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MLB Trade Deadline Targets

Twenty players who may be on the move this summer.

It may only be May, but it’s not too soon to look ahead to the trade deadline. After all, most of us are aspiring GMs, aren’t we? Team fortunes may change between now and August 1, but a few clubs already look like they are heading for a rebuild. Below are 20 players who may be coveted by other teams this summer, ranked in descending order by the likelihood their teams will move them.

 

Aroldis Chapman – Royals Relief Pitcher

Stats through May 7

When the Royals signed Chapman this offseason, it felt like they did so expressly to trade him this summer. The team was never likely to contend this year, so why add the veteran flamethrower coming off his worst season? The answer seems clear. Chapman was a relatively cheap signing (one year, $3.75m) that could pay huge dividends. Thus far, the transaction looks brilliant, as Chapman looks like his old self and could fetch a nice prospect or two from a closer-hungry contender.

Possible Destinations: Yankees, Rays, Rangers, Mets, Dodgers, Diamondbacks

 

Lucas Giolito – White Sox Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

The White Sox have been a disaster this year, and Giolito is pitching for a contract as he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next offseason. The big righty had a rough 2022 but came into camp in shape and has been one of the few bright spots for the squad this season. Unless Chicago and Giolito negotiate an extension or the ChiSox go on a huge run, the franchise would be foolish not to trade him. Giolito could be the top starter on the market if he continues to pitch well.

Possible Destinations: Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Astros

 

Garrett Cooper – Marlins First Baseman

Stats through May 7

The Marlins’ first baseman will reach free agency this fall, and Miami may decide it’s time to move on from their long-tenured player. Cooper is currently on the IL with an inner-ear infection but should return soon. He’s not a huge difference-maker, but plenty of clubs could use Cooper, especially as a weak-side platoon option. Cooper owns a .291/.343/.473 career slash line against lefties and can handle a corner outfield spot in addition to first base.

Possible Destinations: Brewers, Twins, Red Sox, Mariners, Cubs

 

Joc Pederson – Giants Outfielder

Stats through May 7

Pederson accepted the Giants’ qualifying offer last winter, meaning he’s earning a whopping $19.65m this year. He’s a fine hitter, especially versus righties, but surely San Francisco would like to shed some of that money this summer if they fall out of contention. Pederson possesses excellent power and has thrived during the postseason during his career. Contenders looking for a left-handed outfielder will be willing to pay the price.

Possible Destinations: Astros, Yankees

 

Lance Lynn – White Sox Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Lynn is another ChiSox veteran who could hit the market if the team continues to struggle. Unlike Giolito, Chicago has an $18m club option on Lynn for 2024, which they may be reticent to exercise if they are rebuilding. Lynn’s numbers haven’t been pretty this year, but he’s still generating plenty of whiffs and could turn things around quickly. Plenty of clubs could use a veteran arm like his down the stretch.

Possible Destinations: Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Astros

 

Jorge Soler – Marlins Outfielder

Stats through May 7

If Soler stays healthy and continues to hit dingers, he’s likely to decline his $9m player option for 2024 after the season. Thus, the Marlins may want to get ahead of the game and see what they can get in return for the slugger. Soler is a streaky hitter but showed how valuable he could be down the stretch and throughout the playoffs for the Braves in 2021. Plenty of teams will be interested if Miami makes him available.

Possible Destinations: Astros, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Brewers

 

Jack Flaherty – Cardinals Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Flaherty is one of three Cardinal starters who will hit free agency after the season (more on the other two in a moment). Prior to his start against the Angels on May 4, in which he was shelled for ten runs in two and one-third innings, Flaherty had a respectable 3.94 ERA. The oft-injured 27-year-old was the franchise ace back in 2019, but injuries and inconsistency have plagued him since. If he’s healthy and pitching relatively well come July, though, there’s no doubt someone will take a chance on his upside.

Possible Destinations: Mets, Orioles, Red Sox, Brewers, Diamondbacks

 

Amed Rosario – Guardians Shortstop

Stats through May 7

Rosario is the first of three shortstops who could hit the market this summer, but he’s the only one who will be a free agent after the season. Thus, he’s the most likely of the three to be moved, especially if the Guardians fall too far behind the Twins in the AL Central. The franchise and Rosario have discussed an extension, but Cleveland may decide to move on from their shortstop if nothing gets done. Despite a slow start, Rosario has a proven track record and would be an upgrade at the position for several contenders.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Braves, Angels, Red Sox, Pirates, Yankees, Diamondbacks

 

Jordan Montgomery – Cardinals Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Montgomery is the second of the trio of Cardinal starters who will become free agents after the season. Unlike Flaherty, though, he’s pitching well and possesses far fewer question marks. As no extension has been reached and St. Louis has been one of the most disappointing teams this year, a trade this summer seems likely. Montgomery is not an ace, but he’s a good starter who has been durable and would provide much-needed innings down the stretch. Plenty of teams will be interested in him, and the Cards could get a good return.

Possible Destinations: Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Astros

 

Charlie Blackmon – Rockies Outfielder

Stats through May 7

The Rockies don’t tend to maneuver like most teams, but the time may be right for them to move on from their long-tenured outfielder. Blackmon has been with the franchise his entire career and remains a quality bat at 36 years old. Like all Rockies, some will be concerned with his career splits. However, Blackmon has solid numbers outside of Coors Field and should generate some interest in teams seeking another outfielder or left-handed hitter.

Possible Destinations: Astros, Yankees, Mariners, Diamondbacks, Brewers

 

C.J. Cron – Rockies First Baseman

Stats through May 7

Like Blackmon, Cron is in his thirties and will be a free agent after the season. The Rockies should see what they can get for their first baseman who doesn’t figure to be in their future plans. Cron has hit for power throughout his career, not just in Colorado, and would be appealing to clubs looking for right-handed power and need a first base or DH upgrade.

