The 2023 MLB trade deadline is right around the corner, with contending teams deciding what they need to add before 6 pm ET on August 1 arrives.
Could Shohei Ohtani move from the Los Angeles Angels? Can Marcus Stroman, Cody Bellinger and Lucas Giolito be given the contenders? And which of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants will go all in to boost their 2023 World Series hopes?
Whether your favorite club is looking to add or fight — or stand between — here’s the latest intel we’ve heard, reaction to completed deals and what each team will learn as the trade period opens.
MLB trade deadline buzz
Updates on July 24
The uncertainty surrounding Ohtani: The present contingent of English- and Japanese-speaking members of the media covering the Los Angeles Angels pose for a photo Sunday. It’s the team’s last home game before a 10-day road trip that looms past the trade deadline, and as such, it’s likely the last time that group — most of whom are dedicated to covering Shohei Ohtani wherever he goes — will be together.
That’s the way things are.
There are nine days until the Aug. 1 trade deadline, and there’s still plenty of uncertainty as to whether Ohtani, the Angels’ turnaround two-way star, will be dealt before then. Front-office sources across the industry said things were quiet on the trade front over the weekend, and many of them had a hard time believing Angels owner Arte Moreno would trade Ohtani in the first place — especially since the team found a way to stay in contention without Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.
But the Angels haven’t announced publicly that Ohtani will stay, so teams across the sport are bracing for the possibility of getting him. They must be ready to act; Acquiring a player of that magnitude takes a lot of legwork. — Alden Gonzalez
Who is a sleeper team to trade for Shohei Ohtani?
Buster Olney has maintained that Shohei Ohtani is not available for trades, but has identified the Rays as a team that could put together an attractive package if the Angels change their position.
How valuable is Bellinger on the market? The Chicago Cubs can only hope Ohtani doesn’t get traded, as Cody Bellinger is having a breakout year and an even better month in July. However, the price should be high with or without Ohtani on the market. There aren’t many teams that need Bellinger more than the New York Yankees, but the Toronto Blue Jays also need some hands-off help. The noise about the Astros’ interest is just that: noise.
If there’s any candidate eligible for a trade and re-signing with his old team, it’s Bellinger. Once the Cubs move him, they need to replace him. Reliever Mark Leiter Jr. has also gained interest because the Cubs have done a decent job of developing and flipping relievers in recent years. Marcus Stroman also has interest from obvious contenders. — Jesse Rogers
Will the Padres add or deal? It may be hard to believe, given his nature, that San Diego Padres general manager AJ Preller won’t be aggressive one way or another, either in selling veteran players or acquiring them. For now, however, the expectation is that starter Blake Snell and closer Josh Hader will remain with the team, according to a person familiar with the team’s thinking.
If anything, Snell is probably the best starting pitcher available and Hader is probably the best relief pitcher available. Both are free agents at the end of the season, and if the Padres don’t believe they can truly contend in 2023, they could use both to get younger, cheaper players to balance the roster and payroll, better position the club for 2024.
Right now, though, the Padres don’t seem ready to hit the road in 2023. But a lot could change this week during their six-game homestand against the Pirates and Rangers. The lack of significant traction may prompt Preller to pivot in another 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 proven during his tenure with the Padres, it’s that he doesn’t take half steps. — González
The status of the Cards by the deadline: The St. Louis Cardinals will begin sifting through offers this week. Jack Flaherty and Jordan Montgomery are out. Unless Snell is moved, Montgomery will be the best lefty starter on the market. Most of the contenders have some interest, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. The St. Louis can control pitching in return and can include an outfielder in a package. From the position players side, Paul DeJong would be reasonable, as he has options with the team for the next two seasons. What will happen to Jordan Hicks is still a question mark. — Rogers
Could the Dodgers add an All-Star third baseman? The Los Angeles Dodgers may be in first place in the National League West, but they’re also one of the neediest teams heading into the trade deadline. They need starting and relief pitching, and they also want to add a right-handed bat to their lineup, with position being less of a factor.
One name to watch here is Nolan Arenado, the Cardinals third baseman who is owed a reasonable $94 million over the next three years. The Dodgers have long been in love with Arenado, 32, and they see third base as a need they need to address in the offseason given their current roster.
The Cardinals aren’t expected to trade Arenado at this time, but the Dodgers have the kind of young talent — especially pitching — to entice 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 will waive it for a team like the Dodgers. — González
Candelario to move? The Washington Nationals will pick up at the deadline, with third baseman Jeimer Candelario being their best trade chip right now. With Josh Donaldson out, the switch-hitting Candelario could be a perfect fit for the Yankees. — Rogers
White Sox managing pitchers: Lucas Giolito will be touched because he has no chance to re-sign with Chicago. He would be a great addition for the needy Cincinnati Reds. There’s no sign Dylan Cease will be traded — he doesn’t have two years of team control left and some good Chicago White Sox starters under contract after this season. If Joe Kelly is healthy, he and Kendall Graveman are options for any of the contenders. Tim Anderson’s future in Chicago is also bleak. — Rogers
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