Rosenthal: What I’m hearing before the MLB trade deadline

It’s AJ Preller’s world, and the rest of the baseball industry lives in it.

Well, this may be an exaggeration. But getting right, Preller is eyeing an astonishing number of trades and seems almost certain to make at least one major move before Tuesday’s 6pm ET trading deadline.

Will he be with the national team for the right player Juan Soto? Cubs to hunter Wilson Contreras, left-back Ian Hap, and perhaps even loyalist David Robertson? Athletics for Frankie Montas and perhaps wrestler Sean Murphy or defender Chad Bender, all of whom played for Padres coach Bob Melvin in Auckland?

At this point, Briller probably doesn’t know. To some degree, it’s exploring each of the above possibilities, according to major league sources. He’s also toured Angels for Shohei Ohtani, not that anyone in the industry would expect the two-way star to move.

Other GMs keep their pulse on the entire market, but few are as creative and aggressive as the Preller. Some teams may act first with the players they care about and close certain options to Padres. New routes may open for some clubs depending on the route the Preller is taking.

Preller has trading prospects, short-term CJ Abrams and starter third Robert Hassell, but also two high-profile players from the 2021 draft, quarterback Jackson Merrill and James Wood, both from Maryland, making them relative locals. citizens. Preller also has contracts he’d like to transfer, most notably Eric Hosmer’s, which owes his $20 million salary this season and $39 million from 2023 to 2025.

Padres and Cubs have talked about various concepts over the past 12 months, including one last summer that would have sent Hosmer’s first baseman and big prospect to Chicago for an unspecified comeback. If the land of the Padres Contreras, the Mets could force a move on the JD Martinez-Christian Vázquez package from the Red Sox. Sources said the Mets, however, are exploring several other possibilities.

Besides the Padres, Montas is a target for the Twins, Yankees and Blue Jays (MLB.com’s John Paul Morosi first indicated the Jays’ interest). The Astros, who are looking for a masque, are among several clubs that have reported higher prices for Contreras. According to one source, they are focusing more on Vazquez.

The last hours will be intense. And Briller, as always, will be in the middle of the action.

Muki, Tria, Freddy… and Soto too?


Freddy Freeman and Juan Soto (Jeff Burke/USA Today)

Dodgers don’t rule out on Soto. They’ve been in touch with the Nationals, and if the Padres make a splash elsewhere, it could create that opener L.A. needs to finish another stunning deadline.

All this assumes that Preller is ready to trade Soto (unlikely, especially if he fears Dodgers are in the mix) and the Citizens are already ready to trade him (something no one will know until 6 p.m. Tuesday).

Dodgers chief of baseball operations Andrew Friedman keeps an eye on every big name, a routine he followed even during his days with the budget-minded Rice. A year ago, the Dodgers came seemingly out of nowhere to beat Padres to Max Scherzer and Tria Turner. A more significant package would be needed to land Soto, but imagine the Dodgers if they added him to a lineup that already includes Turner, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. scary.

Hader Brewers: Really Available or Not?

Brewers are once again listening to overtures for Josh Hader’s closest. The conversations may be a little more than due diligence. But as the Brewers head toward their fifth consecutive appearance after the season ends, their motivation to trade Hader may be on the rise.

Three reasons:

• Hader’s $11 million salary is likely to rise to the $16 million range next season in his final year of refereeing before he becomes a free agent.

• His preference for limiting his appearances to one role limits his value to the club, and will be of particular concern in the post-season period.

• Devin Williams, who has made 30 goalless straight appearances and scored 47 in 28 2/3 innings, could replace Hader as the Brewers approach.

Hader, 28, has only allowed one round in his last four games, recovering from a tough six-game stint that increased his ERA period from 1.05 to 4.50. Trading it would only make sense if the brewers could get a hitter they wanted, or young players who could help them with different needs.

For Blue Jays, there is a diminishing need

Despite all the talk about the Blue Jays needing a left-handed hitter, on Sunday they entered second in the majors in the OPS for right-hand throws and third in runs per game. It doesn’t appear strongly in the mix for Soto. They may not add left-handed bats at all, and instead focus on balms that have swing and miss elements.

Adding any meaningful left hitter would likely require Jay to trade a right hitter, a complex two-step process that would potentially be difficult to pull off. Jays is also aware of disrupting chemistry. Right corner kickers, Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gouriel Jr., are among the most well-known players at their club.

Don’t get caught up in the labels

Neither the Giants nor the Red Sox are likely to be pure sellers. Both teams will be reluctant to concede when final match odds hover around 20 per cent, and both teams will want to recover quickly in 2023.

Thus, the Red Sox are looking for major bands for rents such as designated hitter JD Martinez and catcher Christian Vázquez. And the Giants, even if they move some of their rents — most notably left-footed Carlos Rodon and defender Jock Pederson — are a figure to focus on improving their major league sports and short-term defense.

The Rays, following their usual practice, are another club thinking from all angles. For example, at the time when they need to attack, they might actually trade a hitter like first hitter Ji Man Choi.

According to sources, the Astros are showing interest in Choi as a potential replacement for their initially obvious No. 1 choice, Nationals’ Josh Bell. The Rays are currently playing short-term side Wander Franco, and Defenders Manual Margot and Harold Ramirez are on the injured list. But if they exchange Choi, they will make other moves to make up for the attack they lost, trying to create the best possible 13-player combination.

around the century

• Bill, a native of Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, told me over the weekend that he wouldn’t mind trading with Houston. Bill and his wife, Leah, welcomed their first child, a daughter named Noa, in December. Houston is about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Dallas, and Bill’s parents would be in a better position to help the kid if he spent the final few months of the season with the Astros. He is a potential free agent.

Reds player Brandon Drury, who is attracting interest from multiple clubs, is not certain to be traded. The Reds may be interested in exploring an extension with Drury, who turns 30 on August 21 and beat the career-highest No. 20 Homer on Sunday. Of course, the Reds could always trade Drury and re-sign him as a free agent. But if they move him, they will lose their right to negotiate exclusively with him until the market opens.

• The Guardians are among the teams that have shown interest in Murphy Athletics, but the deal remains more likely in the off-season than it did on Deadline. The A will only move to Murphy for the next couple of days if they have enough motivation. Otherwise, they’d rather wait until the end of the season, when more teams open up to add a mask.

• Finally, national player Ihair Adrianza may one day be in the middle of the deadline event, but not as a player. Adrianza wants to become a general manager, and to that end, he is taking online sports management courses through Honors College at Miami-Dade College.

During the school year, classes run Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. While those hours can be tough for a major league player, Adrianza says the work helps him take his mind off baseball.

(Top photo by Willson Contreras: Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports)

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