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MLB rumors: Starling Marte likely to be traded after rejecting extension; Twins only willing to trade rentals?

MLB rumors: Starling Marte likely to be traded after rejecting extension; Twins only willing to trade rentals?

The 2021 MLB trade deadline is less than two weeks away. Activity is already starting to pick up, with the Braves adding Joc Pederson and Stephen Vogt in separate trades since the All-Star break. Here are the latest trade deadline rumblings.

Marte rejects extension, likely to be traded

Marlins outfielder and free agent-to-be Starling Marte recently rejected a three-year, $30 million contract extension, and there is now a “great chance” he will be traded prior to the July 30 deadline, reports USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale. Earlier this month we heard Marte is seeking a three- or four-year deal in the $50 million range.

Miami should have no trouble finding suitors for Marte, who is having a strong season and remains a good defensive center fielder. The NL East rival Braves and Phillies stand out as potential landing spots, ditto the outfield-needy Angels, White Sox, and Yankees. The first-place Giants could get involved as well. Marte will be the best natural outfielder on the trade market.

Twins not inclined to deal controllable players

The Twins have not yet indicated to other teams they are willing to trade players under contract or team control beyond 2021, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. Minnesota has several appealing veterans on expiring contracts, including slugger Nelson Cruz, righties Michael Pineda and Hansel Robles, and shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

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Reports indicate the Twins are discussing a contract extension with Byron Buxton, who is a year away from free agency. If the two sides are unable to reach a deal, Minnesota could put him on the trade block, though his injuries complicate his trade value. José Berrios, Tyler Duffey, and Kenta Maeda are other Twins under contract or team control beyond this season who would interest other clubs should Minnesota make them available. 

Athletics focusing on bullpen help

Coming into Sunday, the Athletics sat in the second wild card spot and were only 3 1/2 games behind the Astros in the AL West. It is no surprise then that the club plans to add at the trade deadline. GM David Forst told the San Francisco Chronicle‘s Matt Kawahara the club is specifically seeking bullpen upgrades.

“It’s a little different math now that Trevor’s not going to be part of this group in August and September. But I think we still see the bullpen as a place we would hope to augment,” Forst told Kawahara. “… I think our focus is just on best pitchers available and not necessarily guys who have experience closing.”

Trevor is Trevor Rosenthal, who started the season on the injured list with a shoulder problem and recently had season-ending hip surgery. The A’s signed him to a one-year deal worth $11 million and he will not pitch this year. Jake Diekman and Lou Trivino have handled late-inning duty, though the last few spots in Oakland’s bullpen have been a revolving door all year.

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It is unlikely the A’s will add a high-priced player at the deadline. Our R.J. Anderson recently listed Ian Kennedy, Joely Rodríguez, and Richard Rodríguez as reliever trade candidates in addition to Craig Kimbrel.

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