B/R MLB Community: Grading Fan Trade Proposals 1 Month from 2022 Deadline
The month of July is here, and the MLB trade rumor mill is heating up as the line between contender and non-contender becomes more clear and teams vying for a playoff spot try to plug the holes in their roster.
We'll have plenty of trade deadline content in the coming weeks, but first we turned things over to our B/R app users to present some trade ideas of their own.
Ahead, we've selected a sampling of the best and worst of those to highlight with further analysis.
Each trade proposal received a letter grade of A, B, C, D or F based on how balanced the two sides of the deal are and how realistic it is for both teams.
Willson Contreras Proposals
The 1-for-1 Proposals
-To CLE for SS Gabriel Arias (@jerryboy18)
-To LAD for C Diego Cartaya (@bmetcalf)
-To HOU for C Korey Lee (@jjmalaprop)
-To NYM for RHP Matthew Allan (@jjmalaprop)
-To NYY for RHP Hayden Wesneski (@jjmalaprop)
None of these prospects are good enough to be the only piece going back to the Chicago Cubs in a Contreras deal, with the lone exception being Diego Cartaya. But why would the Dodgers trade their No. 1 prospect when they already have Will Smith and Austin Barnes behind the plate?
Grade: Let's go with a "D" for this entire section.
Package Deals with RHP David Robertson
-To HOU for C Korey Lee, RHP Jose Urquidy, OF Chas McCormick, RHP Shawn Dubin (@CPra15)
-To NYY for C Austin Wells, RHP Luis Gil, RHP Beck Way (@colestarck)
-To SF for C Joey Bart, RHP Manuel Mercedes, SS Ryan Reckley (@mmarchant)
It's too steep of a price for the Astros to include Urquidy, who is controllable through 2025 and currently holding down a spot in the rotation. That said, there might be something to a deal built around Lee and McCormick.
Jose Trevino has been good enough that there's no reason for the Yankees to part with Wells and Gil to land a catcher, while the Giants deal would be predicated on the Cubs organization still being extremely high on Bart, who has struggled mightily with a .163 with a 74 OPS+ on the year.
Grade: A "C" for each of these proposals.
The Best Overall Proposal
-To TB for C Francisco Mejia, RHP Nick Bitsko, 1B Kyle Manzardo (@colestarck)
Mejia comes with control through the 2024 season and could be a prime change-of-scenery candidate, while the two prospects in this package both have intriguing upside.
Bitsko was the No. 24 overall pick in the 2020 draft, and while the start of his pro career was delayed by a torn labrum, he's still only 20 years old and is now back in action. Manzardo was a second-round pick in 2021, and he's hit .318/.422/.562 with 14 doubles, 11 home runs and 42 RBI in 57 games in the minors.
Andrew Benintendi/Ian Happ/Bryan Reynolds Proposals
-To NYY for RHP Hayden Wesneski, RHP Domingo German (@yankees05)
Benintendi makes a ton of sense for the Yankees as a left-handed hitting outfielder capable of playing all three spots, but they don't need to include Domingo German in the deal. Benintendi is a straight two-month rental, and a package built around Wesneski and another low-level prospect or two should be enough to get a deal done.
-To NYY for RHP Luis Medina, C Antonio Gomez (@xrayreb)
-To SD for OF James Wood, OF Esteury Ruiz (@JabJeezy)
-To PHI for C Logan O'Hoppe (@ScSotto1)
I LOVE the idea of the Cubs targeting Logan O'Hoppe as a high-end catching prospect who is close to the big leagues and has drawn rave reviews for his makeup, and Happ makes a lot of sense for a Phillies team that could use some outfield help. Might need to be another piece on the Phillies' side, though.
The Padres package feels like an overpay, even with Happ controllable through 2023. The huge boom-or-bust potential of Medina doesn't feel like the type of player the Cubs will be targeting, but there is value there.
