The 2022 MLB trade deadline is upon us, and a handful of squads are pursuing new life with meaningful transactions.
This year’s trade deadline is a bit later than usual, as teams have until 6 p.m. ET Aug. 2 to file paperwork to the league’s office to complete trades.
Here are the swaps that have happened so far, along with grades for the bigger transactions from our FOX Sports MLB writers.
Despite hearing offers from several MLB teams around two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani, the Angels are reportedly taking their phenom off the block. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported Monday that the Yankees, Padres and White Sox were among the teams making a strong push for him.
Ohtani, whose contract expires at the end of 2023, made noncommittal comments about his future with the team last week.
“Regardless of where I’m playing, I’m going to give it my all and try to win that ballgame in front of me,” Ohtani said. “I’m with the Angels right now, and I’m very thankful for what they’ve done. I love my team and my teammates. Right now I’m an Angel, and that’s all I can focus on.”
Key stats: Sosa has struggled as the plate, hitting just .189/.244/.270, striking out at a 29% clip in 2022.
Who else was involved? The Cardinals got left-handed reliever JoJo Romero in return for Sosa.
Why it matters: The Cards and Phillies were tied for a wild card spot heading into Saturday, and though division foes don’t generally swap players, both players filled specific needs for each squad. Sosa will join a packed middle infield that includes Bryson Stott, Didi Gregorius and the injured Jean Segura. Gregorius has struggled this year, so Sosa’s addition eases the team’s tensions as it preps for a heated final stretch.
Phillies trade grade: B
Sosa is an intriguing addition, a stellar shortstop defender who appeared to show flashes of offensive production last season but whose bat cratered badly in 2022. I’m most interested in how much they see Sosa contributing in the short-term considering Segura is reportedly returning from the IL in the near future, Gregorius appears to still have the shortstop job, and manager Rob Thomson is still trying to find consistent playing time for young infielder Stott. If anything, Sosa is a strong depth addition that can provide defense and speed late in games as a replacement — I’m just curious if the Phillies view him as a possible long-term starter at either second or short with Segura and Gregorius coming off the books this winter.
Cardinals trade grade: C+
In Romero, the Cardinals get an intriguing lefty reliever who is coming off Tommy John surgery and clear the way for the return of Paul DeJong to the infield mix, who has been in Triple-A for several months after a horrific start to the season. I don’t particularly love this, considering Sosa’s age and what he looked like he could be during his strong season in 2021, but Romero can probably help more now at a position of need while other players like Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman are more clearly entrenched in the Cardinals’ plans moving forward. —Jordan Shusterman
Key stats: A Silver Slugger award winner in 2018, and Gold Glover in 2019, Peralta is hitting .241 with 12 homers, and 41 RBI in 87 games played. He’s third all-time on the D-backs’ leaderboard in games played, at-bats, plate appearances, hits and total bases.
Who else was involved? Arizona receives highly-touted catching prospect Christian Cerda, who’s currently batting .315 with the FCL Rays.
Why it matters: The Rays have been consistently average against right-handed pitchers this season, and Peralta has been stout in that category, posting a 267/.325/.498 average against righties this year, and a .295/.351/.492 mark over his career. His presence in the outfield will also be a valuable plus, as Tampa has seen Kevin Kiermaier, Manuel Margot and Harold Ramirez all miss time with injuries thus far.
Rays trade grade: B+
The Rays have quietly been hanging around the AL Wild Card race despite dealing with a myriad of injuries on the offensive side of the ball, most notably star shortstop Wander Franco. The lineup has been buoyed by a career year from Yandy Diaz and breakouts from Isaac Paredes and Harold Ramirez, but they badly need another sturdy offensive performer and Peralta can be exactly that. I love this.
D-backs trade grade: C+
This isn’t quite the same situation as Trey Mancini because the Orioles are much closer to a playoff spot than Arizona, but I have a similar reaction in the sense that it’s never fun to see a player who has been on one team for so long get traded, even if it might be the right baseball move. Peralta’s career arc from minor league pitcher to Gold Glove outfielder is sensational, and he’s been a fixture in the D-backs lineup for nearly a decade. Who knows what 19-year-old Cerda will be — he’s been having a strong summer in the Florida Complex League — but it’s always hard to celebrate a trade of such a familiar face like Peralta too much. That said, I’d expect Arizona to continue being active in off-loading veterans wherever possible. —Jordan Shusterman
Key stats: The 6-foot-8 right-hander sports a 1-0 record with a 1.34 WHIP, and a 4.31 ERA in 34 appearances this season. He’s also struck out 30.1% of the 133 batters he’s faced thus far, and walked just four.
Who else was involved? The Cubs received utility man Zach McKinstry in the deal.
Why it matters: The Dodgers’ lineup is one of the most dynamic in baseball, and though the team’s bullpen has the sixth-best ERA in the majors at 3.37, it’s dealt with a number of injuries. Those include setbacks to Blake Treinen and Tommy Kahnle, plus a season-ending ACL tear for Daniel Hudson. Martin’s acquisition adds depth for a team hoping to make another World Series run.
Dodgers trade grade: B-
It would be stunning if this was the only move the Dodgers made before Tuesday’s deadline, so we’ll just consider this a standard depth addition, as the super-tall Martin has been a fairly reliable middle-inning reliever for several years now. It’s also not hard to imagine the Dodgers extracting a bit more out of him than the Cubs or even the Braves did. It ain’t much, but it ain’t nothing. He’ll almost certainly be on the postseason roster if he’s healthy.
