Juan Soto to San Diego was the crown jewel of an active and compelling MLB Trade Deadline, which MLB Network and MLB Digital rode to some record-setting numbers. The league's digital platforms drew 11.5 million article views on Tuesday, the highest single-day number in its 22-year history, The Big Lead has learned. This capped a record-setting 30-day stretch of 110 million views from July 3-August 2, a 17 percent increase over the previous high-water mark for MLB.com and the MLB app.
MLB Network's Trade Deadline special, airing from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. ET, averaged 240,000 viewers and peaked at 375,000 viewers. Only the 2015 special drew higher ratings. Overall, the network outperformed 2021 by 9 percent.
Making the deadline an event has been a work in progress for many years and, anecdotally, it did seem like general interest this year was more widespread than usual. It's one year and far too soon to draw conclusions but replicating this success next season could lay the groundwork for thinking expanding the playoff field has made the moving and shaking more interesting to more people. If a player the caliber of Soto is in play every year, then we might be cooking with some gas.