MLB Trade Deadline Tracker - 2021

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:

With Major League Baseball’s July 30 trade deadline just a few days away, the big deals are beginning to drop, and the contending teams are making the moves that they hope will fuel a postseason run. 

Padres Acquire All-Star Adam Frazier 

The National League West was supposed to be a two-horse race between the Padres and the defending World Series champion Dodgers. The Giants, however, had other plans and have proven to be the best of the three-team race through July.

San Diego, not satisfied with their current position of second wild-card team, has made the most significant move of the trade deadline — getting All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier for three prospects. The Padres will also receive $1.4 million in cash. The prospects heading to Pittsburgh are pitcher Michael Milliano, outfield Jack Suwinski, and shortstop Tucupita Marcano. 

The real prize of the bunch is Marcano, who was the fifth-highest rated player in the Padres farm system, and he appeared in 25 games with San Diego this season. Baseball America’s scouting report calls Marcano a “smart hitter who controls the strike zone and makes consistent contact. He lines the ball to all fields and has plus speed.”

For San Diego, they now have four All-Star infielders, in Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Jake Cronenworth, and Frazier, a first-time All-Star with the Pirates this season. First baseman Eric Hosmer, currently in the fourth year of a $144 million eight-year contract, is likely the odd man out. Frazier, MLB’s current leader in hits, would likely play at second base, moving Cronenworth over to first.

For their part, the Padres continue to lower their futures odds to win the 2021 World Series, now at +750 and good enough to rank third on the odds board. 


Nelson Cruz Now in Tampa Bay 

Over the weekend, the first big domino of the trade deadline fell when the Rays acquired All-Star Nelson Cruz from the Twins. At 41-years-old Cruz still has one of the best bats in the league and was slashing .297/.370/.537 at the time of the trade. In his first weekend with the Rays, he hit his 20th and 21st home runs of the season, giving him 428 for his career.

The seven-time All-Star solidifies the DH position for the second-place Rays. Tampa also got right-handed minor league pitcher Calvin Faucher. On the other side, the Twins received minor league pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman. 

Twins Byron Buxton is also Available 

The dashing of the Twins’ hopes for the 2021 season led them to send Cruz to Tampa Bay, and it also might be the end of the line for Byron Buxton in Minnesota. Buxton has struggled with his health this season, playing in just 27 games. But he hasn’t struggled at the plate, hitting a career-high .369 and slugging a beastly .767.

At 27, he wouldn’t normally be someone a team would move on from, but the word is that talks on a contract extension have broken off, and the 2022 free agent is now considered available if the price is right.

Tampa now slightly trails the Boston Red Sox in AL East division odds at -105. 

Royals Stars Possibly Moving 

A pair of mainstays for the Kansas City Royals may be on their way out, as both Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy are connected to trade talks in the coming days.

Seattle is right on the heels of the A’s for the second wild-card spot, and Merrifield would be a perfect addition to help the Mariners pursue their first postseason appearance in 20 years. He plays all over the diamond, including the outfield, where Seattle needs the most help. He’s in the midst of his second All-Star season, with an OPS of .721. His contract also contains reasonable team options of $15 million each for the next two seasons.

Left-hander Danny Duffy is also on the block but also currently on the injured list with a flexor strain. Even injured, he is drawing the attention of both the Dodgers and the Giants. Duffy won a World Series in Kansas City and picked up a win during the 2015 ALCS. This year in 12 starts, he has an ERA of 2.51, with 65 strikeouts in just 61 innings.

The Dodgers are missing Trevor Bauer, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May and are desperate for a starting pitcher. The Giants would like the upgrade in depth Duffy would give.

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