Buy, Sell or Stand Pat for Every MLB Team at the 2022 Trade Deadline

Zachary D. RymerJuly 31, 2022

Buy, Sell or Stand Pat for Every MLB Team at the 2022 Trade Deadline

0 of 30

    Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

    As it's now just days away, every team in Major League Baseball should know what its plan is for the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

    If it was us, here's what we'd do if we were in charge of all 30 clubs.

    We've kept things simple by sorting clubs into one of three camps: those who should buy, sell or stand pat. This involved weighing where teams are on the contention spectrum, what their needs are and what they have to offer in trades. Not many clubs are caught in the middle at the moment, so don't expect to see "stand pat" too often.

    We'll proceed division-by-division, starting in the American League East and ending in the National League West.

    Note: All playoff odds courtesy of FanGraphs.

New York Yankees: Buy

1 of 30

    AP Photo/Nick Wass

    Record: 69-33, 1st in AL East

    Playoff Odds: 100.0 percent

    The New York Yankees have already begun their buying, acquiring All-Star and Gold Glove-winning outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday.

    A decent start, to be sure, but the Bronx Bombers still have more work to do if they want to fortify themselves for a run at their first World Series since 2009.

    Above all, they must strengthen a bullpen has an excellent closer in Clay Holmes, but which has otherwise been decimated by injuries throughout the season. That particular corner of the trade market is weak, but old friend and current Chicago Cubs closer David Robertson is still out there for the taking.

    The Yankees could otherwise stand to deepen their rotation. With Luis Castillo off the market via a trade from the Cincinnati Reds to the Seattle Mariners, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Oakland Athletics right-hander Frankie Montas is New York's "No. 1 target."

Toronto Blue Jays: Buy

2 of 30

    Mark Blinch/Getty Images

    Record: 56-45, 2nd in AL East

    Playoff Odds: 96.6 percent

    The Toronto Blue Jays were playing well under expectations for a while, but they've since picked themselves up with a 10-3 run after the firing of manager Charlie Montoyo.

    Thus are they in the mix for the No. 3 seed in the American League playoff field, which is all the more reason to load up at the deadline.

    Because the Jays could use a left-handed hitter to balance out their right-leaning lineup, it's hard not to think about a run at Juan Soto. But what the team really needs is pitching, particularly in the form of a mid- or even high-end starter.

    The Jays are another team that could push for Montas, who notably wasn't on Oakland's restricted list for not being vaccinated against COVID-19 when the team visited Toronto in April.

Tampa Bay Rays: Buy

3 of 30

    Mike Carlson/Getty Images

    Record: 54-47, 3rd in AL East

    Playoff Odds: 61.5 percent

    In need of a capable hitter for a lineup that's been bit hard by the injury bug, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired veteran outfielder David Peralta from the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.

    Perhaps he's not Soto, but Peralta is nonetheless an effective hitter from the left side of the plate. He has a .777 OPS overall in 2022, as well as an .823 mark against right-handed pitching.

    With Peralta aboard, the Rays might be comfortable standing pat and waiting for their injured list to provide reinforcements for the stretch run. Notably, wunderkind shortstop Wander Franco should be back from a fractured hamate bone in late August or early September.

    But then again, why leave anything to chance? The injury bug has been known to be unforgiving, after all, and the Rays still have a need for depth in their bullpen. For this, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic says they're eyeing Robertson and other Cubs relievers.

Baltimore Orioles: Buy

4 of 30

    Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

    Record: 51-50, 4th in AL East

    Playoff Odds: 3.3 percent

    The Baltimore Orioles were a default seller at the trade deadline between 2018 and 2021, and Trey Mancini seems to think they will be once again this year:

    Mark Viviano @MarkWJZ

    Trey Mancini tells me he’s approaching the next 4 gms as his last as an Oriole at Camden Yds &amp; he’s “taking it all in” in anticipation of possibly being traded by Aug 2 deadline. Our conversation on <a href="https://twitter.com/wjz?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wjz</a> 5/6 pm <a href="https://twitter.com/WJZ13sports?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WJZ13sports</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TreyMancini?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TreyMancini</a> (note: Mancini not in lineup v TB tonite) <a href="https://t.co/G9U0LPMbBt">pic.twitter.com/G9U0LPMbBt</a>

    But given the circumstances, is it too much to hope that the Orioles won't be so cynical?

