MLB Rumors: Padres Front Runner for Juan Soto?

MLB Rumors: Padres Front Runner for Juan Soto?

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is August 2nd, so we’re headed for the home stretch as teams figure out if they’re buyers, sellers or holders and move toward some landscape-changing deals. On Wednesday night, the Yankees struck a deal for All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi. It wasn’t really a “first domino to fall” type of move that will unravel the rest of the market, but it was good to see things moving here with the deadline less than a week away.

More coming soon. Let’s take a look at the latest from the MLB rumor mill.

Padres ahead for Soto?

The biggest name on the market is of course Nationals superstar Juan Soto. There is smoke everywhere, and as many as a dozen teams have reportedly inquired with the Nats. The favorite right now is debatable, though Buster Olney reports that “some rival executives perceive the Padres” as the “frontrunner” at this point.

It’s a juicy rumor, that’s for sure. It’s fun to think about the Padres adding Soto and getting Fernando Tatis, Jr. back from injury to add to lineup with Manny Machado. They are 10 games over .500 and have survived the Tatis injury mostly with good pitching.

Now, it should be noted that last year there was a perception that the Padres were the frontrunners for Max Scherzer, and it even came close enough that many thought the trade was happening. Then the Dodgers came in and grabbed Scherzer and Trea Turner — so let’s just remember to avoid overreaction.

The Yankees have “strong” interest in Castillo

The Yankees have “expressed strong interest” and are “pushing hard” for Reds All-Star starting pitcher Luis Castillo, nj.com reports. The report further indicates that the Reds aren’t necessarily ready to trade Castillo yet, instead likely holding onto Castillo until much closer to the trade deadline. Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Reds are ready to enjoy a bidding war on deadline day.

They are in a great position to do that too. Castillo, 29, has a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 85 innings this season. A two-time All-Star who has shown the ability to throw like an ace for sprints, he isn’t set to hit free agency until after next season. As such, if the bids aren’t to the Reds’ liking, they can simply keep him.

Pretty much any athlete looking for starting pitching will be on Castillo. In fact, some teams on the fringes of contention looking to make a move next season could also be involved, given Castillo’s contract status.

Astros move MLB SP for position player?

The Astros have one of the best teams in baseball as their window for World Series contention is open. They also have a “good problem to have” with too much starting pitching. They currently use a six-man rotation, and Lance McCullers, Jr. looks set to return soon from his forearm injury. Sure, they could start Odorizzi from the rotation, but that would still mean six big-league-quality starters, and they don’t really need that many.

Especially if they could shore up a weakness via trade. Ken Rosenthal reports that Jose Urquidy could be the go-to guy, leaving Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier among their talented and cost-controlled starters.

The report indicates that the Astros would be looking for a quality catcher or center fielder in return. A’s catcher Sean Murphy, Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds and Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins are mentioned. Rosenthal also reports that it’s possible the Astros will send Urquidy out to a third party for prospects and use those prospects to acquire Reynolds or Murphy.

Much interest in Bard; The Rockies could keep him anyway

Rockies closer Daniel Bard draws interest from ‘multiple teams’ according to mlb.com.

Bard, 37, is having arguably the best year of his career, and at least the best since he was 25. He’s shutout 21 of his 23 save chances with a 1.91 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 43 strikeouts against 18 unintentional walking in 37 2/3 innings. Moving to a contender would likely mean going to a setup role, but he thrived there for the Red Sox at the start of his MLB career.

Of course Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Bard could end up reaching a contract extension. Such a move at Bard’s age would be a bit of a surprise, but if the trade packages offered aren’t up to snuff and the two sides want to continue the marriage, it’s possible it will work.

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