MLB Trade Scenarios: Every MLB Team's Biggest Current Sell-High Prospect
When MLB trade scenarios are brought up this early in the year, usually it's a team trying to fill a glaring weakness in its lineup or a player who is not getting along with his manager.
On the flip side, there are prospects who are making their mark in the minors, and they are getting attention from other teams, naturally. When a player is on a .360 tear or keeping his ERA under 1.00, that gets noticed no matter what level they're at.
Here is each team's biggest "sell high" prospect. This doesn't mean that they should trade them (in many cases here that would be stupid), simply that they could get a lot for these players and a trade is at least possible.
Baltimore Orioles: Dylan Bundy
The Baltimore Orioles don't have much on their Triple-A roster that would fetch a hefty price on the trade market. In reality, the only person in their system that probably would is pitching phenom Dylan Bundy.
So far in Class A, he has yet to allow an earned run in six appearances, and he could easily be on the roster in early 2014. He's a guy who could fetch a nice price for a team looking for a future ace if the Orioles, for whatever reason, weren't confident in him.
Boston Red Sox: Will Middlebrooks
With the sudden decline of Kevin Youkilis, the odds of Will Middlebrooks actually being traded are very slim. Should the Red Sox want to do that, though, his stock is now about as high as it can get for a prospect.
The third baseman tore it up in the minors the past two seasons, and now that he seems to have usurped a spot from a longtime veteran, he is a hot commodity. Three home runs in his first four games help as well.
New York Yankees: David Phelps
I'm sure a lot of people expected Manny Banuelos or Dellin Betances to be here, and while they are perhaps bigger names on the prospect circuit, neither one is doing that great this year.
David Phelps, meanwhile, has been great every year in the minors, and now the Yankees are using him in the majors this year. A trade would provide any team a player that could start immediately, and the Yankees could further bolster an already great farm system.
Tampa Bay Rays: Hak-Ju Lee
Matt Moore is the Rays' top prospect, but since he's already signed long-term, there's obviously no chance he gets traded. That makes the top candidate the next player on the list, one who is surprisingly not a pitcher.
Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee is already in Double-A at 21, and while his numbers seem to be coming back to earth so far, he's still a player that can be gotten, albeit for a high price, since I'm sure the Rays want to plug him in at shortstop come 2014.
Toronto Blue Jays: Travis d'Arnaud
How confident are the Blue Jays in prospect Travis d'Arnaud, and for that matter how confident are they in J.P. Arencibia? Right now, the latter is the far more likely trade candidate.
If the Blue Jays decided to send out whoever would fetch the higher price between the two, though, it would obviously be d'Arnaud. He's hitting great in the minors, and while his catching stats aren't the best, they're more than serviceable given his offensive numbers.
Chicago White Sox: Addison Reed
The Chicago White Sox have a poor farm system, and as a result, they don't have all that many prospects that are worth anything in the trade market. One pitcher, however, has suddenly become viable after his major-league debut.
That pitcher is Addison Reed. He was already the top prospect in the White Sox system this year, and he's now pitched 13 games without allowing a run. With all the struggles that closers are having this year, that makes him a viable pickup for any team.
Cleveland Indians: Matt LaPorta
Like the White Sox, the Indians don't really have anyone in their farm system worth trading for much. Shortstop Francisco Lindor might get a couple buyers, but that's about it.
Ironically, Matt LaPorta's Triple-A numbers are so good right now that he's probably reached his highest trade value, and it's worth it for the Indians to try to ship him anyway.
The trade won't be anything special, but it's about the best the Indians can do.
Detroit Tigers: Jacob Turner
The Detroit Tigers had their top prospect presumably available for trade during the offseason, but there weren't any buyers. Nonetheless, pitcher Jacob Turner remains the top sell-high candidate for Detroit.
He pitched very well at Double-A and Triple-A last year, and so far he looks like he has major-league talent, even if he has only seen sparse action there. He's been a top-30 prospect three straight years, so there's no question he has skill.
Kansas City Royals: Wil Myers
The Kansas City Royals always have one of the best farm systems in baseball, so it's simply a question of which player would garner the most trade value. It's a combination of high regard in prospect ranks and actually putting up the numbers.
