The 2021 MLB trade deadline is approaching fast, with front offices weighing their biggest needs before 4 p.m. ET on July 30 arrives.
Will the Chicago Cubs deal away some of their most well-known players, including Kris Bryant, Craig Kimbrel, Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo, before they hit the free-agent market this winter? Are the Minnesota Twins ready to make blockbuster trades sending away Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz and Jose Berrios after a disappointing first half of the season? Could All-Stars Joey Gallo, Max Scherzer and Eduardo Escobar be on new teams by the end of the month?
Which of the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies will be among the teams who add a big-name star to their rosters? And what will the New York Yankees decide to do in the midst of an up-and-down season in the Bronx?
Whether your favorite club is looking to add or subtract — or stands somewhere in between — here’s the freshest intel we’re hearing, reaction to completed deals and what to know for every team as trade season unfolds.
MLB trade deadline buzz
July 21 updates
Rest of NL East could be aggressive as Mets struggle: This has been noted by rival executives: The three teams chasing the New York Mets in the National League East — the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals — are all led by baseball ops chiefs who are historically aggressive in adding to their rosters in-season.
Alex Anthopoulos, the Braves’ GM, has already added outfielder Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt, and knows that catcher Travis d’Arnaud and pitcher Huascar Ynoa will be back in the middle of August. The Phillies’ David Dombrowski has a long history of deal-making, in his years with the Expos, Marlins, Tigers and Red Sox — and typically, a lot of his in-season trades worked out for his teams, like the Tigers’ acquisition of Doug Fister. And the Nationals are fronted by Mike Rizzo, whose bullpen additions helped to turn his team in 2019 from an early-season disaster to the world champions.
One evaluator said: “They can all see how (vulnerable) the Mets are.” — Buster Olney
Why the Reds could add at the deadline: According to Fangraphs, the Cincinnati Reds have less than a 20% chance of making the playoffs, the sort of numbers that would dissuade some teams from reinvesting in their players. But Reds owner Bob Castellini is not your typical owner: He’s hypercompetitive and doesn’t make a habit of giving up, and while Cincinnati faces a sizeable gap in the NL Central race, they are currently in the market seeking bullpen help. Something that could help the Reds’ chances down the stretch — they appear to have a favorable schedule ahead, with 13 of their final 67 games — and nine of their final 18 games — against the Pittsburgh Pirates. — Olney
What Cleveland could do at the deadline: At a time when Cleveland is far behind in the AL Central, the front office may fix their focus to 2022 — and that could mean addressing a catching crunch right now. Roberto Perez, 32, is under contract for $7 million for 2022, and Austin Hedges, 28, will be arbitration-eligible this winter before reaching free agency in the fall. They are similar as players, perceived as defense-first, and so the Indians are open to discussing a deal for either player. Other teams believe that the Indians will also move at least one reliever — and an obvious candidate is Bryan Shaw, the veteran right-hander who has pitched effecitively this season and is making minimum wage. — Olney
Mets looking for starting pitching: No team is more desperate for starting pitching right now than the Mets. Acting general manager Zack Scott was on the “Big Time Baseball” podcast Tuesday and confirmed, “That’s definitely our priority and has been for a while.”
The Mets have used 15 starting pitchers already, Jacob deGrom is back on the IL, fill-in starter Robert Stock left his Tuesday start after one inning after injuring himself running to first base, and Carlos Carrasco‘s rehab start in Triple-A was a disaster. He walked three and allowed three home runs in 1⅔ innings. — David Schoenfield
MLB trade deadline analysis
Completed trade tracker
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