An old adage goes that a week in politics is a lifetime. If that same saying were applied to MLB trade rumors, a week would turn into a day. The last 24 hours have changed a lot regarding this year's July 31 deadline landscape and just when we thought some answers would become more concrete, everything is once again a tossup.
The Manny Machado sweepstakes have taken an interesting turn, with a new and fairly significant team suddenly joining the fray. Just how serious they are about dealing for him remains to be seen, but the race for the All-Star shortstop just got more interesting.
Meanwhile, out on the west coast, the second-place Los Angeles Dodgers are looking to make a move that could give them some drive towards another NL West title, and the names they're looking at may surprise you.
Oh, and did I mention the Miami Marlins have also popped up again?
Strap in, folks. This is the Rumor Roundup.
Dodgers enter the 2B market
The Dodgers are still very much in the Machado race, but front office head Andrew Friedman is being smart to not put all of his eggs in that basket. Per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, Los Angeles is looking at three second basemen: Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds, Asdrubal Cabrera of the New York Mets, and Brian Dozier of the Minnesota Twins. Dozier and Cabrera are free agents at the end of the season, while Gennett has another year of arbitration.
Oddly enough, it makes perfect sense as to why the Dodgers would be interested in any of these three. Logan Forsythe is batting just .202 on the year, and Chase Utley is only batting .227. Their combined WAR on the year is -0.6, so Los Angeles definitely has a hole to fill.
And each player brings a unique skillset to the table. Cabrera is a switch-hitter with solid power and who can also play multiple infield positions. Dozier is batting a career-worst .223 this year, but he slugged 42 home runs in 2016 and 34 last year.
The real wild card is Gennett, who could cost the most out of the three due to his remaining year of team control. The Reds second baseman ranks second in the NL with a .322 batting average and also has 14 homers and 55 RBI on the season, excellent numbers for someone on a last-place Reds team. The Dodgers have the minor league depth that could swing a deal for any of these three, so they will certainly be a team to watch as July 31 draws closer!
Yankees in on Machado
Just when we thought the Dodgers and Brewers were shaping up to be the prime players to land Manny Machado, the New York Yankees have changed the landscape. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Twitter last night the team had shown "increased interest" in Machado, though talks had not progressed beyond that.
Sure enough, New York's interest changes everything. The Bronx Bombers have plenty of minor league depth to swing a deal, but it seems unlikely GM Brian Cashman would give up prospects and maybe some MLB talent for a rental. Keep in mind the Yankees have Didi Gregorius and rookie Miguel Andujar entrenched at shortstop and third base, so one of them could very well be featured in a potential deal. Or, in a more extreme move, Andujar could be benched or stashed in the minors for the rest of the year while Machado gets most of the at-bats, and then possibly traded in the offseason if New York re-signs Machado.
But there are other complications to a potential deal that would send Machado to the Bronx. First, Andujar is batting .279 on the year and leads all rookies with 40 extra-base hits. Seeing as it's only July 10, it's just enough to make up for his -12 defensive runs saved (DRS) at third base and his -6.8 UZR. Not only that, but Machado switched back to his natural position of shortstop this season and doesn't seem inclined to move back to third base. Marc Carig of The Athletic reported Machado as saying "I'm a shortstop. I play shortstop," when asked if he would switch to the hot corner if traded to a contender, so that could also affect where Machado signs as a free agent next year.
As good as Machado is, the Yankees really should not seek to acquire him unless he agrees to an extension the moment he arrives. Giving up top prospects for a rental is always risky and no matter how much depth the Yankees have, Machado just isn't worth the price right now given the team's greater need for pitching.
Marlins dangling Dietrich
And just when you thought the fire sale was over, the Miami Marlins have surfaced! Jon Heyman of Fancred reports teams have reached out to the Marlins about the availability of Derek Dietrich, specifically naming the Brewers and Cubs as potential suitors. Dietrich is 28 years old and a talented lefty bat who has hit .287 with 11 homers and 31 RBI this year. He has primarily played left field this year, but also can cover at first base and second base if need be.
Dietrich is also earning $2.9m this year and has two arbitration years remaining, so he would cost little more than mid-level prospects at this stage of the game.
In terms of if Dietrich gets traded, that's all up to Miami. The front office's primary goal so far has been to trade catcher JT Realmuto and his ever-rising price tag, so it's really a matter of how motivated they are to move Dietrich too. His market hasn't quite taken shape yet, but he is a name to watch just the same.