Cubs trade grade: B+
While we all wait for some of the Cubs’ bigger potential trade chips like Willson Contreras, Ian Happ and David Robertson to move, Jed Hoyer and Co. decided to offload one of their older relief pieces in exchange for a 27-year-old in McKinstry.
McKinstry, a former 33rd-round pick, is one of the many developmental success stories in the Dodgers organization who could never quite find his way into regular playing time with the big-league club. He is currently raking in Triple-A for the second year in a row, and it’d be awesome to see him get a more extended run at the big league level with the Cubs should some more playing time open up post-deadline. I dig this addition a lot. —Jordan Shusterman
Key stats: At the time of the trade, the 29-year-old Castillo was 4-4 through 14 starts with a 2.86 ERA and 90 strikeouts. He was named an All-Star this season for the second time in his career.
Who else was involved? Noelvi Marte, Levi Stoudt, Edwin Arroyo and Andrew Moore will land with the Reds.
Why it matters: The Mariners own one of the two AL wild card spots as of Friday, and their pitching staff is fifth in the league in ERA and ninth in wins. What’s that mean? They are going for it all by acquiring Castillo.
Mariners trade grade: A++
The Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001. It’s famously the longest drought in American professional sports. This season might be the best chance this franchise has had to end that streak in quite a while.
Acquiring Castillo, easily the top pitcher available at the deadline, is a clear message from Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto: This is the freakin’ year. They gave up quite a haul to get the deal done, but Castillo is a true frontline guy that any team would love to have start Game 2 of a postseason series. He’s been at his rip-roaring best of late, posting a 2.62 ERA in 9 starts since the beginning of June.
This is as close to a “pushing the chips in” moment as we’ve ever seen from this Mariners regime. The Yanks and Rangers were reportedly heavily interested in Castillo and the Ms straight-up outbid them. For a team that’s been vacationing in October for the last two decades, that aggressive approach is a welcome sight.
Reds trade grade: A-
If you accept that the Reds had to trade Castillo (I kind of do, more on that in a moment), then this was a phenomenal package to get back.
Getting a top-10 prospect like Marte is extremely hard to do, even though the top-end talents in the minors right now aren’t at Adley Rutschman/Julio/Bobby Witt Jr. levels anymore. Noelvi is a 20-year-old shortstop with precocious pop who scouts believe has a decent chance to stick at the position. How much he’s able to hit for average, keep his Ks down and get on base will dictate his overall value, but this is a really good prospect.
Arroyo, at least right now, is essentially a younger version of Marte, except slightly worse at everything. His power isn’t quite as good and there’s more doubt about his future defensive home. Stoudt is a small-school 2019 draftee with great command of a fastball/slider combo, but not much else. He likely ends up as a solid bullpen arm. Moore throws really hard and walks a lot of guys, so he’s the biggest flyer of the group.
Considering where the Reds are right now as a franchise getting a package like this back for Castillo looks great. They leveraged a few teams against one another and squeezed out as much talent as they could.
But my problem is the assumption that the Reds had to do this move. Based upon where they are as a franchise — bad right now, probably bad next year too — this move makes sense. But Cincy is in a bad situation entirely of its own making. Last year this club had a real chance at a wild card spot and fell just short. But instead of improving their roster and running it back, ownership slashed payroll, dealt away a cadre of talented dudes and now the team stinks. Castillo could have been the ace of a team fighting for a postseason birth — I guess now he will — instead of a valuable trade chip. The Reds did well here, but that they were in this spot to begin with is a shame. —Jake Mintz
Key stats: Through 93 games, Benintendi was hitting .320/.387/.398 (.785 OPS), with three home runs and 39 RBIs.
Who else was involved? The Royals acquired three pitching prospects in TJ Sikkema, Chandler Champlain and Beck Way.
Yankees trade grade: A-
“Benintendi has established himself as a high-contact, slightly above-average hitter with a good walk rate and middling power who can provide sufficient defense in a corner-outfield spot. More solid than spectacular this season despite an All-Star selection a few weeks ago, Benintendi will provide the Yankees’ lineup with a somewhat different look upon his arrival. He’s not a game-changing, season-altering player by any means, but there’s real value in having a high-contact, left-handed stick, especially with Giancarlo Stanton hitting the IL this week.” — Jake Mintz
Royals trade grade: B+
“With Benintendi due to hit free agency this winter, it makes complete sense that the Royals dealt him to a contender for a trio of pitching prospects: TJ Sikkema, Chandler Champlain and Beck Way. None of these three is a paradigm-shifting talent, but there’s a good chance at least one of them becomes a solid big-league contributor.” — Mintz
Yankees trade for Andrew Benintendi
Ben Verlander discusses what the New York Yankees’ trade for Andrew Benintendi means for the team.
Key stats: At the time of the trade, Vogelbach was batting .228 with 12 home runs, a .769 OPS and a 117 OPS+ this season. He was batting .260 with all of his homers, an .896 OPS and a 153 OPS+ against righties.
Who else was involved? The Mets added much-needed DH help after acquiring left-handed-hitting slugger Vogelbach for rookie reliever Colin Holderman.
Why it matters: In 124 plate appearances at the time of the trade, lefty Mets DHs were batting .152 with a .458 OPS — the lowest of any team with 50 plate appearances by lefty DHs — and just one home run.
Key stats: Santana was hitting .216/.349/.341 (.690 OPS) with four homers and 21 RBIs in 52 games at the time of the trade.
Who else was involved? Seattle added the veteran DH/1B by dealing right-handed pitchers Wyatt Mills and William Fleming to the Royals.
Stay tuned for more updates.
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