Quick Bit: This MLB trade deadline could be super exciting. Or super dull.
Will they stay or will they go?
The 2022 MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching, but aside from some hot takes and fanalyst talk, it’s been relatively quiet. To that end, how the deadline will unfold is anyone’s guess: Will fringe teams stick with their rosters heading into the late stages of the summer, or will they bolster their rosters with the chances of making a wild-card run?
And speaking of guesses, let’s have some fun with how the deadline could work out. Of course, there are a number of teams that could be very busy: the Yankees have work to do to shore up their roster heading into August, while the Cubs could tear it down and send out a number of stars, headlined by Willson Contreras.
Highlighted by SN’s top 20 most likely trade deadline targets to move, here’s where those players could end up come Aug. 3.
Juan Soto, Nationals
Washington reportedly wants a good mix of prospects and major league talent back. There are several teams that fit the bill: The Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Dodgers and Padres all have top-tier prospects and a good mix of major league talent. It still feels like the Nationals are acting out of spite rather than being responsible.
Willson Contreras, Cubs
Contreras is one of the game’s best offensive catchers, which seems like a luxury, but it’s not when you get to October and need all nine spots to produce. The Astros make perfect trade partners for Chicago: They have one of the league’s worst backstop pairings and are going to look to upgrade offensively at the deadline.
Andrew Benintendi, Royals
Benintendi’s vaccination status is going to be a recurring theme leading up to the deadline, but his bat is going to be too good to pass up for the Yankees, who desperately need some more lefty contact in their lineup.
Frankie Montas, Athletics
Behind Luis Castillo, Montas is arguably the most intriguing arm on this year’s trade market. The Twins are going to have to find a way to separate themselves from the Guardians, who have hung around in the AL Central all year. A trade for Montas would go a long way to helping that.
Josh Bell, Nationals
Bell is having a massive year for the Nats, and should bring back a quality return. He seems to be an excellent fit for Houston, which needs to address first base with Yuli Gurriel having a very bad year at the plate.
Bryan Reynolds, Pirates
Reynolds and the Pirates very quietly agreed to a two-year deal that will pay him $6.75 million per season in 2022 and 2023. He’s under team control through 2025, making for an enticing, cheap and effective outfielder if teams inquire. To that end, the Pirates shouldn’t feel forced to make a move now, and it doesn’t feel like they will.
Luis Castillo, Reds
If the Yankees are going to be serious about winning a championship this year, then it starts with a busy trade deadline. Castillo is just about the perfect fit for New York, and he has another year of team control, something the Yankees traditionally like when it comes to starting pitching.
Ian Happ, IF/OF, Cubs
Jeff Passan reported on Tuesday that “almost everyone” wants Ian Happ. It’s easy to see why: He has great positional versatility and has some pop in his bat. That plays well for the Padres, who need the outfield help
Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Orioles
The Mets are still looking to add to their offense even after the acquisition of Daniel Vogelbach. If a trade with the Nationals for Juan Soto doesn’t materialize (still something that doesn’t sound real), then Mancini would be another nice get for the Mets offense.
Joey Gallo, IF/OF, Yankees
Gallo’s market seems to be limited as a throw-in for whoever the Yankees end up trading for. In this scenario, consider him as part of a package for outfielder Andrew Benintendi.
Sean Murphy, C, Athletics
Murphy isn’t just a trade for this year, but he’ll be one for the future. The A’s catcher is blocking a number of their top catching prospects, and they’ll continue to shed money, as they’re wont to do. The Rays need backstop help, and Murphy seems like the perfect player to slot in and help their offense.
Dom Smith, IF/OF, Mets
Smith is due for a change of scenery and considering the Mets are finding ways to improve their offense, don’t be surprised if he’s shipped off as part of a Trey Mancini deal. Smith’s value is at a low, and the Orioles would likely appreciate his team control through 2024.
Tyler Mahle, SP, Reds
The Giants are pitching extremely well this year, but it would make sense to add to the rotation as they enter the dog days of the season. Consider Mahle extremely helpful insurance.
Jose Quintana, SP, Pirates
Quintana is another starter who will find a new home come the trade deadline, just as everyone expected when he signed a one-year deal with the Pirates. Fringe teams looking for a half-season rental and rotation depth, like the Mariners, could certainly use him. Plus, it wouldn’t be trade deadline season without a Jerry Dipoto appearance.
Michael Fulmer, RP, Tigers
There are a number of teams that could use bullpen help — always a wise decision to make at this time of year. The Blue Jays have hung around despite canning Charlie Montoyo, and they could certainly use the help
Prediction: Blue Jays
David Robertson, RP, Cubs
Robertson is having a heck of a comeback season, and could be a boost to a bullpen the rest of the way. The Mets could use the help on the back end, as they’ve also been rumored to be in on him.
Miguel Andujar, 1B/OF, Yankees
Andujar is still under team control, and will be for two more seasons. The Yankees have routinely waited out contracts in recent years, though, so moving Andujar, despite his trade request, feels like it won’t come to pass just yet.
Brandon Drury, IF, Reds
Drury is destroying lefty pitching this year, and would definitely serve contenders well as a bench bat down the stretch and beyond. The Dodgers, who haven’t gotten a ton of production from their bench as they have in recent years, could use him.
Garrett Cooper, 1B, Marlins
Cooper recently took a pitch off the wrist, which could complicate his market. The Marlins are halfway between contender and pretender right now, and with Cooper under team control for another season, there shouldn’t be a ton of urgency for Miami to move him.
David Bednar, RP, Pirates
The Yankees are going to have to make bullpen moves with Michael King out for the year and Aroldis Chapman decidedly not himself. It also helps that they’ve done business with the Pirates in years past.
Originally found on Sporting News Read More