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MLB Rumors: 5 Trades We'd Love to See Go Down at the MLB Trade Deadline

Ryan Kirksey goes through the five trades we'd love to see made at the MLB trade deadline.
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MLB Rumors: 5 Trades We'd Love to See Go Down at the MLB Trade Deadline

With the Major League Baseball season about 45% complete, most teams now have a sense of the direction they are heading or want to head for the rest of the season. For as optimistic as a team like the Seattle Mariners was at the beginning of the season, they are now 13 games out of the division and seven games out of a Wild card spot.

Meanwhile, a team like the Cleveland Guardians finds themselves surprisingly in first place in their division and looking to make moves for a playoff run. Which trades would best benefit the contenders and also give assets to the teams already looking to next year?

Let's look at five possible trades before the July 31 deadline.

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Christian Walker to the Houston Astros

Christian Walker's batting average may not look like much, but he is mashing home runs at an incredible rate this year and also walking almost 11% of the time. His 19 home runs are second in the National League and all but three of his homers have been pulled to left field. Walker with a short left field porch in Minute Maid Park would go home run crazy.

The Houston Astros have an elite offense, but the anchor dragging down the middle this season has been Yuli Gurriel. He is a 38-year-old line-drive hitter who has seen his walk rate and contact rate plummet to the worst levels of his career. He has been a key piece of the Astros' run to three World Series in six years, but Houston might need him to ask him to accept a bench role if they want their offense to compete against a team like the New York Yankees.

Frankie Montas to the New York Mets

Perhaps you have heard but the Mets are having problems keeping pitchers healthy. Both Jacob Degrom, Tylor Megill, and Max Scherzer are still on the shelf and now Carlos Carrasco left his recent start with an injury. Whether or not those pitchers are healthy in October (a HUGE question mark at this point), the Mets could use some pitching depth to fortify their place atop the National League standings.

We know The Oakland Athletics are looking to move Frankie Montas after the fire sale that started in the offseason. Montas would bring a strong 3.50 ERA and more than a strikeout per inning to any team that trades for him. His walks per nine allowed are also a career low this season. In the arms race that is the NL East, I expect the Mets to try and make a big splash by acquiring a pitcher over the next month.

Bryan Reynolds to the New York Yankees

For as good as the New York Yankees have been this year, they don't have an outfielder outside of Aaron Judge who can even be called an average major league batter this year. None of Aaron Hicks, Joel Gallo, or Marwin Gonzalez are batting over .244 or slugging over .390. They need a bat in the outfield desperately and someone who can serve as a true table-setting leadoff man.

After a very slow start to the season (.194/293/.306 in April), Reynolds has been on an absolute tear since June began. Over the last 22 days, Reynolds is batting .370/407/.603, including four home runs. That has certainly driven up the asking price for Reynolds, but the Yankees don't care. If they have a shot to grab their first title since 2009, they will open up the pocketbooks for the right player.

Luis Castillo to the Cleveland Guardians

After a surprisingly strong start, the Guardians have eyes on making it to their first division series since 2018 and their first playoff series win since the pennant year of 2016. They have one of the best hitters on the planet in Jose Ramirez, a lockdown bullpen, and two strong starters in Shane Bieber and Triston McKenzie. They would likely love to create a three-headed monster in their pitching rotation with the addition of Luis Castillo, who could use an offensive boost and a move out of Great American Ball Park. His home has become the most run-friendly environment in baseball the last three years.

Since his return from injury in May, Castillo is once again providing a solid ERA (3.71) about a strikeout per inning, and is once again allowing less than one home run per nine innings to opponents. Since he was injured in Spring Training, Castillo didn't get caught up in the Reds' fire sale, but now that he is healthy and pitching well again, he is likely to be on the move to a contender within the next four weeks.

Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres

Xander Bogaerts getting traded before the deadline would leave a lot of Boston Red Sox fans scratching their heads, but the move does make a lot of sense. Bogaerts has a player opt-out option after the 2022 season, the Red Sox already brought on his replacement at shortstop in Trevor Story. Instead of risking losing him for nothing or having to pay Bogaerts $20 million in his age 30-34 seasons, why not ship him for a boatload of prospects, players, and/or picks, especially if it looks like the Yankees and Blue Jays will dominate the division.

The experiment with Ha Seong-Kim and C.J. Abrams at shortstop for the Padres has been an absolute disaster. Yet somehow, they still find themselves tied with the Dodgers for the NL West lead headed into games on Thursday. Fernando Tatis, Jr. is behind in his recovery and the odds that San Diego wants to risk their $340 million man at shortstop again are slim. A trade for Bogaerts and inserting Tatis into the outfield would instantly give the Padres an offense that would rival the best in the National League and would make them contenders for a World Series title.

NBANFL

Proudest husband and dad you will ever find. When I'm not with my wife and two kids I split my time working in higher ed, grinding DFS and season-long, collecting silver age comics, studying behavioral economics, and drinking coffee. I once played Pat Connaughton in an actual NBA DFS lineup for money. Astros, Rockets, and Texans for life.

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