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3 what to watch in final hours before Deadline

3: 09 AM UTC

The ultimate countdown is to the Trade Deadline, as executives continue steadily to work the phones till Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET.

Heres the most recent from round the Majors once we head toward the ultimate day of dealing.

The relative dearth of deals up to now in the summertime has been noticeable, though its not for too little impact players in the marketplace.

In accordance with multiple executives from contending teams, asking charges for virtually any meaningful player have already been astronomical, as sellers make an effort to make use of the abnormally large numbers of teams wanting to add for the stretch run.

Fridays trade of Luis Castillo to the Mariners has only made matters worse, as the Reds received a package including three of Seattles top five prospects for the ace, leading clubs with starting pitching to market — think Oakland and Frankie Montas or Miami and Pablo Lpez, for instance — searching for a similar package in substitution for their arms.

Teams still appear to be holding out expect lopsided deals, one American League executive said. Something gives eventually.

The price for Juan Soto is understandably high; the Nationals are reported to be seeking a package of four top prospects along with a minumum of one young Major League player. But even rental players are commanding high asks, resulting in a freeze in the trade market.

As Tuesday afternoon gets closer, you’ll have to believe those prices drop, a National League executive said. Should they dont, well either see some big overpays or perhaps a large amount of players that appeared like locks to be traded remaining on the current teams.

If theres one area that figures to be expensive for buyers, its relief pitching.

The Dodgers acquired Chris Martin from the Cubs Saturday, sending utility man Zach McKinstry to Chicago for the veteran right-hander in the initial notable bullpen deal of the summertime. LA could be on the search for another reliever, though a minimum of twelve teams may also be seeking to bolster their bullpen ahead of Tuesdays Deadline.

In accordance with sources, the Yankees, Blue Jays, Rays, Twins, Guardians, White Sox, Astros, Mets, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Brewers and Padres are seeking relief pitching, establishing a wild two-day race for the best-available bullpen arms.

David Robertson may be the top rental arm in the marketplace, because the 37-year-old is enjoying a renaissance season with the Cubs. Other relievers slated to become free agents by the end of the growing season include Matt Moore, Michael Fulmer and Alex Colom, most of whom could possibly be moved by Tuesday. Daniel Bard, the Rockies closer who was simply thought to be a trade candidate, signed a two-year extension with Colorado, taking among the better relief arms off the marketplace.

Where in fact the relief market gets really interesting may be the controllable arms, a few of whom are increasingly being shopped despite their varying degrees of club control.

Left-handers Gregory Soto (Tigers) and Joe Mantiply (D-backs) and righty David Bednar (Pirates) were All-Stars come early july, yet all three may potentially be on the road this week for the proper price. Soto is in order through 2025, while Mantiply and Bednar wont become free agents before end of the 2026 season.

Other controllable arms which have drawn interest include Detroits Andrew Chafin and Joe Jimnez (both in order through 2023), and Kansas Citys Scott Barlow (2024).

The way the relief market shakes out may have a major effect on the very best of the AL standings. The Astros are thought to be seeking a left-hander because of their righty-dominant bullpen, as the Yankees — who’ve lost Chad Green and Michael King to season-ending injuries are trying to find another late-inning arm to greatly help obtain the ball to All-Star closer Clay Holmes.

Close to Juan Soto, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has been widely seen as the very best available bat available. But is Contreras even the very best catching option on the market?

That honor might easily head to Oaklands Sean Murphy, who is becoming an extremely popular trade candidate because the Deadline draws near.

It probably depends upon who you ask, an NL executive said. They are able to both help someone.

Murphy has 12 home runs, 41 RBIs and a .737 OPS in 380 plate appearances over 93 games, compiling a 2.8 fWAR — the second-highest of any catcher in the Majors. Contreras has 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .818 OPS in 375 plate appearances over 86 games, his fWAR checking in at 2.6 this year.

Contreras is really a better player for a playoff team, an NL general manager said. He could be an improved offensive player and lengthens a lineup more.

Murphy, 27, is 2 1/2 years younger than Contreras, 30, and is widely regarded as an improved defender behind the plate, and for a team seeking to introduce a fresh catcher in to the mix for the stretch run, the belief is that the defending AL Gold Glove winner could have a less strenuous time adapting to a fresh pitching staff than Contreras will.

Then theres the contract. Contreras is owed roughly $3.2 million for the ultimate two months of the season, nearly $3 million a lot more than Murphy is defined to earn through the same period. Murphy is owed roughly $240,000 for the others of 2022, and he’ll be arbitration-eligible for the very first time this winter, leaving him under club control through 2025.

Murphys 2023 salary is likely to be approximately $3 million, which doesnt look like a whole lot for a starting catcher — but could possibly be among the highest salaries on the Athletics roster next year if he stays in Oakland.

Hes going to earn money, an AL executive said of Murphy. They just arent thinking about paying players at this stage.

With several teams, like the Rays, Mets, Guardians, Cardinals, Astros, Twins and Padres, potentially seeking to upgrade behind the plate, Contreras and Murphy could both be wearing new uniforms by Wednesday.

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