By: Eli Silverstone
Predicting where a player will land at the deadline is quite the task. What's easier and more realistic is to take a look at each franchise and predict what they will do at the deadline based on where they sit in the standings, players contracts and past moves in prior seasons. The trade deadline can get crazy so the best we can do is educated guesses.
The first place Orioles need a name brand starter when the playoffs come. Tyler Wells, Dean Kremer, and Kyle Bradish have been surprisingly great for them but sometimes that ace puts you over the top. They definitely have the prospect capital to make a big splash.
Potential Options: Marcus Stroman, Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery
New York Yankees
The Yanks are all in with this core and it doesn't seem like they will sell despite being last in the division. This team lacks offense, especially in the outfield while Aaron Judge is hurt. That’s where they should add a consistent bat.
Potential Options: Cody Bellinger, Jeimer Candelario, Elias Diaz
Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays have been inconsistent for 4 seasons now and have bought at every deadline. Why should we think 2023 will be any different? An extra starter, high leverage reliever or bench bat seems to be the plan.
Potential options: Jordan Hicks, Brooks Raley, Tommy Pham
Tampa Bay Rays
After starting 30-9, the Rays have been playing .500 baseball and have lost the AL East crown. They rarely make large moves at the deadline but a big trade would make everyone remember who the beasts of the East are.
Potential options: Dylan Cease, Josh Hader, Yasmani Grandal
Boston Red Sox
Stuck between buying and selling, the Red Sox should stay put at the deadline. It’s a solid roster and a good farm system but this isn't the year to go all in. Trading Kike Hernandez to the Dodgers may have seemed like a seller move, but he wasn’t bringing much to the Red Sox this year.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals made their decision to sell a couple of weeks ago, dealing Aroldis Chapman to the Rangers. Now, all signs point to the firesale continuing. The Royals have the 29th ranked farm system in the Majors despite being bad for the past 6 seasons… What are they doing over there?
Potential selling pieces: Scott Barlow, Salvador Perez, Nicky Lopez
The current leaders of the AL Central have a good roster and should try and get a firm hold of the division in the second half. Filling needs at corner infield, CF, and C could go a long way.
Potential options: Jeimer Candelario, CJ Cron, Cody Bellinger
Chicago White Sox
Restart it all. I don't know where it went wrong for them but they are currently 14 games out of the Wildcard and this group of players clearly ain't working.
Potential selling pieces: Everyone not named Luis Robert and maybe Eloy Jimenez.
The Tigers were going to wait until the last minute before this deadline because they were only 5 games behind the Twins for the Central. But after a couple of losses, they now sit 7 back. This team has made moves to win with adding Eduardo Rodriguez, Javier Baez and Michael Lorenzen but it looks like they will be sold off at the deadline.
Potential selling options: Michael Lorenzen, Eduardo Rodriguez, Alex Lange
Right on the Twins tail, the Guardians biggest decision was going to be about Shane Bieber. But with his recent placement on the 60-day-IL, the focus shifts. Still, the message should stay the same in Cleveland, trade from your surplus of pitchers to acquire proven hitters.
Potential options: Joc Pederson, Randal Grichuk, Lane Thomas
The Mariners are a solid team that's committed to winning, but they would have to leapfrog multiple teams to make the playoffs. The M’s have a great young rotation to build around but overly buying in on a year where you lost Robbie Ray to injury and Julio Rodriguez is sophomore-slumping doesn't seem wise. What to do with expiring free agent Teoscar Hernandez though? Seattle stays put or adds a corner outfielder.
Practically everyone on the Rangers is having the best year of their career and it’s led to a slight lead over Houston for the division. Now’s the time to go all in, which they’ve shown the past 2 offseasons they are willing to do. Losing Jacob DeGrom was brutal so another ace and another high-leverage bullpen arm will be the focus.
Potential options: Lucas Giolito, David Robertson, Justin Verlander
There is no question that the A’s are selling but what exactly do they have to sell? Their lone All-Star representative Brent Rooker is hitting .164 the past month and they aren’t going to sell their young guys like Shea Langeliers and Esteury Ruiz. Whoever they do sell, the idea should be to restock a desperate farm system.
Potential selling options: Rooker, JP Sears, Paul Blackburn
The Astros had a hold on this division since the mid 2010’s, so they will be looking to reclaim their lead. A clear #2 SP to pair with Framber Valdez and a possible LF to let Yordan Alvarez ease back into the lineup are clear needs.
Potential options: Marcus Stroman, Dylan Cease, Charlie Blackmon
Los Angeles Angels
The most polarizing team at the deadline. If they trade Shohei Ohtani it also means you have failed Mike Trout. They’ve never made the playoffs together and the Rangers, Astros and Mariners all have better teams and better looking futures. Worst case scenario: miss the playoffs, Ohtani leaves in 2 months, trade Trout to give him a shot at making the playoffs because he’ll be 32. Best case scenario: Angels make the playoffs with Ohtani. The middle option is trading Ohtani but not getting the return you’d want because he’s a rental. They are behind 3 teams in the Wildcard race and 4 games back but it’s looking like they will hold onto him.
New York Mets
This year has not gone as planned for the Mets but there isn't a big rush to sell. Just last year they won 101 games (of course they blew the division to the Braves in the final weekend though). David Robertson and Tommy Pham will probably be traded but they can keep this core for next year and hope Father Time doesn’t hurt their old guys too much.