    With the Boston Red Sox fading fast, the club's playoff odds seem better than what FanGraphs is calculating. And rather than some fluke, this season generally feels like the first step toward contention that the O's were inevitably going to take after rebuilding.

    If the Orioles do buy, they certainly shouldn't mortgage what's left of their farm system. They can instead look to absorb contracts that other teams don't want. Rosenthal's idea of them pursuing 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell from the San Diego Padres is sound.

Boston Red Sox: Sell

5 of 30

    Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Record: 50-52, 5th in AL East

    Playoff Odds: 19.1 percent

    The Boston Red Sox were 11 games over .500 as recently as June 26, at which point they had an 80.3 percent chance of playing in October.

    To say that things have been bad since then would be putting it mildly. Boston has lost 21 out of its last 29 games and suffered some gut-punching injuries along the way.

    Sure, the Red Sox are technically still in the race. But them staying in it much longer hinges on them getting healthy and starting to actually win games against other contenders. Neither prospect invites much optimism.

    Though chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom understandably doesn't want to trade shortstop Xander Bogaerts or third baseman Rafael Devers, he would do well to cash in pending free agents that have trade value, namely designated hitter J.D. Martinez, right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and catcher Christian Vazquez.

Minnesota Twins: Buy

6 of 30

    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    Record: 53-47, 1st in AL Central

    Playoff Odds: 49 percent

    Though the Minnesota Twins have spent 80 days in first place, they've never led by more than 5.5 games and they were merely tied for first as recently as June 24.

    As if this wasn't enough to point them in the direction of buying, there are also the hurdles looming in the way of a deep playoff run. In particular, they need to be ready to overcome the Yankees for a change.

    While the Twins are more or less set offensively, they could use another reliever and especially another starting pitcher. Accordingly, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com hears that they and their two main pursuers in the AL Central are all-in on arms:

    Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

    The Twins, Guardians &amp; White Sox - separated by just 3 games in the AL Central - are among the most aggressive teams in the pitching market right now, per sources. According to one executive from a potential seller, “They all think they have a shot and are trying to get better.”

    The Twins are specifically in on Montas, according to Passan, though Dan Hayes of The Athletic has also reported that they have eyes on the Reds' remaining ace, Tyler Mahle.

Cleveland Guardians: Buy

7 of 30

    Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Record: 51-49, 2nd in AL Central

    Playoff Odds: 34.9 percent

    It's never easy to assign the Cleveland Guardians to either the buy or sell camp when the deadline rolls around, and so it goes this season.

    They certainly have a ton of assets to deal, not only in their 11th-ranked farm system but also in the big club. Per Passan, they're willing to listen on controllable pitchers such as Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and even 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber.

    Moving any one of them, though, runs the risk of undoing the run prevention machine that's kept the Guardians in contention. And even though Feinsand hears the club is on the lookout for pitching, what it really needs is a power bat for an offense that's produced just 79 home runs.

    Soto is the pie in the sky here, but the Guardians would be better off making an upside play on a change-of-scenery candidate. Say, Miguel Andujar of the Yankees or Dominic Smith of the New York Mets.

Chicago White Sox: Buy

8 of 30

    Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

    Record: 49-50, 3rd in AL Central

    Playoff Odds: 53.3 percent

    Few, if any, teams' playoff odds seem as overly optimistic as those of the Chicago White Sox. They've peaked at four games over .500, and that was when they were 6-2 on April 16.

