Noah Syndergaard

MLB trade deadline predictions: Nine deals that could happen amid rumors

MLB trade deadline predictions: Nine deals that could happen amid rumors

It sure seems like the MLB trade deadline is going to be one of two things: mind-blowingly crazy, or mind-numbingly underwhelming.

There are two primary reasons for this. First, the vast majority of the league is stuck in no man's land, oscillating between varying degrees of buyer and seller status. 

Also, in years past, teams could still combine for transactions after the trade deadline passed all the way up to the end of August, but that's not the case any longer. In a rule change that was adopted this season, there is now a single non-waiver deadline on July 31, thereby forcing teams to determine their buyer or seller status far earlier than they used to.

So, if you're feeling like you have no idea what to expect, don't worry, you're not alone. Since the crazy option is far more entertaining than the underwhelming one, here are predictions for where some of the biggest names land at the trade deadline.

Editor's note: Stats are updated through July 21.

CLICK TO SEE WHERE SYNDERGAARD, BUMGARNER AND THE REST WILL LAND AT THE DEADLINE

MLB trade deadline: Pitching combos that can make A's World Series contenders

MLB trade deadline: Pitching combos that can make A's World Series contenders

The MLB Trade Deadline is now just a day away and A's executives Billy Beane and David Forst are still hard at work seeking deals to improve the team.

Oakland has already added starting pitcher Homer Bailey and reliever Jake Diekman, both from the Kansas City Royals, but both the starting rotation and bullpen could use additional upgrades.

While there's probably no one single player who could turn the A's into a World Series favorite, here are three starter-reliever combinations that could transform Oakland into a top contender.

Noah Syndergaard, Edwin Díaz

No one seems to have any idea what the Mets' strategy is at this point. But rumors suggest that both Syndergaard and Diaz are on the trading block.

Syndergaard is hands-down the best starting pitcher on the market, and he's only 26 years old. The hard-throwing right-hander has a career ERA of 3.21 in five major league seasons, with 699 strikeouts in 645 innings.

Díaz might be the best relief pitcher available, despite his 4.95 ERA this season. Last year with Seattle, the 25-year-old right-hander notched a league-high 57 saves with a 1.96 ERA, striking out 124 batters in 73 1/3 innings.

If the A's were to find a way to acquire both Syndergaard and Díaz from the Mets, it would shore up the rotation and bullpen in one fell swoop. Syndergaard would give Oakland a legitimate ace, followed by Mike Fiers, Sean Manaea, and potentially Jesús Luzardo in the rotation.

Díaz could either serve as the A's closer or one of the best setup men in all of baseball. Combine that with Oakland's lineup and defensive ability and you've got a legitimate World Series contender.

Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith

This combination could be a bit harder to pry away, for a couple of reasons. First of all, with the Giants' recent success, Farhan Zaidi seems unlikely to move Bumgarner. Second, Zaidi would probably struggle to trade his top starter and closer to his cross-bridge rival.

However, if Beane and Forst could convince their old friend to send Bumgarner and Smith to the East Bay, Oakland would instantly have an ace and a dominant late-inning option. In 11 career seasons, Bumgarner is 116-90 with a 3.09 ERA. This year, the left-hander is 6-7 with a 3.74 ERA, averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings.

Smith has been even better out of the San Francisco bullpen, recording 26 saves with a 2.72 ERA. The 30-year-old southpaw has notched 66 strikeouts in 46 1/3 innings.

Bumgarner, Fiers, Manaea, and Luzardo would create a formidable starting rotation for any playoff series, while Smith, Liam Hendriks, Jake Diekman, Blake Treinen, Joakim Soria, and Lou Trivino could make for an excellent bullpen.

Mike Minor, Shane Greene

This combination would come from two separate teams, but it would vault the A's nonetheless. Minor, 31, is having a career-year for the Rangers, going 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA. The left-hander's 5.9 WAR leads all major league pitchers.

Meanwhile, Greene has been lights out as the Tigers' closer this season. The 30-year-old right-hander has 22 saves with a 1.22 ERA and 0.87 WHIP.

While this starter-reliever combination is not quite as accomplished as the aforementioned pairs, it would still elevate the A's into serious World Series contention. Minor, Fiers, Manaea, and Luzardo would make a terrific starting rotation, while Greene would slot in perfectly as a setup man for Hendriks.

[RELATED: Dallas Braden on A's starting rotation]

Of course, all three of these potential Trade Deadline deals would cost the A's some top-notch prospects. Beane and Forst will have to decide whether the price in future talent is worth the gamble for this year.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports, where you can watch the MLB Trade Deadline Show at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Also check out our comprehensive coverage of the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Warriors, Kings and Sharks! 

MLB rumors: A's call Mets on Noah Syndergaard before MLB trade deadline

MLB rumors: A's call Mets on Noah Syndergaard before MLB trade deadline

For the Oakland A's, starting pitching has been a mixed bag during the 2019 season. The team lost Frankie Montas to an 80-game suspension earlier in the season, and have dealt with long-term injuries for Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton.

A's general manager Billy Beane has already made a pair of moves to bolster the pitching staff, adding Homer Bailey in a trade with the Kansas City Royals and over the weekend acquiring Royals relief pitcher Jake Diekman for a pair of prospects. 

The San Francisco Chronicle's A's beat writer Susan Slusser reported Saturday that the A's had been making calls on most of the top trade targets at starting pitcher, including Mets starters Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler, as well as Detroit Tigers pitcher Shane Greene.

The Mets have been the most active team as of late, making a deal with the Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman Sunday before sending left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas to the Philadelphia Phillies Monday morning.

Oakland has some reinforcements coming from the minor league ranks, as Sean Manaea and Jharel Cotton are both expected to return to Oakland by the end of August.

[RELATED: Khris Davis makes bold prediction after walk-off walk gives A's 6-5 win]

The A's are an even 5-5 over its last 10, and the team currently sits in the second AL wild-card spot, holding just a half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Beane may need to make another move or two if he wants to keep the bevy of teams fighting to knock the A's off their perch from doing so.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports, where you can watch the MLB Trade Deadline Show at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Also check out our comprehensive coverage of the Giants, A’s, 49ers, Raiders, Warriors, Kings and Sharks!