Latest on Juan Soto, Cardinals trade targets and more

Breaking down the latest MLB trade rumors FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray is hearing around the league leading up to the MLB trade deadline.

The question has come up with countless executives, agents and players in recent days: will Juan Soto be traded?

A week before the trade deadline, no one has a good answer to that question. There are some people who believe that Soto will stay put, citing the massive asking price (top prospects and controllable major-leaguers) and the sheer magnitude of such a deal. There are others who believe that the Nationals will trade him before Aug. 2, citing that an eventual new ownership may not want its first move to be trading Soto.

There are plenty of teams who would love to add Soto. The Padres are viewed as among the favorites by rival executives. The Cardinals have the prospects to facilitate a deal, but will a front office that has meticulously built the farm system blow it up to add the 23-year-old superstar? The Mariners are viewed as a potential sleeper while the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets and a multitude of others loom as potential suitors.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has set his price. Will any team meet it or will the Soto sweepstakes extend to the offseason?

Pittsburgh Pirates

Left-hander Jose Quintana is drawing interest from the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, among others, sources said. Another potential fit: the Toronto Blue Jays, who could use him as insurance for the struggling Yusei Kikuchi. But if Kikuchi bounces back, Quintana could shift to the bullpen, a role he thrived in with San Francisco in 2021.

Star outfielder Bryan Reynolds is highly unlikely to be traded. All-Star reliever David Bednar is unlikely to be traded, too.

Milwaukee Brewers

As the Brewers search for more offensive firepower and a long-term answer in center field, one option could be Oakland A’s outfielder Ramon Laureano. Laureano, 28, fits the Brewers’ run-prevention model and while he has struggled this season, hitting only .230/.310/.407 with 10 home runs and 22 RBI, he’s earning just $2.45 million this season and is signed through 2024 .

The Brewers have three catchers — Omar Narvaez, Victor Caratini and Pedro Severino — and while some teams have done homework on Narvaez, rivals get the sense they would like to move Severino, who is ineligible to play in the postseason following a PED suspension.

St. Louis Cardinals

The Cardinals are looking for starting pitching and the expectation is that they will add at least 1-2 starting pitchers. The team is looking at bigger, more meaningful upgrades than the JA Happ and Jon Lester additions from last season, according to sources.

Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have not determined whether they will buy or sell. But after being swept by the Blue Jays after the All-Star break, there is an increasing possibility that they sell. So what might that look like?

Among their trade options include right-handers Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Wacha, left-hander Rich Hill and designated hitter JD Martinez, among others. Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who can opt out of his contract after the 2022 season, is seen as unlikely to become available.

Eovaldi should draw widespread interest from teams needing starting pitching. Martinez has long been viewed as a strong fit for the New York Mets by rival executives.

Chicago Cubs

As Jeff Passan of ESPN reported, it feels like a matter of when, not if, Willson Contreras is traded – and his hugs with Ian Happ inside the Cubs dugout all but confirmed it. The Houston Astros and New York Mets are among the possibilities.

Outfielder Ian Happ has been connected to the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays and is a strong candidate to be traded, sources said. Happ, soon-to-be 28, is under contract through 2023 and as a switch-hitter who thrives swinging from the left side, would add a desired left-handed bat to the Blue Jays’ lineup.

The Cubs boast two of the top relievers on the market in David Robertson and Mychal Givens. The Mets “love” Robertson, according to sources, who also fits the Yankees and other teams in need of late-inning relief help. Givens is drawing interest from numerous teams while reliever Chris Martin is another potential trade candidate.

Atlanta Braves

As the Braves search for outfield help following Adam Duvall’s season-ending injury, one possibility could be A’s outfielder Chad Pinder. The Braves and A’s, of course, completed the Matt Olson mega-deal before Opening Day and know each other well.

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