MLB’s top 20 offseason trade candidates: Byron Buxton, Josh Hader, and Craig Kimbrel among big names

The 2020-21 offseason has begun and, nicely, nothing’s occurred. That is not stunning although. The MLB offseason, very similar to the common season, is a marathon somewhat than a dash. The highest free brokers sometimes do not signal till just a few weeks into the winter, and the commerce market may be gradual to develop when so many free brokers are nonetheless on the board.

Here are R.J. Anderson’s top 50 free agents. This is not an incredible free agent class, and due to that, groups may enterprise out into the commerce market to deal with their wants. There are nonetheless loads of rebuilding groups keen to commerce their greatest gamers for prospects, and contenders making wage dump trades to allow them to spend elsewhere is feasible as nicely.

With that in thoughts, listed here are MLB‘s high 20 commerce candidates heading into the offseason, ranked so as of how probably they’re to be moved and the way engaging they’re to potential commerce suitors.  

After dropping 110 video games this season and 35 video games through the shortened 60-game season a 12 months in the past, nothing may be off the desk for the D-Backs, who do not precisely appear poised for a fast turnaround within the rugged NL West. Marte is likely one of the most beneficial commerce commodities within the sport given his play and reasonably priced contract. That is as crew pleasant because it will get:

  • 2022: $8 million
  • 2023: $10 million membership choice ($1 million buyout)
  • 2024: $12 million membership choice ($1.5 million buyout)

That’s at most $30 million for Marte’s age 28-30 seasons. An absolute steal. Additionally, Marte can play middle area or second base, although hamstring bother led the D-Backs to taking part in him extra at second down the stretch. Enjoying the infield could be the easiest way to maintain Marte on the sphere going ahead. Both method, he is in his prime and able to taking part in a premium place.

The D-Backs resisted buying and selling Marte on the deadline, although it has been just a few months since then, and with extra time to judge the roster (and the uphill climb they face within the division), the membership could contemplate placing him available on the market this offseason. If nothing else, there is no hurt in listening, and I am sure extra just a few contenders would come calling with huge prospect provides.

Doable commerce suitors: Astros, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Mets, Phillies, Red SoxRays, and Yankees, only for starters. Given his contract and flexibility, it is easy to see Marte as a match for nearly any crew, contender or rebuilder. That stated, how a crew views his means to play middle area could affect commerce provides. Some golf equipment have a better want there than at second. 

Tyler Glasnow

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The Rays are in a difficult spot with Glasnow this offseason. He has pitched at an ace degree since becoming a member of Tampa, however has not proven ace degree sturdiness. Since Opening Day 2019, he ranks 118th in begins (37) and 121st in innings (206). Take into account the next:

  • Glasnow had Tommy John surgical procedure in August and is more likely to miss all the 2022 season.
  • He has two extra seasons of crew management remaining, so you may have him when he returns in 2023.
  • Glasnow is projected to make roughly $6 million by arbitration in 2022.

Glasnow is on the level now the place the Rays often commerce their high gamers, proper? He is nearing free company and making first rate cash, so even when he had been completely wholesome, we might most likely hear his title in commerce rumors this offseason. Now Glasnow is harm although, and are the Rays actually going to commit $6 million or so to a rehabbing participant in 2022? It appears unlikely.

So, the Rays will put Glasnow on the commerce market, they usually’ll need to promote groups on the thought of giving up a very good prospect package deal for a pitcher who will not assist them in 2022. He is basically a one-year purchase, besides you need to pay him two years value of wage and quit prospects to get him. Glasnow is nice sufficient that he’ll be in demand, although his commerce worth is sophisticated. 

Potential commerce suitors: Angels, Astros, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Twins. If the Rays are keen to commerce Glasnow inside the division, I am positive the Blue Jays, Pink Sox, and Yankees would all get entangled as nicely.

The Cubs threw within the towel and bought on the deadline, transport out franchise stalwarts Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo as they approached free company. Contreras will hit the open market after subsequent season, so it’s no shock then that The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma says Chicago will “almost certainly shop” their catcher ought to they fail to comply with an extension this winter.

It is sensible, proper? The Cubs misplaced 91 video games in 2021, and whereas the NL Central is hardly a powerhouse division, Chicago seems to be just a few years away from returning to severe rivalry. A large offseason spending spree may change issues, although that appears unlikely at this level. Given their present state, the Cubs could be silly to not gauge the marketplace for Contreras.

This offseason’s free agent catching class may be very weak — Brewers backup Manny Piña could be one of the best free agent catcher — and that works in Chicago’s favor. High quality catching is all the time in demand, and whereas Contreras does not all the time shine defensively, he is likely one of the greatest hitting catchers within the sport. Even with just one 12 months of management, he could be in very excessive demand.