    This allows for a case that the White Sox should sell, but that's less practical in reality than it is in theory. The club's only appealing pending free agents are Johnny Cueto and Jose Abreu. The former has questionable value and the latter is a franchise institution.

    Apropos of Feinsand's report, the White Sox therefore have the right idea in looking to buy. What we're less sure of, however, is whether their focus should be on arms.

    The Pale Hose more so need bats, particularly of the left-handed variety. The .251 wOBA that they've gotten from the left side of the plate this season ranks dead-last in the league.

Detroit Tigers: Sell

9 of 30

    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    Record: 41-61, 4th in AL Central

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    This isn't what the Detroit Tigers expected for 2022 after they added Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez and Austin Meadows over the winter. Clearly, they should cut their losses.

    But by how much?

    According to Rosenthal and Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic, the Tigers are signaling that "just about everyone is available." Even breakout left-hander Tarik Skubal, who's only 25 and under club control for four more seasons after this one.

    Because the team has already spent five years rebuilding, dealing him would frankly be straying too far into cynicism. But short-term assets should absolutely go, including pending free agents like righty Michael Fulmer and outfielder Robbie Grossman.

Kansas City Royals: Sell

10 of 30

    Duane Burleson/Getty Images

    Record: 39-62, 5th in AL Central

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    The Royals' sell-off began respectably. With their farm system centered more on bats than arms, they did well to get three pitchers from the Yankees for Benintendi.

    Now then, what else can they move?

    Whit Merrifield, for one. He's not the impact player he was between 2017 and 2021, but he at least offers speed and defensive versatility. He'd make a good bench player on a contender.

    The Royals should also consider moving Brad Keller, who's a decent innings-eater with club control through 2023, and some of their relievers. Scott Barlow, for example, seems worth a pretty penny or two amid a campaign marked by a 2.45 ERA.

Houston Astros: Buy

11 of 30

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

    Record: 66-36, 1st in AL West

    Playoff Odds: 100.0 percent

    Only the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers have a bigger divisional lead than the Houston Astros' 11-game advantage over the Seattle Mariners. So, they're safe in that respect.

    The team's real goal, though, is obviously to make it to the World Series for the fourth time in the last six years. And for this, one thing they could use is a better everyday catcher.

    Martin Maldonado does do good work with the team's pitching staff, but he's otherwise so unproductive that Houston's catchers rank dead-last in rWAR. As reported by Passan, it's little wonder that the Astros are in on Contreras.

    One twist is that whatever buying the Astros do might also see them sell. According to Rosenthal, they're willing to discuss their controllable starters and are also receiving interest in defensive-wiz center fielder Jose Siri.

Seattle Mariners: Stand Pat

12 of 30

    Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    Record: 55-47, 2nd in AL West

    Playoff Odds: 81 percent

    The Seattle Mariners are staring down their first playoff berth in 21 years, so we're sympathetic to any argument that they shouldn't stop buying.

    However, the Mariners have already filled what was their biggest hole.

    In trading for Castillo, they acquired a two-time All-Star who's allowed just six runs in 34 innings over his last five starts. He's a nice fit atop the team's rotation, not to mention a bit of insurance as youngsters Logan Gilbert and George Kirby rack up innings like never before.

    As for what the Mariners truly need after adding Castillo, there really isn't a clear answer. They had been seen as a fit for Soto, but that's probably not going to happen after they surrendered three of their five best prospects to get Soto. And with Mitch Haniger and Kyle Lewis on the comeback trail from injuries, Soto was only ever a want anyway.

Texas Rangers: Stand Pat

13 of 30

    Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Record: 45-55, 3rd in AL West

    Playoff Odds: 0.6 percent

    The Texas Rangers aimed to be more competitive this year after dropping $500 million on Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, and that wish has more or less come true.

    The emphasis there is obviously on "less," but that doesn't mean the Rangers have no choice but to sell at the deadline.

