Five Bold Predictions for the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline appeared first on NBC Sports Bayarea
Should I buy or sell?
With three wild-card spots open in the American and National Championships, more teams than ever can convince themselves they are contenders heading into the dog days of August. This is shaping up to be two competitive days on the trading block.
This year’s trade deadline will be defined by superstars. All eyes are on the Washington Nationals to see if they move Juan Soto, and even the Los Angeles Angels are reportedly fielding calls for Shohei Ohtani.
Here are five bold predictions for what might unfold before Tuesday’s 3 p.m. deadline. PT:
Cardinals trade Soto
A new Soto rumor seems to be circulating every day, but after weeks of speculation three teams have emerged as the favorites — the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals.
In the end, St. Louis wins the bid.
Meeting Washington’s asking price for 4-5 young players, the Cardinals send 23-year-old outfielder Dylan Carlson and a trio of their top prospects at Double-A or higher in third baseman Jordan Walker, left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore and right-handed Michael McGreevy.
By negotiating for Soto, St. Louis is putting all of its chips on an offense already stacked with two of the NL’s leading MVP candidates — Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado — to offset the team’s weaknesses on the mound. The Cardinals will have Soto under contract for this playoff run and two years after that, and trading for him now gives the St. Louis a leg up on the rest of the league to get Soto to sign a long-term deal.
Showtime San Diego
Let’s go wild.
Stuck in no man’s land once again with two of the greatest baseball players the world has ever seen, the Los Angeles Angels are reluctant to answer their constantly ringing phone to hear offers for superstar two-way player Shohei Ohtani.
But this time, it’s too good for general manager Perry Minasian to pass up.
Padres executive AJ Preller, known as a bully on the trade market, is determined to trade for Ohtani after sniffing the Soto sweepstakes.
What do you pay for a player with 22 home runs and an .847 OPS to go along with a 2.81 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in 17 starts? Everything.
San Diego is sending four of its top prospects, including Robert Hassell III, as well as a pair of big league-ready players in CJ Abrams and MacKenzie Gore in exchange for Ohtani.
Yes, it’s a lot. But it’s the only way to get the modern Babe Ruth.
Contreras teams up with an old enemy
Willson Contreras said goodbye to Chicago Cubs fans last week in an emotional farewell, announcing that he is out the door after seven seasons playing at Wrigley Field.
Contreras, who will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, is being traded to the Cleveland Guardians, the same franchise he helped take down in seven games in the memorable 2016 World Series as a rookie.
The Guardians haven’t seen a glimpse of offensive production at Catcher all season. Austin Hedges and Luke Maile have handled most of the duties behind the plate, but have struggled to a combined .175/.272/.263 slash line. Contreras and his .818 OPS and 14 home runs will have Cleveland rocking behind the plate again as the Guardians try to take the AL Central away from the contending Minnesota Twins.
Montas earns his stripes
The Athletics’ asking price only increased after Luis Castillo was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Seattle Mariners for four prospects last week. That deal included 20-year-old shortstop Noelvi Marte in High-A, who is viewed as a consensus top-20 prospect in baseball.
Missing Castillo’s draws were the New York Yankees, who don’t get over often. The Bronx Bombers will make sure not to miss Montas’ season by sending two of their top five prospects in shortstop Oswald Peraza and left-hander Ken Waldichuk to Oakland. The 24-year-old Waldichuk would immediately have a spot in the A’s rotation, and Peraza — who has a 771 OPS and 25 stolen bases in 77 games — wouldn’t be far behind.
Montas would slide into the Yankees’ top three rotation along with Gerrit Cole and Nestor Cortes and prepare for October baseball.
Giants trade Rodón
Rival teams around the league were licking their chops Sunday night as Giants left-hander Carlos Rodón dazzled the Cubs with 10 strikeouts in seven scoreless innings.
The Giants, on the fence as a contender heading into the All-Star break, fell flat on their face with seven straight losses after the Midsummer Classic and finally decide to trade Rodón to the starving Twins.
RELATED: Rodón not thinking about trade rumors after dominant outing
It will be a competitive market for Rodón rental. To overcome the competition, Minnesota is flipping to San Francisco some ready major league prospects, including right-handed pitcher Simeon Woods Richardson.
Like Rodón, Twins shortstop Carlos Correa will likely opt out of the remainder of his contract this offseason. That means Minnesota only has a few months to enjoy the Correa and Byron Buxton lineup, so making a big splash with the Giants to add to their pitching staff would serve them well.
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