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Major League Baseball’s August 2nd trade deadline is one of the craziest times of the year in the sport. Various teams bid and exchange established players and prospects all to either build for the future or load up for a playoff run. Sometimes the moves pan out, leading to a World Series win. Other times they crash and burn, potentially stunting their team’s own future.
With rumors already rampant, including some big names, it’s to look at what may come to be between now and four o’clock on the second day of August. Strap in for a wild ride although it may be a silly season, but it’s still one heck of a ride.
1. Cleveland Guardians Trade For Wilson Contreras
The Chicago Cubs descent in the standings has continued and face the likelihood of once again selling. Probably their best trade piece is catcher Wilson Contreras who is one of the last remaining vestiges of the 2016 World Series Champions team. While he may want to stay on the North Side of Chicago, the Cubs may be more inclined to move on.
Cleveland is right there in the American League central and could make a run against the Minnesota Twins. To do so, they need more production from the catcher’s spot. With them boasting one of the best minor league systems in baseball, Cleveland could afford to drop a couple of prospects to solidify their signal caller.
2. Houston Astros Trade For Luis Castillo
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Houston Astros trade for the best pitcher available. Over the last few years, it’s been what they’ve done with players like Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke either at the deadline or in the off-season. Houston has loved grabbing pitchers as they become available.
Houston has beaten the New York Yankees all season (5-2 in their season series) thanks in part to their pitching. With the Cincinnati Reds competing with the Chicago Cubs for last place in the National League central, expect them to deal pitcher Luis Castillo. Also expect the Los Angeles Dodgers to be in on Castillo but ultimately don’t be surprised if Houston winds up the winner of this sweepstakes.
3. Boston Red Sox Add C.J. Cron And Daniel Bard
The Boston Red Sox have been a very streaky team and yet, they’re still very close in the playoff race. While they haven’t had consistent offensive production, their two biggest holes have been at first base and bullpen.
Boston has shown restraint in giving up their top prospects, so they may buy low on Colorado Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron and pitcher Daniel Bard. It shouldn’t take too much for Boston to pry both of these guys out of Colorado like a medium prospect or a couple lower prospects. While it may not help all their woes, it may bridge them to the end of the season and help with any possibilities for a playoff run.
4. Texas Rangers Trade For Joey Gallo
Last year, the New York Yankees traded four prospects to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Joey Gallo. One year later, Texas trades for him back and for less. Gallo has been a disaster for New York and will have to swallow their pride on this one.
Texas is alone in the American League wild card and an even longer shot in the American League west. They’re building towards a future run, and while Gallo may not provide a high average, his power has seemingly been better in Arlington rather than the Bronx. Texas sold high last year and now may have to give up a prospect or two to get him back but may be worth kicking the tires on here, especially as Gallo didn’t want to leave last year.
5. The Juan Soto Sweepstakes
There are seven or eight teams in on Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto including both New York teams, most of the California based teams and the Seattle Mariners. There’s been rumblings that neither the Mets or Yankees are willing to give up three top prospects, despite Soto preferring the Mets, meaning they may have fallen behind in the race. The Los Angeles Dodgers are known for making big-time moves at the deadline, however not this time.
My prediction for the Soto sweepstakes will be the San Diego Padres. Despite shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. possibly coming back at some point, they need a big bat in that line up. They may have one of the lower ranked systems of all the contenders but they’re in such a win now mode that they’ll more than likely give up the most.
San Francisco Giants may make a strong run but with rumors that they’ll be heavily in on New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, they may not try to sink themselves into financial ruin, should they go long term on Soto.