    They don't have a ton of pending free agents to offload, and they've seemingly already determined that their best rental should stay. According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the club is "unlikely" to move All-Star lefty Martin Perez.

    They might as well also hold fellow rental southpaw Matt Moore, who has a 1.66 ERA in relief. Beyond increasing the club's chances of extending both players, the idea would be to continue playing competitive baseball for the rest of the year.

Los Angeles Angels: Sell

14 of 30

    Icon Sportswire

    Record: 43-58, 4th in AL West

    Playoff Odds: 0.6 percent

    The Los Angeles Angels were good earlier in the year. Great, even. But that was then and this is now, wherein the Halos have lost 45 of their last 64 games.

    A stretch like this should arguably have the Angels thinking about drastic measures, up to and including trading 2021 AL MVP Shohei Ohtani. If not realistic, it's at least a plausible idea.

    From where we're sitting, though, this is another step too far into cynicism. As bad as the Angels are right now, they're not so far gone that the notion of them making a quick turnaround to contention in Ohtani's walk year in 2023 is unthinkable.

    Rather, they should focus on finding a taker for Noah Syndergaard. His $21 million salary won't make it easy to move him, but he nonetheless has value as a mid-to-back-end starter for a contender.

Oakland Athletics: Sell

15 of 30

    Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

    Record: 39-64, 5th in AL West

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    Kudos to the Oakland Athletics for their recent competitive streak. They've won seven out of their last eight, even sweeping the Astros in a three-game set last week.

    Not that any of this really matters, vis-a-vis their outlook for the trade deadline. They're going to sell, with Passan reporting that Montas will "almost certainly" be on the move. Outfielder Ramon Laureano is the club's other obvious trade chip.

    The A's are also getting interest in Sean Murphy, according to Rosenthal. As a Gold Glover with power and club control through 2025, he's a tantalizing alternative to Contreras on the catching market.

    The A's should also shop All-Star righty Paul Blackburn. His 4.15 ERA isn't much to look at, but it was a respectable 3.62 before he got lit up for 10 runs in 4.1 innings against the Rangers on July 24.

New York Mets: Buy

16 of 30

    Adam Hunger/Getty Images

    Record: 63-37, 1st in NL East

    Playoff Odds: 100 percent

    Like their rivals in The Bronx, the New York Mets got an early start to their buying on Thursday when they acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and lefty Phillip Diehl from the Reds.

    New York Mets @Mets

    We have acquired outfielder Tyler Naquin and LHP Phillip Diehl from Cincinnati in exchange for minor league outfielder Hector Rodríguez and minor league RHP Jose Acuña. In addition, RHP R.J. Alvarez has been designated for assignment. <a href="https://t.co/XbewO4BaEt">https://t.co/XbewO4BaEt</a>

    Though both of these guys are nice pieces to have as the Mets try to win the National League East for the first time since 2015, they still have work to do.

    At the top of their wish list should be a fix for a catcher position that's produced minus-0.4 rWAR. With respect to Diehl, the Mets also still need a proper setup man for dynamite closer Edwin Diaz.

    To these ends, Pat Ragazzo of SI.com has reported the Mets have talked about both Willson Contreras and David Robertson with the Cubs.

Atlanta: Buy

17 of 30

    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Record: 61-41, 2nd in NL East

    Playoff Odds: 99.2 percent

    Though Atlanta has cooled off somewhat of late, a path to a second straight World Series appearance is very much there for the club.

    So much so, in fact, that Atlanta is arguably the one contender that has the fewest needs to fill at the trade deadline. They're solid on both sides of the ball, and they'll be that much more so on offense when All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies returns from a foot fracture.

    But if nothing else, Atlanta should think about making a move to respond to Adam Duvall's season-ending wrist surgery.

    This would involve acquiring a replacement right-handed-hitting platoon partner for Eddie Rosario in left field. Perhaps the ideal option there is Reds veteran Tommy Pham, who has a solid .834 OPS against left-handers.

