Trading

MLB trade candidates for each team in 2022

The Aug. 2 Trade Deadline will be here before you know it, and as we get closer to the All-Star break, it’s a great time to consider what trade chips each club has to offer, whether they’re in postseason contention, out of contention or somewhere in between. With the help of each MLB.com beat writer, here’s a look at one trade chip for each team as summer heats up:

Blue Jays: A wealth of catching depth
The Blue Jays aren’t lacking prospects, with No. 3 prospect Jordan Groshans a possibility here, but they have no chip more valuable than their catching depth. Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk are both rolling at the Major League level, but the Blue Jays also have No. 1 prospect Gabriel Moreno on the cusp. Given that Moreno is baseball’s No. 4 prospect, he’s close to untouchable, but teams around the league will be placing calls on this trio given the lack of depth at this position across baseball. Moving a catcher would be more of a “baseball move” than “buying,” given how all three are ready to contribute to MLB wins right now, but this should open plenty of doors for the Blue Jays if they choose to explore it. — Keegan Matheson

Orioles: 1B/OF Trey Mancini
Though he and the Orioles added a mutual option for 2023 to his deal, Mancini has acknowledged that it does little to change his future in Baltimore. Seen as the club’s biggest trade chip at the start of the year, Mancini’s done little to change that, with a batting average hovering around .300 and on-base percentage around .377 that leads the Orioles and would serve a club looking for more production from its first baseman. Mancini is still searching for some enhanced power, but he can also play the outfield. Same goes for fellow trade chip Anthony Santander. — Zachary Silver

Rays: Middle infield prospects / 2B/3B Xavier Edwards
As the Rays vie for a fourth straight postseason appearance, it’s fair to assume they’ll aim high in their Trade Deadline pursuits, much like they did when trying to sign Freddie Freeman during Spring Training. With a deep position player group and a farm system that churns out wave after wave of young talent, the Rays might be able to put a talented prospect like Edwards on the table to bolster this year’s club in a big way. This isn’t necessarily meant to single out Edwards, the Rays’ No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. But their system is particularly rich on middle infielders, and those jobs are currently taken at Tropicana Field by young, controllable players like Wander Franco, Brandon Lowe, Taylor Walls, Vidal Bruján and Isaac Paredes. — Adam Berry

Red Sox: DH J.D. Martinez
The star slugger is off to a terrific start, which only increases his value if the Red Sox are only on the bubble of contention by the Trade Deadline. Martinez is a free agent at season’s end. With the universal DH now in effect, there are many contenders who might want to get a look at Martinez for the final couple months of the season and then make an effort to retain him in the offseason. It seems less likely the Sox would move star shortstop and team leader Xander Bogaerts because of how much that would upset the fanbase, not to mention the clubhouse. What might the Red Sox look for in a trade? A controllable bullpen arm or two. — Ian Browne

Yankees: LHP Ken Waldichuk
The No. 5 prospect in the Yankees organization according to MLB Pipeline, Waldichuk has been a fast riser over the past couple of seasons, drawing attention by ringing up 163 strikeouts across 110 Minor League innings in 2021 (36 percent strikeout rate). Now touching 98 mph with his fastball, Waldichuk has carried that success into his 2022 performance at Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, knocking on the door of a big league callup. While the Yankees consider prospects Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez to be off-limits, Waldichuk might be an appealing trade chip this summer. — Bryan Hoch

Guardians: Middle infield prospects / SS Amed Rosario
This is the safe answer for Cleveland. The team’s biggest problem moving forward is sorting out its middle infield. Rosario has spent most of his time at shortstop (since there’s nowhere else to put him), forcing Andrés Giménez, who may be the shortstop of the future for the Guardians, to stay at second base. And once one opening becomes available up the middle, the organization has top prospects in Gabriel Arias (No. 3), Brayan Rocchio (No. 4) and Tyler Freeman (No. 5) to turn to. Considering all three could be realistic options for the big league squad next season, Cleveland may be able to trade one away for a decent return. This could also be the first year that ace Shane Bieber hears his name thrown around or maybe another starter. But for once, we at least know José Ramírez won’t be part of any phone calls. — Mandy Bell

Royals: LF Andrew Benintendi
Benintendi has been the Royals’ best hitter, and it’s not even close. He’s having a career year at the plate, slashing .321/.384/.415, and he’s in his final season before free agency, making the $8.5 million that he won in an arbitration case. He also is coming off his first Gold Glove Award campaign in left field last year. The 27-year-old is a perfect candidate for a contending team that needs a line-drive-hitting outfielder who can also play a reliable left field. While he will be a rental, the Royals should lock up a decent trade package for him. They’ll be looking for high-level prospects with an emphasis on pitching, third base and the outfield as they look toward the future. — Anne Rogers

