It has been a month since we broke out the top 60 remaining offseason trade candidates in baseball. Since that time, several of the players from that list have indeed been dealt, while situations have also changed for some others. With a few weeks left for transactions to proceed before Spring Training opens, we’ll take a quick look at how the trade market appears to have changed.
Market Changes: The Astros nabbed Gerrit Cole from the Pirates, taking one of the most obvious and best trade candidates off the market and filling an opening with a contender. That said, multiple organizations are still in play for one or more starters. The possibility of achieving greater value via trade is, perhaps, one of the many reasons that the top starters have yet to reach deals.
Top Remaining Trade Candidates
- Chris Archer & Jake Odorizzi, Rays: Tampa Bay has moved one significant veteran (see below), suggesting the team is as open as ever to swapping out older/more expensive players for younger ones, though there’s hardly an indication that a full-scale rebuild is underway.
- Michael Fulmer, Tigers: He has come up here and there in rumors, though there’s still no reason to believe Detroit is willing to move its best asset for anything less than a haul.
- Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy & Jason Hammel, Royals: Similarly, we’ve heard of teams asking about Duffy, but Kansas City has evidently not embarked upon a concerted effort to trade him. The other two players would be salary dumps, though the Royals could just keep them and hope for improvements while also being assured of filling up some innings.
- Zack Greinke & Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks: Moving Greinke’s contract would be a challenge, but still-simmering chatter on Arizona’s interest in J.D. Martinez suggests it is still plausible. Meanwhile, we’ve heard Corbin come up as another player who could be moved to open payroll space.
- Dan Straily, Marlins: Dealing the righty would hurt for a pitching-needy team, but it has to be on the table.
- Danny Salazar, Indians: We keep seeing Salazar’s name arise and Cleveland is said to be willing to deal him, but the team likely won’t do so unless that facilitates the filling of another need.
- Julio Teheran & Brandon McCarthy, Braves: There’s still no indication that Teheran is being discussed, but he feels like a plausible chip in the right circumstances. It also seems possible that McCarthy could be passed along, though odds are he (and also just-acquired starter Scott Kazmir) will be viewed as necessary veteran depth entering camp.
Market Changes: Three top lefties have departed the potential trade market, none via trade: Zach Britton suffered a serious injury, while Brad Hand and Felipe Rivero have signed extensions that almost certainly indicate they won’t be dealt this winter. There just aren’t any comparable hurlers to be had, so those developments seem to favor the remaining southpaw free agents. Veteran relievers Joakim Soria and Luis Avilan were also traded recently.
Top Remaining Trade Candidates
- Alex Colome, Rays: Colome still seems the likeliest of the game’s top young closers to be dealt. Nothing has come together to this point, but he has appeared frequently in the rumor pages.
- Kelvin Herrera, Royals: The asking price is said to be high; perhaps the Royals would be willing to take the risk of carrying Herrera to the trade deadline if offers aren’t sufficient.
- Brad Ziegler, Junichi Tazawa & Kyle Barraclough, Marlins: While the Fish have created some breathing space in the payroll, moving some of the money owed to Ziegler and Tazawa would surely still hold appeal. It’s likely that Barraclough will be held, but nothing’s bolted down in Miami.
- Shane Greene & Alex Wilson, Tigers: We haven’t heard much chatter surrounding this duo, but the Tigers must listen to any offers on any players.
- Arodys Vizcaino, Braves: Likewise, it has been crickets on Viz all winter, but it’s still imaginable a team would take a look if other possibilities don’t work out.
- Dellin Betances, Yankees: Entering the winter, it was at least reasonable to wonder whether New York would decide to move on after a tough 2017 season for Betances. We haven’t heard much indication of that, though it’s still possible that he changes hands, particularly with the Yanks counting pennies.
- Raisel Iglesias, Reds: The odds are starkly against a deal with Cincinnati reportedly asking for the moon, but it’s possible to imagine interested clubs circling back if other things don’t work out.
Market Changes: Yesterday’s Andrew McCutchen deal was significant for this sector of the market, as it filled a void in San Francisco and took a name out of contention for other teams. But there’s still a need up the middle for the Giants, while other teams have not yet addressed their own needs.
Top Remaining Trade Candidates
- Christian Yelich, Marlins: While the asking price is understandably steep, the Marlins are no doubt aware that it may be a good time to cash in on Yelich, who has indicated he’d prefer to be moved.
- Billy Hamilton & Adam Duvall, Reds: At one point, Hamilton seemed all but gone. That’s no longer the case, but it’s still imaginable that either of these players is shipped out.
- Randal Grichuk, Cardinals: Even with Stephen Piscotty traded, the Cards have an overloaded outfield mix.
- Avisail Garcia, White Sox: Signals are that the asking price is too steep for a deal to come together, but Chicago’s front office is surely still picking up the phone on Garcia.
- Domingo Santana & Keon Broxton, Brewers: With the Brew Crew still looking to add a starter, nothing can be ruled out. Of the team’s many intriguing outfielders, Santana and Broxton stand out as possible trade pieces in certain scenarios, and each has been floated in rumors thus far.
