Okay, the market is moving now. The Cubs completed a trade with the Dodgers for reliever Chris Martin earlier today. And now, outfielder David Peralta is on his way to the Tampa Bay Rays, per multiple reports.
According to Joel Sherman, the Rays are giving up a “catcher low in the system,” though I’m sure we’ll have the name soon enough. In the meantime, this trade may satisfy the Rays desire for an additional bat, even as they were attached to Willson Contreras to replace their dual-injured catchers, Mike Zunino and Francisco Mejia.
Beyond that, Peralta, 34, is a quality rental outfield bat a la Ian Happ, but the Rays were never seriously connected to Happ, so this is probably a net-positive for the Cubs trade efforts, all things conisidered. More soon.
UPDATE: The return is 19-year-old catcher Christian Cerda, who’s hitting an impressive .327/.462/.538 in the Florida Complex league. He’s not quite a top-ranked prospect yet in that he’s so young and so far away, especially for a catcher, but it seems like a perfectly nice upside play for the Diamondbacks (not that I know him on any more intimate level than his slash line). That gives you the absolute floor for Happ, who is younger, better, and controlled for an additional season.
UPDATE II: I get this theoretically, but I never felt the Rays were ever very seriously in on Soto, so I don’t think that market is impacted much.
UPDATE III: I almost forgot to mention Rafael Ortega, whom I believe should be a target for all contenders at the deadline, and is a theoretical alternative to Peralta. But there’s been next to NO mentions of him in anything I’ve seen so far, so I tend to forget to mention him.