The MLB season has passed the halfway mark and teams are gearing up for the stretch run. Clubs in contention will be looking for those missing pieces, while teams well out of the race will be building for the future. Will the Yankees find an igniter for their stalled season? Can the Giants bolster their roster and keep ahead of the Dodgers and Padres? Will Trevor Story have new a home come August? What moves will your team make?
Our national experts Ken Rosenthal, Jayson Stark, Jim Bowden and Keith Law will be working the phones, and our local beat writers will have the pulse on what every team is planning between now and July 30.
From now until the trade deadline, The Athletic will be tracking all of the major news and transactions. Check back here often for the latest updates, and be sure to bookmark our MLB Trade Deadline page for all of our in-depth stories on major trades and rumors.
FRIDAY, JULY 30
The White Sox have acquired closer Craig Kimbrel from their crosstown rivals, the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden and Ken Rosenthal. Kimbrel would join a White Sox bullpen that already includes All-Star closer Liam Hendriks. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports the Cubs will receive second baseman Nick Madrigal and reliever Codi Heuer. Madrigal is out with a season-ending hamstring injury but is a career .305 hitter in 200 MLB at-bats. Heuer has a 5.12 ERA in 38 2/3 innings for the White Sox this season.
The Brewers have picked up left-hander Daniel Norris from the Tigers for right-handed pitching prospect Reese Olson, a source confirms to The Athletic’s Cory Stavenhagen. Norris has a 5.89 ERA in 36 2/3 innings with 40 strikeouts this season. Olson has a 4.30 ERA as a starter in 69 innings for High-A Wisconsin this season.
The Braves are picking up outfielder Eddie Rosario from the Indians in exchange for veteran infielder Pablo Sandoval. Rosario is on the injured list and is expected to miss a few more weeks. The Indians are sending cash along with Rosario to Atlanta.
The Braves have also re-acquired outfielder Adam Duvall, sending the Marlins catching prospect Alex Jackson. Duvall has hit 22 home runs and has a .755 OPS this season. Jackson has a 1.060 OPS in Triple A and has appeared in 10 big-league games this season.
Blue Jays land José Berríos
Hours before the Blue Jays play their first game in Toronto since 2019, the team has acquired José Berríos from the Twins, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal is reporting. In return, the Twins will get two of Toronto’s top prospects — Austin Martin and Simeon Woods Richardson, ranked at Nos. 2 and 4 by MLB Pipeline, respectively. In 20 starts this season, Berríos has an ERA of 3.48, with 126 strikeouts and 32 walks in 121.2 innings pitched. Martin, 22, was the No. 5 pick in the 2020 draft and is hitting .281 this season with a .424 OBP at Double A. Woods Richardson, acquired by the Jays in 2018 as part of a trade for Marcus Stroman, is 2-4 with an earned-run average of 5.76 in 11 starts, also at Double A.
The Athletic’s Dan Hayes says that once the Twins realized they weren’t going to sign Byron Buxton to an extension, they started fielding offers for Berríos and found a team to meet their high asking price in Toronto.
THURSDAY, JULY 29
The Nationals have struck again; reliever Daniel Hudson is heading to the Padres in exchange for Mason Thompson, a right-handed pitching prospect ranked No. 9 in the Padres system, according to MLB Pipeline, and shortstop Jordy Barley. Hudson was placed on the COVID-19 IL earlier Thursday as the Nationals dealt with an outbreak of the virus. In 32.2 innings this season, he has a 2.20 ERA, 48 strikeouts and seven walks. Thompson, who is 23, is 4–3 with a 5.34 ERA in 24 games at the Triple A level this season. Barley hit .240 with 31 walks, 82 strikeouts and 33 stolen bases in 61 games at Low A so far this year.
The Nationals have traded outfielder Kyle Schwarber to the Red Sox in return for right-handed pitcher Aldo Ramirez, the team has confirmed. Schwarber had a historic hot streak in the month of June but has been sidelined with a right hamstring strain since July 3. He slashed .253/.340/.570 with 25 home runs 53 RBIs in 72 games so far this season. Ramirez, 20, is the No. 19 prospect in the Red Sox system per MLB Pipeline. He is currently on the injured list, but in eight starts this season at Low A, he has a 2.03 ERA with 32 strikeouts and eight walks in 31 innings pitched.
