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Chat with MLBTR's Steve Adams: 7/26/22
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Steve Adams
Greetings all! Deadline chaos has yet to begin ensuing in full, but this time next week should be madness. Here's hoping a few teams get some deals out of the way early to spare the MLBTR staff. I'm sure they'll operate with our best interest in mind, right?
Also a note to our Front Office subscribers -- Brad Johnson's latest fantasy baseball chat with subscribers will kick off at noon CT, when this chat here ends, so be sure to check that out.
If I sell… does JD Martinez get me a similar return to what Nelson Cruz got last year?
Steve Adams
The Cruz return is going to look like an outlier. I know people in the game were generally surprised to see the Rays part with Joe Ryan (plus another decent relief prospect in Drew Strotman), and I wouldn't expect that to be a precedent-setter for future DH rentals. As good as Martinez is, something like Ryan+ is a pretty big ask.
Hopeless Marlins Fan
Is there any saving my sanity? Would a trade headlined by Pablo Lopez and Gunnar Henderson be a possibility?
Steve Adams
I don't think the Orioles would part with six-plus years of Henderson, who is regarded by some as the borderline No. 1 prospect in baseball, for 2.5 years of Lopez. If the O's were in a different position -- clear win-now, Wild Card favorites with a deeper MLB roster but needing a final piece in the rotation -- perhaps it'd be a consideration. This version of the Orioles isn't parting with a Henderson-like talent in that type of trade, though.
Settle a bet for me. Are Manaea and Clevinger going to receive qualifying offers? And would they accept?
Steve Adams
Manaea should and would reject. Clevinger is more borderline just because I'm a little more skeptical of his health after such a long layoff. But if he finishes the year healthy and pitching at somewhere around his current level of production, yeah he's a QO guy for me.
And, with generally rare exceptions, I think everyone should reject the QO
There are rare exceptions, but the biggest "downside" is usually that you have to settle for a one-year deal at a lower rate than the QO. That stings, sure, but the upside is you turn down the QO and get way more than people anticipated. I remember a lot of our readers being beside themselves when Tim, Jeff Todd and I all continually opined that Ian Kennedy should receive and reject a QO (then around $14-15MM). He signed for 5/70 in Kansas City, which crushed even our most bullish expectations.

