Looking back at the MLB season so far, it’s been calm and pretty predictable. The Yankees and Dodgers are leading the league in wins, and we have Boston and Cincinnati in last place. We just passed the All-Star break, which can mean only one thing: the trade deadline. Teams are now thinking of the same goal: The World Series. Managers want to put together a championship caliber team, which can lead to drastic decisions. The days leading up to the deadline can be nerve-wracking for fan bases and players, so let’s take a look at some trade possibilities leading up to August 2nd.
Let’s start by looking at some of the league’s superstars. Juan Soto and Shohei Ohtani have the potential of being in a different uniform soon. Soto recently declined a 14-year $440 million contract extension from Washington. The contract would have made Soto the highest-paid player in baseball history. After rejecting the offer, the Nationals are now testing him in trade proposals. On the west coast, Los Angeles is entertaining teams in trades for Shohei, the reigning AL MVP. While Ohtani leaving LA is very unlikely, the Angels said that they would hear offers for everyone not named Mike Trout. In a possible deal for Ohtani, Angels executives have said the trade would need to include a club’s “top four prospects” in order for it to even be a possibility.
Teams are now cracking down on their weaknesses and want to make themselves the best World Series contenders possible. Some of the most recent moves have been Andrew Benintendo to the New York Yankees, seemingly to replace Joey Gallo, who has a measly 37 hits this season. In comparison, Aaron Judge has 39 homers on the season. One of the most active teams has been San Diego. They’ve inquired t about almost every available player. They seem possible frontrunners for Willson Contreras and Ian Happ, while also invested in Juan Soto. They are also seen scouring for pitchers and bullpen arms and will undoubtedly make some type of move before the deadline hits.
With many teams looking for a starter, all eyes are on Cincinnati who may be willing to deal their ace, Luis Castillo. It’s still unclear if the Reds are going to hang on to Castillo or if they will trade him for what would be a hefty package in return. Another team busy at the deadline is Atlanta. Rumors are that the reigning champs are looking for a right-handed hitter to replace Adam Duvall, who’s out for the season after wrist surgery. Some of the possible options for the Braves are Ian Happ, Ramon Laureano, and Rob Refsnyder.
Another team to keep an eye on is Tampa. While the Rays have made it to the postseason in the last three seasons, they’ve suffered significant losses this year. They’ve lost outfielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Mike Zunino for the remainder of the season–they’re looking around for replacements or upgrades to their rosters. They have room on their payroll to take on another star outfielder, with hopes that Wander Franco and Manuel Margot will be ready to play in the next coming weeks.
With every team having their own losses and gains, they all are trying to create their picture-perfect World Series team. Every team has their own goals and strategies, and we’ll have to wait to see how it all plays out on August 2nd.