Tigers: OF Robbie Grossman
The Tigers are likely to have a glut of outfielders later this season once top prospect Riley Greene arrives, Austin Meadows recovers from vertigo and Akil Baddoo returns from Triple-A Toledo. Grossman is a free agent at season’s end and provides a veteran bat near the top of the batting order. If Detroit can’t turn its season around, the stretch run could be an opportunity to sort out which of its many young outfielders fit in the long-term picture, such as Derek Hill, Daz Cameron and Kody Clemens. That could leave Grossman as the odd man out. — Jason Beck

Twins: INF/OF Austin Martin
The Twins are well on their way to becoming buyers at the Trade Deadline, and the issue with finding a trade chip among their top prospects is that much of their top 10 is either already in the big leagues or will likely be needed to help the MLB team soon. But with Royce Lewis seemingly at his best following two seasons away from competitive action, Martin no longer has a clear fit at shortstop — and his stock at that position is sinking this season, anyhow. The problem is that the defensive struggles and lack of performance at the plate don’t exactly do wonders for his potential trade value, but he’s two years away from having been the No. 5 overall pick in the MLB Draft — and the Twins will likely figure to need top-tier pitching help.

White Sox: Pitching prospects
The White Sox are one of two teams in the Majors without a Top 100 Prospect, per MLB Pipeline. But it doesn’t mean that clubs won’t be interested in Chicago’s ample pitching in the farm system. In the White Sox Top 30 Prospects list: Sixteen are pitchers, including No. 5 Norge Vera, No. 9 Jared Kelley and No. 10 Matthew Thompson. The team’s top pitching prospect, Vera, hasn’t pitched this year due to a lat strain, but his 2021 season in Rookie ball — 1-0 in seven starts with no earned runs allowed and 34 strikeouts — makes him a strong target for teams looking to move a veteran player. — Joey Pollizze

Angels: OF Jo Adell
Adell is back in the Majors with fellow outfielder Taylor Ward on the injured list with a mild right hamstring strain, but he’s spent much of the season at Triple-A Salt Lake. Adell is a former top prospect who has had some issues making contact at the plate, and his defense in the outfield remains a work in progress. But his raw power is undeniable and he’s still just 23. The Angels could stick with Adell but they have a crowded outfield that already features Mike Trout, Brandon Marsh and Ward. If the Angels are buyers, they’ll likely go after pitching, and Adell could be the best chip they have to offer. — Rhett Bollinger

Astros: OF Chas McCormick
The return of center fielder Jake Meyers later this month clutters the Astros’ outfield situation, which has Jose Siri and McCormick splitting time in center and a pair of Triple-A outfielders having some success. With budding stars Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez entrenched in the outfield with Meyers, there are movable parts. That means McCormick and/or Siri could be pieces to be moved at the Trade Deadline. At Triple-A, Pedro Leon is producing runs while playing mostly center, and Corey Julks hit 10 homers in the month of May. There’s no place for them all. — Brian McTaggart

Athletics: RHP Frankie Montas
Montas is once again performing as one of baseball’s top arms. In addition to holding an ERA of 3.06, the right-hander leads AL starters in innings pitched (70 2/3), ranks fourth in strikeouts (78), 11th in WHIP (1.00) and 13th in opponents’ batting average (.211) through 12 starts. The A’s, who remain in last place in the AL West, began their rebuild this spring by trading away stars Matt Chapman, Matt Olson, Chris Bassitt and Sean Manaea. With Montas emerging as a likely All-Star, Oakland should find no shortage of suitors willing to give up premier prospects for a power arm with one more year of arbitration left after 2022. — Martín Gallegos

Mariners: RHP Paul Sewald
Seattle is far from a sell-off in this season of expectations, but if things don’t turn around over the next six weeks, that could change. Contending teams are always in the market for high-end relievers such as Sewald, who has emerged as one of the better such arms in the AL. If it sounds far-fetched that the Mariners would deal him, consider that Seattle president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto did so with his best leverage arm last year, Kendall Graveman, on July 27, when the Mariners were nine games above .500 and one game back of the second AL Wild Card spot. — Daniel Kramer

Rangers: INF/OF Nick Solak / infield prospects
If the Rangers are hovering around .500 by the Trade Deadline, it’s unlikely they’ll go full fire sale like they did in 2021. With the Angels in a slump that could leave the second spot in the division up for grabs, there’s no need to repeat the past and trade ace left-hander Martín Pérez, who is currently on a one-year contract, as they did with ace Kyle Gibson last season. However, the Rangers do have a plethora of middle infield prospects — Justin Foscue, Davis Wendzel, Jonathan Ornelas, etc. — who may be on the move because of the blockbuster deals with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. Solak could also be in the same situation because he was recently optioned to Triple-A. — Kennedi Landry

