Thursday July 23rd, 2015

Major League Baseball's trade deadline (Friday, July 31 at 4 p.m. ET) is approaching quickly, which means it’s time to gather the latest rumors and buzz. Which players might be on the move? Which teams are looking to buy, and which teams are trying to sell?

This week, SI.com's Jay Jaffe rounded up a list of the best players who will likely be available at the trade deadline, including Cole Hamels of the Phillies, Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman of the Reds, Carlos Gomez of the Brewers and Justin Upton of the Padres.

July 23

• The Cubs have had discussions about a deal involving Cole Hamels with the Phillies, reports CSN Chicago.

• The White Sox believe they can get a “significant haul” for pitcher Jeff Samardzija, and the Blue Jays are among the teams interested, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. Crasnick adds that the White Sox are active in trade talks.

• The Rays are open to being either buyers or sellers at the deadline, reports SB Nation's Chris Cotillo, who adds that outfielder David DeJesus, catcher John Jaso and reliever Kevin Jepsen are the players most likely to be traded if Tampa Bay decides to sell. Teams are targeting several of Tampa Bay's pitchers, but the Rays “would have to be overwhelmed” to make those deals, according to Cotillo.

• The Brewers have traded third baseman Aramis Ramirez to the Pirates, which makes a Pedro Alvarez deal “very likely,” according to Cotillo. Alvarez, who is in his second year of transitioning from third to first base, is being actively shopped by Pittsburgh. As one general manager told Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan​, "[The] Pirates want to get rid of him. They're offering him to everybody."

• The Blue Jays and the Indians have spoken about a trade involving starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco, reports Passan. Toronto would likely have to pay a high price, but have enough players who could be of interest to the Indians, including Jeff Hoffman, Daniel Norris, Dalton Pompey, Anthony Alford and others, Passan reports. The Jays, who are six games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East, have been seriously pursuing an additional starting pitcher.

• The Padres are officially sellers, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports. Will Venable, Joaquin Benoit, Craig Kimbrel and any of the team's starting pitchers could be traded, though Tyson Ross, who was an All Star in 2014, is the least likely to be dealt from San Diego's rotation.

• The Astros acquired starter Scott Kazmir from the Athletics in exchange for minor-league pitcher Daniel Mengden and minor-league catcher Jacob Nottingham, Oakland announced Thursday. The Blue Jays were reportedly also interested in Kazmir, but the Athletics wanted one of their best pitching prospects in return, reports Rosenthal.

• The Cubs have talked to the Tigers about pitcher David Price, CBS Chicago's Bruce Levine reports. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, though the Cubs would like to trade for another pitcher, they “will not pay a premium price for a rental.” Shortstop Starlin Castro and former first-round pick Javier Baez are reportedly available for trade in the right deal, and the Cubs discussed sending those two to Philadelphia in exchange for Cole Hamels, but the Phillies were not interested, ESPN's Jayson Stark reported.

• Passan says a trade of Athletics closer Tyler Clippard or infielder Ben Zobrist will happen in the coming days, though no teams are close to a deal for either player.

• The trade value for Reds starter Mike Leake is “escalating“ after he gave up just one run on four hits on Wednesday, Nightengale reports. Leake has an ERA of 1.61 in his last four starts

• The Orioles are reportedly trying to trade pitcher Bud Norris, who is currently in the team's bullpen, according to Rosenthal. This season, he has a 6.71 ERA in 61.2 innings pitched.

• Jon Heyman of CBS Sports named Cueto as the best starter on the trading block and listed the Blue Jays, Royals, Yankees, Dodgers and Astros as his most likely destinations. However, Jayson Stark of ESPN asked an executive of a team interested in Cueto if they observed anything to be concerned about in the pitcher's most recent start. The executive responded, “Yes. Everything.” Cueto lasted just four innings, allowed two earned runs and walked six against the Indians on Sunday.

• The Royals are also considering Cueto, along with the Rangers' Yovani Gallardo and many other options to round out their starting rotation, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. The Dodgers have also spoken to the Rangers about acquiring Gallardo, Morosi reports.

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