The 2022 MLB trade deadline has come and gone. After a slow start to deadline week, a flurry of massive deals set baseball on fire Tuesday. We've already looked at who won at the deadline, what follows is a look at the biggest losers from the day.
MLB Trade Deadline Losers
The Nationals felt like they had to trade Juan Soto, and I'll never understand why. The 23-year-old is the second coming of Ted Williams and on track to easily be a Hall of Famer. Yes, the Nationals got a staggering return of prospects from the Padres to give up Soto and Josh Bell, but will any of them come close to being Soto? It's highly-unlikely.
MacKenzie Gore and C.J. Abrams are already in the majors making an impact, Robert Hassell III is a top 25 prospect with a penchant for barreling balls, James Wood is a top 100 prospect who might have the most power in the minor leagues and Jarlin Susana is an 18-year-old righty who is already hitting triple digits. It's a massive haul. Still, they gave up Juan Soto.
Teams spend decades looking for a talent like Soto. The Nationals had him, with more than two years of team control left. They decided to sell now and take the return. I get the move, but any time you give up a generational talent you lose. It's as simple as that.
Yes, the Mariners landed Luis Castillo, who will certainly help them. But the price to acquire him was massive and not in line with the rest of the market. Compared to what the Yankees surrendered to get Frankie Montas, Castillo simply cost to much. Adding veteran bat Carlos Santana from the Royals didn't move the needle much either.
The 29-year-old righty is excellent and probably the top pitcher on the market. In 14 starts this season he's 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 90 strikeouts in 85 innings. He has elite stuff and will help the Mariners immediately.
For one-plus year of Castillo, the Mariners gave up stud top shortstop prospect Noelvi Marte, plus their third-ranked prospect, shortstop Edwin Arroyo, fifth-ranked prospect, righty Levi Stoudt and righty Andrew Moore. It was a big haul for the Reds for Castillo, who almost had to be traded.
For Santana, the Mariners gave up two pitching prospects for a league-average lefty bat. Again, feels like too much.
In other deals that won't move the needle, Seattle added infielder Jake Lamb from the Dodgers and catcher Curt Casali from the Giants.
Boston Red Sox
I'm not sure, exactly, what the Red Sox were doing here. They traded Christian Vazquez to the Astros for lightly-regarded prospects Enmanuel Valdez and Wilyer Abreu, while adding Tommy Pham, Eric Hosmer and Reese McGuire. None of those guys are going to help a push to the playoffs. Boston is only three games out of a wild card spot and appears to be mailing in the season and not getting much back in doing so.
The Cubs possessed two of the most valuable bats on the block at the deadline and opted to keep them. It's a move that made zero sense. Willson Contreras and Ian Happ didn't wind up going anywhere. Contreras is a free agent this offseason, so the Cubs will likely get a draft pick as compensation when he walks away, while Happ is under team control through next season. But both guys are having career years, and now was the time to capitalize on their value. Instead, Chicago kept them.
Additionally, the Cubs shipped reliever David Robertson to the Phillies in exchange for Ben Brown, who wasn't among the Phillies' top 25 prospects to start the season and will be Rule V eligible this offseason. They also shipped rookie reliever Scott Effross to the Yankees in a smaller deal, and got 27-year-old infielder Zach McKinstry in exchange for reliever Chris Martin.
The Cubs didn't get much at the deadline despite looking like they were set for a big haul heading into the week.