The 2020 MLB trade deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 31. Only four days away. We’ve seen one notable trade already — the Phillies acquired relievers Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree — though it’s unclear how active teams will be in this weird, short season following the shutdown. We’ll find out soon enough. Here are Thursday’s trade deadline rumors.

Padres focused on internal options

The Padres currently own the fourth-best record in the National League and are in position to go to the postseason for the first time since 2006. The club is “prepared to see what else is out there that we could potentially add (at the trade deadline),” GM A.J. Preller told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, though he added they are currently focused on their internal options. Here’s what Preller told Acee:

“Over the course of the last few deadlines, over the last four or five years, it’s been more of a position of trying to move established players or guys at the major league level for more talent,” Preller said. “Now we’re in that spot you’re looking at different pieces to try to complement a team at the major league level that is playing pretty well right now. We’re prepared for the situation in the next four or five days and look forward to the discussion and how it lines up. But it’s hard to make trades, so for the most part our focus has been on the guys we have in the organization right now.” 

San Diego has a powerhouse offense — they’re averaging 5.35 runs per game, second only to the Dodgers (5.77) — though the bullpen, expected to be a strength, has a 5.41 ERA. Kirby Yates (elbow) and Drew Pomeranz (shoulder) are on the injured list and bringing in relief help would seem to be a deadline priority. Baseball America recently ranked the team’s farm system as second best in the game. Preller has plenty of trade chips at his disposal.

Pirates are ‘trying to sell everything’

At 7-19, the Pirates have the worst record in baseball, so it’s no surprise GM Ben Cherington is “trying to sell everything,” a rival executive told MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Cherington responded by telling Feinsand: “http://www.cbssports.com/”Trying to sell everything’ is inaccurate. Our job is to listen and learn to determine if there is opportunity to match up with another team in a way that we see benefit. We’ll continue to do that.”

Pittsburgh’s top two trade chips, Keone Kela and Joe Musgrove, are currently out with injuries. Kela, an impending free agent, left last Friday’s game with a forearm issue and hasn’t thrown since, according to MLB.com’s Adam Berry. Musgrove is on the injured list with a triceps problem and The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel says he pitch in a simulated game in the coming days. 

Infielder Adam Frazier and first baseman Josh Bell are having very poor seasons — they’re hitting a combined .188/.229/.299 through 210 plate appearances — but are under team control through 2022. Unless a team blows Cherington away with an offer, it makes sense to keep Frazier and Bell and hope they rebuild value next year. Reliever Nick Mears and Richard Rodriguez could interest contenders.

D-Backs may no longer buy

Seven consecutive losses have dropped the Diamondbacks into last place in the NL West, though they’re only 2 1/2 games behind the No. 8 seed in the expanded National League postseason field. Despite that, GM Mike Hazen indicated the team may no longer buy at the trade deadline, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Here’s what Hazen told Piecoro:

“I think we’re going to have to take a more measured approach to how we’re looking at things and see how the next few days play out,” Hazen said. He later added, “We’re going to have a lot of conversations around a lot of different things, but I’m not sure how aggressive we’re going to be on the buy side.” 

A week ago, before the seven-game losing streak, we heard the D-Backs wanted bullpen help and a DH bat. The club could still add, but any addition would likely to be geared toward 2021 and beyond rather than 2020. The D-Backs have a few rental players who could interest contenders, including infielder Jake Lamb and lefties Andrew Chafin and Robbie Ray, though none has performed particularly well this year (Chafin is currently out with a finger injury).

Blue Jays acquire Walker

The Blue Jays have acquired right-hander Taijuan Walker from the Mariners. Seattle will receive a player to be named later in the deal and the player is not currently part of Toronto’s 60-man player pool. It is likely to be a lower-level minor leaguer. The Blue Jays currently occupy the No. 8 seed in the expanded American League postseason field and had a clear need for rotation help behind ace Hyun-Jin Ryu. Walker is not a true difference-maker but he is an upgrade.

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