The trade deadline has come and gone, and with it was the last chance for teams to acquire help for the playoff run or rebuild for next season without having to go through the complicated waiver process. Miss any of today's action? Then scroll down for Cliff Corcoran's and Jay Jaffe's takes on the day's moves, rumors and news.
CC: Quick take away on things that didn't happen that I thought should have. The Tigers getting pitching, or doing anything; the Phillies trading Jeremy Hellickson; the Angels trading Yunel Escobar; the Rockies trading Carlos Gonzalez; the Reds trading Zack Cozart; the Rangers, Orioles, Marlins or Mets upgrading their rotations (all added pitchers, but none were clear improvements); the Pirates selling their impending free agents.
JJ: And a Dodgers three- or four-way trade.
CC: With the exception of the rotation issues, and there was precious little available, that's not a very long list of undone stuff compared to some years. The Rangers, Dodgers and Yankees look like the big winners to me, though the first two gave up a lot to get what they got and Texas didn't get a starting pitcher. I'd add the Red Sox for their early-July work with Drew Pomeranz and Brad Ziegler. The Indians did well, too. The Brewers once again did well as sellers. In fact, in general the sellers did well on all fronts, as we discussed several times.
JT: Pencils down! The deadline has arrived.
CC: Big miss by Detroit, which is just one game out of a wild-card spot going into tonight's action. The Tigers are getting J.D. Martinez back from the DL soon, but needed pitching.
The Rays with the buzzer-beaters!
JT: I can't even begin to describe how hard I laughed at that.
JT: Fox was the Giants' big international signing from 2015 out of the Bahamas on a $6 million signing bonus.
JT: Just thirty minutes to go until the deadline! The latest: The Mets are out on Jonathan Lucroy but on the verge of wrapping up a Jay Bruce deal; and the Rays are talking starting pitching with a number of teams, including the Giants and Astros.
CC: That's Erik Swanson with a K. Both minor league righties. Non-prospects as best I can tell right now.
Reds having trouble today.
Wow, Dilson Herrera to the Reds. The Mets had him pegged as their second baseman of the future very recently. I'm curious to see what the final deal looks like there.
More rotation depth for Toronto. Bolsinger is more stretched out than Chavez, I guess. He certainly has more team control.
Yankees: "Please take Ivan Nova! Pleeeaasee!!"
JT: Brian Cashman just literally pushing Ivan Nova out of the doors at Yankee Stadium.
CC: I'll say, I think Herrera's a better player than Nimmo. I wonder if they just dropped the third guy with the medical issues and upgraded to Herrera.
JT: That is baffling on the part of the Angels. Just baffling.
CC: Cubs went to work on that bullpen, got Mike Montgomery, Smith and Aroldis Chapman.
The Tigers, Phillies and Rockies are the last teams not to have made a trade since July 1. Detroit is a glaring omission from the action today.
As I thought. Makes sense, but worked in the Brewers' favor in my opinion.
JT: One hour until the deadline! To recap today's action: The Mets and Reds have a deal in place for Jay Bruce that is currently threatened by medical issues; the Dodgers have added Josh Reddick and Rich Hill; and the Rangers have picked up Carlos Beltran from the Yankees.
CC: And Texas may not be done yet:
Previous Lucroy to Rangers rumors have always had Texas insisting on getting some pitching with him.
Meanwhile, many saying getting Beltran makes it easier for Rangers to include Joey Gallo in a Lucroy deal. For this year, sure, but Gallo has five years of team control remaining after this and could slot into first base next year.
JJ: Even if you work off the theory that Beltran was going to net a comp pick, the Yankees have upgraded from comp to a top-five pick, with two more bodies on the way, too.
As for Gallo: Manager Jeff Banister clearly isn’t a fan of his. He got one plate appearance before Fielder went down despite spending about a week up.
CC: This is significant, as the Yankees already had a number of near-ready prospects. Their next five years just got a whole lot brighter.
