The 2023 MLB trade deadline is right around the corner, with the contending teams deciding what they need to add by 6 p.m. ET on August 1.
Could Shohei Ohtani move on from the Los Angeles Angels? Could Marcus Stroman, Cody Bellinger and Lucas Giolito be dealt to the contenders? And which of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants will do everything they can to boost their 2023 World Series hopes?
Whether your favorite club is looking to add or trade, or is somewhere in between, here’s the latest information we’re hearing, the reaction to the completed deals, and what to know for each team as the trade season unfolds.
MLB trade deadline buzz
July 24 Updates
The uncertainty surrounding Ohtani: The current contingent of members of the English and Japanese-language media covering the Los Angeles Angels posed for a photo Sunday. It was the team’s last home game before a 10-day road trip that will extend past the trade deadline, and thus potentially the last time that group, most of whom are dedicated to covering Shohei Ohtani wherever he goes, will be together.
Such is the state of affairs.
There are nine days left until the Aug. 1 trade deadline, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty as to whether Ohtani, the Angels’ transformative two-way star, will be traded before then. Front office sources across the industry said things were quiet on the business front over the weekend, with many finding it hard to believe Angels owner Arte Moreno would trade Ohtani in the first place, especially since the team has found a way to stay in contention without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.
But the Angels haven’t publicly stated that Ohtani will stay, so teams across the sport are preparing for the possibility that they might have him. They have to be ready to act; Acquiring a player of that magnitude requires a lot of footwork. –Alden Gonzalez
Who is a sleeper team to trade for Shohei Ohtani?
Buster Olney maintains that Shohei Ohtani is not available for trade, but identifies the Rays as a team that could put together an attractive package if the Angels trade positions.
What value does Bellinger have in the market? The Chicago Cubs can only hope Ohtani doesn’t move as Cody Bellinger is having a comeback year and an even better July. However, the price should be high with or without Ohtani on the market. There can’t be many teams that need Bellinger more than the New York Yankees, but the Toronto Blue Jays also need the help of a left-handed hitter. The noise about the Astros’ interest is just that: noise.
If any candidate was eligible for a trade to re-sign with his old team, it’s Bellinger. By the time the Cubs move him, they need to replace him. Reliever Mark Leiter Jr. is also generating interest as the Cubs have done a decent job of developing and trading relievers in recent years. Marcus Stroman also has interest from the obvious contenders. –Jesse Rogers
Will the Padres be adding or trading? It may be hard to believe, given his nature, that San Diego Padres GM AJ Preller won’t be aggressive one way or another, whether it’s selling veteran players or acquiring them. As of now, however, the expectation is that starter Blake Snell and closer Josh Hader remain with the team, according to a person familiar with team thinking.
If he were available, Snell would probably be the best starting pitcher available and Hader would probably be the best relief pitcher available. Both are free agents at the end of the season, and if the Padres don’t think they can truly compete in 2023, they could use both to get younger, cheaper players to balance both roster and payroll, better positioning the club for 2024.
At the moment, though, the Padres don’t seem ready to punt in 2023. But a lot can change this week during their six-game home stay against the Pirates and Rangers. The lack of significant traction could cause Preller to pivot in the other direction. And if he does, perhaps superstar outfielder Juan Soto, a free agent after 2024, will also be available. If there’s one thing Preller has shown in his tenure with the Padres, it’s that he doesn’t take half measures. — Gonzalez
The position of the cards at the deadline: The St. Louis Cardinals will begin reviewing offers this week. Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery are practically missing. Unless Snell is moved, Montgomery will be the best left-handed starter on the market. Most of the contenders have some interest, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. St. Louis wants controllable pitching in return and could add an outfielder in a package. From the position player side, Paul DeJong might make sense, since he has team options for the next two seasons. What happens to Jordan Hicks remains a question mark. –Rogers
Could the Dodgers add the All-Star third baseman? The Los Angeles Dodgers may be in first place in the NL West, but they’re also one of the teams most in need heading into the trade deadline. They need starting and relief pitching, and would also like to add a right-handed bat to their lineup, position not being a big factor.
One name to watch out for here is Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals third baseman who is owed a very reasonable $94 million over the next three years. The Dodgers have long been infatuated with the 32-year-old Arenado and see third base as a need to be addressed in the offseason given their current structure.
The Cardinals aren’t expected to trade Arenado at this time, but the Dodgers have the kind of young talent, particularly pitching, to sway teams in a situation like this. Arenado has a full no-trade clause, but he grew up in Southern California and the expectation is that he’ll give it up to a team like the Dodgers. — Gonzalez
Moving candlestick? The Washington Nationals will remain at the deadline, with third baseman Jeimer Candelario as their best trading chip at the moment. With Josh Donaldson gone, the switch-hitting Candelario could be a perfect fit for the Yankees. –Rogers
White Sox delivery pitchers: Lucas Giolito will be moved as he has no chance of re-signing in Chicago. He would be a good addition to the pitching-hungry Cincinnati Reds. There has been no indication that Dylan Cease will be traded, not with two years remaining in control of the team and few good Chicago White Sox starters under contract after this season. If Joe Kelly is healthy, he and Kendall Graveman are options for either contender. Tim Anderson’s future in Chicago is also murky. –Rogers
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