With the August 2 MLB trade deadline just around the corner, teams across the league will be trying to buy or say goodbye to their star players over the next week. As trade talks between clubs heat up, here’s a rundown of the likely buyers, sellers and players to be eyeing in the trading bloc:
Trade Deadline Buyers
New York Yankees
Despite acquiring All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals Wednesday night, the Bronx Bombers could still be looking for more talent. The club has recently expressed an interest in getting formidable weapons for their rotation and injury-ridden bullpen – who took a major blow after Michael King’s injury – such as pitchers Frankie Montas, Pablo Lopez and David Robertson.
New York Mets
The Yankees’ crosstown rivals will also be in the mix to add more talent in the coming days following the acquisition of DH Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates, as well as outfielder Tyler Naquin and LHP Phillip Diehl from the Reds. Catcher Wilson Contreras and DH Trey Mancini have come up with possible lineup upgrades for the Amazins’, who will also likely be shopping for a bullpen arm.
As Atlanta continues to chase the Mets in the NL East, they will likely look to bolster their already strong lineup with modest acquisitions, similar to the additions of Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler on last year’s deadline. Potential reinforcements include pitching depth and a better substitute at second base, which is currently held by Robinson Cano to replace the injured Ozzie Albies.
The Astros are big favorites to win the AL West, but may feel the need to bolster their roster to secure a first-round bye from the Yankees in the playoffs. Possible positions include a left-handed reliever, reserve catcher and first baseman. Josh Bell has continually come up as a possible answer to replace Houston’s struggling first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who owns a .243/.293/.392 slash line this season.
St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis sent shockwaves through the MLB last week when they were named by rival teams as a potential frontrunner to add Juan Soto. The club has an abundance of young talent that they can use to attract other high-impact players – such as a bullpen piece or a rotating arm to replace the recently injured Steven Matz – if the blockbuster deal falls through.
The Mariners made one of the biggest early splashes before the MLB trade deadline by trading Friday night for Reds’ ace Luis Castillo. While Seattle is likely to forgo bigger moves after bringing three of their top five prospects (ranked by MLB Pipeline) to Cincinnati in exchange for Castillo, see if they can add another bat to their offense, which ranks 23rd. in points scored .
The Nats have one of the most coveted trade targets available in superstar Juan Soto, but it remains to be seen whether any team will be willing to meet the club’s astronomical asking price. Washington might also try to field their sure-hitting first baseman Josh Bell, and redeem LHP Patrick Corbin’s hopeless contract in a deal with Soto.
Los Angeles Angels
Despite having two of the sport’s biggest stars in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, the staggering Angels are 16 games under .500 after a league-worst 19-46 since May 15. Los Angeles is actively listening to questions for the latest franchise cornerstone, but could say goodbye to other guns, including Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Loup and Ryan Tepera.
Chicago is clearly in rebuilding mode as they sit 19 games under .500 and 15.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. The club will likely be willing to part with some of their formidable stars, such as catcher Wilson Contrears, reliever David Robertson, lefty Drew Smyly and third baseman Patrick Wisdom.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox started July with 10 games above .500, but have fallen back in the standings thanks to a miserable July. With their hopes for playoffs quickly fading, the tottering club could share one of their powerful bats in DH JD Martinez or catcher Christian Vasquez. As for Boston’s cornerstone pieces, infielders Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts are likely to stay put, with the latter claiming Thursday that it will not be exchanged.
Miami is only a handful of games from the last NL Wild Card spot, yet has indicated they want to trade everyone except ace Sandy Alcantara, according to the Jon Heyman from Post. Pablo López headlines the pack of available players as a reliable and cheap starting arm, but the club could also look to reliable bats Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson and Jon Berti.
The Tigers started the 2022 season with high hopes after signing off-season shortstop Javier Báez for $140 million, but currently hold the third-worst record in the American League at 41-62. Michael Fulmer has performed well in his new role as a bullpen and could spark interest, as have fellow pitchers Michael Pineda, Andrew Chafin and Gregory Soto.
Players to watch
Juan Soto, Nationals
The 23-year-old has been the talk of the town in recent weeks after turning down a $440 million offer from Washington for 15 years. The Padres have become the frontrunners in bringing in the generational talent, although the Cardinals, Rangers and Dodgers are still on the hunt.
Josh Bell, Nationals
While most eyes in Washington will be on Soto, the Nationals will also try to sell Josh Bell for the right price. The 29-year-old currently has a .302/.385/.493 slash line and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Wilson Contreras, Cubs
Contreras’ time in Chicago seems to be coming to an end as the old Cub emotionally said goodbye to Wrigley’s home crowd earlier this week. The Mets and Giants have both risen as favorites to land the slugger amid lackluster play from their catchers.
JD Martinez, Red Sox
If the Red Sox appear to be hitting sellers on the trade deadline, they could start trading out veteran JD Martinez, who has a .288 batting average and nine home runs coming into play on Saturday. The 34-year-old will become a free agent after the 2022 season and could be a rental bat for several teams needing help in the DH position.
Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Los Angeles has started receiving potential offers for Ohtani, who puts Soto at the top of its list of best available stars. As of now, however, it appears that a divorce between Ohtani and Angels remains unlikely.
Frankie Montas, Athletics
With the recent departure of Luis Castillo to Seattle, Frankie Montas is now arguably the best starter on the market. The ace of A has drawn great interest from the Yankeeswith the cardinals also keeping an eye on him.