MLB Rumors: Padres In Talks With Cubs For Willson Contreras;  Frankie Montas is now the #1 target for the Yankees

MLB Rumors: Padres In Talks With Cubs For Willson Contreras; Frankie Montas is now the #1 target for the Yankees

The trading deadline is four days away and late Friday night saw the biggest pitching chip fall as the The Reds sent right-hand Luis Castillo to the Mariners for four prospects. Trade likely to put Seattle out of contention for Nationals prodigy Juan Soto, whose market is reportedly reduced to four teams. With that in mind, here are the rumors about Saturday’s trading deadline.

Padres in talks for Contreras

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The Padres are in talks with the Cubs about catcher Willson Contreras, reports ESPN. Contreras will become a free agent after the season and will almost certainly be trading before Tuesday’s close. San Diego’s catchers are averaging .258/.311/.366 this season, which is better than the positional average of .225/.294/.364, although Contreras would still be a significant upgrade.

On Saturday, the Padres held a 2.5-game lead for a wildcard berth despite losing 21 of their last 36 games and the offense really struggled at times. The Padres could use offensive help in a number of positions, particularly in the outfield. The bullpen could also use reinforcements as Taylor Rogers was recently removed from the role of closer.

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The Phillies acquired infielder Edmundo Sosa from the Cardinals for left bullpen prospect JoJo Romero, the team announced Saturday. Sosa finished last season as the Cardinals’ starting shortstop, though this year he has slipped into a utility role and struggled. St. Louis is full of infielders, so they traded Sosa for an interesting bullpen piece.

As for Philadelphia, shortstop and second base production has been lacking this year, although Jean Segura is expected to return from his broken finger next week. Romero, 25, has conceded 21 runs in 21 2/3 career big league innings, although his mid-90s fastball and tough transition give him the chance to be a long-term bat miss.

Blue Jays are interested in Fulmer

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The Blue Jays are among teams interested in Tigers righty Michael Fulmer, reports MLB.com. Fulmer pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Toronto on Friday. The Tigers have several assistants for sale by deadline – Andrew Chafin and All-Star Gregory Soto are among them – although Fulmer is a forthcoming free agent, so there’s some urgency to move him.

Pitching is the top priority for a Blue Jays team that has been on the offensive in recent weeks. Fulmer has transformed into a slider machine that misses bats, though he also has trouble walking. He’s the kind of rental reliever that moves every year on deadline and is an upgrade on every competitor’s bullpen.

Montas is now the Yankees’ #1 target

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With Castillo off the board, track right-back Frankie Montas is now the No. 1 target for the Yankees. reports USA Today. Everything has to go in Oakland and Montas is the team’s best remaining trade chip. The right-hander missed two starts earlier this month with a minor shoulder problem but he has looked strong in his two starts and has been at a high level for several years.

New York is targeting a rotation upgrade and will likely have to win a bidding war to acquire Montas. Several other contenders need rotation help, and Montas is attractive because he will remain under team control as an eligible player next season. He’s not a rental, and as the Castillo trade has shown, the price tag for two postseason runs of a hit starter is steep.

A’s, Brewers talked Laureano

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The Athletics and Brewers have reportedly discussed outfielder Ramón Laureano New York Post. Laureano is one of the A’s best remaining trade chips, and he’ll remain under team control through 2025, so he’s a long-term addition. Midfield has been a weakness for the Brewers all season and Laureano represents an improvement over the Jonathan Davis/Tyrone Taylor move.

Milwaukee, currently ranked number one in the NL Central, could use another slugger to lengthen the lineup, and Laureano brings an element of speed to the table as well. His defense tends to be overrated — Laureano’s arm is top-notch, although his reach and routes are okay — but Brewers’ fielders have hit .213/.272/.313 this year, and that’s not going to fly when you’re fighting for a division title.

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Instead of trading it on the due date, The Rockies have closer signed Daniel Bard to a two-year contract extension worth about $19 million. The 37-year-old Bard will be a post-season free agent and was a top trade contender. Bard, the 2020 NL Comeback Player of the Year, remains a top racquet misser and ground ball getter. The Rockies kept Trevor Story and Jon Gray to their deadline last year but couldn’t re-sign them as free agents. This time they were smart enough to expand Bard before it hit the market.

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The Dodgers have added veteran Chris Martin to their bullpen. Supply man Zach McKinstry went to the Cubs in a one-for-one trade. Martin brings depth to a bullpen that doesn’t include Blake Treinen (shoulder infection) and Daniel Hudson (ruptured cruciate ligament). The Cubs get a versatile bench piece with some pop in McKinstry.

Rays bring in Peralta

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The Rays adopted veteran outfielder David Peralta from the Diamondbacks. Minor league catcher Christian Cerda goes to Arizona in a one-for-one trade. Tampa is in the bottom third of the league in runs per game and Peralta gives them a much-needed power hitter, though the left swinger needs a hitter. He will give the Rays a boost as they wait for Wander Franco, Manuel Margot, Harold Ramirez and others to return from the injured list.

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