The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli has more on the Nationals’ fire sale.
Dodgers appear to be pulling ahead in Max Scherzer sweepstakes; Trea Turner could also be heading West
After earlier reports surfaced that the Padres were in agreement on a deal to acquire Max Scherzer, it appears their NL West rivals, the Dodgers, may be making a late move to add the future Hall of Famer. The latest reports from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal are that the Dodgers are attempting to not only acquire Scherzer but also shortstop Trea Turner. The Athletic’s Maria Torres says in return, the Nationals would get catching prospect Keibert Ruiz, right-handers Josiah Gray and Gerardo Carrillo, and outfielder Donovan Casey.
The Athletic’s Dodgers, Nationals and MLB national writers offer their initial thoughts on the deal and Keith Law looks at whether the Nationals got enough in return.
In agreeing to trade Max Scherzer and Trea Turner, Nationals set off on a franchise-altering rebuild (Maria Torres)
Dodgers flex their organizational depth, take a big swing in reported deal for Max Scherzer, Trea Turner (Fabian Ardaya)
FROM EARLIER THURSDAY: The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Padres will acquire the biggest prize on the trade market, right-hander and future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer from the Nationals. UPDATE: Rosenthal reports that as of 5:30 PM ET, the Padres and Nationals have essentially agreed to the players involved in the deal, but other teams are trying to top the Padres’ offer and Scherzer could complicate the situation by using his no-trade to essentially choose his next team.
Mariners acquire Diego Castillo from the Rays
Days after trading closer Kendall Graveman to the Astros, the Mariners have shored up the backend of their bullpen by acquiring Rays’ reliever Diego Castillo. Seattle is sending right-hander JT Chargois and third-base prospect Austin Shenton to Tampa Bay. Castillo has a 2.72 ERA and 14 saves this season and is under team control through 2024.
According to The Athletic’s Corey Brock, two days after sending reliever Kendall Graveman to the Astros — in a move that was unpopular with his teammates — the Mariners went out and found his replacement, Diego Castillo of the Rays. Castillo has a 2.72 ERA and 14 saves this season and becomes the favorite to close games in Seattle. And unlike Graveman, a free agent after the season, Castillo is under club control for three more seasons beyond 2021. The Mariners will likely have Paul Sewald, Drew Steckenrider and newly-acquired Joe Smith set-up Castillo late in games.
Brock has more on how the Mariners have re-shaped their bullpen this week.
Yankees add Anthony Rizzo in another move to bolster the offense
On the same day their acquisition of Joey Gallo was made official, the Yankees have acquired another left-handed slugger, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, from the Cubs. Rizzo, a central figure in the Cubs’ World Series team in 2016, will be a free agent at the end of the season. He is batting .248 with 14 home runs this season. The Cubs are receiving right-handed pitching prospect Alexander Vizcaíno and outfield prospect Kevin Alcántara.
The Athletic MLB staff chime in on what this deal means for the Yankees, for the Cubs and for Rizzo’s legacy in Chicago. The Athletic’s Keith Law says the Cubs got a strong return.
What Anthony Rizzo brings to the Yankees (Lindsey Adler)
Nine years after his debut for a rebuilding Cubs team, Anthony Rizzo leaves Chicago as a veteran … with a ring (Jon Greenberg)
Anthony Rizzo leaves Wrigley Field for Yankee Stadium as a transformational figure in Cubs history (Patrick Mooney and Sahadev Sharma)
The Dodgers have finalized a deal to add left-hander Danny Duffy in a trade with the Royals. Duffy is currently on the injured list but has a 2.51 ERA in 61 innings this season. He waived his 10-5 veto rights for the deal to move forward. The Royals will receive a PTBNL, reports The Athletic’s Alec Lewis, who has this story on why the departure resurrects so many memories.
Cubs reliever Ryan Tepera heading across town
The Cubs are trading right-handed reliever Ryan Tepera to the White Sox in return for minor-league lefty Bailey Horn. In 43 1/3 innings with the Cubs, Tepera has a 2.91 ERA and a 50:12 K:BB, and has one save in three attempts and 16 holds. The White Sox picked Horn in the fifth round of the 2020 draft and he is ranked No. 23 in their system by MLB Pipeline.
