Throughout the season the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we debated Juan Soto’s future. This week we’re going to tackle the biggest non-Soto name traded at the deadline.
R.J. Anderson: I would assume it’s Luis Castillo. The Reds are in rebuild mode and he’s already encountered some shoulder trouble. Seeing as how he appears to be the top starting pitcher on the market, there’s no real reason to hold onto him for longer and risk having an injury torpedo his value. (I will add that I suppose if we’re taking this question literally — and what matters most is national popularity — then the answer might actually be Willson Contreras.)
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Dayn Perry: I’ll say Willson Contreras. He’s providing excellent production from a key defensive position, he’s in his walk year, the Cubs will be motivated sellers, and a number of teams need help at catcher. Contreras gets dinged for his pitch-framing, but the public-facing metrics that measure that skill have some problems. Teams may view his defense as being far more acceptable.
Mike Axisa: I’m with R.J., I think it’ll be Castillo, but for the sake of variety I’ll say JD Martinez. The Red Sox are in a bit of a free fall and I get the feeling chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is itching to sell. Martinez is still productive (though he hasn’t hit for much over-the-fence power this year) and he’s in the final year of his contract. The universal DH will boost his market too. He fits with the Dodgers, the Padres, the Mets, the Brewers, the Mariners, and several other teams. I think Martinez goes at the deadline.
Matt Snyder: I recently broke down the Red Sox’s possibilities heading toward the deadline and I feel like they are going to sell. I know they’ve publicly said that Xander Bogaerts won’t get traded, but as we get closer to the deadline and reality sets in, he’s my pick.