2022 MLB Trade Deadline Grades
2022 MLB Trade Deadline Grades
There were some significant and not-so-significant deals made in Major League Baseball over the last couple of days. We’ll take a look at the major deal and break them down. As a handicapper, it’s important to know which teams have made big moves and which ones are tanking because they traded starters for prospects.
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Aug 2: San Diego acquires OF Juan Soto and 1B Josh Bell from Washington for four prospects.
This was the biggest trade of the day, because of Soto. At 23, Soto is one of the premier players in the game and the key is that he’s under team control through 2024. He should prosper once the Padres get their full lineup back. The addition of Bell was an underrated move because he also should prosper in a better lineup with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. when he’s healthy. Bell had 14 homers with the Nats while hitting .301/.384/.493.
Washington Adds: 1B Luke Voit, LHP MacKenzie Gore, SS C.J. Abrams, OF Robert Hassell Jr., OF James Wood, RHP Jarlin Susana.
If you are going to trade one of the best players in the game, who is under control for 2+ seasons, you better get some good prospects. The key here if Gore, who is 23 and looked like a top-flight starter this season, when he posted a 3.18 ERA in 13 outings. He’s really not a prospect anymore, and elbow issues placed him on the IL last week. Susana is the x-factor as he can throw is over 100 mph and a 6-6, 235-pound right-hander. Hassell, Wood and Susana (just 18) are the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 14 prospects for the Padres according to MLB.com. Wood has Aaron Judge-type size at 6-7, 240 with huge power. Hasell is a very good hitter who could develop power. Abrams is more of a lead-offer hitter and 21, who could steal over 30 bases one day.
San Diego Grade: A+
Washington Grade: A-
Aug 2: Philadelphia trades prospects for SP Noah Syndergaard from the LA Angels
Angels acquire: OF Mickey Moniak, OF Jadiel Sanchez
Syndergaard is the key here, because the 29-year old lacks the dominant stuff he used to have as a flame-thrower for the Mets. He had a decent 3.83 ERA with the Angels, but he will be pitching in a smaller stadium with a shaky defense. Yet, he is an upgrade to the rotation and they didn’t give up a ton to get him.
Moniak was really struggling in 47 big league games with Philadlephia. He’s hit .129 and a -0.9 rWAR. Sanchez is the key to the deal. He’s just 21 and is a switch-hitter at Single-A. He’s No. 19 in Baseball America’s note on the Phillies’ farm system. He has just six homers, but has strong exit-velocities.
Phillies’ Grade: C+
Angels’ Grade: B-
Aug. 2: Toronto adds INF/OF Whit Merrifield from Kansas City for two prospects
Royals acquire: INF/OF Somad Taylor and RHP Max Castillo
The Blue Jays needed to do something at 13-game above .500, but 11 games behind the first place New York Yankees in the AE East. Merrfield is 33 and appears to be on the downside. He’s hitting just .240/.290/.352 with six home runs. A new location might be what the doctor ordered considering he is a two-time All-Star and is a versatile player defensively. The Jays did need a left-handed hitter and he’s not that.
As for the Royals, Taylor is considered the 16th prospect in the Blue Jays system according to MLB.com. he has 136 steals through 470 minor league games. Castillo is a major league pitcher who can start or come out of the bullpen. He has a 3.05 ERA in nine appearances.
Toronto Grade: C-
Royals’ Grade: B-
Aug. 2: New York Yankees trade SP Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis for OF Harrison Bader.
It’s interesting that the Yankees needed a starter and traded a pretty good one in Montgomery (3.69 ERA) for a good fielder. The 28-year old Hader is an outstanding fielder who is going to a team that could really use a good glover in the outfield.
St. Louis gets a quality starter who can give them a good five-to-six innings. He’s 29 and not overpowering. They felt they could trade Bader, because Dylan Carlson can hold the fort in center field. They also added lefty starter Jose Quintana on Monday so their rotation does improve a ton.
Yankees’ Grade: C
St. Louis Grade: B+
Aug. 2: Boston adds 1B Eric Hosmer, INF Max Ferguson, OF Corey Rosier and cash from San Diego for LHP Jay Groome.
Hosmer was supposed to end up in Washington in the Juan Soto trade, but he declined to go since he has a no-trade clause. He’s not having a great season with the Padres (8 homers), but does hit .352 in Fenway Park in his career. Boston didn’t give up much and the Padres picked up all of his $44 million contract, which ends in 2025.
Ferguson and Rosier are fast and could add something in the future, but are not elite prospects.
The Padres wound up with Groome, a former first-round pick back in 2016. He’s still just 23 and has a 3.59 ERA this season in the high-minors. His stuff is not as good as it was when he was drafted.
Boston Grade: A-
San Diego Grade: C-
Aug. 2: San Diego adds INF/OF Brandon Drury from Cincinnati for SS Victor Acosta.
