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Winners Club: MLB Trade Deadline Looming

Plus, fantasy football bold predictions and Deebo Samuel signs an extension with the 49ers.

Good morning!

Let’s dive right into the news for what will be an exciting week with the MLB trade deadline less than 48 hours away and NFL training camps fully underway

MLB Trade Deadline Buzz

World Series champions are often bolstered by trade deadline deals.

Look no further than the Braves acquiring Eddie Rosario (NLCS MVP) and Jorge Soler (World Series MVP) for last year’s title run.

So, which players could change teams before the 6 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday?

The biggest name on the trade block is Nationals outfielder Juan Soto, after he turned down the team’s 15-year, $440 million offer. Will a contender assemble a package Washington finds suitable? Or will he stay put—for now—in Washington?

Oakland’s Frankie Montas, the Cubs’ Willson Contreras and Ian HappSan Francisco’s Carlos Rodon and Boston’s J.D. Martinez are also among the notable players who could be traded.

Tom Verducci laid out the decision makers under the most pressure ahead of the deadline in today’s daily cover, which, of course, includes Nationals president Mike Rizzo.

Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto wipes his face in the dugout before a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Washington.

The Mariners made the biggest splash thus far by trading for Reds righty Luis Castillo, one of the premier pitchers on the market, Friday night. And the Mets will get a welcome boost this week when Jacob deGrom makes his season debut Tuesday.

Fantasy Football Bold Predictions

Michael Fabiano points out the absurdity that sometimes bears itself out over the course of a long season, like … the Bengals reaching the Super Bowl or James Conner scoring 18 touchdowns last year.

Saying either—much less both—of those things would happen ahead of the 2021 season was beyond bold at the time.

In the spirit of bold predictions, Fabiano planted his flag on 10 long shots for the 2022 season. Here’s a few:

A.J. Brown will fail to finish with 1,000 receiving yards in Philadelphia

“I love looking at historical trends, and the Eagles have a bad one about wide receivers. In the Super Bowl era, wideouts have had 1,000-plus yards just 19 times, and just two have come in the last 10 years! The Eagles ran the ball a ton over their final 11 games of last season, and Brown has to contend with Devonta Smith and Dallas Goedert.”


Lamar Jackson will finish in the top five in rushing yards among all players

“Alright, maybe this isn’t that bold, but man, would we love it in fantasy land if it came to fruition. Jackson was on pace to rush for 1,086 yards before getting hurt last season. That would have been good enough to finish sixth in the league, just 73 yards shy of Dalvin Cook! With questions in the passing game, Jackson might run a ton.”

Rashaad Penny will win the 2022 NFL rushing title in Seattle

Penny, 26, led all NFL running backs in rushing yards over the final seven weeks of last season, and he’s the favorite to start now that Chris Carson (neck) has retired. I’m more of a fan of Kenneth Walker, but what’s to say that Penny won’t keep the job and run like a mad man again? Seattle will run the ball a ton, and Penny could benefit the most from the system.”

In Other News

NBA Legend Bill Russell Dies at 88: The Celtics’ star was a civil rights pioneer, an 11-time champion, five-time MVP and the first Black coach in North American sports. Read Jack McCallum’s remembrance of Russell here.

Deebo Samuel Agrees to Three-Year Extension with 49ers: After he requested a trade earlier this offseason due to his utilization in the offense, San Francisco’s All-Pro receiver inked a deal with the team reportedly worth up to $73.5 million with $58.1 million guaranteed.

Buccaneers Over/Under Betting Breakdown: With Tom Brady returning for another season, Tampa Bay is tied for the highest projected win total at 11.5 wins. Can the Buccaneers live up to these high expectations with change across the roster and at head coach?

Sports Betting Revenue Holds Strong in June: New York’s handle again topped more than $1 billion last month with New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania rounding out the top four states.

Thanks for reading Winners Club! I’ll be back in your inbox Friday morning.