Here we have arrived at that magical time of the season: the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
For baseball junkies, this is one of the most exciting times of the year — the day teams on the fence must decide if they’re in or out if they want to contend for one of this season’s coveted playoff spots.
MONDAY WEDNESDAY: A roundup of the deals made and rumored as July came to a close
USA TODAY Sports will deliver all the latest news, rumors, analysis and more in the crazy lead-up to tonight’s deadline. Follow us.
When is the 2023 MLB trade deadline?
The MLB trade deadline this year is 6pm ET on Tuesday. All agreements must be completed and submitted to the commissioner’s office by then.
FOLLOW THE MONEY: MLB player salaries and wages for each major league team
MLB trade deadline tracker
USA TODAY Sports has been on top of all the deals that have gone down as the deadline approaches, providing details and analysis of what each trade means. Check it out.
Teams, players to watch as the MLB trade deadline approaches
In the final hours before this year’s trade deadline, several playoff contenders still have important holes they want to fill. Here’s a quick look at who might be trying to acquire what before the buzzer sounds.
- Baltimore Orioles: starts pitching
- Tampa Bay Rays: relief pitching
- New York Yankees: catcher, left-handed bat
- Houston Astros: starting pitching, center fielder
- Philadelphia Phillies: left fielder
- Cincinnati Reds: starts pitching
- Los Angeles Dodgers: starts pitching
Among the players who could get tabs, fill in some of these slots: Pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Michael Lorenzen (Tigers), OF Teoscar Hernandez and 1B Ty France (Mariners), left-hander Blake Snell and closer Josh Hader (Padres), pitcher Jack Flaherty, infielder Tommy Edman and outfielders Tyler O’Neill and Dylan Carlson (Cardinals ), closer Scott Barlow (Royals), relievers Austin Pruitt and Trevor May (A’s), outfielder Lane Thomas and closer Kyle Finnegan (Nationals), OF Tommy Pham (Mets).
All eyes will be on Justin Verlander and the New York Mets as deadline day progresses. The disappointing Mets have already said goodbye co-ace Max Scherzer, outfielder Mark Canha and closer David Robertson in the past week. Could Verlander be next?
USA TODAY Bob Nightengale says the Mets have had discussions with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros about the three-time Cy Young Award winner.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a normal trade deadline without the dreaded “mystery team” potentially being involved as well.
The Dodgers have renewed their interest in Verlander in recent days — after making an offer for the pitcher last season — but his contract has been seen as a “big hurdle” in discussions, Nightengale said.
Relief pitching is usually a hot commodity at the trade deadline. This season has been no different with several teams getting much needed help in the back of the bullpen.
That Arizona Diamondbacks doesn’t have a single pitcher record double-digit saves this season, but they gained some stability in the ninth inning by acquiring closer Paul Sewald from Seattle on Monday. Sewald posted a 2.93 ERA and 21 saves in 45 games for the Mariners.
That Toronto Blue Jays saw All-Star closer Jason Romano go on the injured list with back problems, so they immediately signed Jordan Hicks from St. Louis Cardinals. The flamethrower with a 102 mph fastball struggled early this season but has pitched to a 1.88 ERA over his last 28 2/3 innings with eight saves in nine opportunities.
That Miami Marlins started the dominoes on Friday by acquiring veteran David Robertson from the New York Mets. He picked up his 15th save of the season in his first appearance for Miami, tossing a scoreless ninth against Detroit on July 30.
They once thought they would unload veterans Cody Bellinger and Marcus Stroman, but the Chicago Cubs have reversed course as the deadline nears.
The Cubs added third baseman Jeimer Candelario from the Washington Nationals on Monday in exchange for Class AA left-hander DJ Herz and 20-year-old shortstop prospect Kevin Made. Signed as a free agent by the Nationals last offseason, Candelario is hitting .258 with 53 RBI and 16 home runs.
Chicago also landed right-handed reliever José Cuas from the Kansas City Royals for outfielder Nelson Velázquez, who is splitting time this season between the majors and Class AAA Iowa.
Going into the game on Tuesday, your division leaders looked like this. Here is the complete position.
- AL East: Baltimore Orioles (+1.5 games over Tampa Bay)
- AL Central: Minnesota Twins (+1 over Cleveland)
- AL West: Texas Rangers (+0.5 over Houston)
- NL East: Atlanta Braves (+11 over Philadelphia)
- NL Central: Cincinnati Reds (+1.5 over Milwaukee)
- NL West: Los Angeles Dodgers (+2.5 over San Francisco)