The Padres had quite an incredibly trade deadline day, adding Juan Soto and reliever Josh Hader. Drury is an underrated player who is 29 and a rental, but has a career-high 20 homers this season. He also has an 1.016 OPS against left-handed pitching.
Cincinnati gets an 18-year old shortstop in Acosta, who is considering No.6 in the Padres’ system, according to MLB.com. That means he’ll be up in three years if he realizes his potential. It’s a good deal for the Reds considering they were going nowhere and got a very good prospect for a player who was probably not going to be there next season.
San Diego Grade: B+
Cincinnati Grade: A-
Aug. 2: Minnesota acquires SP Tyler Mahle for three prospects from the Reds
Cincinnati adds 2B/3B Spencer Steer, LHP Steve Hajjar, and INF Christian Encarnacion-Strand
The Reds get some pretty good prospects for Mahle. Steer was the best one, considering he has 20 homers and an .889 OPS in Double-A and Triple-A, so he’s not far away. He’s also rated No. 7 by MLB.com. Hajjar has 71 strikeouts in 43.2 innings a Single-A. Encarnacion-Strand has produced 25 homers with a .987 OPES at High-A and Double-A.
Mahle is a 27-year old who was off to a rough start, but has a 2.83 ERA over his last nine starts. Minnesota desperately needed a quality starter and they get one. More importantly, they have club control through 2023.
Minnesota Grade: A
Cincinnati Grade: B+
Aug. 2: Twins add RP Jorge Lopez from Baltimore for four prospects
Orioles receive: LHP Cade Povich, LHP Juan Rojas, RHP Yennier Cano, RHP Juan Nunez.
Why did Baltimore trade their closer when they were in wild card contention? They do have a pretty deep bullpen, but Lopez has been an All-Star closer who is 29 and under club control through 2024. He throws in the high nineties and has an outstanding sinker. The Twins needed to bolster a bullpen that was average-at-best.
Baltimore gets a left-hander in Povich, who struck out 12.8 batters per nine innings. He was a third-round pick last season by the Twins. Cano is an intriguing prospect from Cuba, who throws in the mid-90s and could eventually become a late-inning reliever.
Minnesota Grade: B+
Baltimore Grade: C-
Aug 1: New York Yankees acquire RHP Frankie Montas, RHP Lou Trivino from Oakland for four prospects
Oakland receives: LHP Ken Waldichuk, RHP Luis Medina, LHP JP Sears, 2B Cooper Bowman.
The Yankees had a pretty good rotation, but they traded Jordan Montgomery to St. Louis and Gerrit Cole is starting to struggle. Montas is a 29-year old with a nasty splitter, who is 4-9 with a 3.18 ERA with a bad Oakland team. More importantly, he’s controlled through 2023, while Trivino is club controlled through 2024. Trivino has struggled with a 6.47 ERA and is 30, but does throw hard and has an improved slider.
The A’s received two top 10 prospects from the Yankees’ system according to MLB.com. The top player is Waldichuk, who had a 2.71 ERA in the high minors this season and is 70th overall in the top 100 per MLB.com. Sears is 26 and has a 2.05 ERA in seven innings.
Aug. 1: Padres add LHP Josh Hader from Milwaukee for four prospects.
Milwaukee adds: LHP Taylor Rogers, RHP Dinelson Lamet, LHP Robert Gasser, OF Esteury Ruiz.
Milwaukee is in first place in the NL Central and they traded an All-Star closer. They also get 31-year old Rogers, who can produce as a set-up man to Devin Williams. The Padres get an All-Star closer who has 29 saves to lead the league. He had a few bumps in the road in July, but the velocity is still strong. San Diego needed a strikeout guy and Hader is under club control for 2023, so that’s a big key. The Brewers save $11 million in the trade.
San Diego Grade: A-
Milwaukee Grade: B+
July 29: Seattle acquires SP Luis Castillo from Cincinnati for four prospects
Reds get: SS Noelvi Marte, SS Edwin Arroyo, RHP Levi Stoudt, RHP Andrew Moore
If it wasn’t for the Soto trade, this would have been the biggest deal when it comes to getting elite prospects. Castillo is a 29-year old two-time All-Star with a 2.86 ERA for a bad team. He’s been fantastic lately, holding teams to just six runs over his last 34 innings with 41 strikeouts. The Mariners will have him for at least one more season.
The Reds get Seattle’s No. 1, No. 3 and No. 5 prospects according to MLB.com. That’s quite a haul led by Marte, who is considered the 17th overall prospect in baseball by MLB.com. He’s just 20 with raw power and in 85 games in High-A, he’s slashing .275/.363/.462 with 15 homers and 13 steals. Arroyo is just 18 and is polished defensively. He was also hitting .316/.385/.514. Stoudt is a 24-year old right-hander with a mid-90s fastball, but may project to being a reliever.