Cubs interested in A's outfielder Reddick; Dodgers, Giants both chase pitching upgrades
By Andrew Simon
With the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching, many teams have decisions to make about whether to buy, sell or hold.
One such club is the White Sox, who have not reached the postseason since 2008. Chicago has sputtered after a strong start and now sits under .500, far behind in both the American League Central and the AL Wild Card race, with general manager Rick Hahn saying Thursday that his team is "mired in mediocrity."
Hahn acknowledged that the club's slide means he won't be trading for short-term solutions to help down the stretch. So could the club instead ship off attractive pieces, such as left-handers Chris Sale and Jose Quintana? Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that everyone except rookie shortstop Tim Anderson is "in play." For his part, Hahn said the Sox need "to stay open-minded," but suggested a dramatic sell-off may be a step too far.
It certainly appears the Sox will be a team to watch in the coming days, but they are far from the only ones. Here are some of the other rumors that were circulating on Thursday:
Cubs interested in Reddick
On the other side of Chicago, the first-place Cubs already have made one move by trading for Mariners left-hander Mike Montgomery, and they likely aren't done. According to MLB.com's Jon Morosi, the club is "looking at" A's outfielder Josh Reddick, a former Draft pick of Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein with the Red Sox.
The outfield figured to be a strength for the Cubs this year, but that was before Kyle Schwarber suffered a season-ending injury, Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler joined him on the disabled list and Jason Heyward struggled with the bat. The club still doesn't appear to have a desperate need, especially with Fowler and Soler nearing returns, but Reddick still could help.
The 29-year-old is a force against right-handed pitching, owned an .825 OPS this season entering Thursday and has been swinging a hot bat of late, about three weeks after returning from a fractured thumb. He will be a free agent this winter.
Dodgers leading charge for Archer
Despite being out of the playoff chase, the Rays don't need to trade right-hander Chris Archer, a talented starter who is signed to an affordable contract that runs through 2019 and includes club options for the following two seasons. But that doesn't mean Tampa Bay won't capitalize on the market if the right opportunity arises.
An ESPN report Thursday quoted an unnamed baseball executive who estimated that the Dodgers have a "70 percent" chance to acquire Archer. While other clubs reportedly believe their chances of landing Archer are low, the Dodgers have a president of baseball operations (Andrew Friedman) with strong ties to the Rays, a starting rotation that has been ravaged by injuries and the prospects to get a deal done.
Archer, 27, finished fifth in the AL Cy Young Award voting last year, when he posted a 3.23 ERA, but he's been inconsistent this year. In 21 starts, he owns a 4.60 ERA, though his strikeout rate has held steady at 10.7 per nine innings.
Giants need relief
San Francisco, looking to hold off Los Angeles in the National League West, is searching for a "meaningful piece" to add to its bullpen, executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean said Thursday. Sabean wants a reliever capable of missing bats, as the Giants' 'pen ranks among the bottom five in the Majors in strikeouts per nine innings.
Yankees left-hander Andrew Miller is one of the more attractive names out there, although the Giants could go in many different directions. The club also has other needs, including in the corner outfield, and is known to have inquired about the Reds' Jay Bruce.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.