MLB trade rumors, deadline news: Latest on Mets’ Justin Verlander, Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, more

The 2023 MLB trade deadline is 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 1 and the biggest trade of the summer went down Saturday: Max Scherzer was dealt to the Rangers. Scherzer is no longer the pitcher he was in his prime, but he’s reliable and can still give you an ace-caliber start now and then, plus the Rangers need to replace the injured Jacob deGrom, another former Mets ace.

Will anything more substantial than the Scherzer trade go down between now and Tuesday? We’re going to find out soon enough. Here are Sunday’s trade deadline rumors.

Verlander discusses Mets’ situation

The Mets traded Max Scherzer on Saturday, so will fellow future Hall of Famer and highly-compensated starting pitcher Justin Verlander follow him out the door? Verlander threw well and got the win on Sunday, then discussed things with reporters afterward. Specifically, if he would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal to another team.

“I think it largely depends on how the organization views next year,” he said (via SNY). “I think [trading] Max is a tough sign. For trying to go back at it, like happened this year. Like I said, I’m committed to trying to win a championship here, but if the organization decides that that’s not exactly the direction that they think is best fit to go for next year and go for it again, then, yeah, I’ll be more open to it.”

One might recall that it didn’t sound as if Scherzer was likely to be traded until after he made some comments on Friday – notably saying he’d have a conversation with the front office – and then he was traded less than 24 hours later. Perhaps the Verlander situation will unfold in similar fashion.

Rangers get Montgomery, Stratton

Even after adding Scherzer, the Rangers wanted more pitching, and they picked starter Jordan Montgomery and reliever Chris Stratton in a five-player trade with the Cardinals on Sunday. Texas now has seven starters for five rotation spots – Montgomery, Scherzer, Dane Dunning, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Jon Gray, Martín Pérez – though Eovaldi landed on the injured list with a forearm issue Sunday and Heaney and Perez have largely struggling this season. The Rangers entered play Sunday with a one-game lead over the Astros in the AL West, and they have not been to the postseason since 2016. It’s easy to understand why they’re being so aggressive.

Blue Jays acquire Hicks

One day after placing closer Jordan Romano on the injured list with back trouble, the Blue Jays acquired Jordan Hicks from the Cardinals for two prospects. Hicks has been tremendous since shifting to the first base side of the rubber a few weeks ago – he has not allowed a home run since May 1 – and he’ll give Toronto a formidable late-inning unit alongside a healthy Romano, shutdown lefty Tim Mayza, and righty Erik Swanson. As for St. Louis, their tear down is fully underway. Rental righty Jack Flaherty figures to be next to move.

Cubs pull Bellinger off the market

Now that they’re back in the postseason race, the Cubs have pulled Cody Bellinger off the trade market. Chicago’s eight-game winning streak is their longest since 2016, and they’re now only three games back of a wild-card spot. They’re 3.5 games back in the NL Central as well. Bellinger was the top outfield rental on the trade market and it stands to reason the Cubs will try to sign him to an extension after the season.

Marlins interested in Torres

The Marlins have interest in Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres, according to NJ.com. The Yankees have set a high asking price, however: starters Edward Cabrera and Braxton Garrett, and two prospects. The two clubs discussed Torres at last year’s trade deadline, including a swap that would have sent Pablo López to New York, though they couldn’t find common ground.

The Yankees need to clear a roster spot for infield prospect Oswald Peraza, who is repeating Triple-A, though Torres has been the club’s best player other than Aaron Judge this season. To make a run at a postseason berth – the Yankees are 3.5 games out in the wild-card race entering play Sunday – they need to add bats to Judge and Torres, not subtract Torres.

Phillies interested in Duvall

The Phillies have scouted Red Sox outfielder Adam Duvall, according to the Boston Globe. Philadelphia badly needs a bench upgrade, specifically a righty bat to complement lefty-hitting outfielders Jake Cave and Brandon Marsh. Duvall would fill that role capably. The Red Sox are in the wild-card race, though Duvall is made expendable by Rob Refsnyder.

For Duvall, a deadline trade would be nothing new. He has previously been traded at the deadline in 2015 (Giants to Reds for Mike Leake), 2018 (Reds to Braves for Lucas Sims and others), and 2021 (Marlins to Braves for Alex Jackson). He missed several weeks earlier this year with a wrist injury and he’s just now starting to round back into form at the plate.

Braves add infield depth

The Braves have acquired infielder Nicky Lopez from the Royals in exchange for left-handed pitcher Taylor Hearn. Lopez, 28, has seen time at the big-league level at second base, shortstop and third base. In 187 plate appearances this season, he’s hitting .210/.322/.280 (70 OPS+), but thanks to great defensive metrics has 1.1 WAR. He won’t take regular starts but could be a late-inning defensive replacement when needed.

Burleson drawing interest

Cardinals outfielder Alec Burleson is drawing trade interest, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Cardinals currently have five outfielders for three outfield spots – Burleson, Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, Lars Nootbaar, Jordan Walker (also Tommy Edman and Juan Yepez, if needed) – and they figure to move one of them before the deadline, with Carlson and O’Neill the popular names.

Burleson, 24, was robbed of a walk-off homer Friday night. The left-handed hitter has struggled to find consistency in a platoon role this season and the fact is St. Louis needs to settle its outfield situation. Someone(s) will get traded for help elsewhere on the roster and it only makes sense to listen to offers for Burleson in addition to Carlson, O’Neill, et al.

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