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TRADE DEADLINE: Soto to Padres, Latinos across MLB hope to be the key that will unlock the doors to October

📸 Photo Credit: Nicole Michele Pérez/ Latino Sports

It’s over. The trade deadline has come and gone. 

At 6 p.m. eastern standard time, general managers of all 30 Major League Baseball teams breathed a sigh of relief, and you will probably find them sleeping for the next 72 hours.  

The biggest names have found a new home, and teams considered to be in the postseason mix now have a legitimate chance of playing baseball in October. 

A vast majority of Latino talent was up for grabs as the trade deadline approached. One of those players being the 2021 Latino MVP National League Award winner and the most prominent talent on the Washington Nationals, Juan Soto. The young outfielder has a new home and now has a chance to play postseason baseball for the second time in his young career.

Here’s a look at the biggest Latino names who were traded before the 2022 trade deadline:

Juan Soto

Washington Nationals → San Diego Padres 

📸 Photo Credit: Bill/ Menzel/ Latino Sports

The most extensive trade of 2022 involves one of baseball’s youngest and most explosive players,  Juan Soto. Soto was traded to the San Diego Padres with teammate and first baseman Josh Bell. The Washington Nationals will receive infielder and designated hitter Luke Voit, left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore (No. 6 overall prospect in 2021), shortstop C.J. Abrams (No. 9 overall prospect in 2022), and top prospects outfielder Robert Hassell III, outfielder James Wood, and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana (No. 14 prospect in the Padres farm system) in the blockbuster trade. 

The 23-year-old outfielder was the biggest name on the trade market, and a deal was met on Tuesday during the late morning hours as the deadline loomed. Soto goes from the worst team in Major League Baseball — the 36-69 Nationals — to a postseason-contending Padres team who sits 12 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and holds the second slot in the NL Wildcard. 

The Padres now possess three of baseball’s most dominant and ferocious Dominican players on their roster: Fernando Tatís Jr. (who has missed the 2022 season due to a fractured wrist), Manny Machado, and Juan Soto.

As the Soto sweepstakes ends, the 2022 Home Run Derby winner hopes to continue to rake throughout the season as he has posted a 3.8 WAR, 21 home runs, 46 RBI, and a slash line of .246/.408/.485 with the Nationals.

 

Luis Castillo 

Cincinnati Reds → Seattle Mariners 

📸 Photo Credit: Daniel Budasoff/ Latino Sports

The Seattle Mariners added the biggest pitcher available for trade when they received right-handed pitcher Luis Castillo. The 2020 Latino MVP National League Reliever award winner leaves the fourth-place Cincinnati Reds and will join Seattle Mariners — who are second in the American League West, behind the Houston Astros — in their quest for their first postseason appearance since 2001.     

Castillo was the Reds’ No.1 pitcher in their starting rotation and now joins CY Young winner Robbie Ray, Marcos Gonzales, Logan Gilbert, and Chris Flexen in Seattle. The 29-year-old maintains a 3.3 WAR, with a 4-4 record, 2.86 ERA, and 90 strikeouts over 85.0 innings pitched. As a two-time All-Star, Castillo hopes to help navigate the Mariners to the postseason as they sit shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tampa Bay Rays in a tight second-place spot in the American League Wild Card. 

Castillo will make his Mariners debut Wednesday night against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.  

 

Frankie Montas

Oakland Athletics → New York Yankees

Behind Luis Castilo, all eyes were locked in on Oakland Athletics righty Frankie Montas, who has surged as Oakland’s most significant arm in their rotation. Montas has been on the A’s trade scale before the 2022 season began and has finally found a new home with the best team in the American League, joining ace Gerritt Cole and breakout star Nestor Cortes on the New York Yankees starting rotation. Montas became a huge asset after the 6 p.m. deadline as Yankees right-handed pitcher Luis Severino landed on the 60-day injured list, and Jordan Montgomery was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for outfielder Harrison Bader. 

The Sainagua, Dominican Republic native leaves the Athletics with a 4-9 record, 3.19 ERA, and 109 strikeouts in 104.2 innings pitched. The 29-year-old relies on several different pitches; besides the four-seam fastball, he has increased his usage of the split-finger over four seasons — a 7.8% increase from 2019 — and relies on his slider and sinker to maintain a high chase rate (high chase rate: 88th percentile).   

Montas is no newbie to the trading course, as the Boston Red Sox originally signed him in December 2009. He was traded to the Chicago White Sox in 2013 — making his MLB debut in 2015 — and was traded to the Dodgers in December 2015 and to the Athletics before the trade deadline in 2016 in a package deal that included Grant Holmes and Jharel Cotton for Josh Reddick and Rich Hill.      

