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MLB Trade Rumors: Latest Chatter Around Possible Buyers and Sellers

Published by Bleacher Report on Sun, 19 Jul 2015

Precious time remains for MLB clubs to decide whether they're a contender or a pretender this summer.During a highly competitive season, few franchises harbor no postseason aspirations, and fewer can comfortably look ahead to October. The next dozen days before the non-waiver trade deadline will swing some teams' outlooks heading into the final two months.Because of such uncertainty, no teams have struck early. Yet the hot stove keeps churning amid the calm, setting up another hectic July 31. Let's take a look at what's brewing after the All-Star break, starting with the Milwaukee Brewers.Brewers Willing to Move Gomez, SeguraOnly the Philadelphia Phillies face a larger division deficit than the Milwaukee Brewers, who trail the St. Louis Cardinals by 18.5 games in the National League Central. Well out of the playoff race, Milwaukee owns several desirable trading candidates.According to CBS Sports' Jon Heyman, Milwaukee is open to trading two of its position players:The Brewers are willing to trade not only star center fielderCarlos Gomezbut even young shortstopJean Segura, according to one person familiar with their thinking, who suggested it's somewhat likely they move both players. Gomez's possible move is born of pragmatism, as the person mentioned how there's no way the Brewers would be able to afford to keep Gomez long-term consideringJacoby Ellsbury's $153-million deal (Gomez is a free agent after 2016).The true prize of the duo, Carlos Gomez has transformed into one of baseball's brightest stars. Since 2013, he has collected 55 home runs, 81 stolen bases and MLB's sixth-best fWAR among position players.Heyman also said that the New York Mets are monitoring the 29-year-old outfielder, whom they traded eight years ago to land Johan Santana. Michael Cuddyer continues to ail in left field, and Juan Lagares has not brandished his usual defensive wizardry in center field.Although he hasn't lived up to 2013's breakout campaign, JeanSegura is still a speedy 25-year-old shortstop. He can present a slight upgrade to some squads (such as the Mets), but the Brewers have rising prospect Orlando Arcia waiting to take his job.Ben Zobrist Drawing InterestHe's hitting .258 with only five homers this season, but Ben Zobrist is a perfect trade target for just about anyone. Having done everything except pitch and catch over his career, the 34-year-old would be a welcome addition to any roster.One of the game's most unheralded stars wields the third-highest fWAR since 2009 behind Miguel Cabrera and Andrew McCutchen. Even though he no longer performs at such an elite level, he has drawn more walks (30) than strikeouts (22) with a .334weighted on-base average.With the Oakland Athletics out of the playoff picture and highly unlikely to retain him past this season, Zobrist figures to factor prominently in deadline discussions. Per theBoston Globe's Nick Cafardo, "Zobrist remains sought-after, including by the Mets, Yankees, Giants, and Nationals."All four playoff contenders can use offensive depth. The veteran would likely wind up playing multiple positions in any of those locales, with the New York squads particularly needing infield help.As the deadline draws closer, just about every playoff hopeful will make an inquiry for the utility man. Understanding of the game has evolved far past any franchise overlooking someone just because of a middling batting average and home run tally.Tigers Won't Throw White FlagIn danger of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2010, the Detroit Tigers are 45-45 with a minus-14 run differential. Their pitching has unraveled without Max Scherzer, leaving the offense to carry the load with Cabrera sidelined.Trailing the younger, more athletic Kansas City Royals by 9.5 games in the American League Central, they're relegated to clawing for a wild-card bid. Yet that won't stop the win-now club from keeping its foot on the pedal, per Fox Sports' Jon Morosi:OwnerMike Ilitch, who will celebratehis 86th birthday Monday, remains eager to capture another championship. While the Tigers have made two World Series over the past decade, they haven't finished the job since 1984.After they landed David Price last July, the rest of the starting rotation remains in shambles. Anibal Sanchez has never returned to his dominant 2013 form, and Justin Verlander has tallied as many strikeouts as earned runs (18) through five starts. Following unsustainable hot starts, Alfredo Simon and Shane Greene have regressed disastrously, as noted by the Detroit Free Press:Possessing a 3.96 ERA and 4.16 fielding independent pitching (FIP), the bullpen also needs work. Although alive in a wide-open race, Detroit would be remiss to sacrifice its scarce young talent to possibly make a winner-take-all game.Note: All advanced stats courtesy of FanGraphs.
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