The MLB trade deadline of August 1st is fast approaching. We've really only seen one trade leading up to this that had any sort of impact with Aroldis Chapman going to the Rangers to upgrade that bullpen. With such little activity, does that mean we are heading for a dud deadline or does it mean we'll get a ton of player movement over the next two weeks?
Here are some trades that I think make a lot of sense. These are not deals I want to happen (for example, I only want terrible things to happen to the Yankees) but trades that pass my logic test (whatever that's worth).
New York Yankees trade SS Anthony Volpe, 3B Josh Donaldson and minor leaguers CF Jasson Dominguez and SP Will Warren to Los Angeles Angels for SP/DH Shohei Ohtani.
The Angels should absolutely trade Ohtani. Will they? I should be past the point of trying to tie any logic to anything this baseball team does. For all the potential suitors, I do think the Yankees make the most sense. They are sitting at 50-44 and tied for last place in the AL East. I know they will hopefully get Aaron Judge back before the end of the month but can they go at this pace for much longer? They just lost two of three to the horrendous Rockies.
I love this package for the Angels. I know they already have Neto but they can move him to second (where he has played in the minors). I think Volpe is that good. He's already a very strong defensive player who is a great baserunner with some power. The contact isn't there yet but he's been a 2 WAR player this season.
Donaldson is in the deal just to make the salaries more even and not to propel the Yankees into luxury tax hell. Dominguez and Warren are pieces to help that Angels farm system.
Meanwhile, Ohtani instantly makes the Yankees the best team in the American League if/when Judge comes back. A rotation of Cole/Ohtani/Rodon is nasty heading into any series and imagine the protection Ohtani would give Judge in the lineup?
St. Louis Cardinals trade 1B Paul Goldschmidt and SP Jack Flaherty to Arizona Diamondbacks for SP Brandon Pfaadt and minor leaguer OF Druw Jones.
A Goldschmidt/Diamondback reunion would be pretty cool. This is a team that could really use a DH too. Flaherty would be a nice arm to slot in back of Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly and Tommy Henry. He's also a free agent at the end of the year so cost shouldn't be a big deal on his end. As far as Goldschimdt, he's only signed throughout the 2024 season. For a small/mid-market team, this is a deal that wouldn't annihilate the bank.
Druw Jones is a big price to pay but you're also getting a guy who won the MVP last year. Pfaadt could have a bright future but he's the worst player to have on a good team. The Diamondbacks need to make some kind of big move soon. They've lost 8 out of 10 and it feels like the season will slip away unless they can do something quick.
New York Mets trade Max Scherzer (but pay 90% of his existing contract for this year and next) and RP David Robertson to the Tampa Bay Rays for minor leaguers SP Mason Montgomery, 1B Xavier Isaac and SP JJ Goss.
This is a huge ask for Steve Cohen. This hypothetical is basically him spending $60 million (what's left on Scherzer's deal) to buy three prospects. But that's still a better use of the money then Scherzer sticking around on a team going nowhere. As for 2024, can the Mets really expect a 180 from guys like Scherzer, Justin Verlander and Starling Marte? It's tough to pull a 180 from being old.
Scherzer and Robertson would help the Rays a bit especially as they've battled with a number of pitching injuries. Taj Bradley has been ineffective since June (7.18 ERA in 7 starts) and they really need another quality arm to fill in behind Shane McClanahan, Zach Eflin and Tyler Glasnow. Montgomery is the only major prospect in the trade but Isaac and Goss both help fill out that weak Mets farm system.
St. Louis Cardinals trade SP Jordan Montgomery, RP Chris Stratton and SS Paul DeJong to the Baltimore Orioles for SP DL Hall and INF Joey Ortiz.
Each player the Orioles would be getting back in this deal is a free agent at the end of the year so from a cost perspective, the expense is pretty minimal. Ortiz is a pretty big chip to give up but with so many teams still in the playoff hunt because of the extra wild card spots, it's a sellers market.
The Orioles are playing some great baseball right now but having some rotation depth with Montgomery and being able to have DeJong to start the game at SS (and use Jorge Mateo as a late inning defensive replacement).
We've got 15 days until the deadline hits at August 1st at 6 PM. I do think we see some trades but maybe not as many as people may think (I think Juan Soto stays in San Diego for example). Carl, Hubbs, Castellini and I all talk baseball power rankings and some Ohtani possibilities on today's edition of Barstool Baseball which you can watch below.