The 2020 MLB season is only four weeks old and yet the Aug. 31 trade deadline is exactly one week away. Teams have seven days to evaluate their roster, dig through the market, and make upgrades. The first notable trade of the season was made late last week, when the Phillies acquired Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree from the Red Sox. Here are Monday’s trade deadline rumors.

Yankees want pitching, talking to Cleveland

Not surprisingly, the Yankees are looking for pitching help prior to the trade deadline, reports SNY’s Andy Martino. They’ve already spoken to Cleveland, which makes sense given their pitching depth and offensive needs. Even with their injuries, the Yankees could peddle young bats with upside like Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier.

The Yankees are currently without Luis Severino and James Paxton, their Nos. 2 and 3 starters. Severino had Tommy John surgery in spring training and Paxton went down with an elbow injury late last week, and will be out until at least mid-September. The Yankees also lost setup man Tommy Kahnle to Tommy John surgery and setup man Zack Britton to a hamstring injury.

For what it’s worth, New York and Cleveland have a good working relationship. They hooked up for the Andrew Miller trade in 2016 and the Kerry Wood trade in 2010, and, more recently, they’ve made smaller deals involving Cameron Maybin and others. That doesn’t mean a trade is likely to happen, but it can’t hurt.

Angels getting calls about Bundy

The Angels are expected to sell at the trade deadline and they’ve already received numerous calls about right-hander Dylan Bundy, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Los Angeles has the second worst record in baseball at 9-20 and only the Red Sox have seen their postseason chances dip more since Opening Day than the Halos. It’s looking like it’ll be another year without Mike Trout in the postseason. What a shame.

Bundy is the club’s best trade chip (other than Trout) thanks to his resurgent season — he’s throwing more sliders than ever — and the fact he will remain under team control as an arbitration-eligible player in 2021. He’s not just a rental. The Angels traded four good but not great prospects to get Bundy over the winter — ranks only one of the four, righty Kyle Bradish, among the Orioles’ top 30 prospects and he’s No. 26 — and might be able to get a better package now given his strong season.

Other Angels players who could generate interest at the deadline include super utility man Tommy La Stella, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and relievers Hansel Robles and Ty Buttrey. La Stella and Simmons will become free agents after the season.

Cleveland more likely to deal Clevinger than Plesac

According to rival executives, Cleveland is more open to trading right-hander Mike Clevinger than fellow righty Zach Plesac, reports The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Both pitchers are currently at the team’s alternate site. They were demoted a little more than a week ago after violating the league COVID-19 protocols and getting chewed out by teammates.

Of course, this does not mean Cleveland is likely to trade Clevinger or Plesac prior to the Aug. 31 deadline. Their values are down and I’d bet against the club selling low on either. Clevinger has pitched at an ace level the last few years and, with another week at the alternate site, his free agency would be pushed back from the 2022-23 offseason to the 2023-24 offseason. Plesac is under team control through at least 2025.

Cleveland is averaging only four runs per game offensively this season, third fewest in baseball. They have plenty of pitching depth — top prospect Triston McKenzie dazzled in his MLB debut this past weekend — and could deal a starter to add a bat or two, particularly in the outfield.


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