Doable commerce suitors: Mariners, Marlins, Yankees. Probably Cleveland as nicely, although taking over cash will not be often their factor, and Contreras is projected to make roughly $9 million by arbitration in 2022.

The offseason cost-cutting has already begun in Oakland. Manager Bob Melvin was allowed to leave to join the Padres despite being under contract — the A’s did not even obtain any compensation for letting Melvin out of his contract — and he’ll undoubtedly get replaced by a less expensive supervisor (maybe third base coach Mark Kotsay, who’s been seen as a future supervisor for years).

Oakland has an extended historical past of buying and selling their greatest gamers as they begin to get costly by arbitration and the Matts are each at that time now. They’re each two years away from free company, and Olson is projected to make $12 million by arbitration in 2022. Chapman is a bit behind him at $9 million or so, projected. These are dear salaries for the budget-conscious Athletics.

Chapman had a down 2021 season, comparatively talking, although he stays an influence menace and an elite defender on the scorching nook. Olson drastically cut down on his strikeouts this year and moved himself into the higher echelon of MLB hitters. He is additionally a Gold Glove defender, albeit at least premium place. Nonetheless, he has huge worth, and the A’s seem motivated to chop wage.

Doable commerce suitors: Blue Jays, Nationals, and Phillies for Chapman. Olson is sensible for the Brewers, Pink Sox, Yankees, and possibly even the Dodgers ought to the Nationwide League undertake the common DH. If the A’s do certainly prioritize chopping payroll this offseason, righties Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas can be in demand, ditto lefty Sean Manaea

Something that would go mistaken did go mistaken for the Twins this previous season, and it prompted them to commerce Nelson Cruz and José Berríos on the deadline. Buying and selling Berríos weakened the 2022 crew, as did dropping ace Kenta Maeda to Tommy John surgical procedure late within the season. Who will pitch for Minnesota subsequent season? That query may be very a lot up within the air.

The Twins reportedly shopped Buxton and Donaldson on the commerce deadline, so it stands to motive they’re going to push them each in trades once more this offseason. On the very least, they’re going to pay attention. Buxton is projected to make about $7 million by arbitration in 2022, his remaining 12 months of crew management. His damage historical past drags down his worth, although he is an affect participant at a premium place when wholesome.

Donaldson turns 35 in December is owed $50 million from 2022-23 (that features the buyout of his 2024 membership choice) and that can be a tricky promote given his damage historical past. The Twins could need to kick in cash (or take a reimbursement in a commerce) to maneuver Donaldson. Buying and selling Buxton could be about including prospects and expertise. Buying and selling Donaldson could be extra about clearing payroll.

Doable commerce suitors: Blue Jays, Nationals, and Phillies for Donaldson, whose market would develop with the anticipated adoption of the common DH. As for Buxton, the Astros, Giants, Phillies, and Yankees instantly soar to thoughts as potential touchdown spots. Then once more, you may’t rule out any contender in terms of a participant of Buxton’s caliber. He’d make any crew higher. 

Kiermaier pops up in commerce rumors each offseason and the Rays all the time maintain him, ostensibly as a result of they worth his protection so extremely. On the similar time, Kiermaier has been a below-average hitter all through his profession, and he is performed solely 591 of 870 potential video games since 2016, or 68 p.c. The offense, damage historical past, and climbing salaries have restricted his commerce worth.

Subsequent season is the ultimate assured season on Kiermaier’s contract. He’ll make $12 million in 2022 with a $13 million membership choice for 2023, which is terribly dear for the Rays, particularly once they have an identical defensive stud able to take over middle area in Brett Phillips (to not point out high prospect Vidal Bruján). Transferring Kiermaier now in a cost-cutting transfer could be very Tampa.

It helps the Rays that the free agent middle area market behind Starling Marte will not be nice this offseason. Miss out on Marte and your best choice is, uh, Mark Canha out of place? We have been ready just a few years now for the Rays to commerce Kiermaier. Together with his contract set to run out subsequent offseason and Tampa having a bevy of in-house replacements, the time appears proper for a deal.

Doable commerce suitors: Astros, Giants, Phillies. The Yankees reportedly requested about Kiermaier on the commerce deadline and maybe their curiosity could possibly be rekindled this winter, although I might wager towards the 2 AL East rivals hooking up for a big commerce.

Final winter Cleveland reached the purpose of no return with Francisco Lindor. He was one season away from free company, so they might both commerce their franchise participant for as a lot as potential earlier than Opening Day, commerce him for much less on the deadline, or let him stroll as a free agent after the season and take the dinky compensation draft choose. Clearly they selected door No. 1.

The Guardians are usually not but at that time with Ramírez, although it is inching nearer and nearer. His contract consists of no-brainer membership choices for 2022 ($11 million) and 2023 ($13 million), after which he’ll hit free company at age 31 and probably worth himself out of city. Arduous to see Cleveland profitable an open market bidding struggle to maintain Ramírez long-term.

