The Major League Baseball trade deadline is Aug. 2, so we’re heading toward the homestretch as teams sort out whether they are buyers, sellers or holders and inch toward some landscape-changing deals. Wednesday night, the Yankees swung a deal for All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi. It wasn’t really a “first domino to fall” type move that’ll untangle the rest of the market, but it was good to see things get moving here with the deadline less than a week away.
More will be coming soon. Let’s take a look at the latest from the MLB rumor mill.
Padres out front for Soto?
Obviously, the biggest name on the market is Nationals superstar Juan Soto. There’s smoke all over the place and as many as a dozen teams have reportedly inquired with the Nats. The favorite right now is debatable, but Buster Olney reports that “some rival executives perceive the Padres” as the “frontrunner” at this time.
It’s a juicy rumor, that’s for sure. Thinking about the Padres adding Soto and getting Fernando Tatis, Jr. back from injury to add to a lineup with Manny Machado is fun. They are 10 games over .500 and have survived the Tatis injury mostly with great pitching.
Now, it should be noted that last year, there was a perception the Padres were the leaders for Max Scherzer and it even got close enough that many thought the trade was happening. Then the Dodgers swooped in and grabbed Scherzer and Trea Turner — so let’s just remember to avoid overreaction.
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Astros to move MLB SP for position player?
The Astros have one of the best teams in baseball as their window of World Series contention remains wide open. They also have a “good problem to have” with too much starting pitching. They are currently using a six-man rotation and Lance McCullers, Jr. looks to return soon from his forearm injury. Sure, they could boot Odorizzi from the rotation, but that would still mean six big-league-quality starters and they don’t really have to have that many.
Especially if they could shore up a weakness via trade. Ken Rosenthal reports that Jose Urquidy could be the man on the move, leaving Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier behind, among their talented and cost-controlled starters.
The report indicates the Astros would be looking for a quality big-league catcher or center fielder in return. A’s catcher Sean Murphy, Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds and Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins are mentioned. Rosenthal also reports it’s possible the Astros would ship out Urquidy to a third party for prospects and use those prospects to get Reynolds or Murphy.