Published On: Fri, Jun 15th, 2018

Ranking the top 25 trade candidates ahead of MLB's non-waiver deadline

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With six weeks to go until the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, theScore ranks the top 25 candidates to be dealt this summer, beginning with the most desirable targets.

1. Jacob deGrom, Mets


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
1.55 87.1 113 1.01 3.5

POSITION: SP
AGE: 29
CONTRACT: $7M (2018), Arb 3 (2019), Arb 4 (2020)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 3/10

The Mets are scuffling badly, and if they have any thoughts of starting a rebuild, no player would bring back a larger return than deGrom. The right-hander is having a Cy Young-caliber season and comes with two additional years of control. He’s posted a stellar 0.87 ERA over his last 10 starts while receiving no run support whatsoever.

2. Noah Syndergaard, Mets


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
3.06 64.2 76 1.17 1.9

POSITION: SP
AGE: 25
CONTRACT: $2.975M (2018), Arb 2 (2019), Arb 3 (2020), Arb 4 (2021)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 3/10

The Mets would have to be completely overwhelmed to deal either deGrom or Syndergaard. At 25, it makes more sense to keep Syndergaard over deGrom, as he’s both younger and under control for an additional year.

3. Manny Machado, Orioles


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
66 15 18 .307/.378/.579 2.8

POSITION: SS, 3B
AGE: 25
CONTRACT: $16M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

The Orioles really have to nail the return they receive for Machado, as they’re last in the majors and have a miserable farm system. Machado provides elite coverage at two premium positions, and can slide into the middle of the order for any contender.

4. J.T. Realmuto, Marlins


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
48 13 7 .303/.368/.519 2.3

POSITION: C
AGE: 27
CONTRACT: $2.9M (2018), Arb 2 (2019), Arb 3 (2020)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 5/10

Teams don’t often trade for a starting catcher at the deadline, but Realmuto is a rare case who’s worth pushing for. The 27-year-old ranks second among all players at his position in WAR and is under team control through 2020. Expect the price tag to be quite high, as he’s the biggest trade chip remaining from Miami’s winter sell-off.

5. Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
36 11 5 .234/.333/.423 0.6

POSITION: 3B
AGE: 32
CONTRACT: $23M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

Injuries have derailed Donaldson’s season, making him an interesting case heading into the deadline. When healthy, he’s an All-Star and Gold Glove-caliber defender, but calf and shoulder issues have limited him immensely over the past two seasons and opposing clubs don’t really know which player they’ll be receiving. The potential package for Donaldson could fluctuate more than for any other player this summer.

6. J.A. Happ, Blue Jays


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
3.48 82.2 94 1.06 1.9

POSITION: SP
AGE: 35
CONTRACT: $13M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

While the rest of Toronto’s rotation has been a major disappointment, Happ has produced quality start after quality start. The left-hander owns the fifth-best WHIP among American League southpaws and would be a strong addition for a contender needing an arm with postseason experience.

7. Brad Hand, Padres


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
1.78 35.1 52 0.93 0.7

POSITION: CL
AGE: 28
CONTRACT: $4.08M (2018), $7.08M (2019), $7.58M (2020)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 6/10

The Padres held onto Hand at last year’s deadline despite plenty of interest and eventually signed him to a three-year extension. The left-hander has been even better this season, and with his team-friendly contract the Padres will be asking for plenty in return.

8. Cole Hamels, Rangers


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
3.69 85.1 85 1.25 0.0

POSITION: SP
AGE: 34
CONTRACT: $23.5M (2018), $20M team option (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

For teams that miss out on Happ, Hamels represents another left-handed starting option with October experience. The 34-year-old owns a 3.48 ERA over 16 postseason starts, not to mention a World Series MVP award. The Rangers will likely have to kick in some money to help cover the remainder of his contract, as Hamels comes with a $20-million team option for 2019 that includes a $6-million buyout.

