Buy or Sell Latest MLB Rumors on Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Willson Contreras, More

Brandon ScottAugust 1, 2022

Buy or Sell Latest MLB Rumors on Juan Soto, Shohei Ohtani, Willson Contreras, More

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31:   Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals bats during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on Sunday, July 31, 2022 in Washington, District of Columbia. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
    Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

    We’re close enough now to the MLB trade deadline when all of the rumors and updates can be difficult to track.

    There is a ton of information to consume and tons of possibilities to consider when looking at how buyers and sellers might approach the deadline on Tuesday and where the trade targets end up.

    Here, we take a look at some of the latest trade rumors and buy or sell each one, based on fit and the strength of the rumors.

    One fun part about this is, with everything moving so fast, by the time you read this, any of it can be proved right or wrong.

Carlos Rodón to the Minnesota Twins?

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 03, 2022: Carlos Rodón #16 of the San Francisco Giants throws a pitch during the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 3, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images)
    Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

    Sitting four games out of the final NL wild-card spot going into Sunday, the San Francisco Giants had started listening to trade offers for some of their veterans on expiring contracts, according to Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

    One such veteran is 29-year-old starter Carlos Rodón, who signed with the Giants this past offseason but with a player option for 2023.

    Rather than risk losing him for nothing, the Giants seem willing to turn their half-year rental into someone else's.

    Keep an eye out for the Minnesota Twins, who were reportedly interested in Rodón during free agency. Unlike the Giants, heading into Sunday, Minnesota had a two-game lead in its division, where Rodón spent seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox.

    The Twins desperately need an addition to their rotation if they plan on competing in the AL, where they would likely run into the New York Yankees, Houston Astros or Toronto Blue Jays (all top-five in OPS) at some point in the postseason.

    Minnesota's starters ranked 18th in WAR going into Sunday's action. Rodón, an All-Star in consecutive seasons, had the third-highest WAR among starters. He would be an immediate upgrade to the Twins' rotation.

    Buy or Sell: Buy

Frankie Montas to the New York Yankees?

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    OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - JULY 21: Frankie Montas #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the top of the second inning against the Detroit Tigers during game two of a doubleheader at RingCentral Coliseum on July 21, 2022 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
    Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

    Since the Seattle Mariners traded four prospects for Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds, Frankie Montas has emerged as the New York Yankees' top target, according to Heyman.

    The Yankees already have one of the better pitching staffs in baseball, along with its top record.

    But with Luis Severino dealing with shoulder tightness, they need another starter to shore up the back end of the rotation. Severino is expected to start throwing again Monday. Still, his injury highlights how fragile the back end of the rotation can be.

    After the Castillo trade, Montas could cost more than the Yankees are willing to give. Besides, the St. Louis Cardinals are also hungry for a starter.

    They have been the apparent front-runners for Montas and have a better farm system with more to offer than the Yankees.

    Buy or Sell: Sell

Josh Bell to the Houston Astros?

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: Josh Bell #19 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on July 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Josh Bell is a perfect fit for the Houston Astros, whose current first baseman, Yuli Gurriel, looks like a shell of himself just one season after winning the AL batting title.

    Houston is also dealing with some uncertainty in Michael Brantley, as reliable a left-handed hitter you can find who’s been on the injured list since June with a shoulder injury.

    The switch-hitting Bell offers an offensive upgrade from Gurriel and insurance as a second designated hitter option from Brantley, who normally rotates left field and DH duties with slugger Yordan Álvarez.

    The Astros are interested in Bell, though the Washington Nationals' ask is reported to be high, according to Heyman.

    Bell could play at first and DH depending on health and matchups. He offers the offensive firepower the Astros have lacked in Gurriel’s underperformance and Brantley’s absence.

    Bell is slashing .304/.388/.497 with 14 home runs as of Sunday. Gurriel is slashing .240/.292/.389 with seven home runs.

    Buy or Sell: Buy

Shohei Ohtani gets traded at all?

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    ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - JULY 31: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels runs for third base after hitting a triple in the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 31, 2022 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
    Katharine Lotze/Getty Images

    With the Los Angeles Angels having another disappointing season, not at all factoring into the playoff conversation in August, it's logical they would have trade conversations for some of their best players.

