February 29, 2024

MLB Rumors: Giants monitor Mets’ Justin Verlander; Phillies looking for right handed bat

2023 MLB The trade deadline is August 1 this year. A little over a week away. The trading activity started last Wednesday, with the Orioles sending Shintaro Fujinami hard from the Athletics. It seems like it’s only a matter of time before more deals happen. Here are the Saturday rumors to tide you over until then.

Giants monitor Verlander

The Giants are among the teams to “evaluate” Mets right-hander Justin Verlander before the deadline, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. It’s unclear at this point whether the Mets, who entered Saturday 6 ½ games back in the wild-card race, would consider moving Verlander.

It’s also unclear whether Verlander would be willing to waive his no-trade clause. The two-year, $86 million deal he signed with the Mets over the winter gave him full no-trade protection. Still, despite the uncertainty, you can still understand why the Giants are keeping an eye on the situation.

The Giants, who are currently tied with the Diamondbacks for the top wild card spot, have received underwhelming production from several of their rotation members. Verlander, 40, has posted a 3.47 ERA (119 ERA+) and a 2.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio across 14 starts this season. Those marks may be below normal, but they still represent above-average starting work, and would upgrade him over the likes of Alex Wood, Ross Stripling, and Anthony DeSclafani.

Phillies looking for a right bat

The Phillies are in the market for a right-handed hitter, according to Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer. As Lauber notes, the Phillies’ plan of attack will be based in part on how they feel about Bryce Harper’s performance at first base. (Harper got his first start on the job on Friday.)

“If Bryce can move to first base, then it allows us to free up the DH spot and put Kyle [Schwarber] there’s a little bit more,” chief executive Dave Dombrowski told Lauber. “And then, we have the ability to decide what we want to do in left field.”

Lauber threw out several names that could be offered, including Red Sox outfielder Adam Duvall and Angels outfielder/first baseman Hunter Renfroe. We’d add Nationals outfielder Lane Thomas and Rockies outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Phillies’ potential target collection.

Ohtani has not discussed the future with GM

No one can say for sure whether or not Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will be traded at the deadline. That obviously includes Ohtani himself. He told reporters Friday that he has not had any conversations with Angels general manager Perry Minasian about his future. You can read more about that development by clicking here.

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