Major League Baseball's July 31 trade deadline is approaching quickly and it’s time to start gathering trade rumors ahead of the deadline at the end of the month. Which players might be on the move? Which teams are looking to buy or sell?
SI’s Cliff Corcoran ran through the expected American League buyers and sellers at the deadline last week; he sees the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles and others as teams looking to buy, while the Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners and Chicago White Sox are among the teams that could be sellers.
Below are the latest MLB rumors—check back for the latest scoops.
• Several teams have recently watched two of the Blue Jays' best pitching prospects during minor league games, reports FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Jeff Hoffman and Daniel Norris are the pitchers in question. Ken Rosenthal notes that the scouting presence seems to indicate that teams are expecting the Blue Jays to be “serious buyers.”
• The Athletics are currently in a holding pattern regarding trades, Rosenthal reports.
• FoxSports.com's Jon Morosi says that the San Diego Padres could be major players at the trade deadline. Justin Upton, Will Venable, Ian Kennedy, Joaquin Benoit and Shawn Kelley—all in the final guaranteed year of their contracts—could be on the move. The San Diego Union-Tribune's Dennis Lin echoed this feeling, reporting the Padres are expected to be active at the deadline.
• The Reds would prefer not to make any trades until after the All-Star Game, which is next Tuesday in Cincinnati, Morosi reports. Righthanders Johnny Cueto and Mike Leake and closer Aroldis Chapman are among the players who are expected to be available before the deadline.
• Speaking of Cueto, the New York Post's Joel Sherman reports that the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Orioles all had scouts watching the Reds' ace during his start on Tuesday night against the Washington Nationals. Cueto threw a complete-game shutout, striking out 11 and allowing just two hits and a walk.
• ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reports that the Philadelphia Phillies were apparently close to trading Jonathan Papelbon in June, but then changed their minds. Stark says that the decision to keep Papelbon was not that of general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., but came from either incoming team president Andy MacPhail or current team president Pat Gillick, or possibly both. According to Stark, the Phillies had spoken to the Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs and Texas Rangers about Papelbon.
• According to Newsday's David Lennon, the Oakland Athletics do not have Ben Zobrist on the market as the team is not ready to become a seller just yet. Lennon adds that, according to a source, the Mets are interested in Zobrist, with general manager Sandy Alderson willing to "overpay" to acquire him.
• Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports the Orioles are looking to add pitching before the deadline. He quotes GM Dan Duquette, who says Baltimore is "looking to upgrade for sure" in either the starting rotation or the bullpen.
• Could Yovani Gallardo be on the market? Morosi reports that the Rangers could become sellers after their recent slide, in which the team has lost four straight and five of its last six, with Gallardo as one candidate to be dealt should they decide to move pieces at the deadline.