9. Scooter Gennett, Reds


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
66 16 12 .341/.378/.550 2.4

POSITION: 2B
AGE: 28
CONTRACT: $5.7M (2018), Arb 3 (2019), FA (2020)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

Gennett has been found money for the Reds since they claimed him off waivers prior to last season. He ranks fifth in the National League in WAR this year and is one of the best second basemen in the majors. Cincinnati’s in the midst of a lengthy rebuild and should look to capitalize on a career year from the veteran infielder. Given Gennett’s relatively cheap contract and an additional year of control for the acquiring team, the last-place Reds are almost forced to make a deal here.

10. Mike Moustakas, Royals


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
67 16 13 .259/.313/.475 1.2

POSITION: 3B
AGE: 29
CONTRACT: $5.5M (2018), $15M option (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 9/10

Royals general manager Dayton Moore said he won’t just give Moustakas away, but the third baseman represents the club’s best asset prior to the deadline. The slugger ranks fourth in home runs among third basemen and is earning just $5.5 million plus a $1-million buyout, so the remainder of his contract would be easy to move. Moustakas could be the target for teams that need help at the hot corner but don’t want to bid for Machado or Donaldson.

11. Adam Jones, Orioles


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
64 14 10 .286/.307/.451 0.4

POSITION: CF
AGE: 32
CONTRACT: $17.3M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 9/10

It looks like Jones will be on the move after 11 seasons in Baltimore. There’s likely no Orioles veterans who are untouchable, and he’s the best player among a thin crop of outfielders believed to be available. The four-time All-Star has been remarkably consistent, as he’s hit 25 or more home runs in each of the last seven seasons while appearing in fewer than 150 games just twice.

12. Zach Britton, Orioles


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
0.00 1 1 3.00 0.0

POSITION: CL
AGE: 30
CONTRACT: $12M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

Britton is another major wild card heading into the deadline. He’s made just one appearance this season since tearing his Achilles and teams will need to see more before deciding on the package. The left-hander was the league’s most dominant closer in 2016, posting an 0.54 ERA and 0.83 WHIP across 67 innings.

13. Kelvin Herrera, Royals


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
1.05 25.2 22 0.82 0.7

POSITION: CL
AGE: 28
CONTRACT: $7.9M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

After struggling last season, Herrera is back to being the pitcher he was during back-to-back All-Star seasons in 2015 and ’16. The right-hander has allowed runs in just three of 27 outings this year while surrendering just two home runs. Left-handed hitters are slashing a measly .167/.211/.250 against him in 39 plate appearances.

14. Eduardo Escobar, Twins


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
62 26 12 .290/.340/.564 2.1

POSITION: 2B, 3B, SS
AGE: 29
CONTRACT: $4.8M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 5/10

The Twins proved last deadline that they aren’t scared to pull the trigger if things go south, so at 29-36, don’t be surprised if they unload some impending free agents before the deadline. Escobar is enjoying a career year and leads the majors in doubles; capitalizing on that production is a must if Minnesota is out of contention.

15. Justin Smoak, Blue Jays


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
61 14 9 .229/.366/.417 0.5

POSITION: 1B
AGE: 31
CONTRACT: $4.125M (2018), $6M option (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

The trade market isn’t flush with power-hitting first baseman, so the Blue Jays might be able to get something useful for Smoak. While he isn’t producing the All-Star-caliber numbers he did in 2017, Smoak still offers power from both sides of the plate and a strong glove at first base. He’s also under contract for just $6 million next season.

16. Jed Lowrie, Athletics


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
67 18 9 .275/.340/.453 1.9

POSITION: 2B
AGE: 34
CONTRACT: $6M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 9/10

Oakland opted to keep Lowrie last deadline due to his team-friendly option for 2018, but with his impending free agency, expect the front office to make a move. Lowrie ranks fourth in WAR, third in doubles, and seventh in home runs among second baseman.

