The 2017 MLB season is beginning its stretch run toward the playoffs. We have a little over two months until the start of the postseason and far less time for potential contenders to trade for roster support.
This year’s non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday. After that time, acquiring a player via trade becomes a whole lot more complicated.
We could see moves made in rapid succession before the deadline. We’ll definitely see the rumors fly in that way. If teams are looking to acquire players or sell them off, they are running out of time to do so.
We’re here to examine the latest MLB trade buzz as we count down to the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline.
Mystery Team Now In on Yu Darvish
Pitcher Yu Darvish has been one of the hottest names on the trade market for some time, as parting with him would make sense for the Texas Rangers. Darvish is in the final year of his contract, yet Texas could still get something of value in return for him. Allowing Darvish to leave next offseason would yield nothing for the Rangers.
Until recently, though, there has remained the possibility that Darvish could remain with the Rangers. The team is still in the AL wild-card race and could use a pitcher of his caliber while trying to make a run.
According to Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, though, Texas has let teams know Darvish is available:
The market for Darvish should be deep, as there is a demand for starting pitching. He has been linked to both the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who recently placed ace Clayton Kershaw on the short-term DL. A third team has apparently entered the mix—or perhaps has quietly been there all along.
According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, there is a mystery club involved in the chase for Darvish:
Without knowing who this mystery team is, it’s difficult to tell whether it will have any impact on the asking price for Darvish. The Yankees and Dodgers are two teams that aren’t afraid to spend to win, so those two bidding against each other might already be enough to drive up his value. Plus, there is always the possibility this mystery team is simply a Rangers creation.
What we do know is this unknown outfit probably isn’t one of the 10 on Darvish’s no-trade list. The pitcher has a limited no-trade clause in his contract that, according to Rosenthal, can prevent him from being traded to the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blues Jays, Oakland Athletics or the Pittsburgh Pirates:
You might note that neither L.A. nor New York is on that list.
Dodgers May Have Inside Track on Darvish
Aside from the Yankees and the aforementioned mystery team, the Dodgers might not be facing that much competition for Darvish—assuming he’s the guy L.A. is chasing after.
With Kershaw temporarily out of the lineup, it makes sense for the Dodgers to add a starting pitcher to the rotation. Not only could this help the team stay out in front in the playoff race, but it could bolster the rotation for the postseason too.
Darvish is far from the only pitcher on the trade market, though, and he’s not the only one who has been on L.A.’s radar. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Dodgers have been eyeing Darvish, Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and the Oakland A’s Sonny Gray:
Also according to Morosi, the Dodgers would likely face more competition for a player like Gray because most teams aren’t as interested in a short-term rental:
For the Dodgers, though, Darvish still makes perfect sense. The team is poised to win a championship, and if Darvish can help it do so, the fact he might not be around next season doesn’t matter all that much.
Verlander could also be an option for Los Angeles, but the long-term commitment involved and the potential red flags could steer the team toward Darvish. The Tigers man is in the midst of a down season, is 34 and is due to earn $28 million in each of the next two seasons.
While a deal could still pop up, it’s feeling increasingly unlikely that Verlander will be moved before the trade deadline.
“Rival teams simply want no part of a contract that pays Verlander $28 million per year through 2019, people familiar with the situation say,” FanRag Sports baseball writer Jon Heyman wrote.
This, plus the competition for Gray, could steer the Dodgers toward Darvish.
Yankees, A’s Seeing Different Values for Gray
The top competition for Gray likely comes from the Yankees. Oakland and New York have been in talks for the pitcher, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney:
However, talks for a deal could continue all the way down to the wire because the two sides apparently share differing opinions on a proper value. Rosenthal recently wrote the following:
“The Athletics view Sonny Gray one way. The Yankees view him another. But both teams need to complete this trade more than they care to admit, and the best guess is that it will happen.
“I’m not buying that the Athletics will hold Gray and carry him into the winter; Gray currently is healthy, and his value might never be higher.
“I’m also not buying that the Yankees will view Twins lefty [Jaime] Garcia – whom they are close to acquiring, as first reported by Yahoo’s Jeff Passan – as a sole solution. Garcia is a potential free agent, and the Yankees need rotation help beyond this season.“
As previously mentioned, Gray isn’t a short-term rental like Darvish. He’s slated for arbitration in each of the next two years. While the Yankees did land Garcia, according to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, Gray remains an enticing option for New York. The two parties just need to agree on a price.
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