Grades: B to PHI, C to NYY and SD
-To NYY for LHP Ken Waldichuk, SS Trey Sweeney, OF Everson Pereira, OF Elijah Dunham (@brandon13x)
-To SD for OF Trent Grisham, C Luis Campusano, LHP Ryan Weathers, RHP Michel Baez (@alanalansteve)
Waldichuk is a pitching prospect on the rise, but is he a good enough centerpiece? I have a hard time believing the Pirates would not be able to find a better offer than that for their outfielder.
As for the Padres deal, that would certainly keep the Pittsburgh front office on the phone, but are they ready to sell that low on Grisham? That answer could very well be yes, especially if they think Reynolds could be signed long-term.
Grades: B to PIT, C to NYY
Luis Castillo Proposals
Easy "F" Grades (Braves Fan Edition)
-To ATL for LHP Tucker Davidson, SS Braden Shewmake (@ncsportz)
-To ATL for LHP Tucker Davidson, RHP Bryce Elder, SS Vaughn Grissom (@jonathoncoile)
Jose Berrios essentially set the market last summer for a quality front-line starter with one year of control remaining when he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for a consensus top-100 prospect (Austin Martin) and another high-ceiling prospect on the fringe of top-100 lists (Simeon Woods Richardson).
There's not a good enough centerpiece in either of these offers to come close.
Easy "F" Grades (Yankees Fan Edition)
-To NYY with SS Kyle Farmer, OF Nick Senzel for OF Aaron Hicks, RHP Clarke Schmidt, IF Oswald Peraza (@batsnballs)
-To NYY with OF Tommy Pham for OF Miguel Andujar, LHP Ken Waldichuk, RHP Luis Gil, RHP Will Warren (@Jengrl)
The first offer is the classic "spare parts for something of value" offer that Yankees fans seem to love so much. The second at least includes top-100 prospect Ken Waldichuk and another quality piece in Luis Gil, but there's zero chance that would be the best offer on the table.
Easy "F" Grades (Everyone Else Edition)
-To MIN for RHP Jordan Balazovic, 1B Miguel Sano (@cgrad)
-To TOR for C Danny Jansen (@NotScottieBarnes)
That Twins offer is the worst deal here, hands down. Sano is sidelined indefinitely following knee surgery, he has a $9.3 million salary, and he was 5-for-54 with 21 strikeouts before he got hurt. Why would anyone want him in a trade right now?
With Tyler Stephenson entrenched behind the plate for the foreseeable future, a one-for-one swap for Jansen also makes zero sense for the Reds, and even if it did, he's not enough on his own to get a deal done.
An Actual Realistic Offer?
To LAD with OF Tommy Pham for 3B Miguel Vargas, OF Andy Pages, RHP Gavin Stone (@kthhhh)
Vargas (No. 46) and Pages (No. 74) were both included on B/R's most recent Top 100 prospect list, and Stone is a prospect on the rise with a 1.46 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 68 innings between High-A and Double-A. This is probably a slight overpay for the Dodgers, but it fills a major need, and Pham would also provide some welcome outfield depth. Maybe add a bullpen piece like Jeff Hoffman on the Reds side?
Frankie Montas Proposals
Cardinals Fans Are Circling
-To STL with C Sean Murphy for SS Paul DeJong and salary, LHP Zack Thompson, 3B Malcom Nunez, OF Lars Nootbaar (@amorris19)
-To STL with C Sean Murphy for LHP Matthew Liberatore, 3B Malcom Nunez, OF Moises Gomez, 1B Luken Baker (@cfan5)
-To STL for SS Paul DeJong, SS Masyn Winn, OF Alec Burleson (@DrippyMcSauce)
-To STL for SS Masyn Winn, OF Alec Burleson (@kmickey)
One big takeaway from this exercise was that Cardinals fans seem to prefer Frankie Montas to Luis Castillo. Another was that they don't seem to understand Paul DeJong has negative trade value when he's hitting .219 at Triple-A and is still owed more than $15 million.
It's going to cost WAY more to acquire both Montas and Murphy than what is offered in either of those packages, especially considering Murphy is controllable through 2025.
