After the Yankees and Mariners make their first big trades, the trading market begins to take shape for the Blue Jays and the rest of MLB.
Every season, many of us spend most of the year thinking about trades and the cost of acquiring another team’s star. This thinking intensifies even more when names like Shohei Ohtani and Juan Soto start rolling around, so this year’s trade deadline is about as interesting as anything I can remember, at least for its potential.
While we don’t know if these two superstars will end up being traded, we’re starting to get an idea of how the market is shaping up thanks to three deals that just include AL teams that the Blue Jays will be competing for. a playoff spot with.
What has happened so far? (Or at least at the time of this writing):
1- The Yankees acquire Andrew Benintendi from the Royals for Beck Way, Chandler Champlain and TJ Sikkema
Benintendi was a player the Blue Jays had been linked with on several occasions, but his vaccination status also complicated the situation. The Yankees are taking a minor risk if that doesn’t change, and it won’t affect them until they play in Toronto. For the Blue Jays, it would have looked more like what we saw with Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets last season in the NBA. That’s all I will say about it.
I was actually a little surprised at the feedback the Royals received and thought it might cost a bit more to acquire the Gold Glove outfielder. Not that it will cost a premium to acquire a player whose contract is expiring, but Way represents the best of the trio at first glance, and he now ranks as the 12th prospect for the Royals according to MLB.com. with Sikkema at 21 and Champlain completing the list at 30.
2- Sailors acquire Luis Castillo from the Reds for Noelvi Marte, Edwin Arroyo, Levi Stoudt and Andrew Moore
This one was on another level as far as headlines go, and the Mariners may have just landed the best pitcher in the trade market from Castillo.
Not only is Castillo a more valuable player than Benintendi, but he also comes with an extra season of contract scrutiny, which makes a huge difference when it comes to trade value. The right-hander only earns 7.35 million in 2022 and will receive a substantial raise in his final trip to arbitration, but the Mariners will be happy to foot the bill.
While the Mariners have dramatically improved their big league roster, their minor league system has taken a pretty big hit in the process. Marte is widely regarded as a top 20 prospect and instantly tops the Reds’ top 30 list. Arroyo is another very talented player who is now ranked as the 6th best prospect with his new team, and Stoudt arrives at 15.
Does this agreement have an impact on the price for a player like Ohtani or Soto? If anything, it may have increased demand, or at least further justified what the Nationals or Angels might be looking for in exchange for their superstars. As for the lower level trades, I can’t imagine it’s going to help there after GM across the league looked at the haul the Reds just picked up.
3- The Rays acquire David Peralta from the Diamondbacks for Christian Cerda
This one surprised me a bit, because I thought the Dbacks could get a better return than this one, and I think the Blue Jays could have beaten that offer pretty easily if they wanted to.
Peralta is a solid veteran who is pretty much a strong pack hitter at this point in his career, but that would suit Toronto just fine with all of their right-handers. He’s slashed .248/.316/.460 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs on 278 at-bats, and he’s also a capable corner fielder. I can understand the front office may have viewed him as redundant bat with the way Raimel Tapia and Cavan Biggio have been playing lately, but if the Jays are unable to acquire a legit star of the left-handed hitter, they could have done worse than Peralta.
With less than three days left until the trade deadline, things could change quickly. For now, at least, the market is starting to take shape, and hopefully this will help Ross Atkins and company do something about it.