Philadelphia Phillies: Buy

18 of 30

    Icon Sportswire

    Record: 53-47, 3rd in NL East

    Playoff Odds: 59.1 percent

    The Philadelphia Phillies are one of only six teams with 30 wins since June 3, otherwise known as the date they relieved Joe Girardi of his managing duties.

    What's more, the Phillies stand to get major boosts from within down the stretch. Second baseman Jean Segura's return from a broken finger is nigh, and two-time MVP Bryce Harper should be back from a broken thumb before the end of August.

    Yet even after acquiring defensive wiz shortstop Edmundo Sosa from the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday, the Phillies have needs to fill on the trade market. The obvious ones are in center field and in their bullpen, both of which lack solid everyday contributors.

    President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told Scott Lauber of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he also desires a starting pitcher. Frankie Montas would be ideal, though whether the Phillies have the pieces to deal for him is uncertain.

Miami Marlins: Stand Pat

19 of 30

    Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

    Record: 47-55, 4th in NL East

    Playoff Odds: 1.2 percent

    The Miami Marlins have essentially failed to launch this season, peaking at four games over .500 on April 30 but generally trading wins and losses ever since then.

    As such, Jon Heyman of the New York Post says they're open for business:

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    Marlins new stance: Listening on everyone not named Alcantara

    This would notably include right-hander Pablo Lopez, who's pitched to a 3.16 ERA over the last three seasons and who's under club control through 2024. Factor in that he's still only 26, and he's worth a bundle for sure.

    But with Trevor Rogers having regressed and Jesus Luzardo (forearm strain) and top prospect Max Meyer (Tommy John surgery) injured, the Marlins don't have a pitching surplus as much in reality as they do in theory. They also don't have much in the way of valuable rentals, so our vote is to let it ride and try again in 2023.

Washington Nationals: Sell

20 of 30

    Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

    Record: 35-67, 5th in NL East

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    The Washington Nationals are in bad shape not only at the major league level but also down on the farm. Their collection of prospects is one of the five worst in the league.

    Though it was his rejection of a $440 million contract offer that really got the gears moving, such things also help explain why Juan Soto is on the market right now. And from what Jeff Passan said on Dan Patrick's radio show on Friday, there are "80-20" odds of him moving.

    Meanwhile, the Nationals also have other key pieces to sell.

    These include sluggers Josh Bell and Nelson Cruz, both of whom will be eligible for free agency at the end of the year. With an .887 OPS and 13 home runs to his name, Bell in particular looks like one of the more valuable rentals in the league right now.

Milwaukee Brewers: Buy

21 of 30

    Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Record: 57-44, 1st in NL Central

    Playoff Odds: 93.4 percent

    It hasn't all been smooth sailing for the Milwaukee Brewers, as they've suffered injuries to their pitching staff and have been operating with a hole in center field since they DFA'd Lorenzo Cain.

    On the pitching front, the Brewers would be justified in being patient. They're due to get some key pitchers back in August with Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser and Jake Cousins.

    Center field may require a more aggressive approach. They're in on Jose Siri, according to Ken Rosenthal, and on Ramon Laureano, per Jon Heyman. Conceivably, they also could make a play for Royals center fielder Michael A. Taylor.

    According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Brewers are also in on Josh Bell. It's an interesting tactic given that they have Rowdy Tellez at first base and Andrew McCutchen at DH, but it's hard to fault them if their thinking is to add an impact bat first and worry about where to put it later.

St. Louis Cardinals: Buy

22 of 30

    Lauren Bacho/Getty Images

    Record: 53-48, 2nd in NL Central

    Playoff Odds: 44.5 percent

    The St. Louis Cardinals were up on the Brewers by 2.5 games on June 14, but they've since gone 16-21 as they've dealt with all sorts of challenges.