Horn is a data darling who is still learning how to use his stuff, but if he harnesses it, he could eventually blossom into a late-inning weapon, says The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma.
Closer Brad Hand traded to Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are one of many teams in need of bullpen help, and they have traded for reinforcements. Toronto has acquired closer Brad Hand from the Nationals in exchange for catcher Riley Adams. The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty had news of the deal first, which was confirmed by The Athletic’s Maria Torres. In 41 appearances this season, Hand, 31, has a 3.59 ERA with 21 saves and 42 strikeouts. He signed a one-year, free-agent contract with the Nationals last offseason worth $10.5 million.
Adams made his major-league debut this year due to injuries to other Blue Jays catchers. In 28 at-bats he collected three hits, good for a .107 batting average. He was optioned to the team’s Triple-A club earlier this month.
The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath writes that what the Blue Jays lose in control, they save in a relatively fair asking price.
White Sox acquire 2B Cesar Hernandez from Cleveland
The search for a second baseman is over for the White Sox. Chicago is finalizing a deal to bring Cesar Hernandez over from Cleveland. Chicago has been in need of help at second base since Nick Madrigal went down in June with a hamstring injury. Hernandez is hitting .231 with a .738 OPS in 376 at-bats this season, and was a likely trade candidate, given Cleveland’s abundance of ready or near-ready middle infield prospects, says Meisel.
Hernandez also has a club option for next season worth $6 million. In exchange, Cleveland gets lefty Konnor Pilkington, a third-round pick in 2018. In 14 starts at Double-A Akron this year, he has a 3.48 ERA with a 71:21 K:BB over 62 innings.
Here’s The Athletic’s James Fegan on what the deal means for the White Sox. And, as Meisel writes, for Cleveland this trade is about someone blossoming into a fixture at second base.
The Reds traded right-handed reliever Ashton Goudeau to the Rockies in a cash deal. Goudeau has a 4.00 ERA in nine innings pitched at the major-league level this season. Goudeau was designated for assignment on Wednesday and returns to Colorado — he was a member of the Rockies organization from 2018 through the 2020 season. He has been claimed off waivers by six different teams since November 2020.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28
Yankees land Joey Gallo from Rangers
The Yankees have made it official — slugger Joey Gallo and left-hander Joely Rodriguez (along with some cash) are headed for New York. In exchange, the Yankees are trading prospects UT Trevor Hauver, IF Ezequiel Duran, SS Josh Smith and RHP Glenn Otto to Texas. The Athletic’s Levi Weaver reported that the two teams had an agreement to acquire Gallo Wednesday night. The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler, along with Weaver and Ken Rosenthal, confirmed the names of the other players involved in the deal.
Weaver writes the Gallo trade is another painful step in the Rangers rebuild. Adler points out Gallo best fits the Yankees’ immediate needs. And The Athletic’s Keith Law writes it’s a “quantity over quality” return for the Rangers.
The Brewers acquired utility man Eduardo Escobar from the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor-leaguers Cooper Hummel and Alberto Ciprian. Escobar is batting .246/.300/.478 with 22 home runs this season. Hummel is a switch-hitting outfielder who currently has a .942 OPS in 46 Triple-A games. Ciprian is an 18-year-old infielder currently playing in the Dominican Summer League.
According to The Athletic’s Will Sammon, as a switch hitter and run producer, Escobar has long been a fit for the Brewers. One obvious fit is at third base, where right-handed batter Luis Urias usually plays. But the Brewers primarily envision Escobar as someone who can help them all over the field, including first base vs. left-handed pitching.
The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan says the Eduardo trade is another sad chapter in a terrible year for the Diamondbacks.
Astros acquire Yimi García from Marlins
For the second straight day, the Astros have upgraded their bullpen, acquiring Marlins closer Yimi García for reliever Austin Pruitt and Triple-A outfielder Bryan De La Cruz. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Dennis Lin were the first to report the deal. García has a 3.47 ERA and 15 saves this season for Miami. He’s struck out 35 in 36 1/3 innings. He will be a free agent this offseason. Pruitt has appeared in just two games for Houston this season. He has a career 4.89 ERA in 202 1/3 innings, mostly with Tampa Bay. De La Cruz currently has an .880 OPS for Triple-A Sugar Land. He’s 24 and has spent his entire professional career with the Astros.
