It’s not hot-stove season for Major League Baseball just yet, but trade rumblings are starting to crop up with November right around the corner.
When it comes to early trade rumors, most of the teams involved are reportedly seeking the same thing: starting pitching.
Without wasting any time, here’s a rundown of the latest buzz circulating in MLB’s fall rumor mill.
Marlins Dangling Adeiny Hechavarria and Derek Dietrich
The Miami Marlins are looking to bolster their starting pitching staff, and they’re reportedly intent on parting with a couple of infielders to improve their depth on the mound.
"The Marlins are expected to consider trade offers for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and jack-of-all trades Derek Dietrich in an attempt to acquire pitching," the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported Sunday. "They value Dietrich and believe he’s starter-caliber, so Miami would want quality in return."
While it’s unclear whom the Marlins will target, one scout told Jackson that Dietrich could bring back a potential starter.
"Maybe Hechavarria gets you a No. 4 starter," the scout added. "[Marcell] Ozuna gets you something pretty good if you want to part ways."
Dietrich’s versatility makes him an intriguing trade chip, and the fact that he’s coming off the best season of his career at the plate only bolsters his value.
After batting .256 with a .346 on-base percentage during the 2015 season, Dietrich posted a .279/.374/.425 slash line while hitting seven home runs and driving in a career-high 42 runs.
Then there’s Hechavarria, who would be a fine defensive upgrade for a team in need of help at shortstop.
Following 2013 and 2014 seasons that saw Hechavarria post 0.6 cumulative defensive wins above replacement, the 27-year-old posted a 1.6 dWAR mark in 2015 and a career-best 1.7 this past season.
At the very least, one of those players should help the Marlins land a starting pitcher who can provide relief at the back end of the rotation.
Royals Make Wade Davis Available for Trade
Wade Davis has been one of MLB’s most reliable closers over the past three seasons, but the Kansas City Royals could reportedly look to move the 31-year-old to improve a starting staff that finished ninth among all American League clubs with a 4.21 ERA.
"The Royals intend to pick up Davis’ $10 million option but are open to dealing him," the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported. "A Royals source indicated the team would like to get controllable starting pitching in return. Davis makes sense for a lot of teams, including Boston and Toronto."
Although Davis has been stellar, it makes sense that Kansas City would want to explore his value on the trade market.
First and foremost, Davis is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017 season. As a result, the Royals may want to maximize the return on their investment and net a team-controlled starting pitcher in return, as Cafardo’s source noted.
Additionally, Davis battled right forearm discomfort that sidelined him for half of July and all of August.
Finding a viable No. 3 starter under team control for a one-year rental like Davis could be difficult, but perhaps the Royals can sell a contending team that has starting depth and needs a bullpen upgrade on swinging a deal.