The Cubs’ Wilson Contreras tops the list of MLB trade candidates who surprisingly went nowhere.

The 2022 MLB trade deadline came and went on Tuesday, and the occasion was certainly notable for the number of headline-grabbing trades — namely, mostly the one that landed Juan Soto in San Diego. Now, however, take a moment to pay tribute to the players who were. no of trade

The trade deadline is as much about trade speculation and rumors as it is about actual transactions, and many rumors don’t always come to fruition. In recent years, this trend has been exacerbated by front offices that seem to prefer to do the bare minimum and seem to enjoy occupying a comfortable space between conflict and irrelevance. Maybe it’s working in some circles this year, or maybe the divide between what teams want and what teams can get is to blame. Whatever the underlying reasons, here’s a quick rundown of the names we expected to be dealt before the deadline but ultimately weren’t.

Contreras, 30, is enjoying perhaps the best season of his career, which is why he’s still on the uncontested Cubs. In 86 games for the Cubs in 2022, he batted .252/.365/.453 (129). OPS+With 14 home runs and 20 doubles. Earlier this season, he made his third All-Star appearance. For his career, Contreras has parts of seven major league seasons with an OPS+ of 114, all with the Cubs. Contreras’ production at the plate is even more impressive than that of his positional peers. For his career, Contreras has a slash line of .258/.351/.457, while the average MLB catcher’s line over the same span is .236/.307/.392.

Contreras has a $9.63 million salary due in 2022, and is set for free agency this winter. In the absence of expansion, it would have been rent-seeking. Now, though, the Cubs can either work on an extension or make him a qualifying offer this offseason and perhaps receive a compensatory draft pick when he signs elsewhere.

Contreras would have been a good fit for the New York Mets, but alas and Alec and all that.

Happ, who will soon turn 28, boasts positional flexibility, and has a career OPS+ of 113. He’s even better this season, his first All-Star campaign. Happ isn’t eligible for free agency until after next season, so he’s a candidate for a winter trade or perhaps an extension to Chicago.

We’ll package these two together because it makes sense why the Giants, 4 1/2 games out of the final playoff position in the NL, would have opted for the status quo. Rhoden is putting together his second straight impressive season, and given the usual demand for starting pitchers, he’s undoubtedly fueled trade interest. However, teams may have denied the fact that Rodin has an opt-out in his contract or a $22.5 million salary for 2023. As for Pederson, his left-handed pop would have been appropriate on a modest one-year contract. For multiple claimants. The Giants, though, are largely keeping the band together.

Murphy is a skilled defensive catcher who puts up strong offensive numbers for his position. He is also under team control until 2025. Given that the A’s bought out everything but Murphy without a deal, his continued presence in Oakland is a bit surprising. Teams are sometimes reluctant to trade catchers in the middle, so perhaps the A’s think they can get more for Murphy in the offseason. Or maybe they see it as a long-term fit. Given that the A’s energies seem devoted to shelling out tax dollars for a brand new ballpark, they may have forgotten.

Boston’s deadline tactics weren’t exactly coordinated, as it acted as neither a traditional buyer nor seller. The team made several trades of note, and, in that sense, it’s no surprise that Martinez will still call Fenway Park home. That said, there was a lot of smoke surrounding a potential Martinez trade, and GM Chaim Bloom seems to labor with love for ultimately meaninglessness when it comes to trades.