Trade talks in the MLB are beginning to heat up with less than two weeks until the deadline. Several contenders are looking to improve as they make a run towards the playoffs in the final two months of the season.
About half of the teams have a legitimate shot to make the postseason. Sixteen teams either have a lead in their division or are less than six games out of the wild card race. The AL wild card race is very tight, with six teams separated by just three games.
There haven’t been many reports of All-Stars being shopped, but there could be a decent amount of player movement by July 31. Below are a few of the best players on the market and where they might be headed.
The starting pitcher has been at the center of trade rumors for almost a year and it appears that he’s finally going to be on the move. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs are nearing an agreement that would send Garza to the American League. The right-hander could make the Rangers staff, which has been average, one of the best in the AL. He’s 5-0 in his last six starts, and could help shift the balance of power in the AL West. Texas is two games behind the Oakland Athletics.
The Minnesota Twins might want to unload the first baseman, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for him. Teams are reluctant to take on the remaining $6 million that he’s owed for this season, and they don’t want to give up too much for a player that will be a free agent in the offseason. Morneau has seen his power numbers slip, with just seven home runs and a .406 slugging percentage. The Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers could have the most interest in the 10-year veteran, but no deal is imminent.
As the best pitcher on the worst team in the MLB, Norris is drawing a lot of interest from contenders. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the Rangers could try to trade for the starter if they can’t acquire Garza. The Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants are also exploring dealing for Norris. All four teams are on the outside out the playoff race and are looking to boost their rotation. Norris is only 6-8, but his 3.63 ERA indicates that he could do much better with a winning club.
The Pittsburgh Pirates may be in the lead to acquire the outfielder, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Rios is hitting .270 with 11 homers and 40 RBI. The Pirates are looking to make the playoffs for the first time in over two decades and currently lead the National League wild card race. However, they’ve done so with subpar hitting. Only the Miami Marlins have scored less runs in the NL than the Pirates.