Happy Saturday! Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.
Mariners win Castillo Sweepstakes
The Mariners are in a hot pursuit to end their playoff drought, and they reinforced that belief as we approach Tuesday’s Trade Deadline. A frantic race of negotiations ended with Seattle adding Luis Castillo to their pitching staff in a monumental accord agreed upon as the weekend kicked off. The Mariners traded a combination of four players to the Reds in exchange for the Reds’ ace.
This combination from the Mariners included three of their five top-ranked prospects. There is no mistaking the intention: this is a win-now move and the Mariners are making their best drive towards October.
The Reds return has to have Cincy fans excited. They acquired the Mariners’ number 1 overall prospect, Noelvi Marte, and their 3rd ranked prospect, Edwin Arroyo.
The final pieces were not just throw-ins either: pitcher Levi Stoudt, who is their 5th ranked prospect, and fellow right-handed pitcher Andrew Moore.
The race was hot and heavy with many teams involved, but the Mariners had to push all their chips to the middle of the table to win out.
Luis Castillo was the prized gem on the trade market in terms of pitching. In 2022, he is 4-4 with a stellar 2.86 ERA in 14 starts. Seattle currently has the sixth-best ERA in the Majors but is looking to add depth and experience to their emergent, young staff.
Their ultimate goal is to wind up with a playoff berth, but Castillo has only made one postseason appearance with the Reds in his career.
If they are looking for him to guide the young players in those big moments, he’s going to learn on the fly with the likes of George Kirby and Logan Gilbert.
Adding another ace.
We’ve acquired All-Star RHP Luis Castillo from the Reds in exchange for IF Noelvi Marte, IF Edwin Arroyo, RHP Levi Stoudt and RHP Andrew Moore.
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) July 30, 2022
Judge Tops 40 Before August
Yankee Stadium is one of the biggest stages in all of sports and Aaron Judge has been spotlighted all season. What’s even more impressive is that it’s not just offensively, he shines defensively too. It was more of the same on Friday night when he robbed a first-inning homer.
Judge then padded his gaudy power surge with his MLB-leading 40th and 41st home runs sending fans in New York home happy with one thing on their mind aside from the Yankees’ comeback win: history.
Aaron Judge joined a very elite group of names that even he won’t be able to appreciate until this whirlwind of a season is over. Taking a look at the Yankees players who have clubbed at least 41 home runs by the end of July does not take too long.
That list only includes Babe Ruth, who slugged 41 back in 1928, and after Friday, Judge has completed the feat. That’s it. Anytime you are passing Babe Ruth on any baseball superlative list, you’re doing something right.
Yankees Most HR Before August:
Aaron Judge 41 (2022)
Babe Ruth 41 (1928)
— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) July 30, 2022
Manoah Avoids Serious Injury
The Blue Jays were concerned when their young ace was hit with a comebacker on Friday night. Luckily, it seems he has avoided serious injury and will just be dealing with soreness for a bit.
It was said that Manoah has a right elbow contusion, but sighs of relief were let out in unison across Toronto when the X-rays came back negative.
Following the loss, Toronto skipper John Schneider displayed transparency with an interesting media and said he wasn’t certain if Alek Manoah will be sidelined for any amount of time.
The man himself said he was feeling fine following the game. Manoah even made sure to make it clear that he had campaigned to stay in the game after the scare. Even with his manager’s uncertainty, he plans on making his next start. We shall see if they err on the side of caution when it comes to this young pillar for the Jays’ pitching staff.
— Ethan Diamandas (@EthanDiamandas) July 30, 2022
In an insane development of news, the Los Angeles Angels have been at the very least picking up the phone and not laughing at the idea of trading Shohei Ohtani.
Even though it is said that a trade for the two-way player is percentage side leaning towards not happening, the very fact that the Angels are listening is newsworthy and deserves discussion.
The return that the Angels are rumored to desire would be a franchise’s top four prospects. This is a rich asking price, and you’d have to assume that the Angels would want their pick of a deep pool and a team that’s rich in prospects.
Negotiations have to begin somewhere, and it seems like Halos are setting the bar high and time shall decide they are willing to consider deals that are lesser than.
