MLB trade deadline winners and losers: Padres get Juan Soto; Phillies, Yankees improve; tough day for O's fans

Major League Baseball's 2022 trade deadline has come and gone. The deadline was set for 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday and teams are no longer be able to make deals to bolster their rosters ahead of the stretch run. The biggest name was moved early Tuesday: Juan Soto headed to the Padres in an eight-player blockbuster that also featured Josh Bell landing in San Diego.

"Props to the San Diego Padres. They're not afraid. (Padres GM) A.J. Preller is not afraid," Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said after the trade (video). "... We're in a bumpy road right now and we believe coming out of it will be a beautiful place."

Other notables to change addresses at the deadline include Josh Hader (Brewers to Padres), Luis Castillo (Reds to Mariners), Frankie Montas (Athletics to Yankees), Joey Gallo (Yankees to Dodgers), Noah Syndergaard (Angels to Phillies), Harrison Bader (Cardinals to Yankees), Raisel Iglesias (Angels to Braves), and Whit Merrifield (Royals to Blue Jays).

Willson Contreras, JD Martinez, Ian Happ, and Carlos Rodón are the biggest names to stay put. Here's a recap of Tuesday's biggest moves:

Notable 2022 MLB trade deadline deals on Tuesday

  • Padres acquire Juan Soto and Josh Bell from Nationals in eight-player blockbuster (more details here)
  • The Yankees sent struggling outfielder Joey Gallo to the Dodgers (more details here)
  • The Phillies grabbed righty Noah Syndergaard from the Angels (more details here)
  • The Yankees nabbed Harrison Bader from the Cardinals for Jordan Montgomery (more details here)
  • Whit Merrifield headed from the Royals to Blue Jays (more details here)
  • Eric Hosmer, after rejecting to be part of the Juan Soto deal, headed from the Padres to Red Sox (more details here)
  • The Phillies got outfielder Brandon Marsh from the Angels, as well as reliever David Robertson from the Cubs (more details here)
  • The Padres, after landing Soto, acquired Brandon Drury from Reds (more details here)
  • The Mets acquired Darin Ruf from the Giants (more details here)
  • The Twins acquired All-Star closer Jorge López from Orioles and righty Tyler Mahle from Reds (more details here)

Now here are our winners and losers from the 2022 MLB trade deadline.

Winner: Padres

When you're a good and fun team in the thick of the postseason race and you add a generational talent, you're automatically a trade deadline winner. The Padres brought in Juan Soto (and Josh Bell) and paid a handsome price to do it, but players as good and as young as Soto don't come along very often, so when they do, you have to pounce. Look at this. It's real:

Should've photoshopped them in the City Connect jerseys, Padres. Big missed opportunity there. 

Anyway, the case can be made the Padres now have the best shortstop (Fernando Tatis Jr., once healthy), the best third baseman (Manny Machado), and the best outfielder (Soto) in baseball. Oh, and they also landed Josh Hader, arguably the best closer in the business, and 20-homer man Brandon Drury. Say what you want about GM AJ Preller, but the man is unafraid of big moves.

The Tatis and Machado contracts mean the Padres are unlikely to re-sign Soto in a few years, but acquiring him for three postseason runs (he's under team control through 2024) is enormously valuable to a franchise that is still searching for its first ever World Series championship. Soto is already trending toward being an all-time great. Adding a player like this makes you an easy deadline winner. The Padres are nothing if not electrifying.

Winner: Juan Soto

Hard to complain about leaving a last-place team in Washington for a postseason-bound team in San Diego, isn't it? Soto gets to team up with Machado and (once healthy) Tatis Jr. on baseball's most fun roster. The best roster? No, not necessarily, but certainly the most fun. I'm sure the days leading up to the trade deadline were nerve-wracking, but that's over now, and Soto is free to play baseball for a great team in a great ballpark in a great city.

Loser: Luke Voit

How mad is Luke Voit at Eric Hosmer right now? Once Hosmer used his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Nationals, as was his contractual right, Voit was substituted in his place in the Soto/Bell trade. Just like that, Voit went from the contending Padres to a last-place Nationals team, all because another player said he didn't want to be traded. Tough break, though at least Voit will have a lineup spot no questions asked the rest of the season.