Commerce Ramírez now and the Guardians will get greater than they’d in the event that they commerce him subsequent offseason, once they would get greater than they’d in the event that they commerce him on the 2023 deadline. Cleveland has traded away different key gamers with a number of years of crew management (Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, and so on.), so doing the identical with Ramírez wouldn’t be unprecedented.

No, the Guardians don’t wish to commerce Ramírez. They’re additionally unrelentingly pragmatic, and know buying and selling him is their greatest likelihood so as to add low-cost younger expertise to the group following an 80-82 season. Cleveland is within the driver’s seat as a result of they do not need to commerce Ramírez, although I think about they may get some awfully tempting provides this winter.

Doable commerce suitors: Blue Jays, Mariners, Nationals. Virtually each crew besides the very deep rebuilders (Orioles, Pirates, and so on.), actually. It will be simple to justify bringing in Ramírez even if you happen to appear to be nothing greater than a postseason bubble crew heading into 2022 (if reality, it could be best for a bubble crew to justify bringing him in, as a result of Ramírez may put them excessive).

Hader pops up on commerce candidates lists yearly (he was on our list last offseason and prior to the trade deadline) but he is nonetheless with the Brewers. That stated, he is now solely two years away from free company, and he is projected to earn roughly $10 million by arbitration in 2022. Nearly as good as Hader is, that is dear for a crew that appears to drum up nice relievers at will.

After struggling a bit through the shortened 60-game 2020 season, Hader simply had his greatest 12 months ever, and the postseason once more confirmed the significance of a robust and deep bullpen. Elite relievers not web franchise-altering commerce packages, although Hader is so good and underneath management lengthy sufficient that he would web the Brewers a big return. He may very well go this winter.

Doable commerce suitors: Each contender, mainly, although the large market contenders make extra sense given Hader’s projected wage. The Angels, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Pink Sox, White Sox, and Yankees may all get entangled.

In an effort to clear payroll on the deadline, the Padres had been stated to be keen to connect a high prospect (reportedly outfielder Robert Hassell) to Hosmer to unload his contract. Myers has been talked about as a wage dump candidate a number of instances over time, and I assume San Diego could be keen to connect a prospect to him as nicely. The contracts are ugly:

  • Hosmer: $20 million in 2022, plus $13 million per 12 months from 2023-25
  • Myers: $20 million in 2022 plus $1 million buyout of $20 million membership choice for 2024

That is 4 years and $59 million for Hosmer however just one 12 months and $21 million for Myers. That makes Myers extra more likely to be traded, although absorbing Hosmer’s contract has a greater likelihood to land you a premier prospect like Hassell or CJ Abrams. Both method, the Padres have already got over $200 million on the books subsequent 12 months whenever you embrace projected arbitration salaries, which equals motivation to maneuver Myers and/or Hosmer. 

Doable commerce suitors: Rangers, Tigers, possibly the Orioles. Hosmer and Myers symbolize a chance for a rebuilding crew to basically purchase a high prospect. Tackle their contract, add that high-end expertise to your pipeline, after which determine how they match in your roster. Heck, why not tackle Myers’ contract to get a prospect, then eat his total wage and flip himself elsewhere for extra prospects? It appears doable. All it takes is an proprietor keen to spend a bit money. The damage susceptible Drew Pomeranz has two years and $16M remaining on his contract. He could possibly be one other San Diego wage dump candidate.

Wild Card Recreation blunders apart, Edmundo Sosa took over because the shortstop of the current for the Cardinals down the stretch, making DeJong expendable. His bat has gone backwards the previous few years, although he nonetheless has energy and stays an above-average defender at a premium place. Additionally, DeJong has an reasonably priced contract, one that features $15 million in assured cash from 2022-23, with membership choices for 2024 ($12.5 million) and 2025 ($15 million). Any crew that believes they’ll get his bat again to its pre-2020 kind undoubtedly views DeJong as an incredible buy-low alternative.

Doable commerce suitors: Angels, Astros, Phillies, Nationals, Tigers, Twins, Yankees. Houston could be the one crew that would lose a giant title shortstop this offseason and have to discover a substitute. The Dodgers have Trea Turner to switch Corey Seager, the Rockies have Brendan Rodgers to switch Trevor Story, and neither Javier Báez nor Marcus Semien was taking part in shortstop for his or her earlier crew (Mets and Blue Jays, respectively). That stated, shortstops are all the time in demand. There can be marketplace for DeJong.

For no matter motive, issues did not work out for Kimbrel on Chicago’s South Facet, as he gave up seven extra runs with the White Sox than he did with the Cubs regardless of throwing 13 2/3 fewer innings. The White Sox maintain a $16 million membership choice and will pay the $1 million buyout and make a clear break, however that appears unwise. Kimbrel nonetheless has commerce worth, even at that wage and even after struggling down the stretch. The commerce was value a shot for the ChiSox, although it did not work out as hoped, and now a change of state of affairs appears greatest for each the crew and Kimbrel.

