Buyers, Sellers and Players to Watch
With the August 2 MLB trade deadline fast approaching, teams across the league will be looking to acquire or part ways with their star players over the coming week. As trade talks continue to heat up between the clubs, here’s a look at the likely buyers, sellers and players to watch on the trading bloc:
Commercial Time Buyers
New York Yankees
Despite acquiring All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night, the Bronx Bombers could still be looking to add more talent. The club recently expressed an interest in getting formidable weapons for its rotation and an injured bullpen – which suffered a major blow after Michael King’s injury – as pitchers. Frankie Montas and David Robertson.
New York food
The Yankees’ crosstown rivals will also be on hand to add more talent in the coming days after acquiring DH Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates, as well as outfielder Tyler Naquin and LHP Phillip Diehl from the Reds. Receiver Wilson Contreras and DH Trey Mancini offered possible upgrades for the Amazins, who will likely also buy a bullpen arm.
As Atlanta continues to chase the Mets in Eastern Newfoundland, they will likely look to bolster their already strong roster with modest acquisitions, similar to the date-date additions of Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler. last year’s limit. Possible reinforcements could include greater pitching depth and a better replacement at second base, which is currently held by Robinson Cano in relief of injured Ozzie Albies.
The Astros are heavy favorites to win the AL West, but may feel the need to bolster their roster to secure home-court advantage over the Yankees in the playoffs. Needed positions could include left-handed reliever, reserve receiver and first baseman. Josh Bell has continually offered a possible answer to replace struggling Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who has a .218/.270/.260 slant line this season.
Cardinals of St. Louis
St. Louis sent shockwaves through MLB last week when it was named a potential favorite to add Juan Soto by rival teams. The club have a plethora of young talent they can use to land other hard-hitting players – like a bullpen piece or a rotating arm to replace recently injured Steven Matz – if the blockbuster deal doesn’t materialize not.
The Mariners made one of the biggest first splashes before the MLB trade deadline when they traded for Reds ace Luis Castillo on Friday night. While Seattle will likely hold back on making bigger moves after dealing three of its top five prospects (ranked by MLB Pipeline) to Cincinnati in exchange for Castillo, look to them to add another bat to their offense, which ranks 23rd in points scored.
The Nats have one of superstar Juan Soto’s most coveted trade targets, but it remains to be seen if any team will be willing to fulfill the club’s astronomical asking price. Washington could also look to negotiate with its first baseman Josh Bell, as well as offload LHP’s abysmal contract Patrick Corbin as part of a deal with Soto.
Chicago is clearly in rebuilding mode as they are 18 games under .500 and 14.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. The club will likely be willing to part ways with several of its formidable stars, including catcher Wilson Contreras, reliever David Robertson, left-hander Drew Smyly and third baseman Patrick Wisdom.
Boston Red Sox
The Red Sox entered July with 10 games above .500, but fell in the standings thanks to a miserable July. With their playoff hopes fading fast, the reeling club could be looking to deal with one of their mighty DH sticks JD Martinez or wide receiver Christian Vasquez. As for Boston’s showpieces, infielders Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts will likely stay put, with the latter saying on Thursday that it will not be exchanged.
Miami is just games away from the latest NL Wild Card spot, but has still expressed a willingness to trade everyone but ace Sandy Alcantara, according to the Jon Heyman of the post. Pablo López headlines the group of players available as a reliable and cheap starting arm, but the club could also look to ship reliable bats Garrett Cooper, Brian Anderson and Jon Berti.
The Tigers entered the 2022 season with high hopes after signing shortstop Javier Báez in the offseason for $140 million, but currently hold the third-worst record in the American League at 40-60. Michael Fulmer has performed well in his new bullpen role and could generate interest, along with fellow pitchers Michael Pineda, Andrew Chafin and Gregory Soto.
Players to watch
Juan Soto, Nationals
The 23-year-old phenom has been making waves around the league in recent weeks after rejecting a whopping $440 million 15-year offer from Washington. The Padres became the first to land generational talent, though the Cardinals, Rangers and Dodgers still remain in the hunt.
Josh Bell, Nationals
While most eyes in Washington will be on Soto, the Nationals will also be looking to sell Bell for the right price. The 29-year-old currently boasts a .302/.387/.877 slant line and will be a free agent at the end of the season.
Wilson Contreras, Cubs
Contreras’ time in Chicago appears to be coming to an end, as the longtime Cub bid a touching goodbye to the hometown Wrigley crowd earlier this week. The Mets and Giants both became favorites to land the hitter amid lackluster play from their catchers.
JD Martinez, Red Sox
If the Red Sox are looking to become sellers at the trade deadline, they could start by trading veteran JD Martinez, who has a .293 batting average and nine homers this season. The 34-year-old will become a free agent after the 2022 season and could be a reliable bat for multiple teams in need of DH help.
Shohei Ohtani, Angels
Los Angeles has begun considering possible offers for Ohtani, who joins Soto at the top of the list of top stars available. For now, however, it appears an Ohtani-Angels divorce remains unlikely.
Frankie Montas, athletics
With Luis Castillo’s recent departure to Seattle, Frankie Montas now ranks as arguably the best starter available on the market. The ace of A’s shot strong interest from the Yankeesthe cardinals also keeping an eye on him.
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