MLB Trade Deadline Buyers and Sellers With a Month to Go Before The Deadline
The trade deadline is nearing in the MLB. With only a few weeks to go before the deadline, the buyers and sellers at the deadline are starting to become clear.
The MLB trade deadline is approaching, and questions will soon be asked about which teams should be buyers at the deadline and which teams should be sellers. As the expanded playoff field takes effect for the first time this season, it will be interesting to see how that affects trade deadline strategies.
Here is a look at who should buy and sell in each division as the trade negotiations begin to increase.
Buyers: Mets, Phillies, Braves
The NL East has become much more competitive in recent weeks. The Mets have been dealing with a series of injuries in their starting rotation, and the Braves and Phillies have been playing better and are now both above .500.
Last season, the Braves made major changes to their outfield at the deadline and it resulted in the team winning the World Series. The team could pursue another bat this year after an injury to Ozzie Albies, in addition to adding a starting pitcher or another pitcher for their bullpen.
The Phillies will hope to strengthen their bullpen at the deadline, which has been an issue for the franchise for the last several years.
Meanwhile, the Mets will most likely be aggressive at the deadline and are one of the most logical trade destinations for Willson Contreras. After several pitching injuries, the team may also add starting pitching depth.
The Marlins will be interesting to watch, as they have improved this year but need to add more offensive talent to take the next step, although they might not be, and don’t need to be, aggressive at the deadline.
The Nationals, at 25-47, are entering a significant rebuild. This season will see the team try to acquire prospects, and next year will likely see the team trade Juan Soto.
Buyers: Brewers, Cardinals
Sellers: Cubs, Reds
The NL Central features two playoff contenders in the Brewers and the Cardinals and three of the worst teams in baseball; the Pirates, Reds, and Cubs. The Brewers have dealt with injuries to Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, and Aaron Ashby and will need to add pitching depth at the deadline.
It is also likely the team needs to make moves at the MLB trade deadline to improve their offense, where the team has been below average all season.
St. Louis just saw Jack Flaherty return from an injury, and Jordan Hicks recently began a rehab assignment after an injury earlier this year. The Cardinals could likely use a middle infielder or at the very least a left-handed hitter, which could make them the favorite in the division.
In Cincinnati, it looks as if an extended rebuild is about to begin, and Tommy Pham and Luis Castillo will almost certainly be traded. Castillo might be the best starting pitcher available at the deadline.
The Cubs will likely be one of the most active teams at the MLB trade deadline for the second year in a row. Willson Contreras is almost certainly going to be traded, and Ian Happ, Kyle Hendricks, David Robertson, Wade Miley, and Drew Smyly could all also leave Chicago.
Pittsburgh appears to be nearing the end of its rebuild as the Pirates have shown significant improvement this season. Most of the group of players that will be part of the next contending team for the Pirates is already in place, but they could make a trade for young pitching, although it is doubtful they will be significant sellers at the MLB trade deadline.
Buyers: Padres, Dodgers, Giants
For the second year in a row, the NL West is one of the most intense division battles in the MLB. Three teams, the Dodgers, Padres, and Giants, are separated by just 5.5 games.
All three teams have dealt with injuries. The Padres have been without Fernando Tatis for the entire season, the Dodgers recently saw Mookie Betts go on the injured list, and the Giants have had injuries to LaMonte Wade and Anthony DeSclafani, the latter having just returned from the IL last week.
Los Angeles has already made a trade for Trayce Thompson to add to their outfield depth, and another trade for an outfielder and another bullpen arm is possible. The Padres will almost certainly try to strengthen their outfield before the MLB trade deadline, and the Giants will likely hope to add a middle-of-the-order bat to their lineup.
As with the Mets, San Francisco is one of the most logical trade partners for the Cubs in a potential Willson Contreras MLB trade deadline deal.
The Diamondbacks have been much improved this year, and many of the prospects in their farm system are beginning to reach or near the MLB, led by Alek Thomas. Madison Bumgarner is likely to be traded, but Arizona will likely keep most of their other players.
Colorado is still in a transition phase, and Kris Bryant’s injury troubles this year have resulted in a 30-40 record for the team. Bryant has played just 17 games this season, and the Rockies will likely trade several players in an effort to acquire prospects.
Buyers: Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Rays
Like the NL West, the AL East is extremely competitive in 2022. The Yankees have been the best team in baseball for most of the season, and the Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Rays are all playoff contenders.
