Major League Baseball teams have just a few more days to complete their summer shopping, as this year’s trade deadline ends at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2. After that point, teams can’t make deals until the rest of the season. .
The deadline is usually July 31, but commissioner Rob Manfred gained the ability to set it any day between July 28 and Aug. 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 2nd, a few days later than usual.
Regardless of when the deadline passes, you may be wondering what the main storylines are heading into the final days of the trade season. CBS Sports has you covered below with information and answers to eight frequently asked questions.
1. Who are the top buyers and sellers?
Our Dane Perry recently classified each of the 30 teams as buyers, sellers or something in between. While taking Perrin seriously is always a risk, it’s one we choose to take. See who you’ve tagged as a buyer or seller (note that the groups are listed alphabetically by city name)
Buyers: Braves, White Sox, Guardians, Astros, Dodgers, Brewers, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Blue JaysSellers: Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Royals, Angels, Marlins , Athletics, Pirates, Nationals
Any group not listed above was considered something in between, meaning that they could buy or sell or stand depending on how the negotiations developed.
2. What amazing activities have been done so far?
The biggest trade to date was when the Mariners acquired right-hander Luis Castillo from the Reds in exchange for four prospects, including Noelvy Marte and Edwin Arroyo. (You can read our in-depth analysis here.)
Most of the other big dominoes have just begun to fall, meaning the next phase 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 plenty of other marquee names that could be moving of late.
3. Will Soto move?
The biggest of those enticing names is Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who was available earlier this month after rejecting a 15-year, $440 million extension offer.
Soto is a 23-year-old under team control for two more seasons after this tournament, making him one of the most sought-after trade targets in league history. CBS Sports described the Cardinals as the best fit to acquire him based on their combination of prospects and young big league players, as well as their financial outlook and front office’s history of making similar trades.
The franchise is expected to be bought by new owners this offseason, which seems to encourage the Nationals to move Soto before the deadline. It seems unlikely that the incoming owners will want to trade their first big move in front of the franchise.
It should be noted that if and when a Soto trade happens, executives with other teams fully expect veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin to step in as a financial ballast.
4. What about Otanis?
The Angels have reportedly listened to offers on another young star, two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, but a trade seems less likely than Soto’s case.
Ohtani is under team control for one more season, but the situation is more complicated. Industry sources who spoke to CBS Sports indicated that owner Arte Moreno has little interest in greenlighting a deal and that the Angels will likely hang on to Ohtani and try to win again in 2023.
If Ohtani is to be traded, it would be reasonable to state that it will likely come this offseason — or possibly at the next deadline.
5. Who are the other best players?
Here are the top five players based on our rankings who haven’t been traded or mentioned in this category yet.
No. 3 Frankie Montas, RHP, Athletics No. 4 Bryan Reynolds, OF, PiratesNo. 5 Sean Murphy, C, Athletics no. 6 Willson Contreras, C, CubsNo. 7 Ian Happ, OF, Cubs
We note that Reynolds appears unlikely to leave and the Athletics may similarly decide to hold onto Murphy through the summer. The other three — Montas, Contreras and Happ — seemed to have a better than 50/50 shot when they moved on Tuesday night.
6. Will the Yankees move gallons?
A name you’ll find far less often on our rankings is Joey Gallo, a Yankees outfielder who has struggled since being acquired at the trade deadline. Gallo is an upcoming free agent and increasingly homeless man on New York’s roster.
Naturally, that combination has fueled speculation that Gallo might be on the way out, with the Padres and Rangers among others being touted as destinations.
Gallo is one of the most intriguing players at the deadline to watch if there is any chance he can regain his former form away from New York.
7. Could the Astros be related to the deep state?
It’s not often you see a clear division favorite trade from the big league roster, but the rumor mill has deals in place that would send the Astros a starting pitcher and possibly an outfielder.
The Astros currently have a six-pitcher rotation like Jake Odorizzi and Jose Urquidi. With things off the field, the Astros have reportedly received a call-up for Jose Siri, who has been short on center field time.
The Astros have expressed interest in the Cubs and Nationals first baseman Josh Bell, but it’s unclear whether the aforementioned players will be involved in those deals.
8. Can the Braves make 2021 deadline magic?
We’ll end by pointing out that the World Series champion Braves were primed to win the title last July when they acquired Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Joc Pederson and Adam Duvall in undisclosed deals.
Will the Braves be able to perform similar miracles in the next few days?
The Braves will likely be in the market for another bat, perhaps of the right-handed variety. Just like competitors, both startups and brokers can count on entering the pitching market.
We’ll see if the Braves can position themselves better enough to repeat soon enough.