The Astros’ additions of García and Graveman have revamped the Houston bullpen. The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan examines whether the moves are enough.
Marlins outfielder Starling Marte has been traded to the A’s for left-handed pitcher Jesús Luzardo. Craig Mish of the Miami Herald was the first to report the deal. Marte, 32, has slashed .306/.407/.859 with seven home runs, 25 RBI and 22 stolen bases this year. He fractured a rib in April and spent some time on the IL. This is Marte’s second trade-deadline move in as many years; the Diamondbacks traded him to the Marlins at the deadline in 2020. He will be a free agent at the end of this season. The Marlins are also sending “a significant amount of cash” to the A’s in the deal, according to A’s general manager David Forst. The Athletic’s Steve Berman has more from Forst on why Marte was an ideal fit for the A’s as they push for a postseason berth this season.
Adding Luzardo increases the Marlins’ pitching depth, and they are looking to turn some of that depth into offense, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Luzardo, 23, got off to a good start in his MLB career but has struggled this year. In 38 innings with the A’s, he posted a 6.87 ERA with a 40:16 K:BB. He was optioned to Oakland’s Triple-A club in June. He is under team control through next season and will become a free agent in 2026.
The Athletic’s Jim Bowden calls the deal “a coup” for the Marlins, while The Athletic’s Keith Law says the Marlins may be buying low on Luzardo thanks to his lengthy injury history.
The Reds have gone after their third reliever in 12 hours, bringing Mychal Givens to Cincinnati. Givens has appeared in 31 games and has a 2.73 ERA in 29 2/3 innings for the Rockies this year. He will be a free agent at the end of this season. The Reds are sending right-handers Case Williams and Noah Davis to the Rockies. Both are top 30 prospects in the Reds’ system; Williams was drafted last year and is ranked No. 20 in Cincinnati’s system by MLB Pipeline, while Davis was drafted in 2018 and is ranked No. 26.
The Athletic’s Nick Groke says the Rockies re-acquisition of Williams gives the team a chance to correct a mistake.
TUESDAY, JULY 27
The Reds have acquired relievers Luis Cessa and Justin Wilson from the Yankees for a player to be named later. Cessa has a 2.82 ERA in 38 1/3 innings this season, with a 31:17 K:BB. Wilson has a 7.50 ERA in 18 innings this season. The Reds designated Ashton Goudeau and Edgar García for assignment to make 40-man roster space for Cessa and Wilson.
Astros acquire Kendall Graveman in four-player swap with Mariners
The Astros and Mariners made a rare intra-division deal, with the Astros acquiring closer Kendall Graveman and reliever Rafael Montero in exchange for infielder Abraham Toro and reliever Joe Smith.
Graveman has been nearly unhittable this season with an 0.82 ERA and 10 saves. Montero was recently designated for assignment. Toro hit well in Triple A and Double A but is a .193 hitter in 93 big-league games. Smith has struggled this season after not pitching in 2020.
The Athletic’s Corey Brock tries to make sense of the trade from the Mariners’ perspective. The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan says the addition of Graveman could be the first of several moves for the Astros this week.
After an earlier deal with the Phillies reportedly fell through, the Pirates traded left-handed starter Tyler Anderson to the Mariners for catching prospect Carter Bins and pitching prospect Joaquin Tejada. Bins has an .832 OPS for Double-A Arkansas, while Tejada has made two appearances in the Dominican Summer League this season.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report the new deal, which came hours after a trade that would have sent Anderson to the Phillies was scuttled. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal confirmed the deal.
Anderson was scheduled to start a Tuesday night home game against the Brewers but was scratched hours before first pitch. He has a 4.35 ERA in 18 starts this season, going 5-8 with 86 strikeouts in 103 1/3 innings. The Athletic’s Eno Sarris says Anderson, 31, has around league-average stuff and good command of four pitches, which helps him go deep into his starts — he’s made it through the fifth inning in all of his starts this year. The Athletic’s Corey Brock says Anderson helps the Mariners address one of their biggest needs.
The Athletic’s Matt Gelb delves into why the Anderson deal to the Phillies fell apart.
