Tensions rise as Major League Baseball’s trade deadline approaches today at 6 p.m. ET. There are already a number of big names in the race, and there will undoubtedly be more to come.
On Monday, Josh Hader was traded to the San Diego Padres, Frankie Montas was traded to the New York Yankees and Trey Mancini was traded to the Houston Astros.
Will Juan Soto be next? The bidding war for the All-Star outfielder has come down to the Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, and Los Angeles Dodgers, according to multiple reports.
Follow today’s action and get the latest news and rumors leading up to the deadline:
Commentary: Yankees make it clear at the trade deadline: World Series or bust.
Analysis: Brewers believe they can still win without All-Star closer Josh Hader.
Monday Deadline Blog: Josh Hader recaps, Frankie Montas deals and more.
Twins take on Orioles closer to Jorge Lopez.
Desperate for bullpen help, the Minnesota Twins acquired 2022 American League All-Star closer, Jorge Lopez, from the Baltimore Orioles.
The O’s will receive left-hander Kate Povich, right-handed reliever Yennier Cano and additional minor league prospects in exchange for the 29-year-old Lopez.
By far the best season of his seven-year career. Lopez has gone from a struggling starter (3-14, 6.07 ERA in 2021) to a brilliant closer, turning 19 of 23 save opportunities into a 1.68 ERA in 44 appearances.
The Twins have dealt several closers after trading 2021 All-Star Taylor Rogers to the Padres this spring. Emilio Bacon leads the team with nine saves but has pitched six other save opportunities and is 4.75 effective. Five other Twins relievers earned at least one save.
Fantasy winners and losers (so far) of deadline deals.
MLB teams aren’t the only ones looking to update their rosters at the trade deadline. In the next edition of USA TODAY Sports Weekly, Steve Gardner lays out his winners and losers from a fantasy perspective. Here are a few of each:
SP Luis Castillo, Marines. Somehow, Castillo produced 2.86 ERA and 1.07 ERA with Cincinnati, in one of the most home run-happy ballparks in the majors. In Seattle, he will have a more neutral home park and a better defense behind him. The schedule helps the M’s with 25 games remaining against division foes below .500, the Angelinos, Watchers, and Athletics.
RB Devin Williams, Brewers. MLB president Josh Hader’s fantasy value isn’t going to change whether he switches teams or not. Once he does, Williams immediately becomes a top 10 fantasy prospect in Milwaukee if he moves from the Brewers to the Padres. Maybe top five. (The Orioles’ Felix Bautista gets similar value, along with Jorge Lopez, who was traded to Minnesota).
1B Trey Mancini, Astros. Mancini was one of the hardest hitters this season when the Orioles moved the left field wall back 30 feet. After hitting 14 home runs at Camden Yards a year ago, Mancini has just five this season (one of them inside the park). Connecting lifts at the highest rate of his career makes Mancini look like a lofty short compared to what Crawford boxes out in Houston.
SB Frankie Montas, Yankees. With the Mariners landing Castillo first, the Yankees made a strong and successful push for the No. 2 starting pitcher on the market. Montas’ 4-9 record belies his excellent 3.18 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. However, he made the most of the spacious Oakland Coliseum this season. In 12 Oakland starts, Montas has a 2.06 ERA; in seven away starts, his ERA is over 5.00.
David PeraltaRes. Primarily a platoon hitter, Peralta shouldn’t see much change in his role primarily against right-handers. However, the American League East is the toughest division in the majors and the Rays like to rotate their lineup more than most teams. The Rays also acquired outfielder Jose Siri on Monday and should return Manuel Marcotte and Harold Ramirez from the injured list soon.
Fantasy managers in AL and NL-only leagues. This could turn into a hectic process on deadline day. But as the last 24 hours of trading began to wane, the number of contracts between sectors was disappointingly small. Perhaps the possibility of a Juan Soto swap has put many deals on hold. Whatever the reason, hoarding FAAB dollars until the last minute in hopes of re-upping a superstar from an opposing league seems like a long shot.
Are the Padres the favorites in the Soto sweepstakes?
The San Diego Padres are viewed by many viewers right now. The “highly motivated” group created a setup for Juan SotoIn the words of Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
They have several top prospects, including shortstop CJ Abrams and outfielder Robert Hassell III, who will be needed to build a package the Nationals will accept.
Barry Swarluka of the Washington Post Going even further, the Padres call Soto’s “most likely landing spot.” In addition, he says the Padres could also acquire the first baseman Josh Bell as part of the Soto deal.
What separates the Padres from Soto’s other rumored suitors is that they may have a little more trouble signing him to a long-term extension before he becomes a free agent at the end of the 2024 season. That’s because they already have two big contracts on the books Fernando Tatis (14 years, $340 million) and Manny Machado (10 years, $340 million). However, Machado’s contract allows him to opt out after the 2024 season.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, had they acquired Soto, the Padres would not have had to cut their farm system for years. They can always trade him for more prospects before he becomes a free agent.