    Among those has been offensive production, as the Cardinals have gone from 4.8 runs per game through June 14 to 4.3 per game since then. Thus are they firmly in the running for Juan Soto, according to Jon Heyman:

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    While there’s no word the Yankees are officially out on Juan Soto it’s clear they aren’t currently at the forefront of those talks. So it makes sense they jumped on Andrew Benintendi. SD, STL, LAD and TEX, perhaps due to better prospect matches, seem more involved in Soto talks.

    It's a good fit. The Cardinals do need a left-handed hitter who can hang with Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, and nobody matches that description better than Soto.

    With their rotation currently down to Adam Wainwright, Miles Mikolas and Andre Pallante, the Cardinals should be scouring the market for starting pitching depth. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Frankie Montas and Pablo Lopez are of interest to St. Louis.

Chicago Cubs: Sell

23 of 30

    Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

    Record: 41-59, 3rd in NL Central

    Playoff Odds: 0.1 percent

    Alas, the poor Cubs. They did well to gather talent over the winter following last summer's era-busting fire sale, but it's been for naught.

    All but certain to leave town by Aug. 2 are Willson Contreras, David Robertson and fellow reliever Mychal Givens. All three are pending free agents, and Contreras has already unsubtly cleansed the Cubs from his Instagram feed:

    Céspedes Family BBQ @CespedesBBQ

    WHOA BOY <a href="https://t.co/9WZ954Yb2W">https://t.co/9WZ954Yb2W</a> <a href="https://t.co/txxLw1z6mc">pic.twitter.com/txxLw1z6mc</a>

    Apart from Robertson, Givens and Contreras, the other Cub who's most likely to be changing addresses is All-Star outfielder Ian Happ. He's under club control through 2023, but his value might be at its peak right now. Understandably, Jeff Passan says "almost everyone" wants him.

    The North Siders otherwise don't have a ton to offer, though they probably have an unspoken dream of offloading what's left of Jason Heyward's $22 million salary in a trade.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Sell

24 of 30

    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Record: 40-61, 4th in NL Central

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    The Pittsburgh Pirates are in danger of losing 100 games for the second time in as many seasons, so there isn't much question that they should sell.

    But like with the Angels, there's a question of how much is too much.

    We would draw the line at center fielder Bryan Reynolds. He's been a popular guy on the trade market for several years now, with Jim Bowden of The Athletic reporting that the Yankees and Marlins "have not stopped" calling about him. Yet he's also under the team's control through 2025, by which time the Pirates should be done with their rebuild.

    Pittsburgh's pending free agents, on the other hand, should clearly be fair game. In particular, rejuvenated lefty Jose Quintana is worth something as a mid-to-back-end rotation arm.

Cincinnati Reds: Sell

25 of 30

    Justin Casterline/Getty Images

    Record: 39-61, 5th in NL Central

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    Even with Tyler Naquin and Phillip Diehl gone to the Mets and Luis Castillo now in Seattle, the Reds are probably just getting started on their selling before the Aug. 2 trade deadline.

    There's still Tommy Pham, as well as infielders Brandon Drury and Donovan Solano. All three are valuable rentals, though Drury and Solano may take the cake over Pham. Drury has quietly slugged 19 home runs, while Solano is hitting .323.

    More debatable is whether now is the right time to trade Tyler Mahle.

    He's had an up-and-down year, pitching to a 4.40 ERA overall and missing time with a shoulder strain. The Reds must not be afraid to hold him if they can't get an offer to their liking.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Buy

26 of 30

    Quinn Harris/Getty Images

    Record: 67-33, 1st in NL West

    Playoff Odds: 100.0 percent

    If the Los Angeles Dodgers can follow through on their interest in Soto, it would be a classic case of the rich getting richer.

    As it is, their lineup led by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner already lead the National League with 519 runs and all of MLB with a .336 on-base percentage. An offense like that plus Soto would make for a nightmarish matchup in October.

    And yet, it's not a hitter the likes of Soto that the Dodgers really need right now.

