With the 2015 MLB trade deadline just two days away, contenders are looking to add pieces in their push towards the World Series. Teams that have already made significant moves are still looking to add more star players, while a few of the worst clubs in baseball are trying to unload even more of their top performers.
Johnny Cueto, Scott Kazmir and Jonathan Papelbon have all been dealt to teams that are currently in the playoffs. Troy Tulowitzki and Tyler Clippard went to teams that still have a chance to make the postseason.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the verge of acquiring pitcher Mat Latos and first baseman Michael Morse from the Miami Marlins, as they continue to try and upgrade their rotation. They’ve been connected to almost every starter on the market, and ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the team could look to add two starters. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, L.A. is interested in Cole Hamels and David Price, but they will try to acquire Leake or Yovani Gallardo if they can’t land the Philadelphia Phillies' or Detroit Tigers’ ace.
The Houston Astros made the first big deal by acquiring Kazmir for two prospects, and they are looking to upgrade their rotation even further. According to multiple reports, Houston is a legitimate destination for Hamels.
Houston holds the second wild-card spot in the American League with a three-game lead over the Minnesota Twins, and they trail the Los Angeles Angels by just percentage points for first place in the AL West. The Astros’ offense and bullpen both rank in the top three in the AL, but their starters’ ERA ranks sixth.
After trading for Kazmir, Houston wasn’t considered a top contender to acquire Hamels. The Dodgers and Texas Rangers have been viewed as the favorites to make a trade with Philadelphia. The Phillies have already traded Papelbon to the Washington Nationals.
The Cincinnati Reds dealt Cueto to the Kansas City Royals, and they might not be done trading the top pitchers that remain on their staff. ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Reds are exploring trading Aroldis Chapman, who is among the best relievers in baseball. The closer has a 1.69 ERA and 20 saves this season, striking out 75 batters in 42.2 innings. Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the Reds have been involved in discussions with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Cincinnati appeared intent on trading Cueto, who was likely to sign elsewhere as a free agent in the upcoming offseason. It’s unknown how much the Reds want to trade Chapman, who will be eligible for arbitration next year. Cincinnati starter Mike Leake could also be traded since he is going to be a free agent after this season.
There have been rumors that the San Diego Padres are looking to trade multiple players. The Baltimore Orioles are interested in Justin Upton, and one general manager told Stark that he thinks James Shields will be traded to the San Francisco Giants.