If the trade deadline were a summer thunderstorm, then what we got this week is the first sprinkles of rain before the deluge. Or so we hope, I guess.
- The Yankees acquired outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Royals for three minor league pitchers.
- Bryan Hock has more on the deal and Benintendi’s press conference.
- The big news at that press conference is that Benintendi refused to say whether he plans to get vaccinated against COVID-19, a prerequisite to play any possible playoff games in Toronto. Benintendi says he’s “open minded” about the vaccine, whatever that means.
- Bob Nightengale says that Benintendi is just being coy to avoid controversy and that he actually told the Royals (and they’ve told the Yankees) that he would get vaccinated if he were traded to an American League contender.
- Dan Szymborski writes that Benintendi allows the Yankees to stabilize their outfield and move on from Joey Gallo.
- Bradford Doolittle hands out grades for the trade. (ESPN+ sub. req.) The Royals got a “B” and the Yankees got a “B+.”
- There was one other trade yesterday as the Reds sent outfielder Tyler Naquin and left-handed reliever Phillip Diehl to the Mets for a pair of minor leaguers.
- There will be more trade deadline stuff in a minute, but the other big news surrounds Angels outfielder Mike Trout. Angels trainer Mike Frostad revealed that Trout is dealing with a rare back condition that he will probably have to manage throughout the rest of his career. (The Athletic sub. req.) Frostad said Trout’s timetable for a return is uncertain.
- Before you get too worried, however, Trout said that the injury is not career-threatening and in fact, he intends to play again this season. Trout didn’t dispute anything Frostad said, but that people were making too big a deal out of it and that the condition is manageable.
- Back to the trade deadline. Mark Feinsand lists the 12 players most likely to be dealt.
- Who might be the biggest name dealt? (Not counting Juan Soto.)
- Jack Baer looks at five realistic deals for Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.
- Whether Soto gets traded now or over the winter, David Aldridge writes that the departure of a star is an all-too-familiar story for Nationals fans. (The Athletic sub. req.)
Xander Bogaerts said it was a relief to hear Chaim Bloom and Sam Kennedy say he wouldn’t be traded. “I’ve been playing better since then.”— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) July 29, 2022
Also said they told him personally he wouldn’t be traded. “I’m not sure if I can say that but yes.”
- A report says that it is “extremely unlikely” that the Angels trade Shohei Ohtani, but it’s not impossible.
- The Angels reportedly want a team’s top four prospects for Ohtani.
- Grant Brisbee thinks that the Giants need to sell at the deadline (The Athletic sub. req.) and he has some suggestions on who is likely to go.
- Giants pitcher Carlos Rodón is on that list of likely trade candidates. Rodón apologized for an incident where he kicked a bat in the dugout out of frustration and the bat hit teammate Thairo Estrada. Rodón called his actions “selfish”, “stupid” and “unacceptable.”
- Zach Kram looks at some contending teams that have holes and which available-for-trade players could fill them.
- R.J. Anderson has five “under-the-radar” players who could get dealt but might still make a major impact for the team acquiring them. Sort of who will be this year’s Jorge Soler.
- Neil Paine thinks the expansion of the number of playoff teams may not provide more drama at the trade deadline, and also which teams should be sacrificing the future for the present.
- Jim Bowden breaks down what it’s like to be a general manager at the trade deadline. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Mets pitcher Max Scherzer used the PitchCom system for the first time and thinks it should be banned for being too good.
- Steve Berman explains what PitchCom is and what Scherzer’s arguments against it are. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Some bad and scary news for the Marlins. Miami pitcher Daniel Castano was hit on the forehead with a 104 mile per hour line drive. Castano was able to walk off the field under his own power after a while. The ball also was caught by third baseman Joey Wendle for an out.
- And more bad news for the Fish. Their top prospect, right-hander Max Meyer, needs Tommy John surgery.
- The Blue Jays released some artist renderings of planned renovations for the Rogers Centre.
- Tim Healy explains how outfielder Mark Canha, in his first year with the Mets, is embracing New York City culture, including taking the subway to most home games.
- Dan Berry has the story of Jim Bintliff, the man who collects the mud from the Delaware River that is used to rub the shine off all major league baseballs, and how MLB wants to end this tradition.
- Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini, in what might be his final home game as an Oriole, hit an inside-the-park home run off of Rays outfielder Josh Lowe’s head. Kind of a generous scorer’s decision, but we’ll allow it.
- This story from Roberto José Andrade Franco is gut-wrenching, but an important read. It’s the story of Tess Mata, a ten-year-old girl from Uvalde, Texas who dreamed of being a softball star. She idolized the Houston Astros and especially José Altuve. Of course, you can guess that Tess was one of the victims of the recent mass shooting in Uvalde.
- And finally, check out this monster 512-foot home run by Reds prospect Elly de la Cruz. The ball traveled so far that it’s hard to see where it landed. If it landed, I guess.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster.