Final MLB Trade Predictions for All 30 Teams 1 Day from the DeadlineJuly 30, 2018
Final MLB Trade Predictions for All 30 Teams 1 Day from the Deadline
It all comes down to this: the final day before Major League Baseball's July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
This has been one of the busiest trading seasons in recent memory, as Manny Machado, Cole Hamels, J.A. Happ, Eduardo Escobar, Asdrubal Cabrera, Mike Moustakas, Zach Britton, Brad Hand, Jeurys Familia, Joakim Soria, Brad Brach and Nathan Eovaldi are among those who have already moved.
Nonetheless, there's still much to be determined before Tuesday's deadline passes at 4:00 p.m. ET. The idea here is to try to get ahead of it by predicting what each of MLB's 30 teams will do in the time remaining.
We'll go in alphabetical order by city.
Arizona Diamondbacks: They'll Bring Back Brad Ziegler
The Arizona Diamondbacks scored a victory when they acquired Eduardo Escobar on Friday. Their lineup needed both his potent bat and his versatile glove.
According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, up next for the Snakes is a back-end relief pitcher.
Arizona's bullpen was excellent in the first half of the season, but it's slumped with a 4.47 ERA over the last 30 days. Although it doesn't necessarily need a relief ace to come in and be the savior, it does need a solid arm to take some pressure off Archie Bradley, Brad Boxberger and Yoshihisa Hirano.
A reunion with Brad Ziegler, who played in Arizona from 2011 to 2016, would be ideal.
His talent for inducing ground balls is very much alive, and it would fit well in a D-backs pen that's all about ground balls. Plus, it won't cost them much to rent him from the Miami Marlins.
Atlanta Braves: Their Efforts for a Blockbuster Will Come Up Empty
The Atlanta Braves have already fortified their bullpen through trades for Brach and old friend Jonny Venters.
As a bonus, they didn't give up a single prospect to get either pitcher. That may be by design, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that they now have their eyes on a blockbuster for Tampa Bay Rays ace Chris Archer.
The Braves are hardly alone in pursuing Archer, however, and they may not match up well with the Rays. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, either a catcher or a power-hitting outfielder would be a good start in trade negotiations. The Braves have neither of those among their elite prospects.
Pickings are otherwise pretty slim among controllable aces who are realistically available. Since they aren't being pushed hard by the Washington Nationals in the National League East race, the Braves may just as soon leave good enough alone if they don't land Archer.
Baltimore Orioles: They'll Hold on to Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman
With Machado, Britton and Brach already gone and Adam Jones reportedly (per Jon Heyman of Fancred) wanting to stay in Baltimore, the Orioles are pretty much out of attractive rentals to offer.
Thus, the focus has shifted to Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, although nobody should count on either being moved.
The Orioles control Gausman through 2020 and Bundy through 2021, so they have time to wait for can't-refuse offers on each. And while the interest in both pitchers is out there, the question is whether any team values Gausman and/or Bundy as highly as the Orioles surely do.
Since both are having subpar years, that's unlikely. That'll be an excuse for the Orioles to hold on to both and see if things change this winter or next summer.
Boston Red Sox: They'll Load Up with Brian Dozier and Kirby Yates
Since the Boston Red Sox are a championship-hungry juggernaut with notorious trading fiend Dave Dombrowski at the helm, they're probably not going to stop at Eovaldi.
So, let's put Brian Dozier and Kirby Yates in Boston.
The idea of the Red Sox acquiring Yates is nothing new around these parts. And according to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Red Sox are very interested in the veteran right-hander.
Dozier, meanwhile, would be an ideal get for an infield that's missing Dustin Pedroia and Rafael Devers. And while it's "highly unlikely" that Dozier will end up in Boston, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick, it's recently become more likely by default.
With Escobar in Arizona, Moustakas in Milwaukee and Cabrera in Philadelphia, three potential landing spots for Dozier are off the board. That's an opening for the Red Sox to swoop in and steal Dozier from the Minnesota Twins, who need to move him before free agency calls.