We end on a high note, though, as the Winn and Burleson offer makes a ton of sense for both sides. The Cardinals part with a high-ceiling young player in Winn for a chance to make a push in 2022, and the A's get an MLB-ready bat in Burleson along with an elite-level prospect.
Grades: F for the first three, A for the fourth
Spare Parts for a Front-line Pitcher?
-To ATL for LHP Tucker Davidson, RHP Darius Vines (@Brekeck)
The trade proposal here was actually Montas for Tucker Davidson and "Hines" which I assume meant Darius Vines? Either way, if this was all it cost to acquire Montas, then every team in baseball would be lining up to do it.
-To SF for RHP Will Bednar, OF Hunter Bishop, OF Grant McCray (@colestarck)
-To SEA for OF Kyle Lewis, C Harry Ford, OF Zach DeLoach, LHP Justus Sheffield (@yashak71)
The Giants offer is one of the best proposed by anyone in this exercise. The A's would be getting a Top 100 prospect in Bednar (No. 85 on B/R Top 100), a breakout prospect on the rise in McCray (67 G, .890 OPS, 36 XBH, 21 SB at Single-A) and a change-of-scenery candidate in Bishop.
The Mariners offer is a fun one, but I think it's an overpay. Honestly, that might be enough to make a serious run at Montas and Paul Blackburn, depending on how high Oakland is on Kyle Lewis.
Grade: A+ for SF, C for SEA
Josh Bell Proposals
Easy "F" Grades
-To ATL for DH Marcell Ozuna, RHP Bryce Elder, SS Braden Shewmake (@JuanTheGod3)
-To SD for OF James Wood, RHP Efrain Contreras, player to be named later (@tmcquade)
The Nationals don't want Ozuna and the $32 million he's still owed beyond this season. He's a negative value addition, and those two prospects aren't anywhere near good enough to offset that.
Where does Bell play on the Padres? Even if he was a clear fit, Wood and Contreras are too much to give up for a two-month rental that doesn't address your biggest need.
A Wide Variety of Mets Offers
-To NYM for OF Khalil Lee, RHP Junior Santos (@frometa)
-To NYM for 3B Mark Vientos, RHP Eric Orze (@jdesimone)
-To NYM for SS Ronny Mauricio, "mid-level prospect" (@dnssnna)
Mets fans were all over the place here with everything from a Top 100 prospect in Mauricio (No. 79 on B/R Top 100) to more of a spare-parts deal for Lee and Santos.
Bell has been good enough this year, hitting .311/.393/.502 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI, that the middle deal is probably a good estimation of what it's going to cost to acquire him.
Grades: C for first and third, B for second
An Intriguing Landing Spot
-To BOS for LHP Chris Murphy (@isaiah20202020)
I like the idea of the Red Sox going after Bell, especially if they don't think top prospect Triston Casas is going to be ready to make a major impact this season.
The 24-year-old Murphy has a 2.72 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 82.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He's a good starting point, but it will likely take at least one other mid-level piece to get a deal done.
Joey Gallo is the New Clint Frazier in Bad Yankees Trade Offers
In recent years, we've seen a barrage of hypothetical trade offers from Yankees fans wherein they use the combination of Clint Frazier—who recently said he is changing his professional name to his middle name, Jackson—and Miguel Andujar to acquire literally anyone they want. It was a prominent enough epidemic that it has become a running joke. With Frazier gone, the fanbase has now seemingly latched on to Joey Gallo as the player they can use in any blockbuster deal they dream up.
Finding Value in Nothing
To NYY: OF Mike Trout or OF Juan Soto
To LAA or WAS: OF Joey Gallo, LHP Zack Britton, SS Anthony Volpe, C Austin Wells, RHP Luis Gil, LHP Ken Waldichuk
To NYY: OF Bryan Reynolds
To PIT: OF Joey Gallo, RHP Luis Medina, SS Oswald Peraza
To NYY: OF Ian Happ, cash
To CHC: OF Aaron Hicks, OF Joey Gallo
There's a lot to unpack here. My favorite nugget might be the idea that Mike Trout and Juan Soto have interchangeable trade value, despite their wildly different contract situations. I also love the suggestion that a non-contending Cubs team would want both Gallo as a rental and the bad contract of Hicks, and that they should be the ones sending cash the other way in that deal. Wild stuff.
