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Mark P
The weekend chat is here, the second-last edition before the trade deadline.  Let's take some questions
Future Reds Gm
When will the first major trade occur?
Mark P
Just earlier tonight, Jim Bowden made the point that some (all?) teams may be waiting until tomorrow's deadline for international draft negotiations.  It makes sense that clubs would want to see how that situation shakes out before considering how many prospects they might move out in a possible deal
So with the draft signings deadline and tomorrow's int'l draft deadline, front offices can finally take a full-on look at the trade deadline.
Red Sox
We sure look like sellers right now. JD, Vazquez, Strahm, Eovaldi, Bogaerts, are they all good as gone?
Mark P
If Boston did decide to sell, it is quite possible that most of their pending free agents would be gone. It would be different from 2020 (in no small part because this isn't a weird COVID-shortened season), and we also don't know yet if the Sox would approach this deadline as a reload for 2023, or maybe see 2023 as the rebuild year and 2024 as the new target
Could be a fascinating couple of weeks in Boston, and of course, they still might end up as sellers.  If the Sox reeled off five wins in a row or something, they can perhaps start looking to add pieces.
Braves Baseball
Josh Bell to the Braves at the deadline?
Mark P
Tough seeing Bell moved within the division, and acquiring Bell also means he and Olson have the 1B/DH spot on lockdown.  Now, not a bad problem to have those two guys in a lineup, but that gives Atlanta less flexibility for moving other players (like Ozuna) into a DH spot
Braves fan
Braves need to make a move to replace Duvall, do something with Ian Anderson and get another late inning big arm righty. Can AA do his jedi magic 2 years in a row?
Mark P
Outfield certainly seems like a bigger priority for the Braves on the position-player side.  And man, you can never rule anything out with Anthopoulos.  It was just a year ago that these chats were full of comments complaining about how the Braves were only picking up "spare parts" like Soler, Duvall, Rosario, and look what happened
Ok keep it real with me, how serious are Cardinals about potentially landing Soto?
Mark P
I would imagine they're seriously looking into it, given how adding Soto to that lineup would be wild.
The Cards are also a team with the type of young talent that Washington wants, as well as the amount of prospect depth to make a trade feasible (whereas other teams might have to clean out their systems entirely)
Thoughts on organs playing at ballparks and why every team should have one?
Mark P
There's no more consistent laugh to be found at a ballpark than giggling when the organist plays a snarky song about a player
Royals fan
Should the royals trade Nick Pratto? With Melendez and Perez set to split time between catcher and DH, and Pasquantinto holding his own at first, it seems like it’ll be hard to find a spot for him
Mark P
Pratto and Pasquantino (and Melendez, for that matter) are all so unproven that it might be a better idea for the Royals to keep them all until at least one emerges as a true everyday big leaguer
Shouldn't the Angel's just tear it down and start over? Could get a massive haul for their 2 best players
Mark P
Arte Moreno has always had a win-now mentality, which isn't always a good thing for a team that might ultimately need to step back.  And I can't blame him for being aggressive, since you can't waste an opportunity with both Trout and Ohtani on the roster....and yet, that seems to be what the Angels are doing
I had asked about expansion and timeframes in the last Live Chat He, Anthony said .. they want probably to clear up the stadium situation with the Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays. I believe there has been a solution and a go ahead on Oakland's new stadium i believe. My question now is Where do you think Tampa will be playing when their Lease is up in 2027?
Mark P
There has been some positive developments on Oakland's ballpark, but after all this time, I won't believe it until the final green light has been given, and shovels are in the ground.

As for the Rays, I lean towards thinking they'll be playing elsewhere by 2028.
As a fan of an AL East rival, if the Rays wanted to move to Portland, Las Vegas, or anywhere off the East Coast, that'd be great!  :)
Phillies are not a playoff team. Convince me otherwise
Mark P
They're only one game out of a wild card spot, despite seemingly treading water for much of the year.  The managerial change sparked a much better run of play.
With a stock pile of young infield talent in the Orioles farm system why would they draft so many more this year and not pitchers?
Mark P
Teams generally just go with "best player available" rather than specifically picking for position.  If the O's do end up with a logjam of promising infielders in a few years, they can either convert some to the OF, or have a surplus of trade chips.
Texas Longhorn
Will Taveras be a full timer going forward?
Mark P
Rangers have no reason not to give him an everyday role for the rest of the year, and so far so great
There goes the Judge
Who do you think will get into the Cooperstown next year? The selection is kind of slim.
Mark P
Carlos Beltran is the only first-time nominee with a legit shot, but I think he'll get some blowback from the Astros cheating scandal.  Scott Rolen has been garnering support and was up to 63.2% of the ballot last's possible that with a few more names cleared off, he can crack 75 percent
Other than that, it'll come down to whomever is elected from a very stacked veterans committee field
Farm system
Would you be willing to sacrifice your farm talent to get Soto?  Would it make sense to require he signs an extension before you trade for him?
Mark P
I highly doubt Soto agrees to an extension first, unless his acquiring team says "sure, $500MM, done."  And sure, I'd be very willing to give up a big chunk of my farm system for even two-plus years of Soto....he's that special a player
Chris Young
Braves get Nathaniel Lowe. Who do the Rangers get?
Mark P
Like I said earlier, another 1B doesn't seem like a fit for a team with Matt Olson on board.  Especially not a longer-term first baseman like Lowe, who I think would be one of the very last players Texas would move
How does a team gauge a non vaccinated player? Benitendi not being vaxxed hurts the chances going to the Yankees. I know Merrifield said he might get vaxxed if he was traded to a playoff team
Mark P
It's certainly a factor, based on teams' scheduling and whatnot.  For instance, as much as we speculate about what the Blue Jays might do or why they are or aren't in the market for certain players.....vaccinations obviously play a large role in any player they might look to acquire
What is your best guess on what it would take for Cleveland to acquire Sean Murphy
Mark P
Our own Darragh McDonald recently explored Murphy as a trade candidate....
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