-- The MLB trade deadline is nearing, and speculation is heating up across baseball. Here is what our writers are hearing:
For more trade coverage, head to Rumor Central.
Thursday's trade buzz
Jerry Crasnick's take: Lind, 33, won't generate a ton of interest with his .230/.265/.455 slash line against right-handed pitching. But he does have 14 homers in 222 at-bats against righties, so he might have some appeal to a contending team looking for a lefty corner bat with quick-strike capability. He's a free agent at the end of this season, so Dipoto would probably be happy to move him for a second-tier prospect.
Wednesday's trade buzz
David Schoenfield's take: The Indians like the defense of Roberto Perez and Chris Gimenez, but Indians catchers are hitting under .170 and have the lowest OPS in the majors. Lucroy would be a big upgrade, and his low salary means the Indians can afford to bring him on. Will they give up Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier? That might be too steep a price.
David Schoenfield's take: This is an interesting idea that kind of comes out of nowhere, considering that the Pirates need rotation help, but you can see what the Bucs are thinking. Their starters don't go deep into games, so more bullpen depth could help mask the weak rotation. With Mark Melancon an impending free agent, Gomez could take over as closer next year.
Jayson Stark's take: Other clubs say the Phillies are looking for a return similar to what they got for Jonathan Papelbon last season: a young pitcher or two with a live arm and upside but not a top-ranked prospect. Hellickson has about $3 million left on his contract, and the Phillies could use that as a bargaining chip: Take less money, give up a better player -- or vice-versa.
Jerry Crasnick's take: Even with Clayton Kershaw dogged by back issues and Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list, the Dodgers are running out a rotation with Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Bud Norris, Brandon McCarthy and Julio Urias this week. They also have Alex Wood and Brett Anderson working their way back from the DL. Given the team's long-term commitments to so many pitchers, Andrew Friedman and the front office don't have much incentive to go out and trade for a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Jerry Crasnick's take: Brian Sabean and Bobby Evans seem determined to upgrade the Giants' bullpen, which ranks seventh in the National League with a 3.88 ERA. At the very least, the Giants would like to add some seventh- or eighth-inning depth to enhance manager Bruce Bochy's maneuverability. He's a master at using the pen, and that's playing to his strength.
Tuesday's trade buzz
Eddie Matz's take: The Nats thought they had solved their center-field issue when they traded for Ben Revere in January. But Washington's CF posse (primarily Revere and backup Michael Taylor) has an on-base percentage of .274, worst in the NL at that position. They could use more production. The good news is corner outfielders Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth, who have had their share of boo-boos in recent years, have stayed healthy. Even if the injury bug does bite, Taylor, like Gardner, can play all three OF positions (and well), so adding an outfielder probably isn't the team's top priority (see: bullpen).
Katie Strang's take: Manager Brad Ausmus said no decision has been made yet on the team's position heading into trade deadline but general manager Al Avila is "preparing for all possibilities." However, based on track records, he seems to think the Tigers will be looking to add rather than subtract if they're still in the playoff race. Last year, the Tigers unloaded Yoenis Cespedes, David Price and Joakim Soria at the deadline while three games under .500 (50-53) and in third place in the American League Central division, behind the Kansas City Royals (61-41) and Minnesota Twins (53-49), according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Scott Lauber's take: When the Red Sox drew up their initial pitching plans for after the All-Star break, they slotted in Clay Buchholz to make a start at some point this week. Then they traded for left-hander Drew Pomeranz. With the rotation full once again and reliever Junichi Tazawa (right shoulder impingement) expected to be activated Friday, a roster move is forthcoming. Buchholz hasn't pitched since July 2 and isn't an obvious fit for a relief role. He also can't be sent to the minors without his consent, so although the Red Sox are always careful about preserving as much pitching depth as possible, Buchholz is a prime trade candidate, especially to a National League team.
Mark Saxon's take: General manager John Mozeliak indicated that the "rhetoric is picking up" in trade talks in recent days and that he remains solely focused on adding relief help, if he can, by the deadline. He also said, "I think it's pretty clear who has got players available and who doesn't." Most of the buzz now is around the New York Yankees and, especially, Aroldis Chapman, but that might not be the type of player the Cardinals are looking for. Acquiring Chapman will demand a serious return of young talent, and the Cardinals are trying to rebuild their system (and could face penalties that deprive them of even more prospects due to the hacking case). Also, they're not convinced Trevor Rosenthal can't iron out his command issues and become their closer again.
Tim Kurkjian video: Dodgers trying to trade Puig for 'well over a year'
Doug Padilla's take: The consensus is that the Dodgers could trade outfielder Yasiel Puig for the right price, which would be either an upgrade in the outfield or some help for the pitching staff. Puig is still just 25, with loads of upside, so the question remains: If he can show progress with the mental side of his game (worry less about being flashy, become less anxious in pressure situations), would the Dodgers be more inclined to keep him, or would teams sweeten the pot to get him?
Jerry Crasnick's take: It's likely Cleveland would have to part with one of its top position player prospects, Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer, in a trade for Miller because he still has two-plus years left on his four-year, $36 million contract with the Yankees. The Indians might be able to get creative and come up with a different mix for Chapman, considering he's a free agent after this season. On the other hand, that 105 mph radar gun reading vs. Baltimore's J.J. Hardy on Monday will only increase the buzz surrounding Chapman.
Katie Strang's take: Tigers LF Justin Upton balked when asked about the importance of the next 12 games heading into this year's trade deadline. He seemed surprised at any suggestion that the Tigers might be sellers, noting the team's place within the division and wild-card standings, and he expressed confidence in his club, even if Detroit decides to stand pat.
Monday's trade buzz
Marchand's take: At Triple-A Iowa, the 23-year-old left-handed hitter has a .956 OPS. The Yankees have first baseman Greg Bird returning from shoulder surgery next year to replace Mark Teixeira, but one scout said Vogelbach is better than Bird and reasoned that Vogelbach -- who, like Bird, probably can't play the outfield -- might be a DH, but he might rake enough to make it worth it.
Jesse Rogers' take: There is no indication that a real rumor exists, only reports that the Yankees would want slugger Kyle Schwarber in a deal for left-handed reliever Andrew Miller. Epstein, the Cubs' president of baseball operations, was emphatic about looking forward to seeing Schwarber in a Cubs uniform next spring training.
Katie Strang's take: With today's dismissal of longtime Twins general manager Terry Ryan, interim GM Rob Antony takes the helm for the organization at an interesting time: two weeks prior to the trade deadline. As for what he was told by ownership? "Do whatever it takes," Antony said, noting that he was not instructed to cut payroll or shed players. "I don't have any constraints."
David Schoenfield's take: It wouldn't make sense for the Rays to sell low on Archer, who has struggled with fastball command and home runs (he has given up 20 already, after allowing 19 last season) while posting a 4.68 ERA. His contract runs through 2021, when a team option would pay him just $11 million. That's the kind of player the Rays need to keep -- not deal.