 

Christian Vázquez

Boston Red Sox → Houston Astros 

📸 Photo Credit: Bill Menzel/ Latino Sports

Christian Vázquez has been at the forefront of the Red Sox’s success over the past eight seasons, starting with a World Series championship in 2018. But the Red Sox have taken a nose-dive into the depths of the American League East, as they sit rock bottom of the division with a 52-52 record. That made them sellers as the trade deadline loomed. Vázquez was traded to the Houston Astros prior to the Red Sox vs. Astros Monday matchup at Minute Maid Park. 

The Astros traded backup catcher José Siri in a three-team trade that included the Tampa Bay Rays getting Siri and the Astros acquiring infielder Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles. With Siri gone, it opened the doors to the Astros making a deal to get the Bayamon, Puerto Rico native. Vázquez will be sharing time behind the plate with Martín Maldonado, who has been the Astros’ starting catcher during the 2022 season and has been an asset in Houston’s pitching and defensive success.

Vázquez has proven to be as effective in the batter’s box as he is behind the plate. The catcher has stepped up in high-stakes postseason moments — most notably against the team he has been traded to, the Astros, in the 2021 American League Division Series. Vázquez has eight home runs and 42 RBI, and a slash line of .282/.327/.432 during the ’22 season. He has caught 78 games and has tallied 643.1 innings over those games with 610 putouts, three passed balls, and a .991 fielding percentage.                     

Jorge López

Baltimore Orioles → Minnesota Twins 

📸 Photo Credit: Nicole Michele Pérez/ Latino Sports

Jorge López joins fellow Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa in the Twin Cities as one of the American League’s best relief pitchers and is now a member of the Minnesota Twins. As a first-time All-Star in July 2022, Jorge López has proven how talented he is on the mound, accumulating a 1.68 ERA with the Baltimore Orioles over 48.1 innings pitched. His stellar relief performances have included 19 saves in 23 save opportunities, helping push the Orioles over the .500 mark, allowing the team to sit at fourth place in the American League East. López’s 19 saves place him fifth amongst AL closers and 10th in MLB.

Since 2017, López has managed to make a drastic change in pitch preference. López’s four-seam fastball was once his most reliable pitch, and it now has become one of his least reliable (4.8% uses of the four-seam fastball this season), as the right-handed thrower has found success in his sinker. The 29-year-old saw a 58.1% decrease in his usage of a four-seam fastball from ’17 thru ’22 and a 38.9% increase in sinker usage. López hopes to maintain success in the bullpen and help the Twins conquer their quest of winning the American League Central. 

The Caguas native was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the second round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft from the Caguas Military Academy. López spent time as a member of the Brewers organization from 2015-2018 before being traded to the Kansas City Royals alongside Brett Phillips in 2018 and claimed off waivers in 2020 by the Orioles.

 

José Quintana

Pittsburgh Pirates → St. Louis Cardinals 

The St. Louis Cardinals made a trade to acquire Arjona, Colombia native José Quintana from the Pittsburgh Pirates as they looked to add another pitcher arsenal to their rotation. Quintana succeeded on a struggling Pirates team that has yet to find its organizational footing. The 22-year-old lefty posted a 3.50 ERA and 1.272 WHIP with 89 strikeouts in 20 games (all starts) for the Pirates in 2022. 

Quintana will be the cushion in the rear end of the Cardinals’ starting rotation. With starter Steven Matz on the 15-day injured list, Quintana hopes he can utilize this time to forge a successful stat line as a member of the Cardinals. The Cardinals are currently placed second in the National League Central Division, holding onto the aspirations of dethroning the Milwaukee Brewers of the division lead.   

 

Raisel Iglesias 

Los Angeles Angels Atlanta Braves

📸 Photo Credit: Julio Pábon/ Latino Sports

The Braves made a last-second pickup — literally — as the 6 p.m. deadline passed, and the announcement was made that Raisel Iglesias was traded to the defending World Series champions. The 2020 Latino MVP National League Reliever Award winner spent the last two seasons with the Los Angeles Angels. This year, Iglesias has placed a higher than usual 4.04 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP over 35.2 innings pitched and 48 strikeouts.

The 32-year-old right-handed flame found success in Los Angeles and hopes to translate that success to the National League East as the Braves look to make a late-season push at the division — the Braves patiently sit three-and-a-half games behind the New York Mets.

Iglesias started his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 2015 and was traded to the Angels in December 2020. At the end of the 2021 season, Iglesias signed a 4-year, $58 million with the Angels as a free agent.

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