- Aaron Altherr, Nick Williams & Odubel Herrera, Phillies: Now that the Phillies have pushed Rhys Hoskins into the outfield, there are two openings left and three arguably deserving candidates to fill them. Any of the trio could conceivably be moved in a deal to acquire a starter. Of course, this mix of players could also coexist on the roster, with the Phils sharing time and playing matchups while seeing how each develops.
- Corey Dickerson, Rays: His name has at least been floated as a possible trade chip, though we’ve heard no rumblings of talks.
- Kyle Schwarber, Cubs: There’s just no indication that a Schwarber deal is likely to occur this winter.
- Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox: Despite some early rumblings, all recent signs point to JBJ staying put in Boston.
- Jacoby Ellsbury, Yankees: The Yanks would love to find a taker for some of Ellsbury’s salary; unsurprisingly, that hasn’t been easy to pull off.
- Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers: Ditto.
- Yasmany Tomas, Diamondbacks: And ditto again.
Market Changes: Two notable players have changed hands, with Evan Longoria going to the Giants and Yangervis Solarte joining the Blue Jays. Those swaps seemingly take the acquiring teams out of the market for other infielders.
Top Remaining Trade Candidates
- J.T. Realmuto, Marlins: With the valuable Realmuto expressing his displeasure with the situation in Miami, it’s easy to imagine a swap, even if we still haven’t seen public indication that talks have advanced.
- Josh Harrison, Pirates: We’ve seen Harrison’s name in the rumor mill a fair bit, but there’s still no clear word as to whether he’ll be moved. Trading Cole and Cutch certainly could be interpreted as making a Harrison swap more likely, but that isn’t necessarily the case. The club likely values the flexibility of the two option years in the infielder’s contract. Another Bucs veteran who might conceivably be dangled is backstop Francisco Cervelli, as a commenter points out.
- Manny Machado, Orioles: It has been a bit of a roller coaster all offseason on Machado, with some reports still suggesting the O’s would like to get a deal done and others indicating that the team will stand by a lofty asking price.
- Jed Lowrie, Athletics: The market for Lowrie has been quiet, but teams in need of an option at second could still check down to him.
- Nicholas Castellanos & Jose Iglesias, Tigers: Neither player seems particularly likely to be targeted as a contender’s first choice, but both could hold appeal in the right situation. Detroit is prepared to move any veteran if it can achieve interesting young talent.
- Scooter Gennett, Reds: We haven’t heard much discussion of a Gennett deal, perhaps because Cincinnati values him after a strong season but perhaps also because other teams are wary of his track record and inability to hit lefties.
- Cesar Hernandez & Cameron Rupp, Phillies: There just isn’t much reason for the Phillies to rush into a deal involving Hernandez, particularly after freeing some infield playing time for younger players by trading shortstop Freddy Galvis. Though Rupp seems to be lining up for a timeshare behind the dish, he could still be parted with to clear the way for a new backstop duo in Philly.
- Jose Abreu, White Sox: As with Garcia, the ask seems high and not designed to ensure a deal is completed.
- Starlin Castro, Marlins: Though Miami no doubt likes the idea of marketing the four-time All-Star to a skeptical fan base, it surely also sees the appeal of shedding a chunk of his salary, which was absorbed in the Giancarlo Stanton swap. Castro has given indication he’d like to be traded.
- Chase Headley, Padres: With Solarte shipped out, the Pads may line up this old favorite at the hot corner. But he’d surely also be available if another team comes calling.
- Jurickson Profar, Rangers: While his name hasn’t arisen much, it still seems reasonable to think Texas is willing to make a deal on the former top prospect.
- Yasmani Grandal, Dodgers: With little chatter emerging about Grandal, perhaps the Dodgers simply feel they are best served carrying two quality catchers into the 2018 season — which, really, is hard to argue with.
- C.J. Cron & Luis Valbuena, Angels: Both these players can coexist on the roster, at least if you squint. But with Albert Pujols expected to command time at first while sharing the DH slot with Shohei Ohtani, and an infield otherwise loaded with everyday types, Cron and Valbuena aren’t the most comfortable fit.
- Jason Kipnis, Indians: After a near-deal to the Mets fell apart, leaving the Indians unable to free up cash to land Santana, Cleveland seemingly settled on moving Kipnis back to his accustomed second base.
- Brad Miller, Rays: Having moved Longoria, the Tampa Bay infield has more openings. On the other hand, that also indicates all bets are off for trade candidates, and the Rays may prefer to move on from Miller if they find a decent deal and feel they can better reallocate his anticipated salary.
- Martin Prado, Marlins: Miami could just hang on to the veteran and hope he rebuilds his trade value a bit, or it could cut its losses if another team is willing to take on at least some of the obligations remaining.
- Javier Baez, Addison Russell & Ian Happ, Cubs: Increasingly, it feels like this group of players will stay put. On the other hand, all it takes is one phone call and the Cubs are still looking for a starter.