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MLB Exec: Tarik Skubal a 'Game-Changer' at Trade Deadline; Tigers Could Get 'a Haul'

Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers would reportedly "get a haul in return" for starting pitcher Tarik Skubal should they trade him.

"Skubal would be a game-changer for so many teams," a National League executive told Mark Feinsand of "I'm not sure why the Tigers would trade him, but if they do, they're going to get a haul in return."

The 27-year-old Skubal is 11-3 with a 2.34 ERA (0.92 WHIP) over 20 starts, striking out 146 batters over 123 innings.

He's undisputedly one of MLB's best starting pitchers this season and under team control through the 2026 season, so it's no surprise that Skubal would have plenty of interest from other teams.

Of course, there's also the question of why Detroit would want to trade him. The 50-52 Tigers are unlikely to make the playoffs sitting six-and-a-half games behind in the American League wild card picture, but there's two-plus months left in the season and the team certainly isn't out of it yet.

Also, Detroit's future appears bright on paper. Bleacher Report's Joel Reuter ranked the Tigers' farm system ninth in the bigs, and has four Tiger prospects in its top 63, including outfielder Max Clark at No. 10 and right-handed pitcher Jackson Jobe at No. 11. A future with Skubal as the team's backbone and ace looks likes a bright one.

On the flip side, if Skubal would return a "haul," then Detroit should at least consider offers and see if there's one they can't refuse. The Tigers aren't in position to be contending for a World Series right now even with Skubal fronting the rotation, so perhaps there's a desperate team out there willing to sell the farm for the ace.

As for the chances that he leaves, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported on July 21 that "it's a longshot that Skubal will be traded."

However, he also added that the "Tigers are listening, and have told teams they will move him only if they are overwhelmed by an offer." In addition, Detroit is reportedly "engaged in talks" with both the Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Baltimore and L.A. are both fighting for a World Series, so maybe one of them flinches and gives Detroit that overwhelming offer. But at the moment, it seems more likely than not that Skubal stays in town past the July 30 trade deadline.

Source: MLB Exec: Tarik Skubal a 'Game-Changer' at Trade Deadline; Tigers Could Get 'a Haul'

MLB Rumors: Braves Hold Players-Only Meeting Before Game vs. Reds amid Losing Streak

Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves held a players-only meeting on Tuesday prior to their home game against the Cincinnati Reds, per David O'Brien of The Athletic.

The 54-45 Braves sit second in the National League East after losing three straight and six of their last nine. The offense has scored just 23 runs over the past eight contests, including two shutouts and a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on Monday.

Obviously, Atlanta had greater expectations going into this season after winning 104 games last year and retaining the core which led to that success, but injuries have significantly lowered the team's ceiling.

Of note, reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuña Jr. suffered a torn ACL (the second of his career) in May, ending his season. Staff ace and 2023 20-game winner Spencer Strider made just two starts before he underwent internal brace surgery to fix the UCL in his right (pitching) elbow. And outfielder Michael Harris Jr. has been out for over a month with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.

Now second baseman Ozzie Albies (left wrist fracture) and starting pitcher Max Fried (left forearm neuritis) are out. Albies is expected to miss eight weeks, while Fried, who is on the 15-day injured list, doesn't yet have a timetable for a return.

The Braves are still in good shape for a wild card spot, sitting first in that race. But right now, there are six teams within four games of each other in the standings fighting for the three NL wild card spots, so the Braves can't afford to be complacent or continue this slide for much longer.

Ultimately, there's only so much a shorthanded team missing multiple stars can do expect perform to their abilities. The problem is Atlanta's bats have significantly struggled, none more than Matt Olson, who is 1-for-33 in his last nine games.

Shortshop Orlando Arcia (.212 batting average, .577 OPS) and outfielder Adam Duvall (.183, .563 OPS) have also had down years. The team as a whole has posted a .707 OPS, only eighth-best in the 15-team National League.

The pitching staff is keeping the team afloat, though, led by staff ace and All-Star Chris Sale. Closer Raisel Iglesias has also paced a stellar bullpen on a pitching staff with the National League's top ERA (3.46). If they maintain their form in the second half, then Atlanta should still comfortably land a playoff spot. And if the bats get going and the team gets some key pieces back before October, then Atlanta could even be a World Series threat again.

But right now, the team is still in rough shape, and it's clear the players feel a sense of urgency. The Braves will look to get back on the winning track Wednesday night when they host Cincinnati.

Source: MLB Rumors: Braves Hold Players-Only Meeting Before Game vs. Reds amid Losing Streak

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