The player doing both is catcher/outfielder Wil Myers. He's hitting .342 in Double-A this year so far and is only 21, and his versatility means that if the Royals wanted to trade him, they could actually get something fairly good for him.
Minnesota Twins: Miguel Sano
When a team has a prospect who turned 19 the day of this posting and he's already in Single-A, then he's likely going to be special. That's what the Twins have in Miguel Sano.
Sano plays at a premium position at third base but can also play shortstop, and he has been hitting .300 with a good deal of power. If he can improve his fielding, he's a guy a team would gladly want to acquire if they don't have a clear third baseman for the future.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Garrett Richards
The Angels have a phenom in Mike Trout who every team would want. Obviously, he's not available for a trade, so any teams would have to go to the next best prospect, Garrett Richards.
Richard is a pitcher who somehow refuses to lose. He may be 0-2 in his major-league career, but he's 30-9 in the minors, including a 12-2 record last year. He's at Triple-A Salt Lake, where he can get that last bit of seasoning to make him a good pickup.
Oakland Athletics: Jarrod Parker
The Oakland Athletics got a boatload of pitchers from trades this offseason, and as a result they have quite a few prospects available if they wish to engage in more trades. Perhaps the one they would get the most for is Jarrod Parker.
Parker is perennially in Baseball America's top 50 prospects and continues to produce. He seems to finally be a full-time starter this year and so far is playing very well.
Seattle Mariners: Taijuan Walker
The Seattle Mariners have a slew of great minor-league pitchers to go with a great rotation. Perhaps the one with the highest ceiling isn't even 20 yet; that pitcher is Taijuan Walker.
Walker has been rocketing up the minors with lights-out pitching and has a 1.71 ERA in six starts at Double-A. At the rate he's going he could be a September call-up, especially if another team tries to snag him.
Texas Rangers: Jurickson Profar
The Texas Rangers have a slew of power bats in the major leagues, but in the minors, they have a young five-tool player by the name of Jurickson Profar.
Profar is 19 yet is already looking like a star at shortstop, as he is able to hit for both average and power and can field and run as well. The only question the Rangers may have to ask is what to do with Elvis Andrus if Profar rises through the minors any more quickly and they don't ship him off.
Atlanta Braves: Julio Teheran
Usually, a top-five prospect is guaranteed to be a guy a team will hold on to since he's meant to be a future star. That doesn't seem to be the case with Julio Teheran.
Teheran has been a top-five prospect for two years, and while he's pitching great in Triple-A, he remains stuck there, with Randall Delgado getting a starting gig instead. Teams will gladly take this guy off the Braves' hands if they don't want him.
Miami Marlins: Matt Dominguez
The Marlins don't have much in the farm system, and while Christian Yelich is the clear top prospect, I don't see them shipping him. Next in line would likely be third baseman Matt Dominguez.
Dominguez's minor-league stats aren't the best, but he's plenty serviceable at third base and has a bit of major-league experience. That alone is worth a look for some teams.
New York Mets: Matt Harvey
The Mets have two great starters rising up the minors in Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey. While Wheeler may be ranked more highly on prospect sheets, Harvey is the guy that would garner a lot more trade interest.
Harvey is a fireballer who has been great at Triple-A so far this year, and with Mike Pelfrey gone for the year, he could make his debut sooner rather than later, meaning that any team wanting him has a quickly closing window.
Philadelphia Phillies: Trevor May
I remember looking at the Phillies farm system once before and being disappointed at what I found, at least until I came across Trevor May. A year later, he's probably their top prospect.
May had over 200 strikeouts last year, and the fireballer is dominating in Double-A this year. If the Phillies feel they are set with their rotation long-term, then they can actually get a nice bat for this guy right now.
Washington Nationals: Tyler Moore
The prospect that the Nationals could get the most for now is obviously Bryce Harper, but if that were to actually happen this season, it would mean the Mayans were right after all. The other top prospect, Anthony Rendon, just started playing.