Less than an hour left, with the Bruce trade still on hold, Lucroy still a Brewer and no further word on Zack Cozart. The Tigers having done nothing. Jeremy Hellickson is still in Philadelphia and the Rays still own all of their pitchers.
Many considered Tate an overdraft last year. Baseball Prospectus 2016 offers another underwhelming evaluation:
It will be very interesting to see how his career develops from here.
JT: Meanwhile, the other New York team is stirring:
And over in Pittsburgh:
CC: Pirates a surprise entry here. They have not traded their other pending free agents after dealing Mark Melancon and have not come up in rumors prior to this today. They got a major league relief arm for Melancon. Seems they might be going for it after all. If they are, they desperately need a starting pitcher.
JJ: Moore's a piece not just for this year, though.
CC: True, but David Freese, Matt Joyce, Sean Rodriguez and Neftali Feliz are just for this year and I haven't heard any of those names yet today.
Wilmer Flores alert!
Joel Sherman makes a good point. With Asdrubal Cabrera and David Wright hurt, Uribe would be a great fit back on the Mets.
Remember, Wheeler was in last year's busted Carlos Gomez trade.
The Brewers are running out of time to deal Lucroy. The Rangers need pitching more than Lucroy with Beltran upgrading the lineup.
JJ: Lucroy to the Rangers for, uh, Bump Wills and uh, Neftali Feliz.
CC: He's a not-even-for-this-year guy. Then again, Nova is the kind of pitcher the Pirates have spun into gold in recent years.
CC: Some new rumors out of Los Angeles and Tampa:
And some chatter from Houston:
Imagine the possibilities! Seriously though, the Astros are one team for whom the mere intention to make a deal is legitimate news, as they could easily stand pat.
They need to make this happen.
JT: Yeah, if this deadline ends with Carlos Beltran still in pinstripes, then Brian Cashman has done something terribly wrong. Beltran would be a perfect fit in Texas, too, taking the DH at-bats that Prince Fielder vacated with his season-ending neck surgery.
CC: Final 75 minutes ... that's a time frame you don't hear used very often.
JT: Jay Bruce update:
And the latest on the Marlins after that bizarre Rea trade.
CC: More on Beltran:
Both good systems. The Yankees could do well in a trade with either. Meanwhile, Beltran is a better fit in Texas, where he can DH. The Indians have Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana as necessary bats in the everyday lineup at first base and DH. Also, the idea of Carlos Beltran and Adrian Beltre together on a playoff team (if the Rangers can hold on to a playoff spot, which is not a given) makes me very happy. The Rangers need starting pitching more than Beltran, however.
I have no idea what to make of that.
Tate was the No. 4 pick in last year's draft. A righthanded starter, he has had bad luck on balls in play in the Sally League but is an easy top-100 prospect.
JT: A top-100 prospect for two months of a great hitter but one who can’t play the field at all any more. Impressive work by Brian Cashman, per usual.
CC: The Yankees are far more interesting and exciting as an organization now than they have been at any other point in the last four years. Kudos to Cashman.
Teams who haven't made deals since July 1 now down to the Tigers, Phillies, Rockies, Angels and Astros.
JT: The latest on the Bruce trade that is now in danger of falling apart due to medical issues:
CC: If it's one of the lesser two unnamed guys, I'm guessing the Mets could make a substitution and still get the trade done.
So why did they agree to untrade him?
CC: The plot thickens in Toronto:
I still don't see what recourse the Marlins would have had the Padres not caved. San Diego should have fought back.
JT: So this likely gets done, then.
CC: Meanwhile, in Tampa:
Teams that have not made a trade since July 1: The Rays, Tigers, Phillies, Rockies, Angels, Astros and Brewers (thanks to Lucroy's no-trade clause), with the Mets and Reds still unofficial on Bruce and having executed no other deals.