Braves: OF Drew Waters
Having weakened their prospect pool to acquire Matt Olson in March, the Braves’ top trade chip may be Waters, whose value has sunk as he has stalled the past couple years with Triple-A Gwinnett. If the Braves can’t find a team interested in taking a chance on Waters’ potential, the most attractive chip might be Braden Shewmake. But Shewmake’s availability might hinge on whether Atlanta is confident in re-signing Dansby Swanson. — Mark Bowman

Marlins: 1B/DH Garrett Cooper or Jesús Aguilar
Unless Miami turns things around, the club will be a seller. Cooper has one year of arbitration remaining, while Aguilar has a mutual option for 2023. Both are blocking slick-fielding Lewin Díaz, who has been biding his time at Triple-A Jacksonville (.829 OPS in 2022). The right-handed-hitting Cooper or Aguilar would be a nice complementary piece to a contending team’s lineup. With the departure of either, the left-handed Díaz could finally see everyday reps in MLB. — Christina De Nicola

Mets: SS Ronny Mauricio
Until the Mets either trade him or move him permanently to another position, No. 3 prospect Ronny Mauricio will remain one of the most obvious trade candidates in baseball. A natural shortstop who is blocked at that position for the next decade by Francisco Lindor, Mauricio could fetch a strong return in a trade despite a middling season so far at Double-A Binghamton. Recently, the Mets have experimented with Mauricio at second base and in right field, but they’ve resisted using him there in games, knowing his trade value is highest as a shortstop. — Anthony DiComo

Nationals: 1B Josh Bell
The Nationals overhauled their roster at the Trade Deadline last season to acquire prospects in exchange for veterans — many on expiring contracts — and they could do the same this year. In the final year of his deal, Bell is batting around .300 as the Nats’ starting first baseman. He is having his best season since 2019, when he was named to the All-Star team. It is easy to look to designated hitter Nelson Cruz as a trade chip, but if a team is looking for an everyday position player, Bell stands out. — Jessica Camerato

Phillies: RHP Kyle Gibson
The Phillies expected to compete with the Mets and Braves in the NL East, but they found themselves in bad shape following a difficult May. If they don’t turn around things in June, they could be unexpected sellers. If they sell, Gibson is a good candidate to be traded. Gibson has been an effective starter for the Phillies this season. He can pitch into the sixth inning or later, and he just might be something a team needs as it tries to round out its rotation down the stretch. — Todd Zolecki

Brewers: Top outfield prospects
The top three Brewers prospects per MLB Pipeline and five of the top eight are outfielders — all with high upside who could provide the foundation of an impact trade in July. Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer and Garrett Mitchell are the top three, with Wiemer having rocketed toward the top of the list while winning Brewers Minor League Player of the Year honors a year ago with a terrific power/speed combo. Mitchell may be the most polished of that trio, but his injury issues have continued with an oblique injury this year. A little lower on Pipeline’s Brewers list are two terrific international signees, Hedbert Perez and Jackson Chourio. For now, Chourio is ranked ninth in the Brewers’ Top 30, but that won’t last long. At 18, he’s the youngest player at any full-season affiliate at the moment, and he has been more than holding his own with a 1.012 OPS for Single-A Carolina. — Adam McCalvy

Cardinals: RF/LF Corey Dickerson
The 33-year-old Dickerson, who was signed just prior to Spring Training in hopes his left-handed bat could give the righty-heavy Cardinals lineup more balance, has flopped badly so far. He has mostly been passed by youngsters Brendan Donovan and Juan Yepez at the corner outfield spots, and the Cardinals would be wise to see what they can get for the veteran. Complicating matters is the fact that Dickerson, who is hitting .194, strained his left calf on Saturday, one day after he hit his first two home runs as a Cardinal. — John Denton

Cubs: RHP David Robertson
Expect the focus of the Trade Deadline rumors around the Cubs to center around All-Star catcher Willson Contreras, who is in the midst of a strong season and on pace for free agency. But Contreras is hardly the only trade chip. The Jed Hoyer-led front office added a pile of veterans on short-term deals and veteran reliever Robertson might lead that group in potential suitors at the Deadline. Through 19 games, the 37-year-old Robertson (signed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal) has a tidy 1.66 ERA with 30 strikeouts against nine walks in 21 2/3 innings. He has limited hitters to a .145 average with just one homer among 11 hits allowed. In Game 2 of a doubleheader Saturday, Robertson went 2 1/3 innings, retiring Cardinals slugger Paul Goldschmidt twice to escape bases-loaded jams. Robertson is still an effective late-inning arm that could help a contender if the Cubs move into sell mode as expected. — Jordan Bastian

