The MLB trade deadline is approaching and the flurry of trades has begun. Everyone expected the Los Angeles Angels to trade Shohei Ohtani at the deadline this year with his impending free agency this offseason but they did the exact opposite -- they made an all-in type trade for what could be Ohtani's last hurrah. We'll dive into that trade, another notable deal, key pitching performances from Wednesday and more below.

Let's dive right in.

Giolito trade fallout

The Angels have made a significant move to win now by acquiring Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez from the White Sox. For Giolito, this trade marks a homecoming as he is a California native. He brings an impressive 3.79 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 131 strikeouts over 121 innings this season. While the move to the Angels may seem favorable, it's worth noting that it represents a negative park shift, according to baseball savant. The Angels rank seventh in offensive park factors, whereas the White Sox were 14th. Nonetheless, Giolito's presence in the Angels' rotation, alongside Ohtani and others, could make them a force to be reckoned with. We discussed the big trades on the FBT in 5 podcast here.

Prospects received: The White Sox acquired catcher Edgar Quero, a 20-year-old with promise. Despite his current season's .246 batting average and three home runs, last year's performance showcased his potential with a .312 average, 17 home runs, and 12 stolen bases, resulting in an impressive .965 OPS. On the other hand, Ky Bush, a 23-year-old left-handed pitcher and former second-round pick in 2021, adds depth to the White Sox pitching prospects. While he has a 4.47 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in the minors, his repertoire, including a strong slider, makes him an interesting prospect to watch.

Notable pitching performances from Wednesday

Freddy Peralta had an outstanding performance, tying a career-high with 13 strikeouts against Cincinnati. He has changed his pitch mix, and it seems to be paying off with more sliders leading to a 48% whiff rate, Despite a 4.46 ERA, he boasts an impressive 1.25 WHIP and 131 strikeouts over 109 innings this season.

Framber Valdez's performance has been less consistent since he sprained his ankle in June. His last five starts have seen a 7.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, and 30 strikeouts over 27 innings. While there might be some natural regression, Valdez's allowed average exit velocity and hard contact rates are concerning. Keep an eye on his next matchups against Cleveland and the Yankees. The time to sell could be ticking away.

More trades and promotions

The Dodgers traded for Amed Rosario, who brings versatility to their lineup. With a solid .301 batting average and .750 OPS since June, Rosario could be an interesting addition to your roster. On the other side, Noah Syndergaard joins the Guardians' rotation, potentially filling in their back-end given the injuries they've faced.

The Giants promoted Marco Luciano, a highly-ranked prospect with a standout power tool. Although he went 0-2 in his debut, he could be a valuable asset if he sticks around in the Giants' lineup.

Scott White dove deep into Luciano's promotion here.

Vintage Alcantara

Sandy Alcantara delivered a fantastic complete-game performance against Tampa Bay, allowing just one earned run with seven strikeouts. By increasing his slider usage and lowering his sinker, he displayed excellent form. His 4.46 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 113 strikeouts over 135.1 innings are a disappointment, but he could be turning the corner now.

News and notes

  • There were rumors floating around that Aaron Judge was on track to return Friday against the Orioles,  and when Aaron Boone was asked about that, he just said he wouldn't rule it out. He did not confirm it. 
  • Juan Soto was out of the lineup Wednesday with an injury to his right middle finger, which has apparently bothered him since spring training. Soto will get an MRI Thursday. It might explain why he got off to such a slow start.
  • Both Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve returned to the Astros lineup Wednesday.
  • Cedric Mullins did some running Wednesday. He's on the IL with a right adductor strain and remains without a timetable.
  • Nathan Eovaldi is likely to start Sunday at the Padres. He was skipped earlier this week for rest purposes aka his velocity has been down recently.
  • Zach Eflin exited his start with left knee discomfort. After the game Kevin Cash said Eflin will undergo an MRI. 
  • Apparently, the MRI results on Yandy Diaz's left groin came back encouraging. He left Tuesday and was out of the lineup Wednesday as well.
  • Esteury Ruiz is slated to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A this weekend. He's been out since early July with a right shoulder subluxation.
  • Mets manager Buck Showalter announced that Starling Marte will not be activated when first eligible Thursday. He's expecting a child very soon so I think they might be waiting for that before activating him.
  • Chris Sale will throw live batting practice Thursday, and if all goes well, he'll begin a rehab assignment Tuesday. 
  • Gunnar Henderson was out of the lineup Wednesday with lower back discomfort. 
  • Jonah Heim left Wednesday due to left wrist soreness.
  • Jorge Polanco is set to return this weekend and it sounds like he'll play third base for the Twins in order to keep Edouard Julien in the lineup.
  • Michael Wacha threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday, his first since landing on the IL back on July 4. 
  • Hunter Greene threw a side session Tuesday as part of a core stability program. It sounds like he could return some time in August.
  • Nick Lodolo is not expected to return to the Reds until September. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday, his first since landing on the IL back in May with a left tibia stress reaction.
  • Jesse Winker was placed on the IL with back spasms.