MLB trade rumors: Padres close to landing Max Scherzer; Mets eyeing major move; Yankees not done after Gallo

The MLB trade deadline for 2021 arrives on Friday afternoon, and at this late hour the trade rumors are flowing like pristine river water and or untreated sewage. Let’s have a look, shall we?

As for what’s already happened, our deadline trade tracker is here to help. Now for Thursday’s scuttlebutt. 

Mets may be close to major addition

The Mets are trying to hang on to first place in the balanced but unspectacular NL East. If not for an inordinate run of injuries all season, New York might have a more comfortable lead over the Phillies and Braves. Since better health may be beyond their immediate control, the Mets may look to make some notable additions before Friday arrives. Speaking of which, Kiley McDaniel of ESPN reports that something big may be in the works: 

The Mets have been linked to an array of deadline candidates: Kris Bryant of the Cubs, Trevor Story of the Rockies, and Jose Berrios of the Twins, among them. Other targets may include Javier Baez and Craig Kimbrel of the Cubs. The rotation figures to get healthier in the near- to mid-term, which may mean Bryant or Story is the most likely target for the Queenslanders. Either would make a great deal of sense as the Mets deal with the uncertainty surrounding Francisco Lindor’s oblique injury and a general lack of depth in the lineup. That said, Berrios remains of interest, although the price may be increasing now that Scherzer appears to be off the market: 

Padres close to blockbuster for Scherzer

The Washington Nationals and Padres are nearing an agreement on a trade that will send right-handed starter Max Scherzer to San Diego. 

Scherzer, 37 years old as of Tuesday, missed a recent scheduled start because of triceps discomfort he developed while taking batting practice. In 19 outings this season entering Thursday, he amassed a 2.76 ERA (135 ERA+) and a 5.25 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He just appeared in his eighth career All-Star Game and has won three Cy Young Awards, including most recently in 2017. Scherzer laid to rest those triceps concerns with a strong start against the Phillies on Thursday. 

If the Padres are able to close the deal, Scherzer will join a rotation that already includes Yu Darvish at the front end. 

The disappointing Twins are sellers, but there’s no guarantee they’ll part with ace José Berríos. That’s because he’s not eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season, and the Twins might want to keep him around for that extra year. That said, that same extra year of team control means the Twins could ask for quite a bit in return if they decide to move the 27-year-old two-time All-Star. 

As noted just above, the Red Sox have some interest, and Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Mariners are also in discussions with the Twins: 

The M’s recently added lefty Tyler Anderson to the rotation, but they may not be done as they attempt to make up ground in the AL wild card fray. 

As for the Dodgers, the news that Scherzer is likely bound for San Diego has increased L.A.’s interest in Berrios: 

Jon Gray outside of Coors Field is an intriguing proposition, but Berrios is the more stable quantity. 

Gallo trade money may mean Yankees aren’t done

The Yankees’ trade for slugger Joey Gallo went official on Thursday, and here’s an important and perhaps overlook fact of the multi-player swap with Texas, via Joel Sherman of the New York Post

“The Yankees will be receiving more than Joey Gallo and Joely Rodriguez from the Rangers – Texas also is paying both players’ salaries the rest of the season, The Post has learned.”

That’s significant because it allows the Yankees to maintain significant room under the $210 million luxury-tax threshold. There’s no real reason that the Yankees, one of the most well-heeled franchises in all of professional sports, should be paying any heed whatsoever to the tax threshold, but for reasons sufficient to themselves staying under it appears to be an organizational priority this year. That room, though, means that Brian Cashman may still be clear to add another piece before Friday’s deadline. 

The rotation is an obvious area of need as the Yanks attempt to make up ground on the Rays and Red Sox in the AL East, but it may be that the Yanks are focused on another bat: 


For emphasis, we’ll repeat Sherman’s nugget that the Red Sox and Blue Jays may also be kicking the tires on Schwarber, who’s hit 25 home runs in 72 games for the Nationals this season. 

Rizzo, Bryant out of Cubs lineup

The widespread expectation is that the Cubs will undertake a deep sell-off prior to the deadline, and names like Bryant, Rizzo, Kimbrel, Báez, and others may be in play. Speaking of which, Bryant and Rizzo were not in the lineup for Thursday’s matinee against the Reds. Some context: 

To hear manager David Ross tell it, those particular lineup decisions don’t necessarily mean anything, but any such decisions are open to interpretation during Tradin’ Season. 

Given all that, this is quite notable: 

The Red Sox have gotten poor production from first base this season, so Rizzo would be an obvious fit in Boston.

Yankees would consider moving Luke Voit

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Yankees would be open to moving first baseman Luke Voit as a means of creating additional budget space to pursue Trevor Story and/or bullpen upgrades. Voit, who is currently on the injured list with an inflamed knee, was owed $4.7 million on the season, suggesting the Yankees wouldn’t be saving much money in a trade. Nevertheless, New York seems to be doing its best to accomplish two feats: adding talent without exceeding the luxury-tax line.

Hudson, age 34 and in the final year of his contract, boasts a 2.20 ERA on the season, and he has a 2.99 ERA and 3.27 K/BB ratio since the start of the 2019 season. The Nats have little reason to retain him, and relievers are always in demand this time of year. So here’s this, regarding one of three NL West powerhouses: 

Hudson right now is on the COVID-19 injured list, but that probably wouldn’t be a serious impediment to a trade. 

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