Winner: The Phillies (and their remaining schedule)

Even with Soto and Bell, the Nationals ranked 27th in runs per game. Without those two they figure to have the worst offense in baseball the rest of 2022. That's great for NL postseason contenders with head-to-head games remaining against Washington. The NL East-leading Mets have eight games remaining with the Nationals, including two this week. The second-place Braves have only six. That could factor into the division race.

Here are the NL wild-card standings (entering Tuesday) with each team's number of games remaining against the suddenly Soto-less and Bell-less Nationals:

  1. Braves: 62-41 (+2.5 GB) (6 games vs. Nationals)
  2. Padres: 58-46 (+2 GB) (7 games vs. Nationals)
  3. Phillies: 55-47 (0 GB) (11 games vs. Nationals)
  4. Cardinals: 54-48 (1 GB) (4 games vs. Nationals)
  5. Giants: 51-52 (4.5 GB) (0 games vs. Nationals)

Advantage Phillies and disadvantage Cardinals and Giants. Any team can beat any other team on any day in this game, but if I were fighting for a postseason spot, I know I'd feel better if I had 11 -- 11! -- games remaining against a rebuilding team that just traded its two best hitters and is presumably checked out for the season.

(Also, shoutout to the Phillies for landing Brandon Marsh, David Robertson and Noah Syndergaard in sensible trades. They upgraded their roster considerably, and designating Odúbel Herrera and Jeurys Familia is addition by subtraction.)

Loser: Nationals fans

Soto, Bryce Harper, Trea Turner, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon. That's a lot of elite -- like elite elite -- talent walking out the door in a short period of time. It didn't have to be like this. The Lerners, the family that owns the Nationals, are the second-wealthiest owners in the sport, and could have paid what it takes to keep them all. Maybe that wouldn't have been smart (see: Stephen Strasburg), but gosh, the Nationals had a championship core and it vanished in such a short period of time.

Rebuilds are never fun. The prospects acquired in the Soto trade are all high-end and they could be the core of the next great Nationals team, but are they going to be better than the core the Nationals had not that long ago? Probably not. That's just the way it goes with prospects. The Nationals are destined to finish with the National League's worst record this season and it's hard to see a path back to contention in the next what, 3-4 years? A sad, sad day for the Washington faithful.

Winner: Yankees

The Yankees have enjoyed a dream season to date, but they came into the second half with several obvious needs, and they were not shy about addressing them at the trade deadline. They needed another starter, specifically a difference-maker rather than a back-end innings-eater, an outfielder to replace Joey Gallo, and bullpen depth. At the deadline they acquired:

  • Andrew Benintendi, the best available rental outfielder
  • Frankie Montas, the second best controllable starter available behind Luis Castillo
  • Harrison Bader, an elite defender in center field (currently on the injured list)
  • Scott Effross, a sneaky-great high leverage reliever
  • Lou Trivino, a serviceable depth arm

Yankees GM Brian Cashman managed to do that without surrendering top prospects Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, and Jasson Domínguez and while giving up just one piece off his MLB roster (Jordan Montgomery). In fact, the Yankees traded eight prospects in their three trades and exactly one was drafted before the fourth round (lefty TJ Sikkema, a former supplemental first-round pick who was part of the Benintendi trade).

The Yankees sought to improve their roster for October -- August and September aren't a big priority given their MLB-leading 70 wins -- and they were able to do that while keeping their best prospects. That's some nifty tradecraft.

Winner: Joey Gallo

Gallo was traded to the Dodgers for a pitching prospect and, I gotta say, he sounded miserable in New York. He had a tough 12 months with the Yankees and it clearly wore on him. From a recent interview:

Q: Are you ready for this trade deadline to be over?

Gallo: I am. We'll see what happens. I'm waiting to hear. My parents are waiting to hear. They're going to have to come to New York and clean my apartment out, get all the furniture moved out.

Q: Have you been living in Manhattan?

Gallo: Yeah.

Q: What's it been like for you when Yankees fans notice you on the streets? Are they rough on you away from the ballpark, too?

Gallo: I don't go out in the streets.

