All-Star Game Notebook: As Trade Buzz Swirls, Nationals Star Juan Soto Could 'Tremendously' Shape Race

A press conference will be held in Los Angeles on Monday, July 18, 2022, to introduce Juan Soto, of the National League's Washington Nationals.

LOS ANGELES — No one knows yet which team the All-Star will be playing for in the second half.A potential trade of Juan Soto by the Washington Nationals before the Aug. 2 trade deadline remains the talk of All-Star week. Among those present, Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols spoke highly of the left-handed batter with a career OPS of .968, calling him a future Hall of Famer who would make a huge impact on the game. In a statement to reporters, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge called seeing Soto in New York "fun.".

Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals first baseman, called him "one of the best players in the game.". “He will be a tremendous asset to any team if he is traded.”

As reported by The Athletic this week, the Nationals are now willing to entertain trade offers for their latest franchise player because they cannot reach a deal on a monster contract extension with Soto. Despite receiving the largest guarantee in sports history, Soto turned down a lucrative 15-year contract worth $440 million, the largest salary guarantee in history.

As Soto took his seat Monday for media availability, his agent, Scott Boras, stood nearby. Soto has already hit 20 home runs this season and has an OPS of .901.

Reporters are not the only ones lining up, but plaintiffs are as well.

“I’ve been a National since Day One, why should I want to change?” Soto said to a throng of reporters. “I feel great where I’m at. I’m here to play baseball and play as hard as I can.”

Free agency will not be available to Soto until after the 2023 season, unlike the rental moves available in the market.

The Nationals have fallen in the standings and shed contracts three years after winning the World Series.Trea Turner and Max Scherzer were acquired by the Dodgers last year. Additionally, the team has been put up for sale. Many people have speculated about Soto because of the contract cost he would incur with a new owner, and the talent boost he could provide if traded now or this offseason.

It is well-positioned for the Cardinals to have a conversation with Washington after having seven players in the Top 100 prospects in one industry ranking. It's unclear, however, whether they are able to handle the talent and eventual costs involved in such a move. As the trade deadline draws near, the Cardinals are focused on starting pitchers.

The LA great Kershaw makes his home debut

Initially, Clayton Kershaw wondered why he was an All-Star before he could articulate the meaning of being named to the National League's starting pitcher in his home stadium.

Kershaw said, "Honestly, I probably shouldn't even be here."Several players have better numbers than me, including Sandy Alcantara, Tony Gonsolin, Max Fried, and others. That game should have started already.That's fine with me. The point is that I am excited to be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium."

As Kershaw makes his first start for the All-Star Game at his home ballpark, he will become the 13th pitcher to have done so. During the 2018 season, Scherzer, a native of St. Louis, took the field at Nationals Park for the last time.

Dusty Baker has never seen Tampa Bay starter Shane McClanahan pitch, but everyone he talks to says he's nasty. (McClanahan pitched in relief for the Rays against Baker's Astros in the playoffs.)

Currently in his second season in the majors, McClanahan has a 1.71 ERA leading the AL. He's 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA, has twice taken perfect games through seven innings this season, and flirted with a perfect game this past weekend. The Dodgers' active legacy is what makes him the NL's top pitcher. He does not lead the NL in any of the pitching categories.

Brian Snitker, NL manager of Atlanta, said: "Clayton's name kept popping up.". This is the perfect fit.”

If the game is tied, the Derby will decide it

Major League Baseball has come up with a novel answer for 2022 to the question of where the pitching will come from in the event of extra innings.

Those who coach.

There will be a Home Run Derby in the All-Star Game for the first time in history if the game is tied after nine innings.In the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the new method for determining the exhibition game's winner was tucked away.