Inside the Clubhouse: What I’m hearing ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels after giving up a home run against Ji Man Choi #91 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 21, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels after giving up a home run against Ji Man Choi #91 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 21, 2023 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

With less than a week until the MLB trade deadline, FanSided’s baseball insider Robert Murray shares what he’s hearing from around the league.

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is less than a week away, and there is still plenty of uncertainty on the market.

While the consensus remains that Shohei Ohtani is unlikely to be traded, the Angels have not determined whether they will buy or sell. The same goes for the Padres, though trades involving Josh Hader and Blake Snell appear unlikely.

Here’s what I’m hearing around the league.

Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox right-hander Joe Kelly is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to major-league sources.

Kelly, 35, would join Kiké Hernandez as former Dodgers to be traded back to Los Angeles ahead of the trade deadline. The right-hander recently came off the Injured List after being out three weeks with right elbow inflammation and struck out the side in one inning against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Right-hander Lance Lynn continues to draw interest from teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays. While Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote that the White Sox have discussed names in a Lynn trade, no deal was considered close as of Wednesday morning.

Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito and reliever Keynan Middleton, both free agents after the season, are strong candidates to be traded.

Los Angeles Angels

With the Angels 7-3 in their last 10 games, and only 3.5 games back of a wild card spot, rival executives say that Los Angeles has recently been inquiring about available major-league players.

While it appears that the Angels have still not decided to buy or sell, they have not begun engaging teams on their own major-league players as the belief continues to be that Shohei Ohtani will stay put.

MLB trade deadline reliever market

Among the teams that have been looking for relief pitching, according to major-league sources, include the Dodgers, Rays, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Both left-hander Rich Hill and first baseman Carlos Santana are strong candidates to be traded.

Trading Hill, 43, to a contender seems like a near certainty, though the Pirates value his leadership and his ability to eat innings (he’s second on the team with 114 innings pitched). Trading Santana, 37, and shedding the remainder of his salary makes sense. If he isn’t traded, veteran infielder Ji Man-Choi could emerge as a trade possibility.

The team has listened to inquiries for starters Mitch Keller and reliever David Bednar, as Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported. But that is common practice for general manager Cherington and deals for either player are considered highly, highly unlikely.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers have been active in making phone calls looking for an infielder or outfielder to improve the lineup, but the key word out of Milwaukee continues to be that they will only do so “responsibly.”

Brewers general manager Matt Arnold told Adam McCalvy of that he is hesitant to add a bat that will impact the team’s strengths: pitching and defense. “Look, I think we want to try to help this team … anytime you want to add a quote-unquote bat, sometimes those guys aren’t very good defenders,” Arnold said. “The reality is sometimes those guys might not make your team better.”

The Brewers will be buyers. They will not trade Corbin Burnes or any of their other top players. But veteran catcher Victor Caratini has emerged as a trade option, according to sources.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants have an abundance of starting pitchers, both in the majors and minors, and some teams have begun inquiring on that depth.

One option could be left-hander Alex Wood, who is in the final year of a two-year, $25 million contract. He has made it clear that he wants to start games and not pitch out as an opener, telling reporters in early July: “Obviously, I want to start. That’s been the pretty clear message from me to our staff this whole time. I had two bad starts. We’re 6-3 in games I do start — 6-2 if you take away when I hurt my hamstring in Miami [on April 18]. We’ll see what it’s like moving forward. It’s kind of out of my hands. But I definitely want to take the ball to start the game, for sure.”

St. Louis Cardinals

Starting pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty, as well as shortstop Paul DeJong, are strong candidates to be traded. The Cardinals have discussed a contract extension with reliever Jordan Hicks, as Katie Woo of The Athletic reported, and if a deal is not reached before the deadline on August 1, he would be another strong candidate to be moved.

Next. MLB Trade Deadline Insider Q&A: Shohei Ohtani, Padres, Cardinals, Brewers. dark