Q: That's sad.

Gallo: Yeah. I really don't want to show my face too much around here.

Gallo now gets a fresh start with the only team in baseball with a better record than the Yankees, so he still has a chance to win a World Series ring before heading out into free agency this offseason. No player in baseball needed a fresh start more than Gallo and he received it at the deadline.

Loser: Red Sox

Weird deadline for the Red Sox, who sold while also buying halfheartedly. They traded away stalwart catcher Christian Vázquez, yet imported Tommy Pham and Eric Hosmer in hopes of staying afloat in the wild card race. The Padres are paying most of Hosmer's salary and the Red Sox did get prospects in the trade, but Hosmer is one of the worst hitting first basemen in baseball, and he hits too many ground balls to really benefit from Fenway Park's hitter-friendly dimensions. Not necessarily a bad deadline for the Red Sox, but a weird one, and certainly not one that would land them in the "winner" category.

Winner: Astros

Smart if understated deadline for the first-place Astros. They addressed their primary needs -- Vázquez at catcher, Trey Mancini at first base and DH, Will Smith at lefty reliever -- without giving up anything they'll miss short- or long-term. For a contender, the goal of the trade deadline is shoring up as many weaknesses as possible, and Houston did that. The center field situation still isn't great, but the Astros today are a much better team that they were 48 hours ago.

Loser: Mets

By no means was it a bad trade deadline for the Mets. They made several sensible additions (Darin Ruf, Mychal Givens, Tyler Naquin, Daniel Vogelbach), but they're also on pace for the second-best regular season in franchise history, and the owner has the deepest pockets in the sport. It felt like the Mets were poised to do something more impactful (Willson Contreras?) and instead they just tinkered with the margins of the roster. Again, not a bad deadline for the Mets. Just not as good as it could have been.

Winner: Twins

One more starting pitcher would have been nice but Jorge López, Michael Fulmer, and Tyler Mahle are an excellent haul for a first-place team that badly needed rotation and bullpen help. The Twins gave up nothing they'll miss in the short-term for two above-average pitchers they can keep beyond this season through arbitration (López and Mahle) and a good rental (Fulmer). Nothing fancy, but players that meaningfully improve the club's division title hopes and postseason chances.

Losers: Guardians

Did Cleveland forget to set the trade deadline reminder on its phone? Other than swapping spare parts with the Twins (Sandy León for Ian Hamilton), the Guardians didn't do anything on deadline day. The same Guardians who are one -- one! -- game out in the AL Central and rank 15th in runs scored per game and 14th in runs allowed per game? Nothing came across GM Mike Chernoff's desk that would have moved the needle and boosted their postseason odds even a little bit? I don't get it at all.

Loser: Orioles fans

The Orioles went 16-9 in July and it was their best, most exciting month in more than half a decade. The team is on the rise and they play very hard, and going into deadline day, they were only 2 1/2 games behind the third and final American League wild card spot. Maybe buying aggressively would have been a bad idea. But selling? Selling???

With his team playing its best baseball in years, GM Mike Elias threw in the towel. Here's what Elias told reporters, including, after trading away homegrown favorite and feel-great story Trey Mancini. All-Star closer Jorge López was later traded away as well:

"I think the .500 record we have, the winning last couple of months that we have, the momentum we have, has made this a much more difficult decision and a much more complicated Trade Deadline than it would've been, or that any of the past ones have been," Elias added. "But ultimately, I have to tether my decisions to the outlook and the probabilities of this year. We have a shot at a Wild Card right now, but it is not a probability that we're going to win a Wild Card. We have all different ways of looking at that. And moves that we make that can strengthen our chances for next season and the season beyond and the one beyond that are something that we have to continue to consider, despite the tremendous progress our players have made this year."  

To be clear, "strengthen our chances for next season" involved trading for a pitching prospect about to have Tommy John surgery (Seth Johnson), two Single-A prospects (Chayce McDermott and Cade Povich), and two rookie ball prospects (Juan Rojas and Juan Nunez). One player in the Mancini and Lopez trades, 28-year-old rookie reliever Yennier Cano, has a chance to help the 2023 Orioles in a meaningful way. Elias punted 2022 to (maybe) help the 2024 Orioles.

