Major League Baseball's 2023 trade deadline is set for Tuesday, Aug. 1, giving teams precious little time to make moves. Trade activity has kicked into a higher gear over the last several days, including the Angels acquiring Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López just hours after declaring Shohei Ohtani was off the market.
More moves are certain to be finalized in the coming days. Here are Friday's rumors to hold you over until then.
Mets could move Verlander?
The Mets have been one of the most disappointing teams in the majors this season, and that might convince them to do something shocking at the deadline: trading veteran right-hander Justin Verlander. According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, there's a "belief within the industry" that the Mets could part with Verlander over the coming days.
Verlander, 40, joined the Mets over the winter on a two-year deal worth nearly $87 million. The pact includes a full no-trade clause as well as a conditional player option for the 2025 season worth $35 million. The combination of Verlander's age, outstanding financial commitments, and ability to block any movement made a deal seem highly unlikely as recently as a few weeks back.
Verlander has posted a 3.24 ERA (127 ERA+) and a 2.53 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15 starts this season. After five appearances in July, he's sporting a 1.69 ERA with 12 more strikeouts than walks over the course of 32 innings pitched.
Canha, Pham likelier to move
Rangers pursuing Hicks
The Rangers have already added one veteran late-inning arm this summer, in Aroldis Chapman, but now they're in hot pursuit of another. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Rangers are "aggressively" pursuing Cardinals right-hander Jordan Hicks.
Hicks, an impending free agent, has been excellent over the last few months. Since taking the loss on May 5, he's appeared in 26 games and has compiled a 1.88 ERA and a 3.7 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Athletic recently reported that the Cardinals were exploring an extension with their star reliever that would take him off the trading block, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold said Thursday that those talks have not progressed.
Hicks is likely to be one of several Cardinals veterans to change hands in the coming days.
Mariners could be in control of deadline
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Mariners are considering "trading a starter for a package that would include a hitter of similar age and impact." The Mariners currently employ George Kirby, Logan Gilbert, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo, and they have Emerson Hancock, the No. 6 pick in the 2020 draft, stationed away at the Double-A level.
Gilbert entered the season with the most service time, and he's projected to finish the campaign around two years and 144 days. That should make him eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. Kirby was the next closest, coming into the year three weeks shy of amassing a full season. Miller and Woo both debuted this season.
Pirates fielding calls on veterans
The Pirates have received inquiries on several players, according Jon Heyman of the New York Post. Among those: catcher Austin Hedges, lefty Rich Hill, and righties Mitch Keller and Colin Holderman. The Pirates already made one deal this week, .
Of that group, Hedges and Hill would seem likeliest to go. They're both impending free agents who could free up roster spots for younger players. Keller, meanwhile, would be a bit of a surprise given he's under team control through the 2025 campaign. Still, the market yearns for cost-controlled pitching, and he would qualify.