Some guys have gotten screwed -- Mike Moustakas maybe chief among them, but even he came out just fine in the end, eventually signing a 2/20 and then 4/64 after originally having to "settle" for a year and 6.5.
A’s fan
how much better of a return does montas get than berrios did
Steve Adams
With the recent shoulder issues, I don't think he'll get a better return than Berrios did. It might look better right now than Austin Martin/Simeon Woods Richardson does, because Martin has had a down season. But I don't expect the Montas return to have the same perception as the Berrios return a year ago.
More I think about it the more I like StL as the best fit for Soto.  ML or ready pieces Walker, Carlson, Gorman that no one else can really match but also have replacements or long term position covers for in Arenado, Soto (obv), and Donovan/Edman, plus his 2 1/2 years (I doubt StL would pony up long term) would fit well with their window of Arenado, Goldy, etc.
Steve Adams
I like the Cardinals, Rangers, Padres and Giants all to varying levels, but you can make a viable trade package from just about any team in the league. I think the Cardinals are totally plausible, but the idea that they're a front-runner based on speculation from other GMs and baseball execs around the league is flawed. They might still end up with him, but I find the weekend characterization of them as a "favorite" to be extremely premature.
Does Joey Gallo have any value?
Steve Adams
I don't think so. If the Yankees eat the salary, maybe they'll get a fringe prospect in return. But if they could get something of value for him ... wouldn't they have done it by now? They would have.
Is Juan Soto really worth 4-5 top prospect type players? Seems like a lot for 2.5 years of one player, no matter how good he is
Steve Adams
I find the notion that any one prospect (or any combination of prospects) is too much for Soto to just be puzzling. I'll use the Giants as an example here, but this applies to most teams...
I've seen several SF fans say that Kyle Harrison should just firmly be off the table in Soto talks. That's utter insanity to me. Soto is an immediate upgrade to a postseason hopeful and a realistic 5-8 win player for the 2023 and 2024 campaigns, playing at a salary that's well shy of his market value.
He's on the short list for best players in baseball, he's only 23. He could very plausibly, somehow, still be getting BETTER. At a certain point, I can understand saying "We just can't give up XYZ" for him, but there is basically no package of talent a team could surrender for Soto that would make me think "Woof, they overpaid."
(Short of the Mariners giving up Julio Rodriguez, or something, but that's obviously not happening)
Are the Red Sox sellers?
Steve Adams
I think they'll take another series to really determine that, but if I had to guess right now, I would say yes... to an extent. I think even if they do sell, they'll be shopping guys like Eovaldi, JDM and other rentals while also looking into acquiring players who can help in 2023 and beyond.
They're not going to go into an all-out rebuild (nor should they), so they can deepen the farm by selling off pending free agents and still simultaneously stock up for next year.
Biggest surprise from the draft?
Steve Adams
I'm not really a draft guru or anything, but the industry as a whole seems pretty stunned Kumar Rocker went No. 3 overall. Vandy Boys reunion in Texas (Leiter + Rocker) would be fun, especially if they both enjoy even like a 75th or 80th percentile outcome, but if Rocker isn't pretty damn good, it's a pick that's going to be panned for a long time. I applaud the boldness anyway.
Why do people keep sleeping on my Mariners Bois to be legit contenders for Soto? Kirby/Marte/Kelenic/Ford seems like the starting point for as good as any package anybody else could match. Is there a reason I should be giving up hope on seeing Soto and Julio patrol the same outfield?
Steve Adams
Yeah, I should've had the Mariners in that off-the-cuff list. I actually think of all the teams, they should be among the most motivated (if not *the* most) to make the move. I would easily give up Noelvi Marte and several other top prospects to bring Soto to Seattle for 2.5 years. If the Nats are insisting Julio Rodriguez is in there, that's just silly and one of the rare nonstarters in Soto scenarios.
Pirates get Jasson Dominguez, Ken Waldichuk, and TJ Sikkema for David Bednar. Who says no?
Steve Adams
The Yankees
If the Giants continue the pace they are on and become sellers, it seems like Rodon is the only tradeable piece they have that could bring a decent return. What can Giants fans expect as a return in a Rodon trade?
Steve Adams
I don't really agree with the premise. Alex Wood and Jakob Junis have value. Joc Pederson has value. Darin Ruf has some value as a bench piece with a pretty great contract. Wilmer Flores has some value as a bench upgrade.

Rodon obviously gets the biggest return of the bunch, and rightfully so, but the Giants have a lot of short-term pieces who'd interest other teams if they do end up selling.

As with the Red Sox, I'd expect them to look to move Rodon, Joc, Wilmer, and other rentals while exploring the possibility of adding for 2023 and beyond.
Does Sano have any trade value for the Twins?
Steve Adams
Nope. They just reinstated him from the 60-day IL while I was chatting, by the way
Danny Coulombe to the 60-day in his place. Gilberto Celestino optioned.
They just have to hope he hits down the stretch. If he's terrible for two weeks, I can see them just designating him for assignment and moving on. They can't give him playing time over Jose Miranda, Alex Kirilloff, etc. just because of Sano's contract. And they're not picking up the 2023 option anyway (barring some Herculean final two months where he hits 20-something homers with a 140 wRC+.... which, I suppose, Sano has shown the ability to do at his best).
I still think his time in Minnesota is winding down
Do you really see the Giants in on Soto, given that their owners are among the cheapest in baseball.
Steve Adams
We talking the same Giants that opened 2022 with a $155MM payroll, $150MM in 2021, $170MM in 2019, $200.5MM in 2018, $181MM in 2017, $172MM in 2016, etc.?
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