Chicago Cubs: They'll Settle for Tyler Clippard
The Cubs aren't going to make a bigger trade than the one they made Friday, when they reeled in Hamels from the Texas Rangers.
They still need a reliever, however. For that, it makes sense to follow the blueprint that led them to Hamels: look for an accomplished veteran who could be energized after being inserted into a pennant race in Chicago.
According to MASN Sports' Roch Kubatko, Brach was one such pitcher who was on the Cubs' radar. Ziegler is another, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, but that ship will also sail if he goes to Arizona.
Tyler Clippard sticks out as a distinct possibility as a Plan C. He's a two-time All-Star who's on a cheap one-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays, and he's turning in a solid year with a 3.81 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 49.2 innings. He'd fit the bill of a low-risk, high-reward buy for the Cubs bullpen.
Chicago White Sox: They're Done Dealing
Now that the Chicago White Sox have found a taker for Soria, their next move will be...
Well, nothing, actually.
The White Sox are the kind of team that should at least be looking to offload rentals. But on that front, all they have left to offer are two valueless pitchers (Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago). They also have James Shields, who has a $2 million buyout coming up, but he's practically valueless.
Otherwise, the White Sox really only have Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu, who are due for free agency after 2019. Garcia's value has been hit hard by the injury bug. Abreu's value is in better shape, but the White Sox are "strongly inclined" to keep him anyway, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Ultimately, manager Rick Renteria's team will look largely the same on August 1.
Cincinnati Reds: They'll Trade Matt Harvey and Stop There
The Cincinnati Reds have been competitive under interim manager Jim Riggleman, and almost all of the players who've made it possible will still be around in 2019.
The lone exception is Matt Harvey, who's revived his trade value since joining the Reds in May. Since he's due for free agency, he's as good as gone between now and Tuesday afternoon.
If the right offers come along, the Reds might also trade slugging second baseman Scooter Gennett and ace closer Raisel Iglesias. But there may no longer be a market for the former. For the latter, the Reds are likely to demand at least what the San Diego Padres got for Hand and Adam Cimber.
As such, things are pointing in the direction of the Reds keeping both and looking to take the next step in 2019. Going off what president of baseball operations Dick Williams told Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer about raising payroll next year, that's the whole idea.
Cleveland Indians: Derek Dietrich Will Be Their Next Big Addition
With Hand and Adam Cimber aboard, the Cleveland Indians bullpen is a lot better now than it was in the first half of 2018.
Their next move must be to upgrade an outfield that's produced a total of 0.5 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference. According to Cafardo, their targets include Adam Jones, Curtis Granderson, Billy Hamilton and Derek Dietrich.
Dietrich is the one who's both readily available and a viable solution. He's a utility man who could play in the outfield and in the infield in Cleveland. He's also a solid hitter who has an .800 OPS this season.
The Indians also wouldn't be renting Dietrich, as his club control runs through 2020. In all, he's just the guy for them.
Colorado Rockies: They'll Let It Ride
Even after trading for Seunghwan Oh and signing Santiago Casilla and Matt Holliday off the scrapheap, the Colorado Rockies still have plenty of holes they could patch before the trade deadline passes.
But will they have the motivation to do so?
After everything went to heck in an 11-16 June, everything is bouncing in the Rockies' favor in July. They're 16-5 for the month, and their offense (.846 OPS) and their pitching (3.19 ERA) share equal credit for that.
From here, the Rockies stand a chance of improving from within. Veteran right-hander Chad Bettis will come off the disabled list soon. They might also call on top prospect Brendan Rodgers to fill in at second base if DJ LeMahieu's injury issues persist.
All told, Colorado has excuses to let it ride.
Detroit Tigers: Nobody Will Move Them on Michael Fulmer or Nicholas Castellanos
Mike Fiers, Leonys Martin, Francisco Liriano and Shane Greene headline the competent role players the Detroit Tigers have to offer, but teams are probably most interested in Michael Fulmer and Nicholas Castellanos.
Still, don't count on either moving.