MONDAY, JULY 26
A’s acquire Andrew Chafin from the Cubs for two prospects
The A’s have acquired left-handed reliever Andrew Chafin from the Cubs for outfielder Greg Deichmann and right-handed pitching prospect Daniel Palencia. Chafin has a 2.06 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings for the Cubs this season. He will join a beleaguered A’s bullpen that has been without closer Trevor Rosenthal all season. Deichmann, a second-round pick in 2017 out of LSU, was batting .300/.433/.452 for Triple-A Las Vegas. He is on the 40-man roster. Palencia, 21, is currently pitching for Low-A Stockton, where he has a 6.91 ERA in 14 1/3 innings. (For more on Palencia, click here.)
The Athletic’s Steve Berman wonders if the A’s are done buying after acquiring Chafin, while The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney assesses the Cubs’ haul.
Yankees pick up middle relief help from the Pirates, acquire Clay Holmes
The Yankees have acquired middle reliever Clay Holmes from the Pirates for infield prospects Diego Castillo and Hoy Park. Holmes has a 4.93 ERA and a 44:25 K:BB in 44 innings this season for Pittsburgh. He has appeared in 44 games. Castillo is a 23-year-old infielder currently in Double A who has an .850 OPS this season. Park has split his season between Triple A and Double A and has appeared in one big league game. He has a .981 OPS in 58 minor-league games this season.
The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel looks at the Pirates’ return for Holmes.
SUNDAY, JULY 25
Padres acquire Adam Frazier from the Pirates
The Padres — currently in third place in the NL West — are making another push at the deadline, this time acquiring All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier. The deal was first reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN and has been confirmed by The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel. The Pirates received prospects Tucupita Marcano, Jack Suwinski and Michell Miliano for Frazier, who heads to San Diego with a league-leading 125 hits. The Pirates are also sending $1.4 million to the Padres.
Biertempfel says trading Frazier was difficult for the Pirates, but they got their prospect target in Marcano. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin breaks down the deal from the Padres’ perspective, and he and Ken Rosenthal look at what passing the luxury tax threshold means for the franchise and if they will trade Eric Hosmer.
Twins’ negotiations with Byron Buxton break down
Star outfielder Byron Buxton may be on the move before this Friday’s trade deadline, as negotiations on an extension with the Twins have broken down, reports The Athletic’s Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal. The Twins reportedly offered Buxton, who is currently on the IL with a broken hand, a deal that would have been worth up to $80 million guaranteed over seven seasons. The offer was rejected, setting up the possibility that he could be traded.
FRIDAY, JULY 23
Rays deal Rich Hill to the Mets
Veteran starter Rich Hill is a member of the New York Mets. News of the deal was first reported by Rob Murray of FanSided and confirmed by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Hill, 41, started the season with the Tampa Bay Rays after signing a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the team in February. In return, the Rays are getting reliever Tommy Hunter, currently on the 60-day injured list with lower back pain, and Matt Dyer, a catching prospect who has played other positions, according to New York Post columnist Joel Sherman.
Hill joins a team in the Mets that will have a solid starting rotation — once everyone’s healthy. But with Jacob deGrom and David Peterson on the 10-day injured list, and Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard trying to come back from more long-term injuries, the team needs a starter, pronto. Enter Hill, who, through 19 starts, has a 3.87 ERA with 91 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings pitched this season.
Hunter, 35, has appeared in four games with the Mets this year, including one start. In those eight innings, he allowed no runs, with four hits, six strikeouts and three walks. He hasn’t pitched since late May due to injury.
Dyer, whom the Mets took in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, batted .194 with the Low-A St. Lucie Mets this season, with 23 walks, 47 strikeouts and seven home runs. He owns a .781 OPS.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
Rays acquire Nelson Cruz from the Twins
The Rays have acquired designated hitter Nelson Cruz from the Minnesota Twins along with minor-league pitching prospect Calvin Faucher in exchange for pitching prospects Drew Strotman and Joe Ryan. The deal was announced by the teams on Thursday evening and was initially reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN and Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes confirmed the report.
Cruz is batting .294 with 19 home runs and a .907 OPS this season. He’s set to be a free agent this offseason. Faucher was a 10th round pick of the Twins in 2017. He has a 7.04 ERA and 42 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings for Double-A Wichita this season.
