Good afternoon, Mets fans! We have a few more trades to report and rumors to reveal in another edition of rumor roundup. With the trade deadline ending in less than two hours, there will be much more to come. Be sure to touch base with us in the meantime for all your reports and breakdowns of both potential and official deals!
Cleveland Upgrades in the Outfield
The Cleveland Indians have found themselves a center fielder in the early hours of this final deadline day. First reported by Robert Murray of The Athletic, the Tribe has landed Detroit Tigers center fielder Leonys Martin in exchange for Double-A shortstop Willi Castro (#8 ranked prospect in the Indians’ organization, per MLB Pipeline).
Martin, 30, has missed some time in May and early July with a pair of left hamstring strains, but had been enjoying a rather confident power display through his 78 games played, bashing nine homers and driving in 29 runs despite a slightly pedestrian .251/.321/.409 line.
A free agent at the conclusion of next season, Martin slots well into a Cleveland outfield that has gotten minimal production out of a few Band-aid bats in center and right. Brandon Guyer, Greg Allen, Rajai Davis, and Melky Cabrera have combined to hit just .233/.287/.340 with just eight homers in nearly twice as many combined plate appearances as Martin. His playing time will become more apparent after Tyler Naquin returns from a hip strain that has kept him on the disabled list, but he could still very likely win out as the everyday center fielder given his career metrics (6 DRS since 2016 compared to Naquin’s -14).
Detroit receives another young infielder here, as Castro joins names like Isaac Paredes, Dawel Lugo, and Sergio Alcantara in the middle of the high-minors diamond. Castro has hit just .245/.303/.350 in 97 games with Double-A Akron, but makes for another option to slash, dash, and play defense – three things the Tigers have been desperately trying to capture since they first began selling off players last summer.
Ziegler (Finally) Dealt
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to hint that a deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks was “close” earlier this afternoon, and the rumors have since been confirmed by USA Today Sports‘ own Bob Nightengale: the Miami Marlins are trading veteran reliever Brad Ziegler to Phoenix.
The 38-year old submariner will join an already solid corps that includes Yoshihisa Hirano, Archie Bradley, and Brad Boxberger. While his 0.64 ERA in his last 28 appearances is the most convincing statistic he has to his name, Ziegler has also posted an 80.3% ground-ball rate since June 1, while righties have hit just .219 against him all season. While it is specific, the value to Ziegler is very clear beyond his 2018 performance in the aggregate.
Nick Piecoro, a beat writer for the Arizona Republic, was the first to announce the Marlins’ return – one Double-A reliever by the name of Tommy Eveld. The 24-year old right-hander does not rank in the Diamondbacks’ system, but has enjoyed a stellar year in relief between the Visalia Oaks (High-A) and Jackson Generals (Double-A), boasting a 1.11 ERA in 40.2 innings (35 total appearances) with 10.4 K/9 to squash an already minuscule 1.8 BB/9 and 0.2 HR/9.
Of course, Miami may have been better off reeling in a ranked prospect, but it’s not that hard to envision Eveld having an impact in the next few years similar to what the Mets’ organization has expected from Drew Smith or Gerson Bautista.
While there is a chance that these trades either work themselves out in the very near future or fail to see the light by 4 PM today, there are still plenty of rumblings throughout Major League Baseball about a number of trade candidates as well as interested teams:
Per Jon Heyman of FanCred Sports, the Miami Marlins are not done making trades yet, as they have also been fielding calls and negotiating with teams about first baseman Justin Bour and utility leadoff man Derek Deitrich. Heyman also adds that talks surrounding catching star J.T. Realmuto are essentially “nonexistent.”
One catcher who may be traded in due time, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, is Wilson Ramos, who is currently the focus of ongoing and “deep” discussions between the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies.
Heyman also has news surrounding former Met starter and current Cincinnati reclamation project Matt Harvey. The righty has posted a 4.44 ERA while cutting his walk rate down to 2.1 per nine innings – the lowest its been since 2015, and has evidently caught the interest of both the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs, who are both in need of a reliable fifth starter as they compete with one another for the NL Central division title. Bob Nightengale had previously cited the Atlanta Braves has the team most intent on acquiring Harvey, but Heyman has since discredited such speculation.
Ken Rosenthal has some news surrounding Rays’ ace Chris Archer, who is apparently most likely to be dealt to a National League team if a deal is in fact consummated. He cites the Braves, Dodgers, and Brewers as potential candidates to land Archer, but also cites the Pittsburgh Pirates as a possible suitor. Archer, who won’t hit the free agent market until 2021, presents a solid chance for teams intent on a quicker rebuild to pull the trigger. That said, the San Diego Padres, who were once considered favorites, have since “lost momentum” in discussions – per Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Rosenthal also has an update on Padres reliever Craig Stammen – who may be the next most attractive late-innings arm with Ziegler off the books. Stammen, who has a 2.58 ERA and 1.80 FIP in 47 games this season, has been linked to both the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs, who have both already acquired relief help in Jeurys Familia and Jesse Chavez (respectively), but could very well look to pad things if they can minimize the return price.