The thought process behind making MLB picks can change pretty drastically after the Trade Deadline, as the rosters of teams can change in a big way. This is one of the most important days on the MLB calendar, and 2022 was no exception.
There is an arms race taking place in Major League Baseball, and the best teams continue to try and find a way to get even better. Some big names were on the trading block for this Trade Deadline, and a monster deal was made.
Adding players doesn’t always guarantee success in MLB, but it’s one way to improve the chances of winning a title.
Padres Land Soto
When Juan Soto turned down a massive contract extension from the Washington Nationals, it became clear that he would be traded before the Trade Deadline. MLB predictions on where he would land were all over the place, with the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Padres all seemingly the best options.
In the end, the San Diego Padres were able to land Soto in a blockbuster trade that also netted them Josh Bell. Soto and Bell will join a lineup already stacked with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado.
The Washington Nationals got a massive return by trading away Soto and Bell, but this is a move that can set the franchise back for a couple of years. Shortstop C.J. Abrams and starting pitcher MacKenzie Gore were a part of the deal, and both players will likely play key roles for the Nationals moving forward.
St. Louis could not pivot to a backup plan after missing out on Soto, while the Dodgers were still able to land a few deals. The Dodgers have a pretty large lead over the Padres, but San Diego will be a threat once the playoffs begin.
Cubs Keeping All Stars
The Chicago Cubs entered the Trade Deadline as sellers and have two of the most attractive prospects heading into the week. All-Star Willson Contreras and Ian Happ were targets of a number of teams throughout the league, but ultimately Chicago was unable to find a suitable trade partner.
After the season, Contreras is a free agent and was viewed as the best offensive catcher available. The New York Mets appear to be the most likely destination at the Trade Deadline, but he will finish out the season in Chicago.
Happ had a breakout season in 2022, and he was on the radar of nearly every single playoff hopeful team in both leagues. The outfielder is under team control for next season as well, and the asking price was too high for anyone to want to make a move.
Yankees Add Talent; Mets Are Quiet
There have been plenty of World Series predictions that have both the New York Yankees and the New York Mets in the Fall Classic. A Subway Series would be a dream scenario for baseball fans in that state, and it could easily happen.
Both teams are willing to spend money to improve, but only one New York team was super aggressive at the Trade Deadline. The Yankees were clearly trying to keep their stranglehold on the AL, while the Mets are hoping that the current roster is good enough.
New York got the best starting pitcher on the market by landing Frankie Montas from the Oakland Athletics. Reliever Lou Trivino was also a part of that deal and has been terrific in recent years.
The Yankees are already the best offensive team in baseball, but they were also able to add Andrew Benintendi to the mix from the Kansas City Royals. The Mets were in desperate need of some help on offense, but that team could not strike a deal.
There is still a decent chance that a Subway Series could happen in 2022, but the Mets are going to have to deal with a number of teams that vastly improved at the Trade Deadline in the NL.