All-Star Futures Game Prospects Who Could Be Dangled in July MLB Trades
The All-Star Futures Game was more than just an exhibition.
The contest, in which the U.S. Team topped the World Team 3-2, was also a showcase of some of the most valuable trade chips in all of baseball. As the July 31 deadline edges closer, contending clubs will have some difficult decisions to make.
Should they hold on to their top prospects or mortgage the future for an immediate return? That's the dilemma for every buyer on the MLB trade market—a dilemma that is particularly relevant when it comes to the following six players.
D.J. Peterson, 3B, Seattle Mariners
With the Seattle Mariners tied atop the wild-card standings, now is the time for the club to be aggressive and make an impact move.
Doing so, of course, would require the M's to part with top minor league talent like D.J. Peterson. According to Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times, the third baseman is one of the organization's most valuable prospects on the trade market along with starter Taijuan Walker.
The right-handed hitter has such a high valuation because he has all sorts of power, which is one of the most elusive tools in baseball. While splitting time between Seattle's High-A and Double-A affiliates, the 22-year-old has clubbed 21 home runs and 27 doubles.
Corey Seager, SS, Los Angeles Dodgers
Corey Seager battered the Cal League in the first half of the 2014 season.
The shortstop hit .352 with 18 home runs and 34 doubles while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers' High-A squad. That showing has earned the 20-year-old a promotion to Double-A, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. That performance also made him one of the most valuable prospects on the trade market.
When Dylan Hernandez of the Times asked general manager Ned Colletti about the team's plans for the deadline, the executive indicated that he's in no rush to part with his top prospects like Seager.
"I don't see us doing anything that's going to tear the farm system apart."
That's a shrewd response from Colletti. Of course, labeling players like Seager all but untouchable is also a great way to build up their trade value. Seager isn't the only Dodgers prospect who makes this list, either.
Hunter Harvey, SP, Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles rotation needs help.
To bring in the necessary reinforcements, the O's will need to consider dealing away some of the organization's most promising arms for the future—especially if Baltimore wants to land an ace.
One pitcher who could end up on the trade block is Hunter Harvey. The 19-year-old is pitching for Baltimore's Low-A club, where he has been racking up strikeouts with a 10.8 K/9 ratio. The Orioles acquired the right-hander with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft.
According to Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, the team isn't likely to trade away any of its talented minor league pitchers like Harvey. While that makes sense considering Harvey's impressive upside, it's also worth considering the larger context. The AL East is weak this year, which means this July an ideal time for the Orioles to make a big trade in an attempt to run away with the division.
Daniel Norris, SP, Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays are scuffling.
The club dropped eight of its last 10 games entering the All-Star break. Despite that slide, the Blue Jays remain just four games out of first place in the AL East. If Toronto wants to turn its season around, the team will need to pull off a major swap.
The Blue Jays definitely have the pieces to make that happen. According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, David Price is a viable target for Toronto.
"The Blue Jays could make a credible offer by putting forward two of their three top prospects: Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris and Dalton Pompey."
Norris threw a perfect inning in the All-Star Futures Game and has been enjoying tons of success this season. The second-round pick from the 2011 MLB draft has a 7-0 record and a 1.84 ERA in 17 starts between High-A and Double-A.
If Norris doesn't get shipped out, he could end up working out of the bullpen for the Blue Jays later this season, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
Josh Bell, OF, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates outfield is loaded.
That means that a talented prospect like the switch-hitting Josh Bell could hit the trade block this month. The outfielder could be included in a potential deal to strengthen the pitching staff, as Jerry Micco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggests.
The 21-year-old has certainly raised his trade value in the past few months. On the season, Bell is hitting .333 with 20 doubles and nine home runs for Pittsburgh's High-A club.
Julio Urias, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
At 17 years old, Julio Urias was the youngest player ever to take part in the Futures Game, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.
Just like fellow Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Corey Seager, the left-hander would be ridiculously difficult to pry away from the club. In 2014, Urias owns a 1-1 record and a 3.44 ERA for the Dodgers' High-A team. The lefty is 6.2 years younger than the average player in the Cal League, per Baseball-Reference.com.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports, Urias is one of the chips the Dodgers would potentially have to part with in order to land David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays. As good as the 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner is, moving Urias in such a deal would be a highly polarizing decision.
Note: All stats courtesy of MLB.com. All videos courtesy of YouTube.com.
If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.