There’s only about a month left before MLB teams have to decide if they are buyers or sellers in the 2019 season. Some division leaders are starting to create distance between themselves and second-place teams, and they are eyeing trades that could potentially help them win the World Series.

No player has been involved in more trade rumors than Madison Bumgarner this year. There was speculation that he could be dealt during the offseason and he’s expected to be moved before the July 31 deadline. 

The New York Yankees have been considered a suitor for the 2014 World Series MVP, though there is some debate regarding how much the team actually values the veteran. A trade between the Atlanta Braves and the San Francisco Giants might have made sense earlier this season. It’s probably more of a long shot now that Atlanta has signed Dallas Keuchel.

The Minnesota Twins could be considered the most likely destination for Bumgarner. The Twins are running away with the NL Central, leading the Cleveland Indians by eight games. 

According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, Minnesota has shown interest in Bumgarner. Unlike the Yankees, the Twins aren’t on Bumgarner’s no-trade list.

Bumgarner will be a free agent after this season. San Francisco’s asking price is reportedly high, and New York is unlikely to surrender a top prospect for a pitcher that has a 4.21 ERA and might sign elsewhere in a few months.

The Yankees still seem adamant about adding a starting pitcher. New York has a 6.5-game lead in the AL East. Questions in the rotation could prevent them from making a deep run in October.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner reiterated to reporters Thursday that the Yankees plan to improve their pitching. Steinbrenner indicated the team would be willing to pay significant luxury tax penalties in order to acquire a quality starter, though the team is wary of trading future stars.

Zack Wheeler could make for the perfect fit. The New York Mets are 11 games out of first place in the NL East after a disastrous series against the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets have to start thinking about trading Wheeler before letting him walk as a free agent this winter.

One MLB source told SNY’s Andy Martino that the Yankees “love” Wheeler. The 29-year-old has a 4.51 ERA this season, but his other stats (3.75 FIP, 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings) indicate he’s run into some bad luck. Wheeler had a 3.31 ERA last season and was terrific after the All-Star break.

Because of his high ERA and impending free agency, the Yankees might not have to give up a ton in a trade for Wheeler. Clint Frazier, for example, would probably have to be included in a trade for a starter like Marcus Stroman, whom the Yankees have targeted.

It remains to be seen if the Mets will become sellers and willing to make a deal that could help their cross-town rivals win a championship.