Today’s MLB trade deadline will let us know which teams are throwing in the towel on 2022, and who will be fighting for an opportunity to win it all. These are just a few scenarios from what is shaping up to be an extremely active deadline.
St. Louis Cardinals – Find Replacement for Jack Flaherty
Even with the MVP season first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is having, the Cardinals find themselves trailing the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central headed into the deadline. The pitching staff for the Cards has underperformed, partially due to injury. One pitcher in particular who has certainly been missed is Jack Flaherty. Jack only pitched eight innings in 2022 before a right shoulder strain landed him on the 60-day IL.
Flaherty has looked like a shell of the pitcher who went 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA and a 1.060 WHIP in 2021.
Any talk of finding Jack’s replacement has been overshadowed by the Cardinals’ pursuit of Nationals superstar Juan Soto. A trade for Soto would come with a heavy price tag and unfortunately that would all but guarantee their No.1 overall prospect Jordan Walker would be on the move.
The 6’5, 220 third baseman has been raking at the Cardinals Double A affiliate in Texas, currently slashing .305/.389/.531 on the year. With Platinum Glove winner Nolan Arenado still in the fold for St.Louis at the hot corner combined with what it will take to acquire Soto or a quality arm to replace Flaherty, either move will see Walker hit the show for another ball club.
Milwaukee Brewers – How Trading Josh Hader affects Devin Williams
Devin Williams has been elite for the Brewers all season and has slid into the closer role flawlessly on more than one occasion. But after the Brewers decided to move on from current closer and fan favorite Josh Hader, it looks as if Devin may be spending a lot more time dominating the ninth innings for Milwaukee.
The Hader deal was structured around San Diego’s No. 7 prospect Robert Gasser and No. 28 Esteury Ruiz, who may challenge to replace MLBbro Lorenzo Cain, designated for assignment earlier this season. With Willams in the fold there is no need for Brewers fans to panic about the ninth innings.
However, if the aforementioned Cardinals are able to make some big moves, it will take a lot more than great relief pitching to maintain their lead in the NL Central.
Washington Nationals – Where Does Josh Bell end up ?
Now the two teams above are clearly buyers battling for playoff position, but unfortunately for the nation’s capital, the Nationals are nothing close.
Juan Soto may be the first name you hear leaked to trade talks in D.C, but first baseman Josh Bell’s name usually isn’t far behind.
Bell is having a career year right before being able to test free agency for the first time and the Nationals
will look to gain something before he walks.
Josh is hitting .302 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI and has made pitchers pay for trying to sneak breaking balls past him (.319 BA and SLG .511).
It’s rumored that Dusty Baker’s Astros have made a call about Bell, so we could
potentially see another major weapon added to the machine down in Houston.