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Your 2020 trade deadline primer and open thread

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We got more dealing than expected!

Cincinnati Reds v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Today is the trade deadline, so here is everything you need to know about the last day to make trades during the regular season.

Isn’t the trade deadline usually on July 31? When is it now?

Because the season was pushed back and shortened due to the pandemic, the trade deadline was pushed back until 3 p.m. CT on August 31.

How will teams be able to trade for prospects when there is no minor league season?

That has been a problem. With no minor league season, there have been no games to mark the progress of players. Scouts have also been kept out of workouts at alternate sites, so teams are largely in the dark on what other club’s prospects are up to. There is a data-sharing network that teams can use to get a peek at workouts, but seven teams have opted out of that. To complicate things, teams are not allowed to trade anyone during the season that isn’t part of their 60-man club pool, meaning that if you want to acquire a low-level prospect who isn’t at the alternate site, you’ll have to take a “player to be named later” and officially acquire that player once the season is over.

Who could be traded for the Royals?

The Royals have already traded outfielder Brett Phillips to the Rays for shortstop Lucius Fox and reliever Trevor Rosenthal to the Padres for outfielder Edward Olivares. They may be done, as Assistant GM Scott Sharp told reporters, “We believe in the team we have. We want to make sure we’re not subtracting from the team we have in any potential deals.” However that attitude seemed to change in the last week and the Royals were willing to deal Rosenthal for a long-term player in Olivares.

Greg Holland is similar to Rosenthal in that he is a proven relief veteran who is on a cheap, one-year contract. Holland’s strikeout numbers aren’t nearly as dominant as Rosenthal, but he has been otherwise solid with a 3.18 ERA and 3.85 FIP in 17 innings with 7.4 strikeouts-per-nine innings and a career-best 53 percent groundball rate.

Scott Barlow is not a free agent this off-season, so he could potentially have more value on the market with his 1.45 ERA and 11.09 strikeouts-per-nine innings. Ian Kennedy drew some trade interest last summer after a strong showing, but he has been very ineffective this year with an awful home run rate, and he may have injured his calf this week, so a trade for him is almost certainly not going to happen.

Trade rumors have swirled around Whit Merrifield the past year, but the Royals’ high asking price has scared most teams away. With a crop of young starting pitchers coming up, Danny Duffy could be dealt, but his $15.5 million salary next year will make him difficult to move without the Royals eating some salary. Third baseman Maikel Franco and designated hitter Jorge Soler are not likely to get traded, even though they are only under club control through 2021. There has been some buzz about rookie reliever Josh Staumont, but the Royals will likely want to hang onto him and his blazing fastball as a piece for the future.

What teams are interested in relief help?

Pretty much everyone! The Padres may still be looking for more bullpen depth even after adding Rosenthal. The Athletics were reportedly in talks with the Royals about Rosenthal, but it is unclear whether they would be interested in other Royals relievers. The Blue Jays, Reds, Giants, Yankees, Rays, White Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, and Marlins could all be in search of more relievers. Here’s a look at what some of those teams might have to offer.

What are some juicy trade rumors?

The Blue Jays have been looking to get Mike Minor from the Rangers and Brian Goodwin from the Angels. The Mets are looking for a catcher - possibly Boston’s Christian Vazquez - and starting pitching help. Rangers starting pitcher Lance Lynn has been a hot name with the Braves, Twins, Blue Jays, Athletics, and Padres all interested. The Indians and Giants are believed to be interested in Boston outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. The Rays and Padres are interested in Rangers slugger Joey Gallo. The Diamondbacks are shopping outfielder Starling Marte and reliever Archie Bradley.

What are some trades that have already been completed?

Everyone thought this would be a quiet trade deadline, but we have already seen a lot of activity, perhaps due to more teams chasing a post-season spot. The Padres have been the most aggressive, landing Mike Clevinger from the Indians in a blockbuster deal. They had already acquired Rosenthal from the Royals, catcher Jason Castro from the Angels, first baseman Mitch Moreland from the Red Sox, and catcher Austin Nola from the Mariners in a seven-player deal.

In other deals, the Orioles sent reliever Mychal Givens to the Rockies and starting pitcher Tommy Milone to the Braves. The Angels sent infielder Tommy La Stella to the Athletics for infielder Franklin Barreto. Former Royals outfielder Jose Martinez went from the Rays to the Cubs. The White Sox got Jarrod Dyson from Pittsburgh and the Blue Jays received pitcher Taijuan Walker from the Mariners.

Consider this your trade deadline open thread. What do you think will happen? Who would you like to see moved?