I wonder if the need to rework the Bruce deal could impact the Mets' ability to get another deal done. There was word they still had interest in Lucroy, but it's been a while since his name has come across the rumor wire.
JT: The only buzz I've seen about him today is that the Mets don’t want to meet his price.
CC: The Giants are getting in on the action:
JT: Finally, an opportunity to make a "Wild Wild West" joke.
CC: Will Smith is not having his best season, but he's a lefty with three years of team control left, and in-house lefty specialist Javier Lopez is 39 and a free agent this winter. A lefty reliever was very much on San Francisco's shopping list.
Susac gives the Brewers a young, team-controlled catching option in the likely event of a Lucroy trade. Phil Bickford was the Giants' first-round pick in 2015, No. 18 overall. A 6'4" righthanded starter out of Cal State Fullerton, he has pitched well after a promotion to high A ball earlier this year. The Brewers continue to do very nicely in their rebuild.
Additional note on Bickford: The Blue Jays tried to draft him with the No. 10 pick out of high school, a testament to his underlying ability. He's not just a polished college arm.
JJ: Oh, that’s not a bad get.
JT: I guess you could say that trade went off without a "Hitch."
JT: There were rumors floating around earlier of a Yasiel Puig to the White Sox deal, but that was apparently just idle speculation.
The Rays are still shopping their starters, and the Pirates may be interested.
And in non-trade news: A's reliever Sean Doolittle has a sad over the Reddick/Hill deal.
And now some huge injury news on two fronts. First, the Mets/Reds deal for Bruce is in peril:
Second, the Marlins/Padres deal for Andrew Cashner is apparently getting redone after Colin Rea left his first start for Miami with an injury:
CC: It seemed more like bad luck than damaged goods to me. It's on the team making the trade to scout the player's performance and health. Sour grapes for the Marlins. Rea wasn't necessarily an upgrade for them to begin with.
I'm very curious to see what that trade looks like. Will San Diego simply get back one or two of the players they sent in the initial deal or new bodies? Remember, Rea has five years of team control left, so even if he has Tommy John surgery, the Padres will still be able to get four years out of him.
Still not really a Shields-to-Dodgers rumor. Stuck in speculation station. Meanwhile, it's extremely ironic that the Marlins are upset that the good thing they thought they had didn't last long enough.
A lot of non-closer relief pitching rumors floating around right now. I'm going to spare everyone those tweets.
JT: You mean Joe Smith and Joe Johnson don't send you into a frenzy?
CC: They are about as exciting as their names.
He is owed $27 million for the next two years and has a $14 million vesting option for 2019.
Here's what I wrote about the righthanded Castillo in my writeup of the initial trade: "Castillo ... is 23 and just converted to starting in the middle of last season. He has excelled in high A ball this season thanks to an ability to suppress walks and home runs, but he, like Cashner, hasn’t produced the high strikeout rates his upper-90s velocity would suggest, and it’s not a given that he’ll remain a starter in the upper minors."
JT: I’m stunned Miami is getting anything back here. Didn’t they review Rea’s medicals before the deal was consummated?
CC: Hard to figure why the Padres gave the Marlins an out here.
Going from an injured Colin Rea to Jeremy Hellickson with the deadline bearing down would be an impressive upgrade/stroke of luck for the Marlins.
JT: Thought the Dodgers were done after getting Hill and Reddick? YOU GUESSED WRONG.
Jon Tayler: Hey everyone, Jon Tayler here filling in for Cliff and Jay as they tackle the two big trades of the day so far: Jay Bruce to the Reds and Josh Reddick/Rich Hill to the Dodgers. So let's keep this live blog going with the latest on Jonathan Lucroy.
At that reported price, it's no surprise the Mets are out on Lucroy.
Meanwhile, it seems that the Chris Sale-to-the-Red Sox rumors are finally dead.
Looks like the Cubs aren't satisfied with just adding Aroldis Chapman to the bullpen.
