Welcome everyone to the 2022 MLB Trade Deadline live blog.
I’m Matt Martell, the baseball editor here at Sports Illustrated. For the next eight hours, Emma Baccellieri and I will be hanging out here talking baseball while providing updates, analysis and silly commentary as we watch the chaos unfold in real time. Looks like the Twins are getting started, so we will too. Let’s have some fun.
All times are EST
Matt Martell (10:51 AM): Hello, Emma! The Twins got started before us today! They are getting Orioles closer Jorge López to shore up their pretty iffy pitching staff. Seems like a great move.
Emma Baccellieri: (10:52 AM): Jorge López to the Twins! A great pick-up for Minnesota—this is the first year he’s worked full-time out of the bullpen, rather than as a swingman, and he’s been excellent there. First All-Star appearance, 1.68 ERA (241 ERA+), a career-high strikeout rate. But I must say this somewhat bums me out for the Orioles. Trading López—who won’t be a free agent until 2025—is markedly different than trading Trey Mancini, who reaches free agency at the end of this season. The last few months have been the first time in a long time that it’s been fun to be an O’s fan, and at just two-and-a-half games out of a playoff spot, it’s a bummer to see them trading not just short-term rentals like Mancini, but players who could be around for years to come like López.
MM (10:53 AM): I agree. This is such a slap in the face for Orioles fans. It’d be one thing to trade López for controllable hitters who could help Baltimore this year and in the future, considering this team has such a deep bullpen. But trading him for four young pitchers is such a bummer, even if this does give the O’s more pitching depth in the long run.
MM (11:05 AM): Well, Emma. I just realized I haven’t eaten anything yet but am on my fourth cup of coffee. Must be deadline day!
EB (11:06 AM): That’s a dangerous game. Marathon, not a sprint!!
(I’m technically still on my first cup but it’s a large cold brew, so perhaps not within the spirit of “cup.“)
MM (11:07 AM): So, basically, your diet for the entirety of All-Star week.
MM (11:15 AM): Do you have a prediction for where Soto ends up?
EB (11:16 AM): Well, I was about to say I have to stick with my not-fun, un-sexy answer of thinking it’s still more likely that he doesn’t get moved until the winter. But now…
If he does move, I think Padres. I think the Cardinals would be the most logical destination, but the Padres have the front office with the drive to actually make it happen.
MM (11:20): Yesterday, I was still convinced Jerry Dipoto would come out of nowhere and bring Soto to the Mariners. But now, I think you’re right that it’s either the Padres or Cardinals. In my column this morning, I wrote about a few of the wrinkles that each team could use to get him.
Basically, the Padres could possibly trade something like their top six prospects plus Eric Hosmer for Soto and Josh Bell. I don’t think the Nationals are too concerned about taking on Hosmer’s $13M/year salary if it means getting a major return of prospects.
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For the Cardinals, I talked about how they could structure a contract extension of $530 million over 12 years for Soto, with a higher salary concentrated in the middle years, after Goldschmidt and Arenado’s contracts expire or diminish in price.
EB (11:25): I think that makes sense—the timing for the Cards would just be perfect in terms of a big-money extension for Soto right when those two start to come off the books.
It just seems like such a classically A.J. Preller move. Land an elite closer yesterday without giving up any of your top prospects, then turn around and pull this today.
MM (11:27 AM): It does, for sure. But this makes me think the Dodgers are lurking again. Way too early there were reports that the Padres were getting Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Nationals, before the Dodgers swooped in and made a much better offer.
MM (11:29 AM): I hate to say it, but it would be such a buzzkill for Juan Soto to get traded before 5 p.m. ET.
EB (11:30 AM): It really would! We get this at noon and then six hours of, what, waiting for Sean Murphy and Noah Syndergaard to move? Sigh.
MM (11:30 AM): The Nationals could be leaking this to get the Dodgers, Cardinals and others to up their offers.
EB (11:30 AM): But I wouldn’t be surprised if this takes a while. If the leaks are starting in earnest now… could still be hours left to go.
EB (11:43 AM): We’ve moved on to the football analogy portion of the deadline!
I do grasp the logistics here, but this still just seems so early in the day for it.
MM (11:46 AM): The Padres and Nationals reportedly have a deal “in principle” with Soto and Josh Bell going to San Diego for four prospects: C.J. Abrams, OF Robert Hassell III, OF James Wood, RHP Jarlin Susana.
EB (11:48 AM): Wow. Wow! In any other context, that would be an incredibly striking haul — three of the Padres’ top four prospects and four of their top eight, per FanGraphs — but for Soto… I expected even more.
EB (11:49 AM): Especially with Bell in there, too! If this was the price, I’m shocked that the Dodgers, Cardinals, and other teams, too, weren’t in there right to the end.
MM (11:49 AM): Finalizing the deal. No Josh Bell here from Jeff Passan. Others saying it’s done, but Passan is usually the one to break these things.
EB (11:50 AM): Ok, that package would make more sense, but still!
MM (11:50 AM): That would make more sense. Need at least five of them, in my opinion, for Soto alone. And then adding Bell? Four is way too light.
MM (11:52 AM): Not done yet.
This deal hinges on one more MLB player
I realize this is excellent analysis here, Emma.
EB (11:54 AM): It’s true! It’s nuts!!!
I mean, what’s most nuts about it is that it’s all-time, crazy, historic haul, and that’s only enough for my reaction to move up to, “O.K., so the Nationals aren’t getting fleeced, I can see how this makes sense.”