The third wild card spot was supposed to increase competition (or so we were told) and yet here is an on-the-rise Orioles team trading away its best players at a time when every win added to the roster is enormously valuable. Not everything in this game is an asset that must be micromanaged and leveraged to the fullest extent at all times. It's baseball, not an actuarial table. There are human beings involved, and rather than further encourage the good vibes, the O's front office snuffed them out.

"I mean, just, it sucks," Ryan Mountcastle told after the Mancini trade. " … It's going to be tough without him. And I know a lot of us are pretty upset."

Maybe it'll all work out and the 2022 Orioles will win without Mancini and López, and the 2023 Orioles without López. I still feel for Orioles fans. The team is good and fun for the first time in a long time, and rather than try to take a step forward, the front office is again taking a step back. The franchise's short-term future, which is looking up for the first time in years, was again sacrificed at the altar of improved margins. There's a fine line between being cold and calculating, and disenfranchising your fans.

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(At least) one more buzzer-beater


Contreras, Ródon, Happ, more staying put

Some notable names are reportedly staying put, including Carlos Ródon and Joc Pederson of the Giants, Willson Contreras and Ian Happ of the Cubs and Pablo López of the Marlins.


Merrifield on the move

Longtime Royal Whit Merrifield is heading to the Blue Jays, per Jon Heyman. Merrifield was ineligible to play in Toronto last month due to his vaccination status, so that appears to be something that needs to get worked out.


Yankees-Cardinals stunner

Right before the deadline buzzer, the Yankees and Cardinals link up for a surprising move.


Phillies get Syndergaard

And former No. 1 pick Mickey Moniak is heading to the Angels in the deal.


Phillies close to getting Thor

Right-hander and former Mets star Noah Syndergaard could be coming back to the NL East. The Phillies are close to acquiring Thor, who has spent this season with the Angels.


Twins add Fulmer

The Twins have acquired Michael Fulmer from the Tigers, according to Jon Heyman. Here's what I wrote about him a few weeks ago: "Fulmer has adopted a min-max philosophy with his arsenal over that time: minimizing almost every other offering while maximizing his slider. He's chucking it more than 60 percent of the time so far this season. There's no indication yet that he should stop. "


One more move for the Yankees?

The Yankees are interested in Marlins righty Pablo López, who is one of the top remaining starters on the market.


Where will Thor land?

It sounds like Noah Syndergaard has two teams fighting to trade for him. The Angels righty is being coveted by the Blue Jays (who drafted him) and the Phillies (who are in the same division as his old team, the Mets).


Dodgers ship out Lamb

The Dodgers, who acquired lefty-hitting Joey Gallo today, are moving on from Jake Lamb. Lamb is being traded to the Mariners.


Padres not done yet 

Drury is a career utility man who has played like an All-Star this season, thriving in a full-time role. He's hitting .274/.335/.52 (128 OPS+) with 22 doubles, two triples, 20 homers, 59 RBI, 62 runs and 2.3 WAR. He's setting career highs across the board. 

He's played mostly third base this season, but Machado has that on lockdown in San Diego. He could handle second base with Jake Cronenworth moving to shortstop until Fernando Tatis, Jr. comes back? He could get some outfield at-bats from Jurickson Profar (LF) or Trent Grisham (CF). Perhaps he'll share time at DH with Wil Myers? He can also spell Machado or Cronenworth when days off are needed. 

August 2, 2022, 8:32 PM

Contreras, Happ in Cubs lineup

Willson Conteras and Ian Happ are still on the Cubs' roster, and in their Tuesday lineup. They could both be scratched from the order and traded before 6 p.m. ET, however.


Phillies get Marsh, Robertson

The Phillies currently sit in the third and final NL wild-card spot and they made two trades Tuesday afternoon, with more possibly to come. First, they traded catcher prospect Logan O'Hoppe to the Angels for outfielder Brandon Marsh, then they sent pitching prospect Ben Brown to the Cubs for veteran reliever David Robertson.

