Mariners emerging as a deadline seller: Execs say the trade talk has increased significantly around MLB on Monday, a week before the deadline. But so far, few actual sellers (Seattle mentioned a lot), and unclear which teams willing to take on $. “Every dollar is a big deal this year,” said one official. “Every dollar.”
One rival evaluator about the Mariners’ Taijuan Walker — who has a 4.00 ERA in five starts, with eight walks and 25 strikeouts in 27 innings — “He’s going to be traded. No doubt.” — Buster Olney
Atlanta likely on lookout for rotation help: The Braves have the 26th-best rotation ERA in baseball but also a 91% chance to make the playoffs, per FanGraphs. The rotation doesn’t look good to the eye, either, with Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels injured, Felix Hernandez opted-out, and four pitchers optioned due to ineffectiveness: Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, Kyle Wright, and Bryse Wilson.
The other three current members of the rotation behind ace Max Fried are two journeyman swingman types in Josh Tomlin and Robbie Erlin and a hot-and-cold young arm in Touki Toussaint. The 35-year-old Tomlin was very good out of the bullpen in eight appearances this year, but has been iffy in his two starts including giving up three homers to the Phillies over three innings.
No rotation is deep enough to lose seven projected contributors, but the Braves are deep enough in young talent that my 49th-ranked prospect in baseball entering the year, RHP Ian Anderson, is at the Alternate Site and is rumored to be an option soon. Since Anderson isn’t on the 40-man roster, the Braves seem hesitant to bring him up until it’s clear he’s the best option.
Indians RHP Mike Clevinger is the best arm expected to be available for trade, but with only one set-in-stone name in their rotation, the Braves will need more than one answer to their rotation question. — Kiley McDaniel
Don’t expect a big splash from the Dodgers this time around. The Dodgers usually go big at the trade deadline. Three years ago, they landed Yu Darvish. Two years ago, it was Manny Machado. Last year, they sought high-end relievers such as Will Smith, Brad Hand and Edwin Diaz but, like every other team, failed to procure any of them.
That prompts the following question: Can the Dodgers land another ace for their rotation this year?
Unlikely, it seems.
It’s unlikely because the circumstances — no minor league season, lots of teams in contention, an ongoing pandemic — make it difficult to envision a complex trade. But it’s also unlikely because Andrew Friedman might feel unmotivated to trade high-end prospects to slightly increase his chances of winning such an unconventional championship.
Walker Buehler looks like his dominant self again, Clayton Kershaw has added two to three ticks to his fastball and young arms such as Dustin May, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin have impressed. Someone like, say, Trevor Bauer would make the Dodgers one of the most talented, deepest teams in baseball history and further mitigate the randomness of a short postseason series. But the aforementioned names are also reasons why the Dodgers don’t need someone like Bauer.
Instead, they’ll probably look to add a third catcher. Maybe they’ll get a right-handed-hitting corner infielder to occasionally help against lefties. Maybe they’ll be opportunistic if a depth piece for their pitching staff becomes available. But it’s been a while since the Dodgers have had such little need before the trade deadline. This will probably be a quiet one for them. — Alden Gonzalez
Who could the Angels deal away? Teams were already calling the Angels about some of their players before the weekend began, but their front office advised other clubs to give them a week or so to see how they fare and decide whether they will be active before the trade deadline.