Doable commerce suitors: Blue Jays, Padres, Phillies. Kimbrel’s market is groups that wish to contend in 2022, and have each deep pockets and a transparent opening within the ninth inning.

As famous earlier, nothing must be off the desk for the D-Backs this offseason, and the free agent catching market is extraordinarily skinny. Kelly has been fairly productive (moreso on the plate than behind it, although his glove is stable) in non-pandemic shortened seasons and he comes with three years of reasonably priced crew management. Daulton Varsho had a breakout second half and is able to step in because the on a regular basis catcher, giving Arizona an opportunity to show Kelly into prospects in an offseason brief on high quality catchers.

Doable commerce suitors: Cubs, Mariners, Marlins, Rays, Yankees. Actually, with a dearth of high quality catchers across the league and Kelly having three years of management, each crew within the league figures to examine in on him.

The Reds reportedly dangled Grey final offseason in a “hey, why not? let’s examine what’s on the market” sort of method, and I am positive they’re going to do the identical this offseason. There is no hurt in listening, in any case. Grey is one 12 months nearer to free company and he is now into the dearer years of his contract. Costly is a relative time period, nevertheless, as a result of $10 million in 2022 with a $12 million membership choice for 2023 is sort of reasonably priced. Cincinnati has been overly stingy with payroll lately. Buying and selling Grey for youthful, cheaper gamers, after which reallocating his the cash that will’ve have gone to his wage could possibly be within the playing cards.

Doable commerce suitors: Angels, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres. You do not have to strive too onerous to see Grey becoming with nearly any crew given his efficiency and cheap contract. Besides the Yankees. They are not going there once more.

Primarily based on expertise and commerce worth, Reynolds would rank close to the highest on this record. I am simply not bought on the Pirates truly buying and selling him this offseason. They’re going to pay attention, completely, however the asking worth was reportedly by the roof on the commerce deadline. Pittsburgh is claimed to have requested the Mariners for a package deal led by high prospect Julio Rodríguez, for instance. The Pirates are rebuilding and Reynolds is their highest commerce chip, so we should point out him right here. I simply suppose he is much less more likely to be traded that another high gamers on rebuilding groups seeing how he is a 26-year-old All-Star who cannot turn into a free agent till after 2025. (This all applies to O’s middle fielder Cedric Mullins as nicely.)

Doable commerce suitors: Astros, Braves, Giants, Yankees. Any crew, actually. Reynolds is a reliable All-Star caliber participant with a variety of crew management years remaining. He is one of the precious commerce commodities within the sport.

Very quietly, Cooper has been one of the productive hitters within the sport the final three seasons, and he is tailored nicely to proper area after developing by the minors as a primary baseman. Additionally, he is an exit velocity monster who checks all of the analytical containers. Cooper is a sneaky good participant who was in-demand final offseason and on the commerce deadline this summer time. The manufacturing and the underlying information make him a precious commerce chip, and the 2 remaining years of crew management completely thread the needle between “fascinating to potential suitors” and “most likely will not be round lengthy sufficient to be a part of the subsequent nice Marlins crew,” rising the probabilities of a commerce.

Doable commerce suitors: Brewers, Guardians, Mariners, Rays, Pink Sox. The common DH coming to the Nationwide League would open up just a few extra commerce prospects as nicely.

Tanner Scott

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The Orioles are 4 years into their scorched earth rebuild and we’re kinda sorta possibly probably beginning to see the makings of the subsequent contending O’s crew. Cedric Mullins is the centerpiece, and others like Austin Hays, Trey Mancini, and John Means may be a part of the image as nicely. That stated, the very last thing a nasty crew wants is nice relievers, so Sulser and Scott determine to be obtainable this offseason. Sulser has 4 years of crew management remaining and may deal with excessive leverage work. Scott is a lefty who throws within the upper-90s and people guys are all the time in demand. He has three years of management remaining. These two are apparent offseason commerce candidates.

Doable commerce suitors: Actually each crew. Sulser and Scott are cheap relievers and every have not less than three extra years of crew management remaining. Contenders can carry them in to assist win now and rebuilders can carry them in to assist win later. These two will generate loads of commerce fascinating this winter.

Different commerce candidates: 1B Josh Bell, Nationals; 3B/OF JD Davis, Mets; RHP Michael Fulmer, Tigers; RHP Pablo López, Marlins; OF David Peralta, D-Backs; C Jacob Stallings, Pirates; 1B Luke Voit, Yankees | MLB’s high 20 offseason commerce candidates: Byron Buxton, Josh Hader, and Craig Kimbrel amongst huge names


Aila Slisco is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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