As with every team, the Yankees will look to add relief pitching at the deadline. A trade for someone like Ian Happ, who has a year of team-control remaining beyond this year, could also make sense for the team. He would add a player that gets on base and who is a switch hitter ahead of Judge and Stanton in the Yankees’ batting order.
The Blue Jays are among the teams who most need to improve their bullpen at the MLB trade deadline. Toronto’s bullpen has been inconsistent outside of Jordan Romano, and with an already solid lineup and starting rotation, the bullpen has the most room for improvement.
Boston had a bad start to the year but has improved lately. The Red Sox have moved ahead of the Rays in the division. They will most likely target pitching at the deadline, and adding a starter such as Frankie Montas or Castillo would be a big boost to the Red Sox’s playoff hopes.
Tampa Bay will be an interesting team to watch over the next few weeks and might be the closest team on this list to moving into the neutral or sellers category. The Rays have dealt with an incredible amount of injuries in the last few weeks. Manuel Margot, Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Lowe, Wander Franco, and Mike Zunino are all on the injured list for the Rays.
Franco is likely the closest to a return and has started a rehab assignment. Lowe just recently started swinging a bat and is likely a few weeks away from a return. Kiermaier and Margot were just recently placed on the IL, with Margot having already been placed on the 60-day IL, while Zunino is likely still far away from a return.
The Rays are still competitive in the wild card race, but with so many injuries the next few weeks could have a dramatic effect on their strategy at the deadline. It is looking increasingly likely that Tampa Bay will not be aggressive in making deadline deals.
Baltimore, like Pittsburgh, is likely nearing the end of its rebuild but has a couple of players on expiring contracts. The Orioles will trade those players at the deadline and probably add the last few prospects to their farm system to finish their rebuilding process.
Buyers: Twins, Guardians
Neutral: White Sox
Sellers: Royals, Tigers
Just like the Rays, the White Sox have dealt with several key injuries that have affected their season. Originally, it appeared the White Sox would be a buyer at the deadline, but unless they play well over the next few weeks it is unlikely they will make any major trades.
The Twins and Guardians are both likely to pursue additions at the deadline. Minnesota will likely try to trade for starting pitching, especially Montas or Castillo. Cleveland, on the other hand, will try to add another player to its lineup to strengthen what has been a surprisingly productive offense.
Both the Tigers and Royals have disappointed this year in seasons where they both expected to be improved. The Royals will almost certainly trade Andrew Benintendi, who will be one of the best outfielders available. Detroit will trade some of their relief pitchers away, and possibly also Tucker Barnhart.
Buyers: Astros, Angels
Neutral: Mariners, Rangers
Oakland will be one of the most interesting teams to watch at the trade deadline. Frankie Montas, along with Castillo, is one of the best starting pitchers available in a trade this summer. There will be several teams competing to trade for him, and the A’s will likely receive multiple good prospects to add to their farm system.
The Astros will look to add at the trade deadline, and potentially could pursue Willson Contreras, although they may not be willing to match the offers of some of the other teams involved. An MLB trade deadline move for a reliever, or even a starting pitcher, could also make sense for the team.
As Shohei Ohtani’s contract nears its end, the Angels could be aggressive at the deadline to try to win a World Series with Ohtani and Mike Trout on their roster. The Angels still need to add a starting pitcher, although it is unlikely the A’s would trade Montas within their own division without getting a significantly better offer, which might limit the players available to Los Angeles.
An infielder could also be a logical trade target for the team.
Last season the Mariners both traded away and acquired players at the deadline, and this year could be similar. Mitch Haniger is in the last year of his contract and is a logical trade candidate if he is healthy before the deadline.
However, Seattle is unlikely to totally give up on this season and will look to make a trade for any players with multiple years of control remaining that they could add to their rebuild.
Texas added Corey Seager and Marcus Semien to their roster this offseason, but both players haven’t played as well as expected, and the team is 33-35. Despite that, the Rangers are still second in the division and remain in the AL wild-card race.
As with the Mariners, the Rangers could look to both add players and trade players away, but a good few weeks ahead of the deadline could make them buyers in July.
This year’s MLB trade deadline is on August 2nd. Negotiations will begin to increase intensity soon, and some of the first deals ahead of the deadline could take place in the next few weeks.
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