The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching and team executives around the league are already getting started on the wheeling and dealing that will be causing shifts in the futures odds markets.
Starting pitcher Lucas Giolito, one of the top and most likely names rumoured to be on the move, has already been dealt to the Los Angeles Angels, who have also decided to keep two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani to make a playoff push. Max Scherzer also saw himself move this weekend, going from the New York Mets to reuniting with Jacob DeGrom with the Texas Rangers.
Several more big names could be on the move leading up to the 6 p.m. ET deadline on Aug. 1, including Marcus Stroman, Blake Snell, Josh Hader, Jordan Montgomery, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nolan Arenado, or even Juan Soto, among many others.
Here’s a look at a few teams, and their bet365 futures odds, to watch heading into the trading frenzy:
San Diego Padres
Do they buy? Do they sell? Do they stand pat? The Padres are the most intriguing team heading into the trade deadline as they’ve failed to meet their high pre-season expectations and find themselves far out of a playoff spot in the National League. San Diego has +265 odds to make the playoffs at bet365 and the sportsbook has given the Friars -350 odds to not qualify for the postseason.
Snell is a free agent at the end of the season, making him a valuable potential trade chip for the Padres as the deadline approaches. Several contenders would love to add a pitcher of Snell’s calibre to their respective rotations. The Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees are all seeking pitching help down the stretch, and Snell could fetch an impressive prospect haul in return.
Soto, who is also under contract for next season before becoming a free agent in 2025, could also be dangled as trade bait, although there’s no rush to make a decision on his future with the club. The Padres are reportedly “willing to listen to offers” for their prized slugger, and he would fetch a king’s ransom in return for the club. Soto is the kind of player that could drastically improve any team’s futures odds.
Hader, one of the top left-handed relievers in baseball over the past few seasons, could also be made available to suitors looking for back-end bullpen help.
It’s also possible that the Padres continue to add to their star-studded roster in a desperate attempt to turn things around. Their $246 million team payroll is the third highest in the majors, so maybe they roll the dice and see what happens before tearing things down in the offseason.
|World Series Odds||Division Odds||To Make Playoffs Odds|
|San Diego Padres||+3000||+3500||+265|
|Toronto Blue Jays||+1400||+550||-360|
|Tampa Bay Rays||+650||+105||-1000|
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are right in the thick of the wild-card chase and even have an outside shot at closing the gap on the Orioles and Rays in the competitive AL East. With +1400 odds to win the World Series heading into the deadline, Toronto has the seventh-shortest odds to win it all, but with a few shrewd moves at the deadline the Blue Jays could rocket up futures boards.
Rumours are swirling that the Jays really want to add a right-handed bat that excels against left-handed pitching. Outfielders Kevin Kiermaier and Daulton Varsho both hit from the left side, so adding a right-handed hitter to platoon in the outfield against lefties is an obvious need for the team. Many are speculating that Tommy Pham, Lane Thomas, Brent Rooker, or Randal Grichuk might be good fits to fill the void.
The Blue Jays could also opt to add a middle infielder, like Chicago White Sox speedster Tim Anderson, which would allow them to move Whit Merrifield (a right-handed hitter) more often to the outfield. Anderson is a two-time All-Star and a former AL batting champ (2019). His splits are very strong against left-handed pitching (around a .750 OPS) and he could be used at second base to allow Bo Bichette to continue to play shortstop, Anderson’s natural position.
Might the Blue Jays look to add pitching depth? Hyun-jin Ryu is set to rejoin the rotation soon after recovering from Tommy John surgery, but who knows how effective or how many innings he’ll be able to eat for the Jays down the stretch. The command issues and dramatic demise of Alek Manoah is also concerning. Will the Jays feel comfortable rolling out Kevin Gausman, Chris Bassitt, and Jose Berrios in a seven-game playoff series with Yusei Kikuchi potentially moonlighting as the fourth starter? Maybe trading for a veteran like Zack Greinke or Jack Flaherty is a good insurance policy? And of course, upgrades in the bullpen are also welcome down the stretch.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays were the hottest team in baseball out of the gates with a 23-6 record in April, but they’ve cooled off considerably as the season has progressed. Major injuries to starting pitchers Drew Rasmussen, Shane Baz, and Jeffrey Springs have contributed to the slide, but Tampa is still allowing the fewest runs per game in the majors. With Tyler Glasnow back and healthy, the Rays now have a terrific one-two punch at the top of their rotation (alongside Shane McClanahan), but their depth in the middle and back of the rotation will need to be addressed.
At some point, the low-budget Rays are going to have to push all of their chips into the middle of the table and go for a World Series title, and the time is now. MLB insiders are describing Tampa as a potentially aggressive buyer leading up to this deadline and the team has one of the best farm systems in the bigs that could allow it to pull off a blockbuster deal for superstar talent. Adding a top-tier starting pitcher would create a three-headed monster in a potential playoff series. The team could also benefit from the addition of a second baseman, as Brandon Lowe continues to struggle with back problems.