Major League Baseball’s trade deadline isn’t until 6 pm ET on Tuesday, but there already have been some big deals made.
In Monday’s first big stunner, the San Diego Padres picked up four-time All-Star Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for four players, including left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers.
And the New York Yankees added to their pre-trade deadline acquisition of All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi by adding a top setup man from the Chicago Cubs to their bullpen.
What other deals could be made as the countdown to the deadline continues? USA TODAY Sports will provide updates on all the key trades.
Brewers deal closer Josh Hader to Padres
We finally have our first blockbuster deal of this year’s trade deadline. Two National League playoff contenders have swapped closers as part of a five-player trade.
The San Diego Padres get four-time All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for erstwhile closer Taylor Rogers, right-hander Dinelson Lamet, speedy outfielder Esteury Ruiz and pitching prospect Robert Gasser.
Hader solidifies the back of the Padres bullpen for the stretch run after Rogers was just moved out of the closer’s role. Meanwhile, setup man and 2020 NL rookie of the year Devin Williams figures to slide into the closer spot in Milwaukee.
Hader leads the majors with 29 saves. Rogers is second with 28.
Now, after acquiring Hader and re-signing ace Joe Musgrove (see below) … will the Padres make another major move and go after Soto?
With barely a day remaining to determine Juan Soto’s fate – move to contend at Major League Baseball’s trade deadline, or draw walks in baseball purgatory for two more months – the field for his services seems to narrow.
It can be argued that the opposite should be happening.
With two full seasons and this upcoming playoff drive available to clubs aiming to acquire the Washington Nationals slugger, it’s the usual suspects, fitting a specific profile, in play for Soto. Bigger-spending, bigger-market clubs with flush farm systems are indeed the publicly-known players, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Diego Padres and St. Louis Cardinals certainly among the finalists.
Yet we can spot many more clubs that should strongly consider trading for Soto, even if many lack the prospect goods to acquire this 23-year-old hitting savant.
Here’s a look at what we think good, healthy competition for this generation’s Ted Williams might look like.
Before the San Diego Padres made the move to acquire Josh Hader, they made a major financial commitment to one of their own players.
The deal makes perfect sense. Musgrove is a native of San Diego and has been the team’s best pitcher this season with an 8-4 record and 2.65 ERA in 16 starts. Last season, Musgrove pitched the first and (so far) only no-hitter in Padres history.
Yankees bolster bullpen, add Scott Effross from Cubs
With All-Star closer Clay Holmes not quite the infallible weapon he was before the All-Star break, the New York Yankees added bullpen depth by acquiring right-handed reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs for 24-year-old pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski .
Effross, 28, has a 2.66 ERA in 47 appearances (with one save) for the Cubs, and was seen as a possible closer candidate if they traded David Robertson.
Instead, Effross is the first to be traded as the deadline enters its home stretch.
It wasn’t a Juan Soto blockbuster that has the MLB world on edge, but the Washington Nationals did open Monday’s trading with a minor deal.
Adrianza was a nice contributor to the Braves’ 2021 title run when he hit .247 with a .728 OPS. However, he struggled with the Nationals this year, hitting just .179 with no home runs.
Harris, 26, was Atlanta’s minor league hitter of the year in 2019. He was hitting .233/.333/.317 in 59 games this season for Class AA Mississippi.
Under-the-radar trade candidates
Outfielder Trey Mancini, Orioles: The Orioles shouldn’t trade him. He means too much to the organization and this is a team that has stunned everyone by hovering around .500. Yet, baseball is a cold-hearted business.
Starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, Angels: He no longer blows away hitters with his fastball. He’s not considered an ace or even a No. 2 pitcher. But, oh, he has learned to pitch with his off-speed stuff from him. He’d be a nice No. 3 starter for any contender.
Starting pitcher Jose Urquidy, Astros: The Astros are so deep that they don’t really need him. He has a career 3.66 ERA, is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter, and has postseason experience, too. He is being offered in package deals for a slugger.
– Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports
Jacob deGrom will make 2022 debut on deadline day
“It’s been a long time. This has been a pretty slow process of coming back,” deGrom said. “I’m excited to be out there. The nerves haven’t really set in yet. I’m sure Tuesday I’ll be pretty nervous. I have a feeling it’s going to feel like my debut.”
The two-time Cy Young winner has not pitched in a regular-season game since July 7, 2021, after forearm tightness evolved into an ulnar collateral ligament sprain that kept him out for the remainder of the 2021 season.
“You want to be out there playing,” deGrom said. “Every day you’re able to put this uniform, I’m thankful for. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to get out there and compete. I’m ready. It’s exciting. I’m ready to help these guys.”
– Andrew Tredinnick, NorthJersey.com
Brandon Drury’s breakout year makes him a top trade target
He’s one of nine MLB players with at least 20 homers and 20 doubles, joining a list of sluggers that includes Paul Goldschmidt, Austin Riley, José Ramírez and Vladimir Guerrero.
“It’s definitely a little bit different because it could be a whole new clubhouse in a matter of a day,” said Drury, who has been traded three times in his career. “It’s definitely on my mind a little bit, but at the end of the day, whether I’m here or somewhere else, I get to keep playing baseball. That’s all I can control.”
–Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati Enquirer
Relief market loses potential trade chip
One current closer who definitely will not be traded at the deadline is Daniel Bard of the Colorado Rockies. Bard, who has a 3-3 record with 21 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 37 games this season, signed a two-year extension on Saturday that will keep him in Colorado through the 2024 season.
Among the closers who could possibly be dealt before Tuesday’s deadline are: the Orioles’ Jorge Lopez, the Tigers’ Gregory Soto, the Marlins’ Tanner Scott, the Pirates’ David Bednar and the Cubs’ David Robertson.