As the contenders begin to separate themselves from the pretenders, it’s important to remember that it’s a long season, and that the 25-man rosters taking the field in May could look much different in August and September, when each win and loss at least feels like it has more meaning.
Some teams get healthier. Others call up reinforcements from the minors. And then there are the fortunate teams who are rich in prospect depth and can add impact talent in a trade.
Of course, a team doesn’t need to have the deepest farm system to acquire a front-line pitcher or impact bat. The Angels, considered to have very little prospect depth at the time, gave up three of their best prospects, including shortstop Jean Segura, for two months of Zack Greinke. A weak farm system got even weaker, but they were willing to take the risk.
The Texas Rangers added a pretty good starting pitcher in Ryan Dempster without giving up much from one of the deepest farm systems in baseball. They could’ve easily outbid the Angels for Greinke, but chose to hold onto all their best prospects.
So not all teams with prospect depth are necessarily in a hurry to unload that depth. But sometimes they have to “go for it,” if they feel it’s the right time and the right situation.
Here are five contenders that could go to the trade market with the resources to acquire a player who could reshape their 25-man roster.