taking over the regular starting job in Toronto over Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire and Alejandro Kirk. — Schoenfield

Will Cubs make another big trade? After dealing Anthony Rizzo to the Yankees, the Cubs still have Craig Kimbrel and Kris Bryant entering Friday’s deadline. One possibility to watch: Zach Davies could be added in a combo deal with Kimbrel or Bryant. The Mets remain interested in making a trade with Chicago. — Jesse Rogers.

July 29 updates

Heaney, Iglesias on the move? Andrew Heaney pitched the first six innings against the Rockies on Wednesday, allowing three runs in a no-decision, and Raisel Iglesias recorded the last five outs to pick up his 21st save. It could mark their last appearances in an Angels uniform. Heaney and Iglesias are pending free agents and are seen as two of the Angels’ most attractive trade pieces, especially Iglesias, who has combined a 3.23 ERA with a 0.91 WHIP and an 8.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Angels, a game above .500, are given only a 6.6% chance of making the playoffs and are nowhere near healthy, with Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Jared Walsh all on the injured list. They might have no choice but to use Heaney and Iglesias to acquire more long-term pieces over these next 24-plus hours. — Alden Gonzalez

Can San Diego unload Hosmer’s contract? The Padres would love to find a taker for Eric Hosmer‘s contract, or at least part of it — he’s owed $59 million after this season through 2025 — but good luck. Hosmer has a 101 OPS+ since joining the Padres, including 102 this year, so he has been about a league-average hitter, which makes him below average for a first baseman. He’s also an awkward fit if the Padres continue to play Adam Frazier at second base and Jake Cronenworth at first, like they did Wednesday (and he’ll earn 10-and-5 rights after the 2022 season to veto any trade). The only chance of unloading Hosmer’s contract would be to include prospect collateral, but GM A.J. Preller has been creative in making deals. — David Schoenfield

Could the Mets be on the verge of something big? There’s an anticipation in the market of a big move by the Mets. Rival execs have said that 3B J.D. Davis is available in trades, with some speculating that this move would likely be tied to an addition of Kris Bryant. Other industry sources say Trevor Story fits the bill, which would eat into the playing time of Jonathan Villar and/or Luis Guillorme. There doesn’t appear to be any momentum to either of these major deals right now, but the next big deal for a position player has a good chance of involving the Mets. The Mets have a 78% chance of making the playoffs right now, per FanGraphs, so this would be aimed more toward reinforcements for the playoffs than at making it to the postseason. — Kiley McDaniel

Don’t forget about Gibson: For those teams that bail out on the Max Scherzer or Jose Berrios sweepstakes, Kyle Gibson remains a solid Plan B. The veteran right-hander added a new cutter this season, made the All-Star team and has a 2.87 ERA. He is coming off three poor starts in a row, however, allowing five runs to the Tigers, then eight runs to Detroit, then walking eight against the Astros. He is signed through 2022 (at a reasonable $7 million), and the Joey Gallo trade indicates the Rangers have kicked their compete window down the road. Gibson makes a lot of sense for the Mets or Giants (who have four starters hitting free agency after 2021). — Schoenfield

July 28 updates

July 27 updates

Why Mariners could go big at the deadline: The Seattle Mariners have been one of the biggest surprises of this season, with a 55-46 record despite a minus-49 run differential — and they intend to try to capitalize on that.

A source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said the Mariners, coming off an exhilarating come-from-behind win against the Houston Astros on Monday night, have inquired with practically every team about short-term players who could help them over these last two months and potentially get them into the postseason for the first time since 2001; Trevor Story has been heavily linked to them in other reports.