Marsh hasn't hit much in about a full season's worth of MLB playing time, though he was a consensus top 50 prospect as recently as last spring, plus he is a tremendous defensive center fielder. The Phillies have one of the worst defenses in the game -- Marsh will have to cover a TON of ground between Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos -- and Marsh is a massive upgrade there.

Robertson signed a two-year deal with the Phillies in Jan. 2019 and threw only 6 2/3 innings during the life of contract due to injuries. He's had a marvelous year and is the kind of versatile bat-missing reliever you find in most contender's bullpens. Robertson can close, set up, pitching the middle innings, you name it. The Phillies got quite a bit bitter Tuesday with two smaller moves.

August 2, 2022, 8:10 PM

NL East movement

The Phillies, in addition to getting Brandon Marsh, are also getting Cubs reliever David Robertson at the deadline. Robertson previously spent some (mostly injured) time with the franchise.

The Mets, meanwhile, are adding to their depth with Darin Ruf in a trade with the Giants. JD Davis is among the pieces heading back to San Francisco.


Mahle does head to Minnesota

The Twins picked up Tyler Mahle, one of the top starters available at the deadline. He joins Jorge López as Minnesota's deadline pickups.


Phillies get their center fielder

The Phillies have traded prospect catcher Logan O'Happe to the Angels for outfielder Brandon Marsh, according to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports HQ. Center field has been a problem for the Phillies for a bit, so it looks like Marsh will get a shot to hold down that job on an everyday basis, especially giving up a prospect of O'Happe's caliber in the deal. 

Marsh is only 24 years old and was a second-round pick in 2016 out of high school. He was a top-40 prospect heading into 2021. In 163 MLB games so far, he's hit .239/.299/.354 (82 OPS+) with 21 doubles, five triples, 10 homers, 56 RBI, 61 runs, 14 stolen bases and 1.1 WAR. He's shown flashes of big upside, though, so the Phillies are looking to untap that. 

August 2, 2022, 7:49 PM

Mahle to Twins? 

Tyler Mahle is 27 and is under team control through next season, so this wouldn't be a rental. He's 5-7 with a 4.40 ERA (104 ERA+), 3.60 FIP, 1.25 WHIP and 114 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings this season. He was 13-6 with a 3.75 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 180 innings last season. 

He'd provide rotation stability for the Twins along with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan. 

August 2, 2022, 7:44 PM
August 2, 2022, 7:36 PM

Syndergaard, Blue Jays reunion? 

One might recall that Noah Syndergaard was drafted by the Blue Jays and then was a top prospect in their organization before heading to the Mets in the RA Dickey trade. He didn't debut until he was with the Mets, but it would still be an interesting move in terms of his career path. 

Syndergaard has been good, but not great, this season in his full-on return from Tommy John surgery. 

Iglesias would be intriguing. He was one of the best relievers in baseball last season, but has struggled this year. We know how volatile relievers can be. It's entirely possible he'd give them a huge late-inning knockout punch in teaming with Jordan Romano. 

The Phillies have been connected to Syndergaard and Carlos Rodón here in the last hour or so. They'd be slotting a new starter behind Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler in a formidable playoff rotation, should they make it. 

August 2, 2022, 7:24 PM
August 2, 2022, 7:05 PM

Royals getting bites on Keller

Right-handed starter Brad Keller is 27 years old and under team control through next season. He's 5-11 with a 4.18 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 73 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings. He was actually great through five starts this season, but has pitched to a 5.17 ERA in his last 14 outings. Of course, if we're doing the arbitrary-endpoint thing, he has a 3.20 ERA in his last seven starts, four of which have been Royals wins. Essentially, it wouldn't be horrible to add Keller as rotation depth, but he shouldn't be counted on as a frontline starter or even a mid-tier option. 

August 2, 2022, 7:00 PM

Mets, Cubs still talking Contreras

Rumors have been connecting the Mets to Cubs All-Star catcher Willson Contreras for weeks. Here's another as the deadline rapidly approaches.  

 Contreras is hitting .252/.365/.453 (129 OPS+) with 20 doubles, 14 homers, 38 RBI, 51 runs and 2.9 WAR this season. He's one of the best offensive catchers in baseball, though he's very streaky. There are plenty of questions out there about his framing numbers behind the plate, but his arm is as strong as anyone's. The Mets could also use him some at DH and Contreras has experience in left field as well. 