Pirates: LHP José Quintana
Quintana is a standard trade chip — the veteran starting pitcher who signed an inexpensive contract and is performing well. No team ever has enough pitching, and at the Trade Deadline, don’t be surprised if there is sufficient interest in Quintana. The southpaw is having a bit of a resurgence. After barely pitching in 2020, and shuffling roles in ’21, Quintana has turned back the clock a bit, posting a 2.32 ERA and 3.16 FIP across 50 1/3 innings. Quintana’s strikeout numbers are significantly down (his 7.33 K/9 rate would be the lowest of his career) but he’s generating softer contact than ever before. Quintana’s average exit velocity of 86.2 mph would be the lowest of his career and currently ranks in the 87th percentile. — Justice delos Santos

Reds: RHP Luis Castillo
Castillo has been a long-rumored trade candidate, and despite general manager Nick Krall saying there were no plans to move him in Spring Training, this could still be the summer when he is finally dealt. Despite playing better the past month, a 3-22 start all but killed Cincinnati’s chances of being a factor for the postseason. The rise of prospects like Hunter Greene, Graham Ashcraft and the currently injured Nick Lodolo to the big leagues and an effort to add arms in the system are signs of potential depth. Since missing the first month with a right shoulder injury, Castillo has been solid in most of his six starts this season and has a 3.55 ERA after his outing vs. the Nationals on Sunday. The right-hander is affordable, making $7.35 million this season, and he has one more year of arbitration eligibility, which means the Reds can ask for the moon and more in return. The club also has starter Tyler Mahle and veteran lefty Mike Minor who could help a team with a stretch-run effort. — Mark Sheldon

D-backs: OF David Peralta
A lot of this will come down to how big of a seller the D-backs see themselves as at the Trade Deadline. If they are out of the race, they could look to move Peralta, who is in the final year of his contract. It wouldn’t be something they do lightly as he has been an important member of the organization and a consistent offensive and defensive contributor. However, he turns 35 in August and the D-backs have a host of young outfield prospects knocking at the door at the top two levels of the farm system. Peralta would be attractive to a contender, not just for his performance at the plate and in the field, but also for the energy he brings to a clubhouse. — Steve Gilbert

Dodgers: RHP Landon Knack
Knack, the Dodgers’ No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is one of 11 right-handers in the organization’s Top 30 list, so they’d be dealing from a place of depth with him. The 24-year-old was off to a strong start with Double-A Tulsa, posting a 2.81 ERA through his first four games, before a tough outing against San Antonio this past Thursday caused that number to balloon to 4.26. His four-pitch arsenal is highlighted by his changeup, and command is one of his strong suits. The question, however, is if Knack’s injury history might impact his trade value; he missed a month at the start of the season due to a soft tissue injury and dealt with hamstring issues in 2021. — Sarah Wexler

Giants: RHP Randy Rodriguez
Rodriguez hadn’t pitched above Single-A San Jose prior to this season, but he showed enough promise that the Giants felt compelled to add him to their 40-man roster in November to shield him from the Rule 5 Draft. Rodriguez dominated the lower levels as a reliever, but the Giants decided to give him a chance to start this year, which should only enhance his value moving forward. The 22-year-old right-hander entered Wednesday with a 3.38 ERA over nine starts with High-A Eugene, but he likely remains a couple of years away from impacting the big league club, so the Giants could be open to trading him to clear a 40-man spot for a player who can help them win now. They made a similar move with outfield prospect Alexander Canario, who was sent to the Cubs as part of the package for Kris Bryant at last year’s Trade Deadline. — Maria Guardado

Padres: C Luis Campusano
The Padres rank 26th out of 30 MLB teams with 41 homers, and 28th in slugging (.357). An impact bat is their glaring need, even with Fernando Tatis Jr. due back near midseason. The Padres have less payroll flexibility than in years past, as they are flirting with exceeding the Competitive Balance Tax threshold a second straight season. Still, they’d rather package prospects for a slugger than tap into a deep pool of starting pitchers to balance a salary swap. Their No. 3 prospect, Campusano, has posted a .900 OPS or better in three straight Minor League seasons and figures to be central to trade talks. — Shaun O’Neill

Rockies: SS José Iglesias
For the second straight year, Iglesias could find himself going from a lower-division squad to a contender. Last year, the Angels released him late, and he helped the Red Sox get to the postseason (although he was ineligible because he joined the team past the Trade Deadline). This year, Iglesias signed with the Rockies for one year and $5 million to play shortstop. The last four-plus weeks have gone sideways for the club, but Iglesias is hitting a steady .314 and has avoided the home-road ups and downs. Defensively, Iglesias can fit either middle infield position and several lineup spots for a contender. Trading him could add to the young group the Rockies are preparing for their future. — Thomas Harding

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