Fulmer is controlled through 2022, so the Tigers don't need to trade him unless somebody overwhelms them with an offer. Because the former American League Rookie of the Year was having a rough year even before he went on the disabled list, that's not going to happen.
It's more probable that the Tigers will trade Castellanos, who's due for free agency after 2019. But according to Jayson Stark of The Athletic, it'll require a "huge overpay" for the Tigers to move the slugging right fielder. Given that his overall value is hurt by his poor defense, no contender is going to do that.
Kansas City Royals: They're Done Dealing
The Kansas City Royals dealt Kelvin Herrera in June and Moustakas just on Friday.
With that, they're probably done.
Like the White Sox, the Royals are a rebuilder that's short on attractive rentals to unload. With Herrera and Moustakas gone, all they have left are Lucas Duda, Alcides Escobar, Drew Butera, Blaine Boyer and Jason Hammel, who's due a $2 million buyout. None of these guys has value for the Royals to cash in.
The best trade chips in Kansas City are Whit Merrifield and Danny Duffy, each of whom is locked up for the long haul. However, the Royals can wait for Duffy to further rebuild his trade value following his disastrous opening to 2018. And according to Heyman, they've already determined that Merrifield is staying put.
If so, that narrows the Royals' list of viable trade chips down to nil.
Houston Astros: They'll Stop at Ryan Pressly
The Houston Astros were busy last week, acquiring catcher Martin Maldonado from the Los Angeles Angeles and then acquiring right-hander Ryan Pressly from the Twins.
If it seems like the Astros still need a late-inning reliever, that's only because they haven't unlocked Pressly's full potential yet.
As it is, he already boasts a 3.51 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 48.2 innings this season. He thrives on the spin rate of his pitches, which is the highest of any reliever who's thrown at least 500 pitches. The Astros, of course, are notorious for their fondness of spin rate.
"He's somebody that we looked at pretty hard, and he fits how we like to pitch," manager A.J. Hinch said, per Brian McTaggart of MLB.com.
So in Pressly, the Astros have everything they could have asked for in a late-inning reliever. That should spell the end of their deadline activities.
Los Angeles Angels: They'll Keep Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs
Maldonado probably won't be the last player the Angels trade. They have a handful of relievers they can cash in, plus a few veteran rentals (such as Ian Kinsler) who might fit on needy contenders.
And yet, expect them to draw a line at Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs.
The two left-handers have been the subject of plenty of rumors in recent weeks, and why not? Skaggs boasts a 2.62 ERA, and he's controlled through 2020. Heaney has a 3.64 ERA, and he's controlled through 2021.
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, however, the Angels have "no interest" in moving either of them.
Nor should they, given that they certainly don't have to and that they're not looking to rebuild. Indeed, they'll be looking to make the most of 2019 and 2020, which are the final years of Mike Trout's contract.
Los Angeles Dodgers: They'll Go off the Board for Jose Leclerc
The Los Angeles Dodgers pulled off a monumental score when they landed Machado on July 18. But they're not done yet.
According to Nightengale, Los Angeles' next target is a reliever who can help out Kenley Jansen. With obvious candidates to fill that role evaporating off the trade market at a rapid pace, perhaps the Dodgers will go off the board for an unusual suspect.
For example: Jose Leclerc.
The right-hander is making a name for himself with a 2.39 ERA and 53 strikeouts through 37.2 innings for the Rangers. He works off a mid-90s fastball that has loads of spin.
That makes him an ideal fit for a Dodgers bullpen that ranks third in fastball spin rate. As a bonus, they would control Leclerc through 2022.
Miami Marlins: J.T. Realmuto Won't Be Going Anywhere
In all likelihood, Ziegler and Dietrich won't be the only Marlins on their way out of Miami before Tuesday's deadline.
But J.T. Realmuto? Nah.
The 27-year-old catcher has become the best position player on the market amid an All-Star breakout that's highlighted by an .897 OPS. To boot, he's under team control through 2020.
However, he's only "on the market" because the Marlins aren't in a position to hang up on interested parties. To that end, the Washington Nationals may be the only one. And as their hopes of winning the NL East fade, so too might their willingness to meet Miami's asking price.