Possible Destinations: Brewers, Twins, Red Sox, Mariners, Orioles, Cubs

 

Tim Anderson – White Sox Shortstop

Stats through May 7

Tim Anderson is the second shortstop who may be available this summer, but the White Sox won’t rush to trade him as they hold a $14m option on him for 2024. If they decide to go into full rebuilding mode, they may move him for the right package. An extension is still possible, as is the possibility that the team will simply wait and evaluate after the season. Any team acquiring will likely keep him for 2024, which could dwindle the list of his suitors.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox

 

Willy Adames – Brewers Shortstop

Stats through May 7

Adames still has another year of arbitration ahead of him, and the Brewers expressed interest in extending him last offseason. Plus, the Brewers are playing well and may decide to add rather than subtract at the deadline. However, the extension talks didn’t get far, and if the Brew Crew should fade, the trade rumblings will begin anew. Milwaukee could get a pretty good haul for Adames, given his age, power, defense, and controllability through next season. Thus, the franchise may be willing to listen.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Angels, Red Sox, Diamondbacks

 

Adam Wainwright – Cardinals Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Wainwright is the third of the Cardinal’s starters set to hit free agency in the fall, but he’s the least likely to be traded for a few reasons. First, Wainwright just made his first start of the season coming off of a groin injury, so it’s hard to know how he’ll be pitching in July or if he’ll even be healthy. Second, he’s already announced he’ll retire after this year, and the club may prefer that their longtime star retires with the franchise.

The choice may fall to Wainwright himself. If he’s pitching well and St. Louis continues to falter, he may want one more crack at the postseason before he hangs up his cleats. Waino is not what he used to be, but he could still help plenty of clubs down the stretch and into the postseason, given his experience and intelligence.

Possible Destinations: Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Astros

 

Corbin Burnes – Brewers Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Like Willy Adames, the Brewers won’t trade Burnes this summer if they are in contention since he won’t hit free agency until after the 2024 season. However, they may trade him in the offseason if he’s still on the roster, as the chances of the club extending him seem remote. If Burnes becomes available, the prospect haul coming back to the Brewers would be substantial. It’s rare for a pitcher of his age and caliber to be out there for the taking.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, Mets, Padres, Red Sox

 

Teoscar Hern√°ndez – Mariners Outfielder

Stats through May 7

The Mariners acquired Hernandez last offseason, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be moved again. He’ll be a free agent after the season, and Jerry Dipoto and company aren’t afraid to make moves. Hernandez and the Mariners have underwhelmed thus far in 2023, so the club may cut their losses and see what they can get for the outfielder this summer if they feel their playoff chances slipping away.

Possible Destinations: Rangers, Twins, Astros, Yankees, Diamondbacks, Brewers

 

Cody Bellinger – Cubs Outfielder

Stats through May 7

The Cubs struck gold when they signed Bellinger to a one-year “prove-it” deal with a mutual option for 2024 last winter. Bellinger looks like his former MVP self thus far, so he’s likely to opt out of his current deal after the season. Resigning with the Cubs is a strong possibility, but as a Scott Boras client, Bellinger may opt to cash in via free agency next winter. Should the Cubbies falter over the next few months, they will have to decide whether to flip Bellinger or hold him. Even if they move him, it will have been a worthwhile signing by Chicago.

Possible Destinations: Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, Padres

 

Shohei Ohtani – Angels Starting Pitcher / DH

Pitching Stats through May 7
Hitting Stats through May 7

Without a doubt, the biggest domino this summer would be Ohtani, but it’s unlikely the Angels will trade him. It’s hard to part with a player like Ohtani, and the Halos won’t do it unless they feel they have no choice. The club would have to fall out of playoff contention, and Ohtani would have to make it clear that he intends to sign elsewhere next winter.

Even if the franchise decides to follow this path, many teams will hesitate to empty their farms if they don’t feel they can resign the superstar, and Ohtani’s asking price will be out of most teams’ stratosphere. Nevertheless, it’s fun to speculate as such a move would shift the MLB landscape.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox

 

Aaron Nola – Phillies Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Nola and the Phillies could not agree on an extension last winter and tabled talks for the season. Thus, he could be a free agent this winter. In all likelihood, he stays put, but if the Phillies continue to falter, there’s a slim possibility they’ll look to trade him rather than risk losing him in the offseason. Philadelphia could still resign him, though letting him taste life in another clubhouse is a gamble.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Yankees, Astros, Padres, Red Sox

 

Tyler Glasnow – Rays Starting Pitcher

Stats through May 7

Glasnow has thrown six and two-thirds innings since 2021, has yet to make his 2023 debut, and the Rays are the best team in baseball. So why is he on this list? Because he’s slated to make $25m next season. The Rays’ 2023 payroll is around $75m, making it unlikely he’ll be with them next year.

Given the club’s hot start, the most likely scenario is that the big man is traded in the offseason, as he could help the Rays push for a World Championship this fall. However, a trade could happen if the Rays feel they can fill other needs by moving him this summer. After all, they’ve done pretty well without him thus far.

Possible Destinations: Dodgers, Astros, Mets, Padres

Scott Youngson

Scott is a SoCal native who, after two decades of fighting L.A. traffic, decided to turn his passion for fantasy sports into a blog - the now-defunct Fantasy Mutant. He currently writes for FantasyPros and Pitcher List and will vehemently defend the validity of the Dodgers' 60-game season championship.

One response to “MLB Trade Deadline Targets”

  1. Joe says:

    I think we should add the Braves to any potential suitor for starters W/ the Fried news

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