MLB Trade Deadline: Date, Time & Eight Other Things You Need To Know As Juan Soto Headlines Trade Bloc Names

Major League Baseball’s teams only have a few days left to complete their summer buy-ins as this year’s trading deadline expires at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, August 2nd. After that point, teams will not be able to make deals until the low season.

The deadline usually expires on July 31, but Commissioner Rob Manfred was given the option to set it on any day between July 28 and August 3 as part of the new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association. That, in short, is why the deadline is August 2, a few days later than usual.

Regardless of when the deadline passes, you may be wondering what the main storylines are in the closing days of the trading season. CBS Sports has you covered below, with information and answers to eight frequently asked questions.

1. Who are the best buyers and sellers?

Our Dayn Perry recently categorized each of the 30 teams as buyers, sellers, or anything in between. While it’s always a risk to take Perry seriously, we chose to take it. Here’s a look at who he categorized as buyers or sellers (note that those teams are listed in alphabetical order based on their city name):

  • Buyers:Braves, White Sox, Guardians, Astros, Dodgers, Brewers, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays
  • sellers: Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Royals, Angels, Marlins, Athletics, Pirates, Nationals

Any team not listed above was considered somewhere in between, meaning they could buy or sell, or follow a stalemate, depending on how the negotiations develop.

2. What notable moves have happened so far?

The biggest deal of the deadline to date was for the Mariners to buy right-handed Luis Castillo from the Reds in exchange for four prospects, including infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo. (You can read our in-depth analysis of those here.)

Most of the other big dominoes have yet to fall, meaning the next batch of big non-Castillo trades will include outfielders heading to the American League East: Andrew Benintendi joining the Yankees and David Peralta joining the Rays . Hey, we said there are many other names of tents that can be moved sooner or later.

3. Will Soto be moved?

The biggest of those big names is Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who became available earlier this month after turning down a $440 million 15-year extension offer.

Soto is a 23-year-old on a Hall-of-Fame court who will be under team control for two more seasons after this, making him one of the most sought-after trading targets in the history of the league. CBS Sports identified the Cardinals as the team best suited to bring him in based on their combination of prospects and top-tier young players, as well as their financial prospects and their front office history of similar trades.

The Nationals seem incentivized to move Soto before the deadline as the franchise is expected to be bought by new owners this off-season. It seems unlikely that the inbound owners would want their first big step trade off the face of the franchise.

If and when a Soto transaction takes place, it’s worth noting that executives with other teams fully expect the veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin to be involved as financial ballast.

4. What about Ohtani?

The Angels have reportedly been listening to offers on another young superstar in the two-way phenomenon Shohei Ohtani, but a trade seems far less likely than in Soto’s case.

Ohtani will be under team control for an additional season, but the situation is more complicated. Industry types who have spoken to CBS Sports have noted that owner Arte Moreno seems less likely to make a deal, and that the Angels are likely to hold Ohtani and try to win again in 2023.

It would be fair to say that if Ohtani is traded, it will likely be this off-season – or perhaps the next deadline.

5. Who are the other top players out there?

Here are the top five players available based on our ranking who have not yet been traded or mentioned in this piece:

  • No. 3 Frankie Montas, RHP, Athletics
  • No. 4 Bryan Reynolds, OR, Pirates
  • No. 5 Sean Murphy, C, Athletics
  • No. 6 Willson Contreras, C, Cubs
  • No. 7 Ian Happ, OR, Cubs

We note that it seems unlikely that Reynolds will leave and that the Athletics could also decide to hold Murphy until winter. The other three — Montas, Contreras and Happ — appear to have a better than 50/50 chance of being moved Tuesday night.

6. Will Yankees Move Gallo?

One name you will find much lower in our rankings is Joey Gallo, the Yankees outfielder who has struggled since he was taken in the last deadline of a trade. Gallo is an imminent free agent and increasingly a homeless man on New York’s roster.

Of course, that combination has fueled speculation that Gallo could be on the way, taking the Padres and Rangers among others as potential destinations.

Gallo is one of the most intriguing Deadline players worth checking out, if only for the possibility that he could regain his old form by moving away from New York.

7. Could Astros trade from the deep?

It’s not often you see a clear division favorite trade away from major league players, but the rumor mill has weighed the Astros matches that would send a starting pitcher and possibly an outfielder.

The Astros currently have a six-pitcher rotation, including Jake Odorizzi and José Urquidy. As for the outfield, the Astros have reportedly received calls about Jose Siri falling out of their midfield timeshare.

The Astros have expressed interest in catchers and Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, but it is unclear whether the aforementioned players would be involved in those deals.

8. Can Braves Conjure 2021 Deadline Magic?

We close by pointing out that the Braves, the defending World Series champions, positioned themselves to win the trophy last July when they took on Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall in unprecedented deals.

Will the Braves be able to perform similar miracles in the coming days?

The Braves will presumably be in the market for another bat, probably the right-handed variety. Likewise, you can count on them signing up in the pitching market, both starters and relievers, as is the custom for contenders.

We’ll find out if the Braves can better position themselves for a replay soon enough.

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