The MLB trade deadline is coming up soon, and there are still some things to figure out.
Who will be traded? Which teams they will be traded to? Who buys? Who sells?
The deadline always brings up some unexpected developments as well, and should provide more this year. But with the unexpected, there’s also some things that can be expected. Here are my final thoughts as we enter the week before the trade deadline.
Shohei Ohtani is an Angel
As of this writing, the Angels have gone 7-2 in their last 9 games. With each passing day it becomes more and more likely that Shohei Ohtani stays in Anaheim through the end of the season. I have always thought it unlikely that the Angels would trade Ohtani, but now it seems even more unlikely. And that makes his upcoming free agency very interesting, especially if the Angels can sneak into the postseason.
Once Ohtani is a free agent, the favorite to land him will be the Dodgers. They aren’t far from Anaheim, meaning Ohtani wouldn’t necessarily have to move, and the Dodgers will be willing to spend. But the Dodgers are smart, and they know that they shouldn’t give up what it’s going to take to get Ohtani as a rental. Other teams that would be in on Ohtani are the Padres, Mets, Yankees, and more, but none of those teams are going to pony up the necessary capital to acquire him. So at the end of the day, Ohtani is staying with the Angels for the rest of 2023.
It’s A Sellers Market
With so many teams in the mix for the postseason and not many teams being out and out sellers, the price that buying teams will have to pay could very well be inflated. The Dodgers just gave up two Triple-A relievers for Kiké Hernandez. One of those relievers is Nick Robertson, who was immediately placed into the Red Sox top 30 prospects list by MLB Pipeline. The Rockies got two prospects from the Braves for Pierce Johnson, including one I liked a lot in Victor Vodnik. Both of those trades had more value going to the selling team, according to Baseball Trade Values.
Another reason why it’s so important to remember that it’s a sellers market is the potential for certain teams to straddle the line between buying and selling. The Red Sox are set to do that, just as they did last year, and other teams could very well do the same. Teams like the Yankees, Reds, and Guardians could all be teams that buy and sell at the deadline, all to varying degrees of how much they buy and how much they sell.
Don’t Expect Too Much
With how crazy last year’s trade deadline was, there may be some who are expecting an equally wild trade deadline this year. However, that isn’t likely to happen. Last year’s deadline saw a bunch of big names and all stars getting moved, such as Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Josh Hader, and Luis Castillo, as well as Austin Riley getting extended by the Braves. Last year’s deadline was one of the craziest in recent memory. 2021 also gave us the massive Trea Turner and Max Scherzer deal that sent them both to the Dodgers. The 2023 deadline definitely will not be as crazy.
When you look at the potential players who will be traded, the biggest name that is seemingly on the block is probably Marcus Stroman. And as much as I personally like Stro, he isn’t a big name guy like Soto, Hader, Castillo, Turner, Scherzer. There aren’t a ton of massive names available, and although names such as Scherzer and Verlander have been thrown around, I don’t see those deals happening. Even if Scherzer and/or Verlander were traded, those deals would never match the showstopping trades we have seen in recent years. There is a chance we see a bunch of interesting trades, but there won’t be much to grab the attention of the casual fan.
That wraps up my pre-trade deadline thoughts. As always, if you have any thoughts on the trade deadline and you want to let myself and the rest of the Bleacher Brawls crew know them, make sure to tweet them out and to tag us @BleacherBrawl and @derrik_maguire so we can see them.