A Two-Step Disaster
To SD: OF Joey Gallo
To NYY: OF Robert Hassell III, SS Jackson Merrill
To PIT: OF Miguel Andujar, SS Jackson Merrill, LHP Ken Waldichuk, RHP Randy Vasquez
To NYY: OF Bryan Reynolds
This was a two-part trade, and it didn't disappoint. Here we have the Padres giving up an elite prospect in Hassell (No. 22 on B/R Top 100) and another high-end young talent in Merrill for two months of Gallo.
Merrill is not sticking around for long, though, as he's packaged with the always-valuable Miguel Andujar (eye-roll emoji) and quality prospect Ken Waldichuk to add Bryan Reynolds to the New York outfield. Impressive stuff.
An Interesting Spin
To NYY: RHP Dinelson Lamet
To SD: OF Joey Gallo, cash to match salaries
This is actually intriguing. The Padres have shown interest in Gallo in the past, and the Yankees would be buying low on a pitcher who has dealt with a ton of injury issues but also finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting in 2020. Balancing the salaries is a nice touch.
Undervaluing Controllable Players
Sandy Alcantara Edition
-To TOR for SS Orelvis Martinez, SS Otto Lopez, RHP Nate Pearson (@CaptainKirky)
-To SEA for SS Noelvi Marte, RHP Emerson Hancock (@spenserschwinn)
Martinez (No. 39 on B/R Top 100) and Marte (No. 14 on B/R Top 100) are both elite prospects, but it's going to take WAY more than either of these proposals to convince the Marlins to trade the NL Cy Young front-runner. The fact that he signed a team-friendly five-year, $56 million extension prior to this season legitimately makes him one of the most valuable trade chips in all of baseball.
To TOR: LHP Marco Gonzales
To SEA: SS Jordan Groshans, SS Otto Lopez, LHP Joey Murray
Not only is Gonzales the veteran voice on a young Mariners roster, but he also has two years and a reasonable $19 million left on his contract after this season, along with a $15 million club option for 2025. Groshans is a quality prospect, but Lopez and Murray don't move the needle enough.
To LAD: OF Austin Hays, RHP Jorge Lopez
To BAL: 3B Miguel Vargas, OF Trayce Thompson, cash
Hays is controllable through 2025 and has been a 2.4-WAR player through 77 games. He's essentially this year's version of Bryan Reynolds, and it's going to take a hell of a lot more than one top-100 prospect and a player who was recently plucked from the scrapheap to pry him loose, let alone to have the O's also include their breakout closer who is controllable through 2024 himself.
Realistic Under-the-Radar Moves
To DET: C Danny Jansen
To TOR: LHP Gregory Soto, RHP Michael Fulmer
This makes a ton of sense for both teams. The Blue Jays have a surplus of catching talent, and the Tigers don't have a long-term answer at the position. Fulmer is a solid rental arm, and Soto is controllable through 2025 with valuable late-game experience under his belt. One of my favorite trade proposals I saw.
To MIL: OF Andrew Benintendi
To KC: OF Garrett Mitchell, OF Hedbert Perez
This is far and away the most reasonable Benintendi proposal anyone made, though I'm not convinced the Brewers would want to sell low on both Mitchell and Perez, who still have intriguing upside. Maybe one of them and another low-level piece?