August 2, 2022, 6:39 PM
August 2, 2022, 6:32 PM

Hosmer to the Red Sox after all this? 

It has been quite a day for Eric Hosmer during the Juan Soto sweepstakes. He's reportedly exercised his no-trade clause to avoid going to the Nationals. And now this: 

The Red Sox have had a hell of a time finding a first baseman the last several years, so it's a natural fit, at least defensively.

August 2, 2022, 6:27 PM

Gallo to Dodgers? 

A deal that would send Joey Gallo to the Dodgers is possible, reports Ken Rosenthal. He was acquired by the Yankees last deadline and things just didn't work out there at all for either party. In 140 games for the Yankees, Gallo has hit .159/.291/.368 (85 OPS+) with 194 strikeouts in 421 at-bats. He has hit 25 home runs, but only driven home 46 runs. His calling card is the home run and he only has 12 this season. It would be best for both parties to move on. 

Would a shift to the other coast get Gallo back on track? He has two 40-homer seasons under his belt and had a 138 OPS+ when traded last season. 

August 2, 2022, 6:24 PM

Rodón deal is possible

The Giants are "still talking to teams about" left-handed starting pitcher Carlos Rodón, reports Susan Slusser. If he is traded, there's a possibility Rodón is the best starting pitcher who was moved this season. Through 21 starts with the Giants, he's 9-6 with a 3.00 ERA (135 ERA+), 2.29 FIP, 1.07 WHIP and 158 strikeouts against 39 walks in 123 innings. Note that huge difference in ERA and FIP, as the Giants have been one of the very worst defensive teams in baseball this season (they rank 28th in defensive efficiency). Moving to a better defensive team would greatly benefit Rodón, who has been lights out aside from a few bad outings where things snowballed. He's only allowed more than two runs in a start five times. 

A complicating factor could be Rodón's contract. He is signed for $22.5 million for next season, but he has an opt-out clause that has already been triggered by virtue of him topping 110 innings. That stipulation was included in his deal due to his extensive injury history. Any acquiring team would need to decide if the risk is worth it, on both the possibility that he could leave after the season or that he'd suffer a major injury and stick them with the bill for next year. Talk about threading the needle, right? 

August 2, 2022, 6:20 PM

Soto appears happy

It's not quite a first look at Juan Soto in a Padres uniform, but he did post about the trade on his Instagram page on Tuesday. More specifically, Soto screenshotted a post from NBA player Victor Oladipo and put it on his Instagram story. If that doesn't make a trade official in 2022, I don't know what does.

Juan Soto/Instagram

Blue Jays adding relief depth

The Blue Jays are close to a deal for right-handed reliever Zach Pop, reports Sportsnet. Craig Mish adds that Anthony Bass is also in the deal. 

Bass, 34, was with the Blue Jays in 2020 and actually served as their closer for a bit, recording seven saves. In 45 outings this season, he has a 1.41 ERA, 2.06 FIP, 0.94 WHIP and 45 strikeouts against 10 walks in 44 2/3 innings. It seems likely he'll be a high-leverage guy in the late innings to set up for closer Jordan Romano along with the likes of Adam Cimber, Yimi García and Tim Mayza. 

Pop is 6-foot-4 and 25 years old. In 18 outings this season, he has a 3.60 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 14 strikeouts against two walks in 20 innings. He's a groundball pitcher and has stranded 12 of the 13 runners he's inherited. He'll slot as a middle relief arm. 

August 2, 2022, 5:41 PM

Hosmer staying in SD

Eric Hosmer has used his no-trade clause to block a trade to the Nationals. To be clear, the Soto/Bell trade is still happening. It will just take a different shape and not include Hosmer.

The Padres have been trying to unload Hosmer and his contract (three years and $39 million remaining) for years. Finding a taker in the next 4.5 hours will be very difficult, if not impossible, especially since their best prospects are on their way to Washington. It'll be tougher to bribe a team to take Hosmer's contract. The most likely outcome: Hosmer stays with the Padres and they have to pay luxury tax this year.

August 2, 2022, 5:25 PM
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