With the trade deadline less than 48 hours away, there are three trades that need to happen that will turn the baseball world upside down. With news breaking every day of new teams being sellers and new names being on the block, it’s shaping up to be one of the biggest and best deadlines we have seen since 2019.
The trades listed below will go a long way in helping these teams cement themselves as legit contenders. From one team on the fringe to another being a World Series contender already, we run the gamut today.
3 Big Trades That Need to Happen in Major League Baseball
3. Noah Syndergaard to the Phillies
For the past few years, the Philadelphia Phillies have been seen as a team that has a weak rotation about mid-way through and down. With Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola at the top, there is not much else to write home about for 3-5. That’s where Noah Syndergaard comes in.
The former New York Met would be rejoining an old teammate of his in Wheeler if he were to find himself donning red pinstripes by deadlines end. So far this season, Syndergaard has pitched 80 innings over 15 starts for a 3.83 ERA and a 106 ERA+. Not his best season, but he has stayed healthy throughout and that’s been more than you can normally ask of him.
After Wheeler and Nola, the Phillies have started five other pitchers (not including openers/bullpen games). Those starters have combined to make 60 starts, and pitch 309.2 innings with a 4.21 ERA. Adding Syndergaard to the three-hole in the rotation would put Zach Eflin fourth, and Ranger Suarez fifth. This would round out the Phillies rotation nicely, as well as remove some of the stress of trying to be an ace on his shoulders. For the Phillies, this is on their list of trades that need to happen.
2. Willson Contreras to the Houston Astros
We move from a fringe playoff contender to a legitimate World Series contender with the Houston Astros. With a roster that is seemingly flawless from top to bottom, the Astros are looking to make their fourth World Series appearance in six years and win their second championship in that same time frame.
They do, however, have one glaring weakness in their roster: offensive production from behind the plate. The best way for the Astros to improve upon that? Trading for three-time-All-Star Willson Contreras.
Per OPS+, Contreras is in the midst of his best season to date. Through 86 games this season, he has hit .252/.365/.453 with 14 home runs and a 129 OPS+. The Astros catchers this year have been abysmal at the plate. They have combined to hit a paltry .159/.226/.297 with 11 home runs and 131 strikeouts.
Adding Contreras to their roster would move Martin Maldonado to the bench and keep Jason Castro and Korey Lee from seeing any more time in The Bigs this season. This is one of the need to happen trades that would give the Houston Astros the best roster in baseball top to bottom.
1. Juan Soto to… Literally anywhere else
It’s no secret that 23-year-old Juan Soto is one of, if not the best hitters in baseball. With people comparing him to Ted Williams, there’s no doubt that Soto will one day be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. His first hurdle will be getting away from the Washington Nationals.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) August 1, 2022
Currently, in his fifth season in the Majors, Soto’s career line is .291/.426/.537 with 118 home runs and a 159 OPS+. He has led baseball in walks once over a full season and is currently doing it again this year. He has the best eye in the game and it is very easy for him to see that the Nationals are at the beginning of another lengthy rebuild.
Rumors around Soto being traded started at the All-Star Break when it was reported that Soto turned down a 15-year, $440 million extension. The Nationals subsequently refused to charter Soto a jet to Los Angeles for the Home Run Derby, and he had to fly himself commercially. All he did was arrive at 1:00 am pacific, then win the whole thing 20 hours later.
Every contender worth their salt will be in on Juan Soto. The only question is if the Nationals will actually move him. Their front office has made many questionable decisions in the past (I.e signing extremely injury-prone pitcher Stephen Strasburg to an exorbitant extension through 2026), so it would not be surprising if they held on to Soto, decreasing the amount of team control he has left, thus decreasing the return they would get.
If the Washington Nationals want to maximize their return for Soto, their best bet would be to move him now while there are still two more years of team control. Otherwise, this addition on the list of need to happen trades is all for naught and Soto is doomed to be on the outside looking in once again come playoff time.