Smith isn't an exciting name (literally) and his peripherals are bad (6.0 strikeouts per nine, 4.62 FIP), but the Cubs have worked bullpen miracles with lesser names (Trevor Cahill, anyone?) and he's a body who can soak up some innings at the least.
In Boston, the trade for lefty reliever Fernando Abad from the Twins is official.
Leave the bad name jokes out of this: Abad is wild (3.7 walks per nine) but gets swings and misses, and he is death on lefties (.163/.192/.265 this season in 52 plate appearances). For a Red Sox bullpen that has been battered by injuries and lacks a top-flight lefty, Abad is a good, cheap add.
JJ: Big news out of Los Angeles:
CC: The Dodgers are pretty reliable big-splash traders under the new administration.
The deadline deal making is getting crazy right now:
JJ: Abad deal.
JJ: Some more details on Hill/Reddick:
Injured guy part of deal for injured guy.
And more details are leaking out:
JJ: Some movement on Bruce?
I can’t imagine what the Mets would give up that would make that deal make sense.
CC: And now, some Yasiel Puig rumors:
The word "if" isn't nearly in a large enough font in that tweet.
Heyman and Sherman making this sound like an agreement is in place.
JJ: Who slides over to centerfield, according to a previous tweet. God help the Mets' pitching staff.
CC: Meanwhile, the other New York team:
McCann has full no-trade protection.
JJ: I think we can conclusively write off McCann being dealt.
CC: Some non-Bruce Mets rumors:
The Mets have a lot of ground to make up in their division and have had multiple injuries to their vaunted rotation, but they're being very aggressive nonetheless.
JJ: Over on the other coast:
Hill fits the Dodgers' MO: Injured starter.
CC: Boom! Roasted!
CC: Some news from Tampa:
Pearce is an impending free agent, a guy the Rays need to move today.
JJ: Wow, Steve Pearce has managed not to get caught in the Rays’ latter-day vortex of first base suck, the one that engulfed late-period Carlos Pena and James Loney. Gosh, they’ve even played him 14 games at second base and two at third.
CC: Pearce has had a truly strange career. He was a top-100 prospect with the Pirates back in 2008 as a 25-year-old first baseman but didn't hit in Pittsburgh. He's bounced around like crazy, changing teams six times in 2011 and '12. He broke out with the O's in 2013 at the age of 30 and then started to see increased playing time on the right side of the defensive spectrum.
Getting Mark Melancon was an upgrade on Felipe Rivero, but including Rivero in that trade means Washington didn't really add depth to its bullpen.
Read: The Orioles are hiring interns.
JJ: That’s how you end up with Wade Miley.
CC: More on McCann:
I still think McCann is an interesting sleeper in the current catcher sweepstakes. Cheaper than Lucroy. Better than Norris and Suzuki.
JJ: Except the Yankees aren’t willing to eat significant money.
CC: They should be.
Apparently the Braves are buying for the debut of their new ballpark. They should trade Kemp to the Yankees for McCann. That's a fit on both sides.
Again, why would they? Why sell that low on a talented pitcher?
JJ: Breaking: Thing that shouldn’t be happening is not happening.
CC: Those Sale to the Red Sox rumors?
My thoughts exactly.
This kind of came out of nowhere:
I strongly believe the Yankees should sell high on McCann with Gary Sanchez waiting in Triple A. A return to the Braves would be very surprising, but certainly interesting.
JJ: Not quite reheated but heading toward room temperature:
CC: We've already seen two teams trade for starters who aren't better than what they had (Miami, Baltimore). Could the Astros be a third?
I will be very disappointed to see Aaron Sanchez moved to the bullpen if that is indeed the Blue Jays' plan. I don't think that move is necessary.
JJ: "Oft-repeated" is the oft-repeated sentiment of deadline day.
