MLB Rumors: Padres favorite for Juan Soto; Would the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani?

Major League Baseball’s trade deadline is August 2, so we’re heading into the home stretch as teams determine whether they’re buyers, sellers, or holders and head toward landscape-changing deals. On Wednesday night, the Yankees reached a deal for All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi. It wasn’t much of a “first domino to fall” type move that will unravel the rest of the market, but it was good to see things moving here with the deadline less than a week away.

Others will be available soon. Let’s take a look at the latest rumors from MLB.

Padres ahead for Soto?

Obviously, the biggest name in the market is Nationals superstar Juan Soto. There is smoke everywhere and no less than a dozen teams would have inquired with the Nats. The favorite right now is debatable, but Buster Olney Reporting that “some rival executives perceive the Padres” as the “leader” at present.

It’s a juicy rumor, that’s for sure. Thinking of the Padres adding Soto and recovering Fernando Tatis, Jr. from injury to add to a roster with Manny Machado is fun. They are 10 games above .500 and survived Tatis’ injury mostly with great shooting.

Now, it should be noted that last year there was a perception that the Padres were the leaders of Max Scherzer and it even got close enough that many thought the trade was happening. Then the Dodgers rushed in and grabbed Scherzer and Trea Turner – so let’s not forget to avoid overreactions.

Would the Angels actually trade Ohtani?

There is a report that the angels will at least listen to commercial offers on Shohei Ohtani. He says a deal is still highly unlikely but not entirely out of the question. Full story and breakdown here.

Yankees have ‘strong’ interest in Castillo

The Yankees have “expressed strong interest” and are “pushing hard” for Reds All-Star starting pitcher Luis Castillo, reports nj.com. The report further states that the Reds aren’t necessarily ready to deal Castillo just yet, but are likely to hold Castillo back until the trade deadline is much closer. Reading between the lines, it looks like the Reds are set to enjoy a bidding war on deadline day.

They are also well placed to do so. Castillo, 29, has a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 85 innings this season. He’s a two-time All-Star who has shown the ability to throw like an ace for squirts and he’s not ready to hit free agency until next season. As such, if the offers aren’t to the Reds’ liking, they can simply withhold him.

Almost every candidate looking for a starting pitcher will be on Castillo. In fact, some teams on the fringes of contention looking to make a push next season could also get involved, given Castillo’s contract status.

Astros to move MLB SP for player job?

The Astros have one of the best teams in baseball as their window of World Series contention remains wide open. They also have a “good problem to have” with too many tee shots. They are currently using a six-man rotation and Lance McCullers, Jr. appears to be returning soon from his forearm injury. Sure, they could kick Odorizzi out of the rotation, but that would still mean six top quality starters and they don’t really need that many.

Especially if they could consolidate weakness via trade. Ken Rosenthal reports that Jose Urquidy could be the moving man, leaving Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Cristian Javier behind, among their talented, cost-controlled starters.

The report indicates that the Astros would be looking for a quality receiver or center fielder in return. A receiver Sean Murphy, Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds and Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins are mentioned. Rosenthal also reports that it’s possible the Astros could ship Urquidy to a third party for leads and use those leads to get Reynolds or Murphy.

Lots of interest in Bard; The Rockies could retain him anyway

Rockies closing in Daniel Bard sparks interest from ‘multiple teams’ according to mlb.com.

Bard, 37, is having arguably the best year of his career and at the very least it’s been the best since he was 25. He closed 21 of his 23 save chances with a 1.91 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 43 strikeouts against 18 unintentional walks in 37 2/3 innings. Moving to a contender would likely mean going to a setup role, but he thrived there for the Red Sox early in his MLB career.

Of course the Denver Post reports that the Rockies and Bard could end up reaching a contract extension. Such a move at Bard’s age would be a bit of a surprise, but if the business deals on offer aren’t up to snuff and both parties want to continue with the marriage, it might just work out.

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