The organization believes it owes it to the city, given how it stuck behind the team through a lengthy rebuild under general manager Jerry Dipoto. The Mariners’ trajectory had them starting to become legitimate contenders by 2022, and they were expected to act among the more aggressive teams this coming offseason. But the organization is also trying to see how far it can take this in 2021 — within reason, of course. — Alden Gonzalez

Why the Braves are still looking to add: Atlanta is 49-51 and has lost Ronald Acuna Jr. and Mike Soroka to injury; Marcell Ozuna is out following an arrest on aggravated assault charges being examined under baseball’s domestic violence policy. But the Braves have made it clear to other teams that they will continue to be looking to add leading up to the trade deadline. The question now, following the acquisition of Joc Pederson and Stephen Vogt, is how aggressive they will be. The Braves expect more help is on the way, with starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa and Travis d’Arnaud nearing the conclusion of recovery from their respective injuries. — Buster Olney

Will the Padres make another big move? The San Diego Padres have been linked to practically all of the most coveted starting pitchers as the trade deadline approaches, a list that includes Max Scherzer, Jose Berrios, Jon Gray, Danny Duffy, Kyle Gibson and Kenta Maeda, among others. But Padres general manager A.J. Preller — speaking hours after his trade for All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier was made official — downplayed that pursuit on Monday.

“It’s gotta make sense,” Preller said, noting the presence of Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Chris Paddack and Ryan Weathers. Preller said the team is “in a decent spot” with regard to absorbing the additional innings required coming off the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season.

“We’ll keep listening over the course of the next four days,” Preller said. “If there’s somebody out there that helps us kind of get over that hump, gives us a little bit more of an insurance policy, somebody who we feel like continues to help us play in the postseason, we’ll talk about it. But honestly, from our standpoint, [starting pitching is] something that I think we feel really good about over these last couple of months.”

The Padres added Darvish, Snell and Musgrove over the offseason and have seen Weathers emerge as a 21-year-old rookie. But Snell and Paddack in particular have underperformed, and the Padres’ starting rotation as a whole sports a 5.48 ERA in July. There’s also the added element of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants — two teams ahead of the Padres in the NL West — pursuing starting pitching this week. Preller dismissed the significance of that.

“I think you’re cognizant of the fact that, ‘Hey, there’s competition for these players,'” he said. “But I think we’re really focused mainly on what makes sense for us, and I think we’ve shown it. Some years we’ve been really aggressive at the deadline, some years we’ve stood pat and just hasn’t lined up for us. Ultimately I never get caught up in what other clubs are doing. I think that’s when you make mistakes.” — Alden Gonzalez

July 26 updates

Mariners are hot at the right time: Seattle took three of four against Oakland over the weekend — with all three wins by one run — and is now just 1.5 games behind the A’s for the second wild card, increasing the chances the Mariners will look to add. Whit Merrifield is a hot rumor as he’s a perfect fit at either second base (Mariners second basemen are 28th in the majors in OPS) or center field (rookie Jarred Kelenic continues to be completely overmatched and is hitting .104). Merrifield is signed through 2023 at very team-friendly rates ($2.75 million in 2022, $6.5 million team option for 2023), so his salary makes him even more attractive — but getting him would require giving up decent prospects, which the Mariners might not want to bite on. — David Schoenfield

Completed trade tracker

Sources: Blue Jays to acquire Jose Berrios from Twins | Grades

Braves acquire Eddie Rosario in trade with Cleveland

Braves get OF Adam Duvall from Marlins for Alex Jackson

Kyle Schwarber to Red Sox as Nats’ deals continue | Grades

Dodgers land Max Scherzer and Trea Turner | Grades

Yankees acquire Anthony Rizzo from Cubs | Grades

Dodgers add Danny Duffy in trade with Royals | Grades

Blue Jays get closer Brad Hand from Nationals | Grades

White Sox add Cesar Hernandez in trade with Cleveland | Grades

Yankees and Rangers complete Joey Gallo blockbuster | Grades

A’s get Starling Marte for Jesus Luzardo | Grades

Padres acquire All-Star Frazier from Pirates | Grades

Rays stay busy by trading Rich Hill to Mets | Grades

Rays acquire Nelson Cruz from Twins for prospects | Grades

Cubs trade Joc Pederson to Braves for 1B prospect

Braves acquire Stephen Vogt from D-backs for 1B prospect

MLB trade deadline analysis

Passan: The biggest stars available and teams looking to add

Five teams with toughest trade deadline decision to make

Rogers: How MLB All-Stars are dealing with trade deadline uncertainty

How unique standings will impact this MLB trade deadline

Schoenfield: One player all 30 MLB teams should trade for — or away

Doolittle: MLB trade deadline goals for all 30 teams

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