    What does not seem logical is trading Shohei Ohtani before you absolutely have to. Jon Heyman and Joel Sherman of the New York Post reported the Angels are at least listening to trade offers for Ohtani.

    The two-way superstar has made it clear that winning is a priority for him, and the Angels have failed to do that since 2014.

    Their time to make an impression on Ohtani is running out, but they should still try. He has one more arbitration year before becoming a free agent. If things are the same at the deadline this time next year, then it makes more sense.

    But with Mike Trout still elite, but aging, the Angels should not reset the clock too early.

    Heyman and Sherman reported rival executives calling the chances of an Ohtani trade "very slim" and "almost zero."

    Buy or Sell: Sell

Zach Plesac to the Philadelphia Phillies?

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    ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - JULY 30: Zach Plesac #34 of the Cleveland Guardians pitches  during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 30, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia Phillies are definitely looking to add to their starting rotation. Various reports have linked them to Zach Plesac, José Quintana, Pablo López, José Urquidy and Noah Syndergaard.

    It's reasonable to think the Phillies would land at least one of them. Heyman reported Plesac, specifically, is on their radar.

    Plesac has a 4.33 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 19 starts for the Cleveland Guardians.

    Philly's pitching staff is top-10 in ERA, opponents' batting average and WHIP heading into Sunday. The starters rank third in WAR, behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros.

    Yet it's clear the Phillies have to do something as they try to hold on to that final wild-card spot with their best player, Bryce Harper, still out with a surgically repaired thumb.

    Buy or Sell: Buy

Juan Soto to the San Diego Padres?

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 30: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals reacts to a called strike in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Nationals Park on July 30, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    The San Diego Padres are among the favorites to land Juan Soto, whenever the Washington Nationals decide to trade him.

    That could be ahead of the deadline, or it could be between the winter and next year’s deadline. There is likely still some hope by the Nationals that they can retain Soto.

    Still, MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported the Padres are willing to discuss C.J. Abrams, Adrian Morejón and top prospect Robert Hassell III in talks for the 23-year-old superstar outfielder.

    Imagining a potential Fernando Tatis Jr.-Soto pairing is glorious, but the Padres won’t be the only team (or the richest) trying to get Soto. They do, however, have one of the best farm systems, along with the St. Louis Cardinals.

    Those are the likely interested teams with the most to offer. But until we can rule out the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers or Chicago Cubs, hold off on San Diego.

    Buy or Sell: Sell

José Quintana to the New York Yankees?

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 23: Jose Quintana #62 of the Pittsburgh Pirates delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Miami Marlins on July 23, 2022 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA. (Photo by Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
    Michael Longo/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

    Aside from Frankie Montas and Noah Syndergaard, the New York Yankees are reportedly in the mix for Pittsburgh Pirates left-hander José Quintana, according to FanSided's Robert Murray.

    There is more pressure on the Yankees to add to their rotation with Luis Severino's shoulder injury, but they are not as desperate as the St. Louis Cardinals or Minnesota Twins.

    The Cardinals have long been considered the favorite to land Montas, with the potential to outbid the Yankees. That puts Quintana into focus for the Bronx.

    Quintana has a 3.50 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP, right around the league average. He would fit well into the back end of the Yankees' rotation, already led by Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Jameson Taillon and Jordan Montgomery.

    Buy or Sell: Buy

Willson Contreras to the San Diego Padres?

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    SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 30: Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs bats against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the first inning at Oracle Park on July 30, 2022 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
    Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

    The San Diego Padres aren't just among the favorites to land Juan Soto. They are also in talks to trade for Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras, considered one of the best offensive players on the market.

    Multiple MLB insiders reported the Padres' interest Saturday.

    Even though San Diego doesn't have the same specific need at catcher as the San Francisco Giants, the Padres appear to be more aggressive in making deals.

    They are in the wild-card hunt after a disappointing 2021, and a bat like Contreras' could really give them a boost.

    The Padres rank 20th in OPS, 19th in wRC+ at FanGraphs and 15th in runs scored. Even as a rental, Contreras would be useful in San Diego's current run as both a catcher and designated hitter in the heart of the lineup.

    Buy or Sell: Buy

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