Potential selling options: Robertson, Pham, Carlos Carrasco
Who saw this coming? The Marlins are right in the thick of the Wildcard race in late July and are a SP, RP and SS away from looking like a threat. Getting Jazz Chisholm healthy and Sandy Alcantara back on track are key for them down the stretch
Potential options: Jordan Hicks, Lane Thomas, Tim Anderson
The rich get richer. Despite getting hit by the injury bug a fair bit this season, they are still the team to beat. Add a 3rd starter after Spencer Strider and Max Fried and maybe a LF and you can let it ride from there.
Potential options: Dylan Cease, Randal Grichuk, Eduardo Rodriguez
They’ve been seeing solid development from young players like Keibert Ruiz, Mackenzie Gore and CJ Abrams who they have received in past deadlines. They took a one-year flyer on Jeimer Candelario and it’s paid off, so despite being 40-58, it hasn't been a bad year. That said, they probably sell a few players off.
Potential selling options: Candelario, Patrick Corbin, Hunter Harvey
Last year's NL Pennant winners feel like they need a bit of a jolt to get them into a Wildcard spot. This roster on paper should be ahead of the Giants, D-backs and Reds. They should add someone who can play defense in the outfield so they can get Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber out of the field. Beyond that, a 5th starter and one more high-leverage bullpen piece seems to be the plan.
Potential options: Cody Bellinger, Scott Barlow, Michael Lorenzen
One of the more fun teams this season couldn't sustain their hot start and will now do a slight sell. The desirable pieces the Pirates do have are young or just don’t seem available such as Jack Suwinski or Bryan Reynolds. Hopefully they hold onto David Bednar because closers like him don't come around every day.
Potential selling options: David Bednar, Connor Joe, Carlos Santana
The Cubs aren’t out of it yet but also don’t seem like they are going to re-sign Marcus Stroman or Cody Bellinger. This seems a bit weird but without those two, this roster is just OK. Last year everyone thought they were going to sell Ian Happ and they didn't, so maybe they’ll end up extending Bellinger.
Potential selling options: Marcus Stroman, Cody Bellinger, Patrick Wisdom
One of the best stories in sports this year. The Reds have zero room for position players with all their top hitting prospects graduating and playing big roles for them. The rumour is that they are even shopping Johnathan India for pitching. Expect them to be players in the pitching market.
Potential options: Lance Lynn, Eduardo Rodriguez, Jack Flaherty
St. Louis Cardinals
It has been an absolute nightmare year but the rumors say the Cards will be holding on to their cornerstone pieces such as Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt. It’s highly expected that pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Jack Flaherty will be moved though.
Potential selling options: Montgomery, Flaherty, Jordan Hicks
Currently in a great battle for the NL Central with the Reds, the Brewers need a little more offense at the deadline. A bounce back season from Christian Yelich and a solid offensive season from William Contreras are the only players in Milwaukee’s lineup that have been above-average hitters (OPS+ above 100). A corner infielder and outfielder will be their main targets.
Potential options: Andrew Mccutchen, Mark Canha, CJ Cron
Los Angeles Dodgers
They’ve been buyers at the deadline every year for the past decade and 2023 looks no different. Don’t expect a deadline like 2021 where they added Trea Turner and Max Scherzer though, they seem to have their sights set on signing Shohei in the offseason. This Dodgers team is one of the thinner they’ve had in recent years, running out rookie starters and veterans on the wrong side of their prime. But of course they are still in first place in the NL West. One or two proven starters, a middle infielder and an OF are on their wishlist this deadline.
Potential options: Jack Flaherty, Tim Anderson, Tommy Pham
San Francisco Giants
The Giants currently hold the second Wildcard spot in the NL and they should be happy about where their season is going. Their offense and bullpen has been solid but they lack a third pitcher they feel confidence in. Anthony Desclafani, Ross Stripling, Sean Manea and Alex Wood have all been below average and this puts the Giants in the SP market.
Potential options: Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodriguez, Marcus Stroman
The fire sale has already begun with the Rockies dealing Pierce Johnson to Atlanta. Players such as Elias Diaz, Randal Grichuk, Justin Lawrence, Jurickson Profar, CJ Cron and more should all be out the door in the coming days.
San Diego Padres
The most puzzling team in baseball. They are clearly going for it by trading for Juan Soto and Josh Hader at the deadline last year and adding Xander Bogaerts this offseason. Yet they sit 5.5 back of the last Wildcard spot and have Blake Snell and Hader’s contracts expiring in a couple months. Do you hold on to them and make a push for the playoffs or do you take a step back, trade them and try again in 2024? Soto’s expiring 2024 contract looms large so they should hold onto Snell/Hader and add some bullpen relief.
Potential options: Justin Lawrence, Brooks Raley, Lane Thomas
This is the closest the Diamondbacks have gotten to the playoffs since 2017 but are sputtering down the stretch (5-12 in July). They need to get it back on track because there's about 5 teams on their tail. One of the top-end starters on the market might find themselves in Arizona in the next week if the D-backs are smart.
Potential options: Marcus Stroman, Lucas Giolito, Eduardo Rodriguez