The 2023 MLB trade deadline is August 1, but there’s already plenty of buzz across the league.
Here are the latest MLB trade rumors.
Angels not open to moving Shohei Ohtani
While the Angels have lost 10 of their 14 games and have recently been dealt injury blows affecting Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, it would be “an upset” if they traded the two-way superstar as the team still wants to try to re-sign him in free agency this offseason, The Athletic reported.
Ohtani entered the Angels’ July 5 matchup against the San Diego Padres with an MLB-high 31 home runs, 68 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, while sporting a .300/.387/.658 batting line. As a pitcher, he owns 3.32 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 132 strikeouts across 100.1 innings (17 starts). Ohtani is widely expected to command the richest contract in MLB history when he hits free agency this winter.
Did Shohei Ohtani just have the best month in MLB history?
Brewers seek ‘opportunistic’ deadline, won’t trade top players
Even though the Brewers are tied atop the NL Central entering Monday, there have been some questions about their possible trade deadline approach — as they acted as both a buyer and seller in 2022 when they were in the thick of the playoff race.
Brewers general manager Matt Arnold said that his team is hoping to find moves to win this season. “Look, we want to be competitive here in 2023,” Arnold said, via MLB.com. “We will be opportunistic to try and improve this team where we can, responsibly, I think we have a lot of good players here.”
After Milwaukee traded All-Star reliever Josh Hader at the deadline last season, Arnold shot down any ideas that they would trade Willy Adames or Corbin Burnes.
“We’re not looking to move any of those guys,” Arnold said. “They’re huge parts of our team right now. Those are guys we believe will help us this year and help us with our goal of trying to win a World Series here in Milwaukee.”
‘Slim’ chance Mets trade Pete Alonso
The Mets, which are 38-46 entering Monday, could be open to being sellers at the trade deadline after a disappointing first half of the season, but one player that doesn’t seem likely to move is Alonso.
“The chances of the Mets moving him appear exceedingly slim,” FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal wrote in The Athletic.
Cubs not extending Marcus Stroman?
Chicago doesn’t feel “inclined” to extend right-handed starting pitcher Stroman before the deadline, The Athletic reported. Stroman — who’s in the midst of arguably the best season of his MLB career, highlighted by sporting a 2.76 ERA — is in the second season of a three-year, $71 million deal and has a player option for the 2024 season. The Cubs (38-43) are fourth in the NL Central and five games behind Milwaukee for first place.
If the Cubs sell, Stroman could be a prime trade candidate.
Chas McCormick a potential Yankees target?
New York has previously expressed interest in acquiring McCormick from Houston, The Athletic reported. The outfielder has totaled seven home runs, 21 RBIs and eight stolen bases while boasting a .252/.335/.444 batting line this season. McCormick, 28, is under team control through 2026 and would give the Yankees outfield depth while Aaron Judge remains out with a toe injury.
Max Scherzer open to waiving no-trade clause?
The New York Mets currently sit at 35-43 and 8.5 games out of the third NL wild-card spot entering Tuesday. It would be unthinkable before the season for a team that won 101 games last year, but if the Mets stay at their current pace, they could be sellers — and general manager Billy Eppler expressed his openness to the possibility barring a turnaround Tuesday.
That could make Scherzer a surprising trade deadline candidate. He was signed in December 2021 to lead the Mets’ rotation into perennial playoff contention and is currently in the second year of a three-year, $130 million contract with a full no-trade clause. However, he could be open to waiving his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal if the Mets do not improve, according to MLB.com.
Scherzer has a 3.95 over 70.2 innings in 13 starts this season. The 38-year-old right-hander has also missed time due to neck spasms and a suspension in April for violating MLB’s grip-enhancing substances rule.
Pirates‘ Andrew McCutchen, Royals‘ Salvador Perez likely to stay put
McCutchen and Perez are both beloved among their respective fan bases. McCutchen, the 2013 NL MVP with the Pirates had an emotional return to the franchise he started his MLB career with and reportedly hopes to retire in Pittsburgh. Perez was a crucial part of the Royals’ 2015 World Series championship team and has spent his entire MLB career in Kansas City. However, both the Pirates and Royals are currently well out of contention even in weak NL and AL Central races, respectively, and both veterans might get a better-than-anticipated price in what is anticipated to be a weak trade market.
Perez, a seven-time All-Star, has spent his entire 13-year MLB career with the Royals and is in the midst of a highly productive season, sporting a .282/.316/.512 batting line.
Rangers targeting bullpen
The Rangers will likely try to fortify their bullpen before the trade deadline, FOX Sports MLB insider Ken Rosenthal told “Flippin’ Bats” host Ben Verlander on Thursday.
“They’ve invested a ton of money the last two years in their club,” Rosenthal said. “They want to see this through. They want to max out, and the bullpen right now is their biggest hole.”
The Rangers entered play Thursday at 40-20, but their bullpen ERA sits at 4.56, which is 24th out of 30 MLB teams. Texas may also look for starting pitching help after the news that ace starting pitcher Jacob deGrom will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the remainder of the year and most of 2024.
White Sox, Angels likely to stand pat, try to contend
The Angels and the White Sox both had designs on contending in 2023, but so far the season has not been going to plan. The Angels (35-30) are 6.5 games behind the American League West-leading Rangers while the White Sox sit at 29-36 after a horrific start to the season but only 3.5 games back of the 32-32 first-place Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
Rosenthal claims that because both teams put so many resources into trying to content this season, it’s unlikely they’ll pivot from that approach and be open to trading their veteran stars before the deadline. That include the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, despite Rosenthal’s belief that there is “no chance” Ohtani will re-sign with the Angels in free agency this coming offseason.
Royals open for business
Kansas City could move reliever Scott Barlow, The Athletic reported Tuesday. Barlow, who owns a 3.52 ERA, is under team control through 2024.
Giants president Farhan Zaidi said the team will be “aggressive” in upgrading the roster in an appearance on MLB Network Radio. The Giants entered their Tuesday matchup against the Colorado Rockies at 29-30, good for third in the NL West.
Could Shane Bieber be dealt?
Three general managers told ESPN that they suspect the Cleveland Guardians will trade Bieber, their ace. This thinking comes from the franchise’s track record of trading and then developing starting pitchers (they’ve traded Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, Mike Clevinger and Carlos Carrasco and since developed Bieber, Triston McKenzie, Aaron Civale, Cal Quantrill and Logan Allen, among other pitchers).
Bieber, a Cy Young Award winner and two-time All-Star, owns a 3.72 ERA this season and is a free agent after 2024.
Lucas Giolito trade expected?
The Chicago White Sox (26-35) are expected to trade Giolito, ESPN reported. The right-hander, who owns a 4.08 ERA, has been up and down over the last two seasons after three consecutive high-caliber seasons from 2019-2021. Giolito is a free agent after this season.
Jonathan India staying put?
The Cincinnati Reds are “in no hurry” to move India, their primary second baseman for the better part of the last three seasons, ESPN reported. Trade interest and speculation comes against the backdrop of the Reds having several blue-chip infield prospects; Matt McLain and now Elly De La Cruz have reached the big leagues, with Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Noelvi Marte, Cam Collier and Edwin Arroyo making their way through Cincinnati’s minor-league system.
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