CC: Some pitching talk that doesn't involve Chris Sale:
Trading Moore makes a lot more sense than Archer for the Rays. Both have team-friendly contracts, but Moore is a sell-high guy after a nice run in his last nine starts (2.39 ERA, eight quality starts). The Dodgers and Giants have both shown interest; Tampa could play those rivals against one another.
JJ: Yes, just don’t look at that underlying .225 BABIP for Moore’s uptick.
CC: Exactly why he's a sell-high guy. If there's interest, the Rays should move him.
I might trade a copy of Chris Rock’s Top Five for Hellickson, but that’s just about as far as I’d go.
There are going to be a whole lot of Arbitrary Endpoint All-Stars discussed today, and it bears repeating: Maybe there’s an underlying reason for their performance upticks that a scout or coach can spot, but in this thin market, there’s going to be a lot of squinting and rationalization.
CC: Indeed, I predicted before the season that this would be a bearish trade deadline, and the prices we're seeing being demanded for league-average or below starters—as well as the returns the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller—prove that this is a seller's market.
JJ: In general, the deadline runs on the juice of the upcoming free-agent market. Last year’s was a huge crop full of aces; this year’s is nuclear winter.
CC: Exactly, and the best pending free agents (Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion) are on contenders who aren't selling. Thus, we're seeing a lot of heat on players with a year or more of team control remaining, such as Lucroy and Bruce.
Here's something new:
JJ: If I’m the Astros, catching is a lot lower on the priority list than pitching. Castro is an okay bat and a great framer; via Baseball Prospectus' catcher framing stats, he’s +16.1 runs this year, third in MLB.
CC: Castro is a free agent this winter and Evan Gattis is his backup, however. Houston could be looking at a deal that resonates beyond this year, as Carlos Gomez was supposed to do last year (he resonated, but badly).
JJ: More Sale!
It’s basically: Here Is The Dodgers' Top 10 Prospects List. Also: That should be Cody Bellinger, Clay’s son.
CC: A thing that's a given: a Chris Sale trade would require a team to part with several of its very best prospects. Yet another reason why I think it's a red herring and why I am ignoring those rumors. Simply put, Sale, particularly given his team-friendly contract, is too valuable for the White Sox to trade and too valuable for another team to acquire.
I'm willing to believe that's the final word on that.
This I find more surprising. Logan is a pending free agent, and the Rockies are not going to the playoffs this year.
JJ: The Chris Sale rumors will not die.
I'm disappointed he didn’t use a hashtag for #latenighttalks. #pillowtalk?
CC: Again, I'll believe it when I see it. I'm disregarding all Sale rumors until there's an actual deal in place. The Red Sox may have whispered sweet nothings in Rick Hahn's ear, but I suspect he simply reminded them he had to work in the morning. #pillowtalk
From Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports:
The Tigers have not made a trade this month. If they're shut out today, their fans will have a right to be angry as they are in the thick of the wild-card race but desperate for starting pitching.
JJ: Shorter Rosenthal: Tigers won’t give up anything, have nothing to give.
CC: I'll avoid making a joke about an even shorter Ken Rosenthal. Oops.
Kudos to the Reds if they move both Bruce and Cozart today. That's exactly what they need to do.
This is also the correct approach. The Giants could maybe use a righthanded centerfielder to platoon with Span, but pitching is their top priority, especially after just getting Hunter Pence back from the DL.
Only slightly harder to land this than the actual Chris Sale. (That, for those who don't know, is the style of jersey Sale cut up prompting his suspension from the team.)
JJ: Cozart doesn’t excite me, but to be fair, he’s been about two wins better than Ketel Marte, the Mariners’ regular SS (now on the DL with mononucleosis). That .462 slugging percentage ain’t going to hold up in Safeco, though.
CC: Marte has been awful and is on the DL with mononucleosis. Cozart is one of the best defensive shortstops in the game and has a 107 OPS+ over the last two years (that's park-adjusted) and has one arbitration year remaining.
