MLB

MLB trade rumors: Cleveland not discussing José Ramírez; Yankees have checked in on Twins outfielder

The trade deadline is this coming Friday and already two of the best available players have been moved. The Rays acquired Nelson Cruz last week and the Padres brought in Adam Frazier over the weekend. Here’s the latest trade deadline buzz.

No active talks involving Ramírez

Cleveland is not currently engaged in any “active talks” involving star third baseman José Ramírez, reports MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Morosi says the asking price is extremely high, understandably. Cleveland has lost five of its last seven games to fall nine games behind the White Sox in the AL Central, and five games behind the second wild card spot.

Ramírez, 28, is having another All-Star caliber season, and team holds very affordable club options for 2022 ($11 million) and 2023 ($13 million). He’s a bargain at twice that price. As with Francisco Lindor, it seems unlikely Cleveland will be able to re-sign Ramírez as he approaches free agency, so a trade could happen at some point in the next two years. It just doesn’t seem likely right now.

Twins have had preliminary talks about Kepler

The Twins have had preliminary trade discussions involving outfielder Max Kepler, according to MLB.com’s Jon Morosi. Last week Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Yankees are among the clubs to inquire about Kepler. Minnesota has already dealt Cruz and they have several other candidates to be moved (José Berríos, Byron Buxton, Michael Pineda, etc.).

Kepler, 28, is a very good albeit perplexing player whose underlying data (exit velocity, chase rate, etc.) suggest he should be better than he’s been. He is signed to a team-friendly contract that will pay him $15.25 million from 2022-23, and includes a $10 million club option for 2024. The Yankees badly need outfield help and a lefty bat. Kepler checks both boxes.

Marlins working to move several players

In addition to free agent-to-be Starling Marte, the Marlins are working to trade several players prior to the deadline, including outfielder Adam Duvall and various relievers, reports MLB Network’s Peter Gammons. Gammons notes the Reds have asked about shortstop Miguel Rojas, though Miami keeps declining overtures. They seem likely to keep Rojas.

At 43-57, the Marlins are in last place in the NL East despite having a positive run differential. Duvall is a rental working on a high power/low on-base season whereas Rojas is a team leader with an affordable $5.5 million club option for 2022. The Marlins view him as part of their core. Relievers Richard Bleier, Dylan Floro, and Yimi García could interest contenders.



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