A big piece to fall would be a precedent-setting deal for a Nationals’ return in a Juan Soto deal. The Angels would undoubtedly want something similar, so that could be a domino that influences how fast this moves.
Notably, Ohtani only has one year of team control left after the 2022 campaign before he hits the open market where the Angels would have to break the bank again just as they did with Mike Trout not too long ago. This provides a significant opportunity for a team to swoop in and grab the reigning AL MVP.
If the Angels continue their losing ways in 2022 and aren’t trending in the right direction, moving Ohtani may be the right decision to avoid losing him to free agency and getting nothing.
"What do you trade for him that's acceptable to the Angels, considering you're essentially trading Matt Olson and Luis Castillo in one player?"@Joelsherman1 discusses the reports of the Angels being open to talks involving Shohei Ohtani.#MLBCentral | @LaurenShehadi | @RoFlo pic.twitter.com/UXdwSSDdeH
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 29, 2022
Friars’ Extend Musgrove
Joe Musgrove and San Diego are close to nailing down the details on a five-year, $100 million contract extension to keep him with the Padres through the 2027 season.
Joe Musgrove was supposed to be a free agent following the 2022 season but the Padres did not want him to reach the open market. He has forged himself to be a force across all of Major League Baseball as a premiere, top-of-the-rotation pitcher in all baseball this year.
Musgrove flexes a 2.63 ERA which is good for the fifth-best mark in the National League.
Both sides have to be feeling good going into the first days of August.
The San Diego Padres are reportedly close to signing Joe Musgrove to a contract extension, via multiple reports. pic.twitter.com/YYUnf6XWJk
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 30, 2022
Best Moments From Yesterday
The Mets have shown heart all year and refuse to stay down. Brandon Nimmo was the latest example of that mindset on Friday night.
Nimmo has struggled all of July and put that to rest as he powered a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning to finish the comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
In light of his recent struggles, Brandon Nimmo had something special added to his typical dugout celebration antics.
BRANDON NIMMO WITH A 2-RUN HOMER FOR THE LEAD
(and absolute SCENES in the dugout!) pic.twitter.com/D7ZVfKACDT
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 30, 2022
Judge is Grand
We are running out of complimentary statements to throw Judge’s way. At this point, these moments are expected. We are witnessing something significant and special as we march towards August.
He does it again, Aaron Judge's 41st of the season is a grand slam! pic.twitter.com/K0SU565pik
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) July 30, 2022
De La Cruz Sends Ball Into Orbit
Elly De La Cruz has been on the tip of many tongues all year. He does something impressive seemingly every night but Friday’s showing might be the finest night of his young professional career.
De La Cruz connected with a ball and sent a home run that was launched an estimated 512 feet in his first at-bat of the night.
This was another moment to add to the highlight reel and resume as he continues his rapid rise through the minors. It seems like his skill set is undeniable and we will be seeing him at Great American Ballpark sooner than later.
Just to give you an idea of how impressive this was: only two taters went at least 500 feet since Statcast began tracking in 2015.
The list includes a 505-foot homer by Nomar Mazara in 2019 and a 504-foot mammoth shot by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.
Elly De La Cruz is making waves at a young age and he’s only just getting started.
— Reds On The Rise (@RedsOnTheRise) July 29, 2022
- Jacob deGrom has been sidelined the entire season trying to come back from a stress reaction in his right scapula. He will be on a tight pitch count in his first start back (Tuesday) but should be able to go deeper as he makes more starts.
- Alek Manoah left Friday’s contest with a right elbow contusion. Manoah’s X-rays were negative. He should make his next start.
- Bo Bichette was favoring his left shoulder after colliding with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Toronto is said to not expect Bichette to miss a lot of time, but is still optimizing caution
- Corey Seager is battling back from a lower right leg contusion after fouling a pitch off his leg in the fifth inning of the game on Thursday.
- Rafael Devers (right hamstring inflammation) has been making encouraging moves towards a return. The Red Sox are circling on August 2 which is the first day he is eligible for return.
- Trevor Story is scheduled to visit a hand specialist after battling an injury due to a bruise from being hit back on July 12th.
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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)