As the trade deadline draws ever closer, here are three things we’re keeping an eye on around the baseball world throughout the day today:
1. Draft Pick Signing Deadline:
The deadline for clubs to agree to terms with their picks from the 2023 Amateur Draft is at 4pm CT this afternoon. The vast majority of top picks have signed, with only three in the first 100 selections currently unsigned: Walker Jenkins (No. 5 overall, Twins) Jackson Baumeister (No. 63 overall, Orioles), and Jaxon Wiggins (No. 68 overall, Cubs). In the event that Minnesota, Baltimore or Chicago fail to sign their picks, they will receive a compensatory pick in next year’s draft.
2. Yordan nearing return:
Astros manager Dusty Baker told reporters yesterday, including Danielle Lerner of the Houston Chronicle, that star slugger Yordan Alvarez is nearing a return to action and could be activated from the injured list as soon as today. Alvarez has been 10-day IL for just over six weeks due to an oblique strain. The Astros are two games back of the Rangers for the AL West lead with a 57-44 record. In 57 games this season, Alvarez has slashed a phenomenal .277/.388/.589, good for a wRC+ of 167 that ranks behind only Corey Seager and Shohei Ohtani among those with at least 240 plate appearances. Alvarez’s return would seemingly result in reduced playing time for outfielder Corey Julks, who has posted a decent wRC+ of 93 to this point in his rookie season.
3. MLBTR Chat today:
With MLB’s trade deadline just a week from today, the baseball world is buzzing with rumors of deals to come. If you have any questions about your favorite team’s direction as the deadline nears, a trade idea you have in the back of your mind, or are wondering what it would take for your team to acquire a certain player, MLBTR’s Steve Adams is holding a live chat with readers at 1pm CT today. You can click here to ask a question in advance, join in live once the chat begins, or read the transcript once the chat is complete.