17. Josh Harrison, Pirates


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
34 5 3 .293/.342/.407 1.0

POSITION: 2B, 3B, OF
AGE: 30
CONTRACT: $10.25M (2018), $10.5M option (2019), $11.5M option (2020)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

Harrison is the ideal player for teams looking for more than a rental and some versatility. An All-Star in 2017, he fills a lot of defensive holes and his bat is solid. Over the last three seasons, Harrison averaged eight home runs, 27 doubles, and 14 stolen bases to go with a .730 OPS. He’s also under contract through 2020 at a reasonable price.

18. Brian Dozier, Twins


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
64 12 9 .230/.309/.397 0.7

POSITION: 2B
AGE: 31
CONTRACT: $9M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

Though he’s off to a poor start this season, Dozier is arguably the best power-hitting second baseman in the majors, as he’s gone deep nine times this year, and hit 76 homers over the last two seasons. He also won his first Gold Glove in 2017, making him a strong rental target who shouldn’t cost a fortune to acquire with his contract set to expire.

19. Francisco Cervelli, Pirates


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
50 7 9 .263/.389/.513 2.4

POSITION: C
AGE: 32
CONTRACT: $10.5M (2018), $11.5M (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

Cervelli is a proven leader for the Pirates and a strong offensive catcher, but the rebuilding club probably wouldn’t mind moving the remainder of his sizable contract. The veteran already has a career-high nine home runs to go with a .389 OBP in 50 games this season.

20. Wilson Ramos, Rays


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
55 9 8 .282/.327/.440 0.9

POSITION: C
AGE: 30
CONTRACT: $10.5M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

The Rays have made a habit of trading away their highest-paid players, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Ramos moved. The veteran hasn’t enjoyed a strong defensive season behind the plate, throwing out just 13 percent of would-be base-stealers, but he does rank sixth at his position in home runs.

21. Lance Lynn, Twins


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
4.98 68.2 71 1.60 0.7

POSITION: SP
AGE: 31
CONTRACT: $12M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

Following a miserable start to his tenure in Minnesota, Lynn has bounced back over the last two months. The right-hander owns a 2.62 ERA across his last six starts, and has allowed just five runs in June while averaging more than 10 strikeouts per nine innings during the month.

22. Jordy Mercer, Pirates


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
60 15 4 .264/.328/.413 0.9

POSITION: SS
AGE: 31
CONTRACT: $6.75M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 8/10

The Pirates might struggle to find a taker for Mercer with so many middle-infield options on the market, but they’ll likely want to get something for the shortstop before he hits free agency this winter. The 31-year-old is solid offensively and doesn’t strike out much, but has limited power and speed.

23. Joakim Soria, White Sox


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
3.12 26 30 1.19 0.7

POSITION: CL
AGE: 34
CONTRACT: $9M (2018), $10M team option (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 8/10

Soria offers closing experience for teams looking for a late-inning reliever. The 34-year-old has been tough on right-handed hitters this season (.182/.224/.236), though lefties have teed off on him (.320/.358/.500). Owed $10 million next season, it’s not likely that Soria will cost teams much in terms of prospect capital if they’re willing to take on most of his salary.

24. Brad Brach, Orioles


ERA IP K WHIP WAR
3.86 25.2 27 1.71 0.6

POSITION: RP
AGE: 32
CONTRACT: $5.165M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 10/10

Brach hasn’t exactly excelled in the closer’s role during Britton’s absence, but he’s still striking out a batter per inning and has allowed just one home run in 25 2/3 innings.

25. Curtis Granderson, Blue Jays


GP 2B HR AVG/OBP/SLG WAR
55 10 6 .253/.372/.443 0.7

POSITION: OF
AGE: 37
CONTRACT: $5M (2018), FA (2019)
CHANCE OF BEING TRADED: 7/10

There likely won’t be a long list of suitors for Granderson, but he still hits right-handed pitching well – .268/.385/.472 with six home runs – and could be a solid fourth outfielder for a contender.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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