    Their focus ought to be on fortifying a pitching staff that's taken some lumps throughout 2022. The bullpen is a particular weakness, as Craig Kimbrel has been beatable, and the team's injured list is crowded with name-brand relievers.

San Diego Padres: Buy

27 of 30

    AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

    Record: 56-46, 2nd in NL West

    Playoff Odds: 81.6 percent

    Now, the San Diego Padres. There's a team that actually needs Soto in its lineup.

    The Friars have survived well enough offensively without Fernando Tatis Jr., whose return from a fractured wrist is just weeks away. But even he may not have all the power that they require. Only five teams have hit fewer home runs than San Diego's 88.

    That's where Soto can help, and it's all the more advantageous that he's an outfielder. To date, the Padres have gotten just a .642 OPS and 23 home runs from their outfielders.

    It also bears noting that, according to Rosenthal, the Padres have asked about Ohtani. That's a long shot, but he fits in San Diego about as well as he fits anywhere else. What team can't use a slugger who's also an ace and vice versa?

San Francisco Giants: Sell

28 of 30

    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Record: 50-51, 3rd in NL West

    Playoff Odds: 21.2 percent

    The San Francisco Giants are only four games off the pace in the National League wild-card race, but they've been trending down in a hurry with losses in 24 of their last 37 games, including eight out of 10 since the All-Star break.

    Accordingly, Heyman reported Saturday that the Giants are open for business:

    Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

    <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SFGiants?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SFGiants</a> also now listening on their veterans. Carlos Rodon and Joc Pederson are among obvious candidates if they do sell. Rodon has an opt out and Pederson is free after the year.

    Carlos Rodon, who's been an All-Star in back-to-back seasons, is surely San Francisco's shiniest trade chip. Durability is always the chief concern with him, but it's some comfort that his velocity is holding better this year than it did in 2021.

    In addition to Joc Pederson, who's slugging .492 on the season, there's also veteran first baseman Brandon Belt. With a .785 OPS against right-handers, he's at least a good platoon option at this stage.

Colorado Rockies: Stand Pat

29 of 30

    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Record: 46-56, 4th in NL West

    Playoff Odds: 0.0 percent

    The Colorado Rockies opened eyes—including those belonging to Trevor Story—when they opted not to sell at last year's trade deadline despite being well out of the playoff picture.

    History may repeat itself in 2022. When asked by Danielle Allentuck of the Denver Gazette on July 13 if he was planning on being a big seller, general manager Bill Schmidt said "no."

    Schmidt displayed his commitment to this bit on Saturday when the Rockies announced a two-year extension with hard-throwing closer Daniel Bard. Meanwhile, Chad Kuhl's value might be kaput amid a month of July in which he's struggled with an 8.71 ERA.

    It's hardest to imagine the Rockies moving All-Star slugger C.J. Cron. They frankly should sell high on him, but it would be in keeping with this franchise's habits if it kept him for the last year of his contract in 2023.

Arizona Diamondbacks: Sell

30 of 30

    Kelsey Grant/Getty Images

    Record: 45-55, 5th in NL West

    Playoff Odds: 0.1 percent

    The Arizona Diamondbacks have turned things around after last year's 110-loss effort, but this is a case where "better" does not equal "good."

    With David Peralta gone to the Rays, the Snakes have already offloaded their most valuable rental. Up next should be veteran righty Ian Kennedy, who's pitched to a 3.45 ERA despite a modest 1.9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

    Arizona is less likely to move slugger Christian Walker, according to Rosenthal, but it's also not in a position to turn away interested parties. He may be controlled through 2024, but he's already 31 and therefore fits the mold of a sell-high candidate.

    As for Madison Bumgarner, the chances are the Snakes are stuck with the $37 million he's owed through 2024. There may also be a non-zero chance of a team willing to take him on as a veteran innings-eater since he's pitched well to the tune of a 3.83 ERA.


    Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X