Add Kelvin Herrera to the list of closers in whom the Nationals have interest
... assuming the Royals are willing to trade him. But the Nationals certainly have the position prospects to get the reliever they want, including outfielders Rafael Bautista, Juan Soto, and Andrew Stevenson. The Nats are also deep in catchers and shortstops.
The Royals could play a major role in the NL East race
The Royals also have pieces that could be of interest to the Mets, most notably third baseman Mike Moustakas. Though Moustakas' market could diminish if Josh Donaldson becomes available. But there's also Lorenzo Cain. Juan Legares is the Mets' only true center fielder, and he is a part-time player. But the Mets already have a logjam in the outfield — and traded a number of prospects the past two seasons — which could hamper their chances of landing someone else.
What are the Pirates going to do with Gerrit Cole?
The Pittsburgh ace's salary is heading toward $10 million next season in arbitration. The Pirates have contract control over Cole through 2019, and would be reluctant to move him at the trade deadline if they were in contention. Unless they could somehow pull of a separate deal for another starter under longer control — say, someone like the White Sox's Jose Quintana. While it seems like a long shot, remember the Pirates dealt Francisco Liriano last season and were able to fill that slot with Ivan Nova.
Will the Cubs use Candelario to pursue a controllable starting pitcher?
Could the Cubs use third baseman Jeimer Candelario (stuck for years behind Kris Bryant) as bait in a trade to acquire a starting pitcher? With Kris Bryant entrenched at the hot corner, Candelario could be a prospect they would consider dangling. The Cubs would be less inclined to move top outfield prospect Eloy Jimenez, but he, too, is somewhat of a redundancy with Kyle Schwarber and Jason Heyward on the corners longterm.