The top player would probably be Tyler Moore. The first baseman has played a couple games in the majors this year, and so far in Triple-A he's hit seven home runs in 22 games after 30 home runs each of the last two years.
Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
Putting a player that was just acquired on this list looks stupid. Given what's transpired with the Chicago Cubs in the past month, though, trading Anthony Rizzo may actually make a bit of sense.
Rizzo is killing the ball in Triple-A just like he did last year, but Bryan LaHair is doing the same in the majors. With his numbers, teams would pay pretty well to try to acquire him.
Cincinnati Reds: Billy Hamilton
The Cincinnati Reds have two young shortstops. The first, Zack Cozart, is now the team's starting shortstop. The second, Billy Hamilton, remains in the minors and could be good trade bait.
Hamilton is a guy that a lot of people seem to be talking trade about for the reason I just mentioned. He's hitting .364 so far this year in Class A-Advanced and had over 100 stolen bases last year, so his value really isn't going to get much higher than it is now.
Houston Astros: Jonathan Singleton
The Houston Astros have Carlos Lee at first base right now, but they need a first baseman of the future. As a result, it's unlikely that Jonathan Singleton is traded, but not impossible.
Singleton has been a top-40 prospect two straight years and is hitting .304 in Double-A. He's been consistently good as he's risen through the minors—a big plus if any team is interested in him.
Milwaukee Brewers: Tyler Thornburg
The Brewers have a few pitchers in the top 100 prospects list, but I don't think any of them would make top prospect trade bait. Tyler Thornburg, on the other hand, would.
Thornburg has been under the radar yet dominant in the minor leagues, and at Double-A this year he's 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in seven games, so it looks like he's only getting better.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Starling Marte
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a long-term center fielder in Andrew McCutchen. They also have a great center fielder who is rising up the minors in Starling Marte.
Marte is hitting well in Triple-A this year and had a career year in Double-A last year. Given where he plays, a trade is certainly possible. With his numbers, he would certainly garner some interest.
St. Louis Cardinals: Shelby Miller
The St. Louis Cardinals have their crop of great pitchers already in the majors, yet they also have Shelby Miller rocketing through the minors.
Miller has become a top-10 prospect, and while he's not going too great this year, he still has enough pull that the Cardinals could get something for him if they wanted to trade him.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Tyler Skaggs
The Arizona Diamondbacks have two big-time pitching prospects in the minors. Trevor Bauer is looking to be the next big thing, and Tyler Skaggs is nearly doing as well, and he could always be a trade possibility.
Skaggs is in his second year at Double-A and is pitching very well, just like he did last season. He is pitching some solid ball, and while Bauer will be promoted first, Skaggs could always have a 2013 debut.
Colorado Rockies: Nolan Arenado
When a player is able to hit consistently well for average and has a breakout year for power, he gets noticed, especially if he's a third baseman.
Such is the case for Nolan Arenado, who's hitting around .300 in Double-A so far this year, as he's done every year. He could be a viable trade option, but then again, pairing him with Troy Tulowitzki would give the Rockies a great left side of the infield.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Nathan Eovaldi
It's tough to pick someone from the Dodgers for this list, as there really isn't any minor-league phenom or a player in general that stands out as a sell-high candidate.
The closest is a Double-A player who has some major-league experience in Nathan Eovaldi. He's playing just decently in Double-A this year, but playing 10 games in the majors last year and performing well helps his trade value greatly.
San Diego Padres: Casey Kelly
The Padres have a boatload of talented prospects after the Mat Latos trade, but most of them are planned to contribute immediately. One from the Adrian Gonzalez trade, Casey Kelly, could always be a trade possibility.
Kelly is now in Triple-A and so far is pitching effectively. If he can be a trade piece after an ERA over five, certainly he could be one now that his stats have been far better.
San Francisco Giants: Gary Brown
Gary Brown, despite being a first-round pick in 2010, seemed to come out of nowhere with an amazing 2011 season and as a result is easily the Giants' new top prospect.
Brown isn't performing overly well in Double-A so far, but after hitting .336 with over 50 stolen bases last season, he could certainly get the attention of teams, though I'm sure the Giants would much rather keep him.