MLB Trade Deadline: NL Buyers and Sellers

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Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras celebrates while running the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in Chicago.
(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Jul 20, 2022, 3:42 PM

The 2022 Trade Deadline is quickly approaching, and teams are rushing to work out their rosters before August 2 creeps up. With half a season left and the current baseball standings showing which teams are likely to still be in contention come October, the New York Yankees continue to lead the World Series odds at +375. The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t far behind with odds of +450, but it’s clear that it’s still anyone’s game.

As the National League and American League battle in their divisions to claim a spot in the postseason, who are the buyers and sellers of the NL going into this year’s Trade Deadline?

NL East

Atlanta Braves: BUYER

Like many teams right now, the Braves need to find another pitcher. Atlanta is in second place in the NL East with a record of 52-36, just behind the Mets at 54-33, even though this has been a pretty disappointing season for them. However, they have a decent shot at making it into the postseason if they can get their house in order, so they are likely to be aggressively seeking an experienced starter over the next couple of weeks.

Miami Marlins: SELLER

If the Marlins are smart, they’ll consider selling starting pitcher Pablo López. While shaky at times, he has been one of the best starters in the NL, and since he is under club control until after the 2024 season, he is likely to garner a fair bit of interest. The Marlins need young players coming into their system, so trading for prospects now when starters are in high demand would be a good move.

New York Mets: BUYER

The Mets need to acquire someone behind the plate. They have Francisco Alvarez in their farm system, but considering he just got promoted to Triple-A, I doubt we will see him called up before next season. That means a catcher will likely be one of their most significant needs — maybe Willson Contreras from the Cubs?

Philadelphia Phillies: BUYER

The biggest need for the Phillies is another relief pitcher. I can’t see them spending too much money right now, but they also aren’t necessarily out of the postseason if they want to be creative. Their current 46-41 record isn’t too far off a Wild Card spot. If they still want to make a go of it this season, some depth to the bullpen could make a big difference.

Washington Nationals: SELLER

The Nationals have plenty of players likely to be traded over the next few weeks. First baseman Josh Bell and designated hitter Nelson Cruz are arguably the ones that will net the biggest returns, though I can also see César Hernández moving to a team in need of an infielder.

NL Central

Chicago Cubs: SELLER

If the Cubs are smart, they’ll be selling catcher Willson Contreras while his value is arguably the highest it’s ever been. The team is still very much in the rebuilding stage, looking forward to potential contention in three or four years at a minimum. They are likely to try and move Contreras now, even though high-level catchers rarely net full worth at the deadline, and bring in some young prospects who can help them down the road.

Cincinnati Reds: SELLER

The Reds will be a hot target for buyers looking to acquire a starting or relief pitcher. Right-hander Luis Castillo will likely be the best starter available and will get a lot of interest, especially since he is under club control for another year. The Reds may also consider selling Tyler Mahle, especially if they want to bring on prospects or money to support a rebuild.

Milwaukee Brewers: BUYER

The Brewers are currently leading the NL Central, but they need a strong bat if they want a chance in the postseason. I doubt the team will be particularly picky regarding the position, but a big hitter to help on offense will be Milwaukee’s focus.

Pittsburgh Pirates: SELLER

I actually can’t see the Pirates doing too much at all before this Trade Deadline. Outfielder Bryan Reynolds may garner some interest if they’re looking to sell, but I doubt Pittsburgh will let him go without a lot in return.

St. Louis Cardinals: BUYER

The Cardinals are yet another team who needs a starting pitcher. With Steven Matz and Jack Flaherty injured, they need to tighten up their rotation if they want to contend this season. They are currently 47-42, in second place behind Milwaukee’s 48-39, so the postseason is definitely in the cards if they can sort out their pitching.

NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks: SELLER

The Diamondbacks won’t be looking to make a big acquisition this Trade Deadline, but their biggest players aren’t likely to be up for sale either. Right-hander Zac Gallen and infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte would both garner a lot of interest, but I doubt the Diamondbacks would be willing to part ways with either of them at this stage. Pitchers Caleb Smith and Luke Weaver are probably the most likely to be traded, allowing Arizona to acquire some prospects for future seasons.

Colorado Rockies: SELLER

Nobody needs a rebuild quite like the Rockies — they really need everything. Unfortunately, Colorado isn’t going to be a contender for at least a few seasons, so they are likely to go into the next couple of weeks selling to get young prospects for the future. I can see their focus being on finding some pitching help, but an exciting hitter to bring some offense to a very sleepy team would be great.

Los Angeles Dodgers: BUYER

The Dodgers are the favorite to win the National League with World Series odds of +450, but an experienced relief pitcher would likely confirm it. Craig Kimbrel has been a disappointment that they arguably should have seen coming, and their IL seems to attract relievers like moths to a flame, so a strong arm is needed. 

San Diego Padres: BUYER

The Padres are in contention for a Wild Card spot with their current record of 50-38, but they need a boost on offense. A big hitter to knock it out of the park for them will make all the difference come October.

San Francisco Giants: BUYER/SELLER

The Giants are hard to assign to either buying or selling because they need a bit of everything, but they also aren’t likely to be aggressively in contention. Their team is old, and it often feels like they’re made of paper with how they move on and off the injured list. The Giants need to think about longer-term rebuilding, but I don’t think much will happen before the offseason.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.