According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, that involves Victor Robles and Carter Kieboom. Since they're the two best prospects Washington has, that can only increase the likelihood of a "nope" from Washington.
Milwaukee Brewers: They'll Finish with Zack Wheeler
Now that the Milwaukee Brewers have shored up their bullpen with Soria and their lineup with Moustakas, their next move must be to add an impact starter.
Milwaukee's rotation has mostly held together in 2018, but the injury bug is testing its depth. Brent Suter is out of the picture with Tommy John surgery, and neither Jimmy Nelson nor Zach Davies is returning soon.
According to Rosenthal, Zack Wheeler is one of the pitchers the Brewers have had on their radar. The Mets' right-hander is also one of the hottest pitchers on the market. He has a 3.54 ERA over his last 12 starts, courtesy of rising velocity and a decreasing contact rate.
The Brewers might be the only team that needs Wheeler as a true No. 1 starter. Throw in how he would still be around in 2019 in case things don't work out this year, and he's a fit for them every which way.
Minnesota Twins: Ervin Santana Won't Pitch His Way out of Town
Quite a few players are going to be on their way out of Minnesota in the next 24 hours or so, but don't expect Ervin Santana to be one of them.
Despite having his 2018 debut delayed until July 25 by finger surgery, Passan reports there's a good deal of interest in Santana. After all, he's an accomplished veteran who was an All-Star and Cy Young Award candidate just last year.
However, it sure seems like Santana needs more time to get his groove back. Although his first start off the DL wasn't a total disaster, his fastball velocity was way down and his contact rate was way up.
Rather than jump the gun, contenders are more likely to wait and see if Santana rebuilds his value during the August waiver period. Failing that, the Twins have the option of holding on to him for 2019.
New York Mets: For the Last Time, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard Are Staying
It's been loads of fun to speculate about where the Mets might trade Jacob deGrom and/or Noah Syndergaard, as well as what kind of prospect riches they might get for them.
Yet, it's never been likely that either would actually go anywhere. And so it goes now.
Although reports have consistently stated the Mets are willing to listen on deGrom and Syndergaard, there's also been a consistent sense that they won't move either right-hander unless they're completely overwhelmed. Rightfully so, given that the Mets control both aces for several more years.
With Syndergaard's value diminished by frequent trips to the DL over the last two years, the chances of somebody satisfying the Mets with an offer for him are probably zip. While deGrom's value is in far better shape, the list of teams that both need him and can trade for him looks pretty much empty at this point.
New York Yankees: They'll Bring Back Curtis Granderson
Just when the New York Yankees seemed to have everything they needed following trades for Britton and Happ, a wayward fastball struck and broke Aaron Judge's wrist.
According to Sherman, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman understands he doesn't have much choice but to scour the market for an outfielder. Among his most readily available options is to reunite with Granderson, who wore pinstripes between 2010 and 2013.
Granderson is no longer the 40-homer slugger that he was with the Yankees. But his .756 OPS is proof that he can still hit. He's also held his own at all three outfield spots for the Toronto Blue Jays this year.
Throw in how Granderson is only making $5 million, as well as how the Blue Jays and Yankees should be plenty familiar with each other after the Happ trade. What you get is a recipe for a deal.
Oakland Athletics: They'll Commit to Starting Mike Fiers
The Oakland A's have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since June 16, and they secured one of MLB's better bullpens when they acquired Familia on July 21.
Their next task must be to address a rotation that could use some reliability after staff ace Sean Manaea.
For this, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports the A's aren't "particularly enthusiastic" about the starting pitching market. But if they do trade for a starter, chances are they'll copy the low-risk, high-reward formula that produced their deal for Familia.
Fiers would be perfect.
He's been on Oakland's radar, according to Jon Paul Morosi of MLB.com, and his main attractions include his control and his ability to eat innings. To boot, the Coliseum may be the ideal park for curing his home run problem. Per ESPN's park factors, it's the least homer-friendly ballpark in the American League.
