Will the Padres finally win a World Series after trading for Juan Soto and Josh Hader at the MLB trade deadline? Which deal will matter the most with the playoffs approaching?
With the MLB trade deadline now closed, there were some division-shifting trades. Superstars moving from one coastline to the other, valuable pitchers leaving contenders for other contenders, and so much more. While there are way more than five deals that happened, I am going to break down the five biggest trades. That being said, let’s break down the MLB’s five biggest trade deadline moves in 2022.
Astros Add Trey Mancini For Playoff Run
The first big deal I want to talk about is the Astros trading for Trey Mancini. Mancini was a huge part of the Orioles organization for the past six years. He will be a free agent after this season and Houston saw a chance to scoop him up for their playoff run. Houston gets Mancini and a prospect in a three-team deal that sent OF Jose Siri to the Rays and two pitching prospects to the Orioles.
Mancini adds a big bat to the lineup and can fill that need for a younger first baseman. With 38-year-old first baseman Yuli Gurriel struggling (94 OPS+) and 35-year-old left fielder Michael Brantley injured for more than a month with a shoulder problem, Mancini steps into a good situation. He can play both first base and outfield which helps Houston immensely. Mancini also brings good power at the plate and Minute Maid is much more homerun friendly than Camden Yards. Houston saw a chance to go out and snag a solid player for the playoffs and Mancini will be that and then some.
Braves Bulk Up Their Bullpen For Another Playoff Run
Just when the Braves bullpen looked to be set in stone, they make a splash for a solid arm. Atlanta acquired P Raisel Iglesias from the Angels for P Jesse Chavez and P Tucker Davidson. This trade matters mostly because Iglesias signed a four-year, $58 million deal with the Angels only a year ago. Iglesias getting that deal is because he’s proven to be one of the best closers in baseball.
The underlying reason here is that Iglesias is sporting a 4.04 ERA this year which doesn’t look great. However, he is still pitching at the same level that the Angels signed him for if that makes sense. His ERA looks wonky but his overall production should bury the narrative that he is not good. So, the Angels getting rid of him not even a full season into his four-year deal comes as a surprise. Atlanta gets a solid closer added to their bullpen and the Angels get a 39-year-old Chavez and a 5.11 ERA Davidson, good job Atlanta.
Yankees Bulk Up Their Rotation With Montas And Trivino
The Yankees became the first team to 70 wins in the MLB this season. They also managed to somehow get better at the trade deadline. The Yankees acquired P Frankie Montas and P Lou Trivino for four prospects from the Oakland A’s. The Yankees were already sporting the third-best rotation in the MLB before this trade. While Gerrit Cole is still solid, Jordan Montgomery is inconsistent (now traded to St. Louis), Nestor Cortes is no Cy Young level pitcher, and Luis Severino is hurt again. Adding Montas boosts that starting rotation and eases the manager’s mind.
Montas finished with 187 good innings last year and finished sixth in the Cy Young Award voting. He will also not be a rental player as the Yankees could pick him up for 2023 as well. Montas is a “win now” trade and I see no reason he will not do just that for the Yankees. Trivino brings another option in the bullpen and maybe a change of scenery will bury his 6.47 ERA and ten saves in 39 appearances. The Yankees are good and now they just got better.
Padres Acquire Elite Closer Josh Hader
The Padres made a splash before the tsunami wave move that we will talk about after this. The Padres are in the playoff hunt and acquiring Josh Hader might be the first stepping stone. Hader comes to the Padres from the Brewers in a trade for P Taylor Rogers, P Dinelson Lamet, OF Esteury Ruiz, and prospect P Robert Gasser.
Hader is one of the best closers in baseball if not the best right now. He has the highest career strikeout rate in baseball history. Hader is used quite a bit so his numbers are a bit higher than the average closer but he still has the highest career strikeout rate in baseball history. The best part of this deal is that the Padres can keep him for 2023 as well after clearing up some funds in other deals.
The reason this trade is up so high is that the Brewers are currently in first place in their division. Why on earth would they trade away their best bullpen arm? Unfortunately, Hader is going through a phase of not pitching well, one of the worst phases of his career. Maybe the Brewers hope to turn around Lamet and Rogers into other versions of what Hader offered. Other than that, the Padres win this trade by quite a bit with how talented Hader is in the grand scheme of baseball.
MLB Superstar Juan Soto & Josh Bell Head West
Finally, the biggest trade of the MLB trade deadline, once again we have the SAN DIEGO PADRES. Yes folks, the Padres are the breadwinners of the 2022 MLB trade deadline. After acquiring Josh Hader, the Padres still had the pieces to go out and get Nationals superstar Juan Soto and then some. The full deal saw the Padres acquire OF Juan Soto and 1B Josh Bell for P MacKenzie Gore, IF C.J. Abrams, 1B/DH Luke Voit, and three prospects.
The Nationals got a huge haul of prospects to continue their rebuild and the Padres get a super talent in Soto and a solid replacement at first base in Josh Bell. The Padres sent Eric Hosmer to Boston opening up a spot for Bell who is better defensively and is a switch hitter. Bell also will prove to be much cheaper than Eric Hosmer.
Soto on the other hand is probably worth even more than we saw in this blockbuster deal. Soto is an elite hitter and he is only 23. He has a career .427 OBP and .538 SLG which is crossing into unprecedented territory.
Soto now joins a lineup that already includes Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr. The Padres are geared up for a deep playoff run and the level of talent they just acquired better get them there. The Padres get rid of an expensive Hosmer contract, add a better-suited Josh Bell, acquire a perennial superstar in Soto, and bulk up their bullpen with Josh Hader. All eyes will be on the Padres to make some noise in the MLB playoffs this season.
Which of these MLB trade deadline deals will have the most impact in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
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