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  • Writer's pictureGabe White

My Take on the MLB Trade Deadline...

Alright. It's time to stop playing around. July has nearly come and gone, the All Star Game is over, and its almost the trade deadline. Sounds interesting right? Well, that's only sometimes the case. Plenty of hype surrounds the August 1st Trade Deadline, but it doesn't always live up to the hype. We've been treated to treats the last 2 years, with Trea Turner and Max Scherzer going to Los Angeles in 2021 and Juan Soto going to San Diego in 2022. But this year might be a little different. With the expanded Wild Card Scenarios in hand, teams all around the league still have a shot at sneaking in at the proverbial buzzer come October. That means there are less sellers (teams that are selling their good players for prospects) and more buyers (teams buying the great players from lackluster teams). It doesn't take a macroeconomics professor to know that when supply goes down, an increase in demand counteracts it. Less selling teams, means higher prices to pay.


In my completely professional and unbiased opinion, I don't believe anything drastic happens at this years' deadline. No, I don't think Ohtani is traded. Let's get that out of the way right now.


The Angels are 3.5 games back of that final wildcard spot, and they've yet to get Trout healthy and start clicking on the rubber. I think the asking price for Ohtani (the greatest player of this generation easily, and maybe ever) will be far too high for teams to pay for it.




The Angels will be asking for several top prospects and likely some major-league ready players as well. For a rental (meaning he wouldn't be under contract for the team that would trade for him next year), teams won't pay that price. And the Angels are a great week away from being a playoff team, so who even knows if they're really listening to offers on anybody.


Starting pitching is maybe the rarest commodity in all of professional sports, behind having a great quarterback. Excellent starting pitching is such a luxury, that mediocre pitchers rake in hundreds of millions of dollars every single offseason because teams are desperate to improve their pitching staff. One of my favorite jokes my dad always cracks about baseball is in order to win a title, you need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. And for the kicker, there are few great starting pitchers available this year. Aside from Ohtani, Dylan Cease is the most coveted option as a starting pitcher, but even he is having a down year. It's worth noting that team control is another big factor in trades, how many years remaining on the players contract do they have? If a player has 3 years of team control remaining, meaning they would become a free agent after the 2026 season, then they will be worth substantially more than someone who is a free agent after the 2023 season. Of the names mentioned for starting pitching, I've heard Lance Lynn, Jordan Montgomery, Jack Flaherty, and Lucas Giolito, to name the most popular ones. It'll be interesting to see where they end up even IF they get traded, but it's certainly fun to pay attention to. A good starting pitcher or two can be the difference between a deep postseason run and missing the wild card.


The bats are a little more difficult to predict. There are so many quality hitters in the game, but every team with a quality bat (that could be traded) reasonably believes they can re-sign them to their roster for the long term. Take Cody Bellinger for example. He's having a career year, a power hitting lefty outfielder with above average defense and speed and he's hitting lefties better than righties (which is saying something) and is the offensive star on a mediocre Cubs team that will miss the playoffs. But the Cubs are a proud franchise with a strong culture and fanbase, and its not out of the question they will re-sign Bellinger to be on their squad for the foreseeable future, hoping he can contribute to the next great Cubs team. But rest assured, teams all over the league could use a guy like Bellinger, so the Cubs will field calls all over the place. It's impossible to predict the bats, because any team can swoop in and trade for a guy just like that, or the current team of said player can re-sign them at any point.


However, my pessimism aside, the Trade Deadline is always exciting. We've been treated to some fantastic deadlines the last 2 years, so I'm tempted to think we're due for a dud. Especially given how close the playoff race is, and the prices bad teams will be asking for their best players. Keep your hard hats ready this weekend, because we are still bound for a trade or two; and who knows, maybe it's the difference between your favorite team winning the World Series and not... time will tell.

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