Philadelphia Phillies: They'll Stop at Asdrubal Cabrera
The Philadelphia Phillies philled...er, filled their biggest need when they acquired Asdrubal Cabrera. He's far from the best defender they could have added at shortstop, but the position sorely needed his bat.
What's next for the Phillies? Potentially nothing, according to GM Matt Klentak.
"I wouldn't rule out another move, but I wouldn't predict one either," he said, per Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
The Phillies are already in first place and playing better than any other team in the NL East, to boot. And because their bullpen is doing its part with a 2.71 ERA in July, what had been the team's biggest non-shortstop need has suddenly taken care of itself.
All these things considered, Klentak has license to stand pat ahead of the deadline.
Pittsburgh Pirates: They'll Make Good on Their Interest in Keone Kela
In no time at all, the Pittsburgh Pirates have transformed from an obvious seller to a potential buyer.
"We would love to add," GM Neal Huntington said, per Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "If there's something out there that makes sense and makes us better, we're absolutely open to that."
The Pirates are relatively short on obvious needs, but a bullpen that's produced just a 4.25 ERA could use some extra upside. That explains their "legitimate interest" in Keone Kela, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
The Rangers right-hander has had his ups and downs, but he's only 25 and racked up 11 strikeouts per nine innings throughout his career. At work, there is a fastball that sits at 96.8 mph.
That heater would fit well in a Pittsburgh pen that's built on high-speed fastballs. And since Kela is controlled through 2021, the Pirates would have him for a while after 2018.
San Diego Padres: They'll Pull off a Chris Archer Surprise
Since they're at the bottom of the entire National League with a 42-66 record, the San Diego Padres don't fit the usual profile of a trade deadline buyer.
They've nonetheless been connected to some of the best pitchers on the market, and they're doing more than just kicking tires. Per Heyman, they're the favorites to land Chris Archer.
As strange as it may seem, now actually is a good time for the Padres to pursue the Rays ace. They have more than enough prospects to deal, and adding to their rotation now could be instrumental in turning them into a contender in the near future.
The Padres also match up well with the Rays. Top catching prospect Francisco Mejia, whom the Padres just acquired in the Brad Hand/Adam Cimber trade, is needed more in Tampa Bay than in San Diego. The Padres also have spare outfielders to offer.
San Francisco Giants: They'll Stand Pat
At this point, the San Francisco Giants need to seriously consider selling.
They're 9-14 in July, and the injury bug just won't leave them alone. They're already missing Brandon Belt, Joe Panik, Hunter Strickland and Jeff Samardzija, and now there's renewed concern over Johnny Cueto's elbow.
However, selling typically isn't in the Giants' character. And since they're still only six games out in the NL wild-card race, it's hard to imagine that they're in a rush to abandon their principles.
This is not to suggest that the Giants will be looking to buy in these final hours before the deadline. Even if they wanted to, their hands are bound by a weak farm system and their luxury tax situation.
Rather, the guess here is that they'll end up doing nothing and hope that August brings some clarity. Either they'll play their way back into the race, or they'll look to see what they can do in the waiver period.
Seattle Mariners: They'll Nab Matt Harvey for Their Rotation
The Seattle Mariners have already deepened their lineup and bullpen through trades for Denard Span, Alex Colome and, most recently, Sam Tuivailala.
They still haven't addressed their biggest need, however: their rotation. This should be their excuse to make good on their reported interest (per Crasnick) in Matt Harvey.
Harvey has gone from a 7.00 ERA with the Mets to a 4.44 ERA with the Reds, and even that doesn't fully cover the strides he's made. His fastball velocity is getting better and better over time, and his contact rate has recently begun to follow suit.
These things make Harvey as good an upside play as anyone for the rest of the season. Since their potential prizes include a wild-card berth or, even better, an AL West title, the Mariners are just the team to gravitate toward such a play.
St. Louis Cardinals: They Won't Go as Far as Trading Matt Carpenter
Mike Matheny was just the beginning. Since sacking their manager on July 14, the St. Louis Cardinals have also been doing some house-cleaning with their roster.
