MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Storylines to watch with Deadline clock ticking

GMs expected to keep busy up to 4 p.m. ET cutoff

Storylines to watch with Deadline clock ticking

The latest Trade Deadline in Major League Baseball history is upon us.

As the on-field schedule goes quiet -- with no games between Sunday night and 7:10 p.m. ET Monday -- the industry is poised for extra-inning dramatics of a different sort.

The 24 bonus hours of dealmaking are thanks to the customary non-waiver Trade Deadline (July 31) falling on a Sunday. So MLB general managers -- along with fans and reporters -- have an extra day of phone calls, text messages and perpetual website refreshes, leading up to the 4 p.m. cutoff.

The high volume of trades to date -- involving notable names like Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller and Andrew Cashner -- is a good indication that Monday will be active. The industry's big board resets each time a significant piece moves; with that happening relatively often, GMs have had plenty of time to get creative.

Among the storylines to watch closely:

• The Dodgers haven't made a trade since acquiring Bud Norris on June 30. The Rays haven't moved one of their coveted starting pitchers. Both of those statements are likely to change by 4 p.m. ET.

If anything, the Dodgers' pitching needs intensified when Norris left Sunday's start after 13 pitches with a back injury. Tampa Bay remains a potential trade partner for the Dodgers; the teams have had consistent dialogue, with starting pitchers Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi among the strongest possibilities.

• Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy rejected a trade that would have sent him to the Indians, and now Milwaukee has resumed dialogue on Lucroy with Texas. If a deal is completed, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan has reported that slugger Joey Gallo -- the Rangers' top prospect according to MLB Pipeline -- would likely be involved. Other names to watch in such a trade are Double-A pitchers Luis Ortiz (Texas' No. 3 prospect) and Yohander Mendez (No. 4).

• The Yankees had three very good reasons to trade Chapman and Miller: Their chances of winning the 2016 World Series are remote, they wanted to replenish their farm system, and the market value of elite relievers had skyrocketed.

So what will they do with Carlos Beltran, a potential Hall of Famer in the final year of his contract?

Beltran, who has a partial no-trade clause, is drawing interest from the Indians, Rangers, Red Sox and Astros, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Houston, which notably acquired Beltran at the Deadline 12 years ago, could use his switch-hitting bat and veteran presence after a humbling weekend sweep in Detroit.

• In addition to the pitching market, the Dodgers have spoken with Cincinnati about Jay Bruce and Oakland on Josh Reddick. At this point, it will be a mild surprise if the Dodgers do not land one of them to address their inconsistent outfield production.

The A's are increasingly likely to move Reddick, given the struggles of Sonny Gray and injury to Rich Hill. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and MLB Network reported Sunday that Oakland is talking with Hill about a contract extension, in addition to ongoing trade talks; Hill is on the disabled list while recovering from a blister on his pitching hand.

• Will we see a surprise trade for a starting pitcher? Sources maintain the White Sox are unlikely to move Chris Sale or Jose Quintana, and Braves GM John Coppolella said very simply, "We aren't trading Julio Teheran." But history tells us circumstances can shift quickly.

• The Marlins (Cashner) and Orioles (Wade Miley) had spoken with the Phillies about Jeremy Hellickson before acquiring starting pitchers elsewhere. That leaves the Tigers, Giants and BIue Jays among the remaining Hellickson suitors. Toronto also has shown interest in Minnesota right-hander Ervin Santana.

Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.