To TOR: RHP Chad Kuhl, RHP Daniel Bard
To COL: RHP Adam Kloffenstein, 1B Spencer Horwitz, RHP Sem Robberse
This would be a nice haul for the Rockies in return for two rental arms, and it would give the Blue Jays a quality back-of-the-rotation arm in Kuhl (15 GS, 3.83 ERA, 82.1 IP) and a terrific late-inning bullpen arm in Bard (30 G, 16/18 SV, 2.35 ERA, 11.2 K/9). If the Blue Jays are all-in on 2022, this plugs a couple of holes without mortgaging any elite-level prospects.
To SD: 1B Ty France
To SEA: LHP Blake Snell, SS Ha-Seong Kim, LHP Ryan Weathers
This one made me think long enough that I felt the need to include it here. I'm not entirely sure how France fits onto a Padres team with Eric Hosmer at first base, Manny Machado at third base and Luke Voit at DH, and I'm also not sure why the Mariners would want to trade their (likely) All-Star first baseman who is controllable through 2025, but that's an awfully intriguing return package. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto has done weirder things.
Worst of the Worst (Pitchers)
To DET: RHP Jhoan Duran, IF Jose Miranda
To MIN: C Tucker Barnhart, OF Daz Cameron
Why? Just why? A contending Twins team is trading away its best reliever and a good young infielder for a rental catcher who has a 57 OPS+ and minus-0.4 WAR in 53 games and a former top prospect who looks like a Quad-A guy.
To STL: RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Lou Trivino
To OAK: SS Paul DeJong, RHP Jake Woodford
This is peak "we'll give you nothing, you give us something," and I'd bet infinity dollars it was a Cardinals fan who proposed this trade. Do Cardinals fans really think DeJong has any positive value at this point? The minor value that Woodford brings to the table is more than offset by DeJong's contract, and in return, they're getting a controllable starter and a late-inning reliever.
To ATL: RHP Shane Bieber
To CLE: RHP Kyle Wright, C William Contreras, LHP Kyle Muller, OF Drew Waters
Is going from Wright (2.91 ERA, 98 K, 96.0 IP, controllable through 2026) to Bieber (3.44 ERA, 99 K, 96.2 IP, controllable through 2024) really worth trading away a potential All-Star in Contreras, a controllable MLB-ready starter in Muller and a high-ceiling prospect in Waters? The answer is no, no it's not. Given their remaining control, I'm not even sure a one-for-one swap of Bieber and Wright would make any sense.
Worst of the Worst (Hitters)
To TOR: SS Dansby Swanson
To ATL: C Gabriel Moreno
This is hands down the most illogical trade proposal I saw from both sides. Why would a contending Braves team trade away its starting shortstop for a prospect? And why would the Blue Jays trade their top prospect for a rental shortstop when Bo Bichette is already manning the position? Just absolute nonsense.
To CWS: OF Joc Pederson
To SF: 3B Jake Burger, OF Gavin Sheets
It's far more likely the White Sox are sellers and the Giants are buyers than the other way around. And why would the White Sox trade 10 years of combined club control over Burger and Sheets for a rental? This White Sox team isn't a Joc Pederson away from being a title contender.
To SEA: 2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., IF Joey Wendle, LHP Richard Bleier
To MIA: SS Noelvi Marte, OF Taylor Trammell, 2B Adam Frazier
Chisholm is essentially to the Marlins what Julio Rodriguez is to the Mariners right now: a young, exciting player on the rise who profiles as the future face of the franchise. Why on earth would the Marlins trade him for a prospect, a fourth outfielder and a two-month rental at second base? And why would they also have to include two other valuable trade pieces to do it? As lopsided as it gets in Seattle's favor.
To SD: 1B Jared Walsh
To LAA: 1B Eric Hosmer, SS C.J. Abrams, RHP Nabil Crismatt
Going from Hosmer (109 OPS+, 0.8 WAR) to Walsh (105 OPS+, 0.6 WAR) is essentially a push based on 2022 production, so the Padres would be offloading the final three years and $39 million of Hosmer's deal in exchange for trading away a high-ceiling young player (Abrams) and one of their best relievers (Crismatt). Is that really worth some payroll flexibility when they already have a ton of money coming off the books this winter? Spoiler: It's not.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.