CC: To be fair, the Mets made the World Series with Cespedes as their primary centerfielder last year. But then they had Juan Lagares as a platoon/defensive replacement option. With Lagares out for six weeks with a torn thumb ligament, their outfield defense is going to be ugly not matter how they line 'em up.
One important thing to remember today is that prices may drop as we get closer to 4 p.m., and some teams may exploit that in their negotiations, playing chicken with the deadline.
Jay Jaffe: Let's get started with the latest Jay Bruce rumor. When I went to bed last night, the Giants were making what was described as "a late push” for Jay Bruce, as noted in my deadline preview piece, but this morning, it sounds as though the Mets are now the favorites for the Reds' outfielder.
I don’t think we’ve heard any names of who the Mets would give up tossed around in such a context, and really, I’m not sure how much sense it makes to add Jay if you’ve already got Michael Conforto and Yoenis Cespedes, neither of whom should be in centerfield.
Cliff Corcoran: Bruce is an odd fit for the Mets, but, per Joel Sherman, they're not blind to that:
Also, with Cespedes likely opting out in November, Bruce's option give New York an in-house replacement, or at least some options and leverage.
JJ: I guess it means you mothball Conforto (if you don’t deal him in this, when his value is at its nadir), but even if Cespedes opts out this winter, you’ve got a collection of parts that don’t fit together. And it’s not like anyone’s beating down the door for Curtis Granderson.
CC: Before we get too bogged down in Bruce, who is indeed the player generating the most heat this morning, let's take a step back and set up the day. I think Bruce and the Brewers' Jonathan Lucroy are the two biggest names that are expected to be dealt, though the Yankees' Carlos Beltran should go as well. The Mets, Dodgers, Giants and Rangers seem to be the contenders who are most active per the rumor mill. The Mets and Rangers have interest in Lucroy. All but the Rangers have interest in Bruce. Also, there's word that the Mariners are closing in on a deal on Reds shortstop Zack Cozart.
Tampa Bay is indeed another team to watch, as are the Tigers, who have touched base on Lucroy but prefer to add pitching.
JJ: I agree on Bruce, Lucroy and Beltran. Let's also add somebody from the Rays' stable of starters (Chris Archer, Matt Moore, Jake Odorizzi) and probably at least one Brewers reliever (Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith), as well as the Royals' Edinson Volquez. And I definitely expect the Dodgers to do something, probably something complicated. The Tigers are on Lucroy’s no-trade list. I can’t see him waiving it unless they agree to decline his option, and even then, we know their system has been hit pretty hard.
CC: One team that has been surprisingly quiet is the Angels, who have Yunel Escobar to offer. The Astros, meanwhile, could be the one team that does not make a trade this month given their plentiful in-house options and upgrades. And I touched on Lucroy's no-trade list in my piece on him declining the Indians' trade yesterday.
JJ: The Astros probably need to do something with their rotation. I’d say if anybody is a sleeper for Chris Sale, it’s them, but I’d bet they’re more likely to land Volquez or a Rays pitcher.
CC: I would still be shocked to see Sale get dealt today. I feel the same way about Archer. Both are on team-friendly deals, and Archer in particular is having a poor year. Why sell low on a player like that?
The one big name I have not seen being tossed around is Carlos Gonzalez. The Rockies haven't made a trade of any kind this month (one of 10 teams that haven't) and are five games out in the NL wild-card race. Could be that they wind up standing pat.
JJ: Yeah, it’s sounded like they would indeed stand pat. Yesterday, Jon Heyman said they weren’t planning to trade CarGo or Charlie Blackmon. That surprises me, given that Colorado just called up top prospect David Dahl and that a healthy Gonzalez is only slightly more common of a sighting than Halley’s Comet.
CC: Gonzalez actually hasn't been on the DL since 2014, but that and his strong performances the last two years only make it all the more surprising to me that the Rockies haven't tried to trade him while his value is up.