Strotman and Ryan were both among the Rays’ top-15 prospects, according to MLBPipeline. Strotman was a fourth-round pick of the Twins in 2017 out of Saint Mary’s College. He has a 3.39 ERA and a 62:33 K:BB in 58 1/3 Triple-A innings this season. Ryan, also pitching with Triple-A Durham, was a seventh-round pick in 2018 out of Cal-State, Stanislaus. He has a 3.63 ERA and a 75:10 K:BB in 57 innings this season.
Hayes reports that it was very difficult for the Twins to trade Cruz despite being out of the postseason race, but that the return they got from the Rays was too good to pass up. The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman looks at that strong return — which Jim Bowden gives a B+ — scouting Strotman and Ryan. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Padres made a run at acquiring Cruz, despite being a National League team.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21
Dodgers acquire Billy McKinney from the Mets
The Dodgers have picked up some outfield and first base depth, acquiring Billy McKinney from the Mets for minor-league outfielder Carlos Rincon. This is the third team for McKinney this season, who began the year with the Brewers. In 79 games, he has a .697 OPS with eight home runs. Five of those came with the Mets in 39 games. Rincon has an .813 OPS in 63 games at the Double-A level for the Dodgers this season. He’s reached double-digits in home runs in all five of his minor-league seasons.
MONDAY, JULY 19
How will the deGrom and Lindor injuries impact the Mets’ deadline push?
It was another rough weekend on the injury front for the Mets, as they lost superstars Jacob deGrom (forearm tightness) and Francisco Lindor (strained oblique) to the injured list. Both players are expected back this season, but the Mets may have to make some moves before the July 30 deadline to keep themselves afloat while they await their returns. The Athletic’s Tim Britton examines how the latest Mets’ health setbacks impact their trade deadline strategy.
SATURDAY, JULY 17
White Sox, Lance Lynn agree to contract extension
The White Sox and pitcher Lance Lynn have agreed to a two-year, $38 million contract extension, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes a club option for 2024. Lynn, just back from his second career All-Star Game appearance, has a 9-3 record this season with a 1.99 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 16 starts (90 2/3 innings). This is the 34-year-old right-hander’s first year with the team — he came over to the White Sox in a December 2020 trade with the Rangers in exchange for saw pitcher Dane Dunning and prospect Avery Weems. The deal means Lynn will avoid free agency this coming offseason.
FRIDAY, JULY 16
Braves acquire Stephen Vogt from the Diamondbacks
The Braves continue to be active in the trade market two weeks before the deadline, acquiring a veteran left-handed hitter for a second straight day. This time, it’s catcher Stephen Vogt, who comes over from the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor-league infielder Mason Berne. Vogt is batting .212/.307/.386 with five home runs in 52 games this season. Berne was a 33rd-round pick in 2018 out of UNC-Wilmington. He’s 25 and currently playing in the Florida Complex League, where he has three hits in 12 at-bats.
THURSDAY, JULY 15
Braves acquire Joc Pederson from the Cubs
With Ronald Acuña Jr. out for the season, the Braves have made a move to boost their outfield production, acquiring Joc Pederson from the Cubs for prospect Bryce Ball. Pederson signed a one-year, free-agent deal with the Cubs this offseason. The left-handed hitter is batting .230/.300/.418 with 11 home runs in 73 games this season. Pederson struggled during the 2020 regular season but had a huge postseason for the Dodgers and hit 36 home runs for LA in 2019. Ball was the Braves’ No. 12 prospect, according to MLB.com. The first baseman is batting .207/.354/.396 with six home runs for High-A Rome this season. The 2019 24th-round pick out of Dallas Baptist had a 1.023 OPS in 62 games in his pro debut in 2019.
The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney writes the move kicks off what will likely be a big sell-off for the Cubs, while David O’Brien looks at how Pederson will help the Braves, and what other decisions loom for the team.