Although the effort is bound to continue up to and perhaps beyond the trade deadline, Matt Carpenter almost certainly won't be a part of a purge.
Since he's been getting hotter as the Cardinals have been getting colder, there's been some speculation (including by FanGraphs' Craig Edwards) that they'll consider cashing in his sky-high trade value. In addition to a career-best .953 OPS, Carpenter has a team-friendly contract that runs through 2020.
But as easy as it is to speculate, it's harder to see the Cardinals actually following through on a Carpenter trade. They're only 5.0 games out in the NL wild-card race, and they clearly plan on contending in 2019 no matter what happens this year.
In either event, they're best served holding on to their best hitter.
Tampa Bay Rays: They'll Hold on to Wilson Ramos, At Least
If the Rays do trade Chris Archer, he'll be added to a list of departed assets that already includes Denard Span, Alex Colome, Nathan Eovaldi, Jonny Venters, Brad Miller and Matt Andriese.
So, the question here is who won't be traded by the Rays before Tuesday's deadline. To this end, Wilson Ramos is really the only safe bet.
Ramos had been enjoying a return to form in the first half of 2018. Through 78 games, he put up an .834 OPS and slugged 14 home runs. Factor in his modest $8.5 million salary, and he was positioned to be one of the top rentals on the market.
But then Ramos went on the DL with a hamstring strain just before the All-Star break. He could still be traded, but a contender probably won't give the green light until he shows he's healthy. That won't happen until the August waiver period.
Texas Rangers: They'll Keep Adrian Beltre
Cole Hamels is already out the door in Texas. Up next should be Keone Kela, Jose Leclerc and perhaps Jake Diekman.
Adrian Beltre could also go, but the odds favor the future Hall of Famer staying with the Rangers.
According to MLB.com's TR Sullivan, Beltre will waive his 10-and-5 rights only if a trade gives him "a real chance to win." Since they're not currently slated to make the playoffs, this could complicate a potential trade to the Braves, who have showed up more frequently in Beltre rumors than any other team.
Regardless, Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram heard this: "One baseball source downplayed the Atlanta Braves’ interest in Beltre, who has given them the impression that he wants to remain with the Rangers."
This could be the Red Sox's cue to pursue a reunion with Beltre. But if they do indeed have a shot at Brian Dozier, here's guessing they'll prefer him.
Toronto Blue Jays: They'll Keep Their Controllable Guys
The Blue Jays only scratched the surface of their rentals when they traded J.A. Happ and Seunghwan Oh. Including Curtis Granderson, there's plenty more where they came from.
Toronto's best trade chips, however, are the guys they control beyond 2018. Those include Justin Smoak, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez and, perhaps best of all, Marcus Stroman. According to Morosi, the Braves are one team that has reached out about Stroman.
However, the Blue Jays don't have much incentive to deal Stroman now. His value has been sunk by injuries and a 5.20 ERA, so they'd be selling low on him.
Besides, by acquiring two MLB-ready players in Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney, the Blue Jays just made a play for 2019 in the Happ trade. If everyone else stays put and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette live up to expectations, that play could very well work out.
Washington Nationals: They Won't Trade Bryce Harper
The Nationals can see the writing on the wall at this point in their hugely disappointing season. According to Passan, they've begun gauging interest in the pieces they have to sell.
By far their biggest trade chip is Bryce Harper, who's due for free agency at the end of the year. But that's where GM Mike Rizzo wants everyone to check themselves.
“Something extreme would have to happen for us to consider moving him," Rizzo told Sherman.
This would presumably involve a contender making the Nationals an offer that they deem worthy of Harper. This could prove difficult. The Nationals surely value the former MVP as a superstar. In reality, he's merely been a star this season and for most of his career.
There's also the question of whether the Nats are truly dead yet. Because they're still very much in the NL wild-card and NL East races, they may not be. At least, not dead enough to deal the cornerstone of their lineup.
Stats are accurate through play on Saturday, July 28, and are courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs.