MLB trade rumors continue to heat up with the 2014 trade deadline set for Thursday. Several deals have been made in recent weeks, though it's largely been smaller names that have been moved. That could easily change in the next 48 hours, as a few teams could determine themselves to be sellers that are out of the playoff race.
The New York Yankees have been the most active team this month, making three trades in two weeks. The team acquired Jeff Francis, Chase Headley and Chris Capuano. The San Diego Padres have made a few deals, as they are headed towards their fourth straight losing season. In addition to Headley, the Padres unloaded pitchers Houston Street and Trevor Gott.
The Oakland Athletics have the MLB’s best record, and they might have made the biggest trade, acquiring both Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs. As the best team in baseball continues to get better, others will look to keep up.
Below are some of the biggest names that could be moved by the trade deadline.
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The shortstop has been one of the leading National League MVP candidates throughout the year, but it wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if the Colorado Rockies were to part with him by the deadline. The team has the worst record in the NL and no chance of competing this year. Tulowitzki has a very expensive contract, as he’s set to earn $114 million over the next six years. Colorado hasn’t had a winning season in four years, and it could be time for them to rebuild.
Both New York teams have been considered among the top possible destinations for the 29-year-old. Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Mets are willing to trade prized pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in a potential deal. The Mets might have more to offer than the Yankees, considering they have a lot of young pitching talent. However, the New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that the Rockies have expressed interest in Yankees prospect Luis Severino. Tulowitzki also has a no-trade clause and it’s thought that he prefers to play for the Yankees.
The Rockies have stated that they are not ready to deal their top player, and they may need to hear from Tulowitzki that he wants out, before they make a move. The shortstop is currently on the disabled list, and his injury history could force potential suitors to be wary to match the Rockies’ asking price.
If Kemp had his way, he'd likely be traded to a team that would allow him to be a starting centerfielder. The probability of that happening in the next few days, however, does not appear to be very high. The former runner-up for MVP isn’t playing like someone who’s worth the $107 million that he’s owed from 2015 to 2019. The Dodgers’ asking price is reportedly too high for an outfielder that has just eight home runs and a .775 OPS following injuries in 2012 and 2013.
Teams continue to discuss acquiring Kemp, who registered over a .900 OPS in both 2011 and 2012. According to Passan, the Seattle Mariners have the assets to get a trade done and are considering dealing for the 29-year-old. According to Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, a swap including Kemp and Jon Lester isn’t out of the realm of possibility, though the outfielder’s contract could stop a deal from happening.
Even if Lester doesn’t go to the Los Angeles Dodgers, there’s a chance he won’t be playing for the Boston Red Sox this weekend. The pitcher has been a staple in Boston’s rotation for nearly a decade, but his impending free agency and the team’s poor season could force the Red Sox to deal their top starter. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the team offered Lester between $70 million and $80 million over four years, at the beginning of the season, and the Red Sox might not be willing to give him the nine-figure deal that he’ll likely get as a free agent.
The Boston Globe reports that the Dodgers, Mariners and Orioles are interested in the left-hander. All three teams have a chance to make a run in the playoffs, and adding Lester would certainly bolster their chances of winning the World Series. The 30-year-old is in the midst of the best season of his career, going 10-7 with a 2.52 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He’s also proven to be a dominant postseason performer, pitching to a 2.11 ERA and allowing just 59 hits in nearly 77 innings.