Inside the Clubhouse: What I’m hearing about the MLB trade deadline

Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2023 in Bronx, New York. The Yankees defeated the Angels 9-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels in action against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 20, 2023 in Bronx, New York. The Yankees defeated the Angels 9-3. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Here’s what FanSided’s MLB Insider Robert Murray is hearing three weeks until the baseball trade deadline.

With three weeks until the MLB Trade Deadline, a lot remains uncertain. There are numerous big-spending teams — the San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets — that don’t know whether they will buy, sell or stand pat on Aug. 1.

But there are plenty of teams that do know what they will do at the trade deadline, with some teams even making their plans public during the All-Star break. St. Louis Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak revealed that his team will trade players off the major-league roster, saying: “I just don’t know if it’s going to be household names or just guys that aren’t likely to be here next year.”

Here’s a breakdown of a few teams that will buy and what they will be looking for:

MLB Trade Deadline: Buyers and sellers from what I’m hearing

Buyer: Los Angeles Dodgers

At 51-38, the Dodgers will buy. They will be looking for starting pitching and bullpen depth, with White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito being a name that makes sense to bolster the rotation. The team has been hesitant to part with valued resources to upgrade the bullpen, but with the unit in dire need of fresh arms, perhaps this is the year that president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman changes things up — and Royals reliever Scott Barlow makes a lot of sense.

Seller: Pittsburgh Pirates

Forget about Andrew McCutchen. He’s not going to be traded. All-Star reliever David Bednar is highly likely to attract interest from contending teams. But the two most likely trade candidates on the major-league roster are left-hander Rich Hill and infielder Carlos Santana. While they are both on expiring contracts, the team values what they bring on the field and in the clubhouse to a team that’s a year away from contending, and won’t move them without getting value in return.

Buyer: Baltimore Orioles

At 54-35, the Orioles are in prime position to win the American League East, where they entered the All-Star break only two games back of the Rays. The obvious position for the team to target is the rotation and considering their abundance of prospects in the minors, they have the ability to upgrade their rotation in the short-term without significantly impacting their long-term outlook. It has been a masterful rebuild by general manager Mike Elias.

Seller: Chicago White Sox

Names such as Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Andrew Vaughn and Luis Robert are all highly unlikely to be traded. But right-hander Lucas Giolito and reliever Keynan Middleton, both on expiring contracts, should attract plenty of trade interest. Reliever Joe Kelly would have likely drawn trade interest before he went on the Injured List with right elbow inflammation.

Unclear: Los Angeles Angels

I am very tempted to put the Angels as a buyer — I think they’ll attempt to compete for a postseason spot in an attempt to entice Shohei Ohtani to re-sign in Anaheim — but their 1-9 stretch before the All-Star break has me hesitant. Still, I think the Angels buy, and are creative in upgrading their roster. One aspect I do feel confident in, however, is that they will not trade Ohtani. Arte Moreno does not want to be known as the owner who traded Ohtani, and it’s hard to see him being convinced to move arguably the greatest player in baseball history.

If there was ever a time for the Angels to move Ohtani, it was at the 2022 trade deadline, where they could have gotten a haul similar to — or in excess — of the haul that the Washington Nationals netted for Juan Soto.

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