MLB trade deadline: Time, date and six things to know with Juan Soto’s future in doubt

Major League Baseball teams have less than 12 hours to complete their summer shopping. This year’s MLB trade deadline ends at 6:00 PM ET on Tuesday, August 2nd. After that point, teams will no longer be able to execute contracts until after the season.

The deadline normally expires on July 31, but general manager Rob Manfred gained the ability to set it to any day between July 28 and Aug. 3 as part of a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association. That, in short, is why the deadline is August 2nd, a few days later than usual.

Regardless of when the deadline is, you may be wondering what storylines are heading into the final days of the trade season. CBS Sports has you covered below, with information and answers to eight frequently asked questions.

1. Who are the best buyers and sellers?

Our Dayn Perry recently ranked each of the 30 teams as buyers, sellers or something in between. While taking Perry seriously is always a risk, we’ve chosen to take her. Here you can see who he classified as buyers or sellers (note that the teams are listed in alphabetical order based on their city name):

  • Buyers: Braves, White Sox, Guardians, Astros, Dodgers, Brewers, Twins, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals, Padres, Giants, Mariners, Rays, Rangers, Blue Jays
  • Sellers: Diamondbacks, Cubs, Reds, Tigers, Royals, Angels, Marlins, Athletics, Pirates, Nationals

Every team not listed above was considered somewhere in between, meaning they could buy or sell, or they could stand pat, depending on how negotiations progress.

2. What notable moves have happened so far?

The Mariners shook things up on Friday by acquiring righty Luis Castillo from the Reds in exchange for four prospects, including infielders Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo. (You can read our in-depth analysis of it here.)

It was relatively quiet until Monday, when some big moves took place. The Yankees acquired Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino from the A’s, and the Astros added Trey Mancini from Baltimore. But the biggest surprise of the deadline came when the Padres and Brewers struck a deal to send All-Star closer Josh Hader to San Diego. Read more here.

3. Will Soto be moved?

The biggest of those marquee names would be Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, who became available earlier this month after rejecting a 15-year, $440 million extension offer.

Soto is a 23-year-old on a Hall-of-Fame track who is under team management for two more seasons after this one, making him one of the most sought-after trade targets in league history. CBS Sports identified the Cardinals as the team best suited to land him based on their mix of audiences and young major leaguers, as well as their financial outlook and front office history of similar trades.

The Nationals appear motivated to move Soto before the deadline, as new owners are expected to purchase the franchise this offseason. It seems unlikely that the incoming owners would want their first major action to be to mess with the franchise.

If and when a Soto trade happens, it’s worth noting that executives with other teams fully expect veteran left-hander Patrick Corbin to step in as financial ballast.

4. What about Ohtani?

The Angels have reportedly listened to offers for another young superstar in two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani, but a trade seems far less likely than in Soto’s case.

Ohtani is in charge of the team for one more season, yet the situation is more complicated. Industry sources who have spoken to CBS Sports have noted that owner Arte Moreno appears less inclined to greenlight a deal and that the Angels will likely hold on to Ohtani and once again try to win in 2023.

It would be fair to say that if Ohtani is to be traded, it will likely come this offseason — or perhaps the next deadline.

5. Who are the other top players out there?

Here are the top four players available based on our position that have not already been traded or mentioned in this piece:

We’ll note that Reynolds seems unlikely to leave, and that the Athletics could likewise decide to hold on to Murphy through the winter. The other two — Contreras and Happ — appear to have a better than 50/50 shot to be moved to Tuesday night.

6. Will the Yankees move Gallo?

A name you’ll find much lower on our rankings is Joey Gallo, the Yankees outfielder who has struggled since being signed at the deadline. Gallo is an impending free agent and increasingly a man without a home on New York’s roster.

Of course, that combination has fueled speculation that Gallo could be on his way out, with the Padres and Rangers, among others, standing out as potential destinations.

Gallo is one of the most interesting players of the deadline to watch, if only for the possibility that he could recapture his old form by leaving New York.

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