April 24, 2024

MLB trade rumors: NL East contender eyeing Cody Bellinger; Rays, White Sox discussing Lance Lynn deal

The 2023 MLB trade deadline is only six days away. The only trades thus far have been relatively minor (Shintaro Fujinami to the Orioles, Pierce Johnson to the Braves, Enrique Hernández to the Dodgers), though that will change soon enough. Here are Wednesday’s trade rumors.

The Rays are in serious talks with the White Sox about veteran righty Lance Lynn, reports USA Today.  Lynn is No. 15 on our trade candidates list. The ChiSox are well out of the postseason race and are expected to trade away their rentals at the deadline, including Lynn. Lucas Giolito and Yasmani Grandal could (should) be on the move as well.

Now 36, Lynn is having a terrible season overall, though there are reasons to believe he will be better moving forward. He recently brought back his curveball, leading to an increase in strikeouts, and a trade will take him away from one of the worst defensive teams in baseball. Tampa is down four starters (Shane Baz, Josh Fleming, Drew Rasmussen, Jeffrey Springs) and badly needs rotation depth.

Marlins interested in Bellinger

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The Marlins are among the teams with interest in Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger, reports MLB Network. The Cincinnati Enquirer says the Cubs have not yet decided whether to buy or sell. At 54-48, the Marlins are one game out of the third wild-card spot. The Cubs have won six of their last seven games and are four games out of the third wild-card spot at 49-51.

Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been out with an oblique strain since July 3 and, as of this past weekend, he still was not yet ready to begin swinging a bat. Bellinger could handle center field while Chisholm is sidelined, and then the Marlins can figure out who moves to a corner once Chisholm gets healthy. Miami has only four players with double-digit homers and needs a power influx.

Astros seeking pitching, lefty bat

The Astros are targeting pitching — both starters and relievers — as well as a left-handed bat at the deadline, GM Dana Brown told The Athletic. Earlier this week it was reported Houston is hoping to make a “good old fashioned” baseball trade in which both teams get better. The Astros are said to be open to dealing from their outfield surplus.

Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. will miss the rest of the season following elbow surgery, though José Urquidy is expected to return from his shoulder injury soon. Between injuries and Cristian Javier not being quite himself this season, the Astros have a clear need for another reliable starter. Michael Brantley’s continued shoulder problems create a need for a lefty bat as well.  

Twins outfielders receiving interest

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The Twins are getting calls about their left-handed hitting outfielders, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey told MLB.com. “There are other teams that don’t have any of that and they’re dying to get some. It does come up in a lot of conversations. We have a high bar for all of those guys, though,” Falvey said.

Minnesota currently has five lefty hitting outfielders on the roster: Joey Gallo, Max Kepler, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, and Matt Wallner. Gallo has been playing center field and Kirilloff first base just to get everyone into the lineup. Kepler has been a trade candidate for over a year now and seems most likely to go. He has a $10 million club option for 2024.

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