The most unusual MLB trade deadline in the sport’s history is approaching, and we’ve got you covered with all of the trade rumors, reaction and analysis you need as your team ponders its next blockbuster move in a shortened 60-game 2020 season with the standings packed leading up to baseball’s first 16-team playoffs.
Will teams off to strong starts such as the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs make a splash to help their October chances? Will the disappointing Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels or other struggling clubs go into full sell mode? And what about the teams in the hunt for those final postseason spots thanks to the new postseason format?
Whether you root for a buyer or a seller — or someone in between — you can keep up with all of the latest intel on big trade rumors, track completed trades and see what our experts think of it all from now until the 4 p.m. ET deadline strikes on Aug. 31.
The latest MLB trade rumors and buzz we’re hearing
Today’s trade chatter
Don’t expect a big splash from the Dodgers this time around. The Dodgers usually go big at the trade deadline. Three years ago, they landed Yu Darvish. Two years ago, it was Manny Machado. Last year, they sought high-end relievers such as Will Smith, Brad Hand and Edwin Diaz but, like every other team, failed to procure any of them.
That prompts the following question: Can the Dodgers land another ace for their rotation this year?
Unlikely, it seems.
It’s unlikely because the circumstances — no minor league season, lots of teams in contention, an ongoing pandemic — make it difficult to envision a complex trade. But it’s also unlikely because Andrew Friedman might feel unmotivated to trade high-end prospects to slightly increase his chances of winning such an unconventional championship.
Walker Buehler looks like his dominant self again, Clayton Kershaw has added two to three ticks to his fastball and young arms such as Dustin May, Julio Urias and Tony Gonsolin have impressed. Someone like, say, Trevor Bauer would make the Dodgers one of the most talented, deepest teams in baseball history and further mitigate the randomness of a short postseason series. But the aforementioned names are also reasons why the Dodgers don’t need someone like Bauer.
Instead, they’ll probably look to add a third catcher. Maybe they’ll get a right-handed-hitting corner infielder to occasionally help against lefties. Maybe they’ll be opportunistic if a depth piece for their pitching staff becomes available. But it’s been a while since the Dodgers have had such little need before the trade deadline. This will probably be a quiet one for them. — Alden Gonzalez
Who could the Angels deal away? Teams were already calling the Angels about some of their players before the weekend began, but their front office advised other clubs to give them a week or so to see how they fare and decide whether they will be active before the trade deadline.
The Angels, of course, went into the season with hopes of contending, but their pitching hasn’t necessarily cooperated. They got off to the worst 25-game start in franchise history and sit 11 games out of first place after dropping two of three to the Oakland Athletics.
Angels general manager Billy Eppler is on an expiring contract and uncertain if this might be his final few weeks with the organization. Still, if he decides to sell, it would be with the hope of adding arms that would augment the pitching staff in 2021 without having to venture into the free-agent market for cheap stopgaps.
The Angels possess a quartet of appealing infielders, Tommy La Stella, Luis Rengifo, Andrelton Simmons and David Fletcher, though they might want a lot in return in a Fletcher deal. They could move Brian Goodwin, a left-handed-hitting outfielder who has proved capable of filling the strong side of a platoon. They also would love to unload the remainder of Justin Upton‘s contract, but that’s probably a stretch. — Alden Gonzalez
Reliever market heating up for National League Central contenders: Like elsewhere around the league, the battle for relievers in the trade market should be intense in the NL Central. And as you might expect, left-handers will be a hot commodity. Annually, the Cubs are always looking for someone to get out lefties, and they’ve already openly stated they’re doing the same this year. Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Brewers — even with Josh Hader — could be looking for the same, while the Cincinnati Reds‘ bullpen also has struggled. The St. Louis Cardinals are the only contender in the division who might not add anything on the mound. — Jesse Rogers
Completed trade tracker
Phillies land pair of relievers in deal with Red Sox
The Philadelphia Phillies got an early jump on the trade deadline, moving to fortify their ineffective bullpen by acquiring relievers Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman and cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for right-handers Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold.
Key questions and team needs
From the names you are hearing about to some you haven’t yet, here’s what could really go down between now and Aug. 31. Jeff Passan’s MLB trade deadline preview