White Sox acquire Deivy Grullon from the Rays
With Yasmani Grandal expected to miss several weeks with a torn left knee tendon, the White Sox added some Triple-A catching depth, acquiring Deivy Grullon from the Rays for cash considerations. Grullon, who is on the 40-man roster, is batting .194/.282/.456 with eight home runs in 32 Triple-A games for the Rays and Mets this season. He has 12 career at-bats in the major leagues.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14
Angels sign outfielder Adam Eaton to a major-league deal
Two days after he was released by the White Sox, veteran outfielder Adam Eaton has a new team. The Angels have signed Eaton to a major-league deal. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, they designated left-hander Dillon Peters for assignment. Eaton signed a free-agent deal with the White Sox this offseason worth $8 million with a team option for 2022, but he struggled offensively, hitting just .201/.298/.344 in 58 games. Eaton still played solid defense, and the Angels have struggled defensively in the outfield and are also missing Mike Trout and Justin Upton due to injuries.
Source: Red Sox to call up top prospect Jarren Duran
The Red Sox are planning to promote top prospect Jarren Duran to the big leagues in time for the team’s game against the Yankees on Thursday. Joe MacDonald was first to report the news, which has been confirmed by The Athletic’s Chad Jennings. Duran is batting .270/.365/.561 with 15 home runs in 46 games for Triple-A Worcester this season. He also was part of the Team USA squad that secured a spot in the Olympics in the recent qualifying tournament. Duran’s promotion will give the Red Sox more than two weeks to assess their offensive depth before the July 30 trade deadline.
TUESDAY, JULY 6
Addressing their need for both a first baseman and another left-handed bat, the Brewers have acquired Rowdy Tellez from Blue Jays for pitchers Trevor Richards and Bowden Francis. Tellez was most recently playing for the Buffalo Bisons, the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate, after struggling during stints in the majors in the spring. In 139 at-bats with the Jays, Tellez had a .209 batting average with a .610 OPS. Tellez found himself on the outside looking in with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. playing first and DH duties being shared. In return, the Blue Jays add a much-needed reliever in the right-handed Richards, who had a 3.2o ERA in 19 2/3 innings for the Brewers this season. Francis, another righty, posted a 3.62 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 17 walks in 11 starts across Double A and Triple A this season.
The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath and Will Sammon look at what this move means for the Brewers and Jays.
THURSDAY, JULY 3
Royals send Alcides Escobar to the Nationals for cash
An injury to Trea Turner meant the Nationals needed a shortstop. Enter Alcides Escobar. Known as the leadoff hitter for the Royals’ 2015 World Series championship-winning team, he played in Kansas City from 2011 to 2018 and was known for his sure-handedness and durability. He then had stints in the Orioles and White Sox organizations and Japanese Central League before the Royals signed him to a minor-league deal earlier this year. Escobar was hitting .274 with a .311 OBP at Triple-A Omaha before the trade.
THURSDAY, JULY 1
Yankees acquire Tim Locastro for minor-league prospect
Looking to add some athleticism to their roster, the Yankees picked up speedy center fielder Tim Locastro from the Diamondbacks for pitching prospect Keegan Curtis. Locastro is batting only .178 with five stolen bases in 55 games for Arizona this season. He hit .290 in 33 games in 2020. Curtis was a 22nd-round pick in 2018 from Louisiana-Monroe. A reliever, Curtis had a 3.94 ERA in 16 innings with 27 strikeouts and seven walks for Double-A Somerset this season.
The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan wrote about how the trade doesn’t mean the Diamondbacks are looking to tear things down completely.
TUESDAY, JUNE 29
The Blue Jays made a move to shore up their bullpen and add a left-handed bat to their outfield mix, acquiring reliever Adam Cimber and outfielder Corey Dickerson from the Marlins for infielder Joe Panik and pitching prospect Andrew McInvale. Cimber, a submarining right-hander, was acquired by Miami from Cleveland this offseason for cash considerations. He had a 2.88 ERA in 34 1/3 innings for the Marlins this season and has yet to allow a home run. Dickerson is currently on the injured list (foot) and has a .699 OPS in 62 games this season. Panik had a .644 OPS for the Blue Jays in 42 games this season. McInvale has pitched most of the season in Double A, where he has a 2.18 ERA in 20 2/3 innings.
The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath looks at why the Jays made this move now and what, specifically Cimber will bring to the beleaguered Jays’ bullpen.
(Photo of Craig Kimbrel: Ron Vesely / Getty Images)
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