The Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers are among the teams interested in Cincinnati Reds third baseman Brandon Drury, reports Jon Morosi of MLB Network.
Drury has seemed like an obvious trade candidate for a few months now, due to a variety of factors. He’s an impending free agent with a modest salary who is playing for a basement-dwelling team. Beyond that, he’s having the best season of his career and is capable of playing multiple positions, making him a fit for many clubs. He is slashing .275/.336/.523 and just hit his 20th home run. That production is 33 percent better than league average, according to wRC+. He’s also taken the field at all four infield positions this season, in addition to a brief cameo in right field.
The interest from the Dodgers, as well as the San Francisco Giants, was reported a few weeks ago. As for Seattle and Atlanta, they are likely interested in Drury primarily for second base, despite his ability to play elsewhere. Most of Drury’s work this year has been at the hot corner, with 53 starts there, though he’s also manned the keystone in 20 different contests.
For the Mariners, they’ve given the bulk of this year’s playing time at second base to Adam Frazier, who is having a down year at the plate. After a strong 2021 where he hit .305/.368/.411 for a wRC+ of 114, the Mariners acquired him from the San Diego Padres in an offseason trade. Unfortunately, he’s only been able to muster a .244/.304/.312 line for Seattle, amounting to a wRC+ of 81. He’d likely be the infielder most at risk of losing playing time in the event of a Drury trade, with Eugenio Suarez, J.P. Crawford and Ty France occupying the other spots around the diamond. There’s also the possibility of a platoon, as Frazier hits from the left side of the plate and Drury the right.
As for the Braves, their need for help at second base arose when Ozzie Albies suffered a foot fracture in June. He’s been on the shelf about six weeks already and could return in about a month, though he still hasn’t begun a rehab assignment. With Albies out of action, most of his playing time has gone to Orlando Arcia, who is hitting .238/.316/.371 on the year. That amounts to a 92 wRC+, which is just 8 percent below league average but well below Drury’s work on the year. With Dansby Swanson, Austin Riley and Matt Olson taking up the other spots in the dirt, second base would stand out as the most obvious spot to plug Drury if he were to be put into an Atlanta jersey.
For the Reds, they’re well out of contention and have already begun their deadline selloff with Friday’s Luis Castillo
trade. Drury seems highly likely to follow him out the door, with Tyler Mahle, Donovan Solano and Tommy Pham also among those that the club will exchange for prospects. The trade deadline is in about 48 hours.