With Giancarlo Stanton joining the Yankees, the offseason’s most prominent trade piece is officially off the board. Other significant players have swapped jerseys recently, including former Stanton teammates Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna as well as veteran second baseman Ian Kinsler, among others.
That said, there are still quite a few significant players left that seem to be plausible or even likely trade pieces. Unlike our trade deadline version of this post, we’re not going to attempt a ranking — though, generally, I’ve attempted to list players in order of my subjective assessment of their trade likelihood and value. The primary focus here is to give a sense of the most notable names that appear to be in play at this stage.
- Chris Archer, Rays: His favorable contract, compelling peripherals, and youth make Archer the top arm on the market — if he’s truly made available.
- Michael Fulmer, Tigers: Detroit is said to be listening, and several organizations are circling, but the question remains whether the club will truly be willing to let a top-end, controllable starter go for anything shy of an astronomical price.
- Danny Duffy, Royals: While a recent DUI and elbow surgery introduce some questions, Duffy is still just shy of 29 years of age and has shown enough the past two years to make his contract ($60MM remaining over four years) a notable bargain.
- Gerrit Cole, Pirates: While not in top form in 2017, he did throw 200 frames and teams still see a front-line arsenal and history of success. There are some hints that the Bucs are ready to make a deal, but it’s not clear yet whether that’ll come to pass.
- Jake Odorizzi, Rays: Much like Drew Smyly last year, Odorizzi is coming off of a season where he wasn’t at his best and is owed a decent sum (a projected $6.5MM arb tab) with an extra year of control to go. It seems reasonably likely that he’ll be moved and that there will be strong interest.
- Zack Greinke & Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks: Arizona needs to free up payroll space if it is to make other moves, and both of these hurlers have come up in recent days. Greinke’s huge remaining commitment is a major barrier to any deal; Corbin, meanwhile, should have solid value as a one-year rental but also wouldn’t free up nearly as much cash.
- Dan Straily, Marlins: While he continued to pile up solid innings, Straily also doesn’t seem to be the type of pitcher that teams will go wild to acquire. For the budget-conscious Fish, holding him will have appeal.
- Danny Salazar, Indians: Many other organizations would love to take a chance on this talented hurler, though it’s fair to wonder whether Cleveland would rather just keep the upside in-house.
- Ian Kennedy & Jason Hammel, Royals: The contracts still outstanding to these two hurlers are both under water, but if Kansas City decides to hit “go” on a rebuild, some of the obligations could be moved elsewhere.
- Julio Teheran, Braves: Coming off of a down year, it seems less than likely that Teheran will be moved, and we haven’t heard any suggestion that’ll come to pass. Then again, has anyone asked new GM Alex Anthopoulos whether there’s a body part he’d stake on keeping Teheran?
- Matt Harvey, SP, Mets: The idea that the Mets might look to move Harvey was a short-lived Winter Meetings side story, but it’s conceivable it could occur. But Harvey’s value is at an all-time low.
- Brad Hand, LH Reliever, Padres: Anyone hear any juicy Brad Hand rumors? Yeah, me neither. But we haven’t seen action at the very top of the relief market yet, and Hand is now established as an elite pen arm, so I suspect we haven’t heard the last of him for the offseason.
- Alex Colome, RH Reliever, Rays: The Tampa Bay closer has received the most attention on the trade market, but a deal hasn’t yet been completed. That could reflect the fact that the Rays are still a bit uncertain in their direction, or it may indicate that some teams with interest still want to explore other options.
- Kelvin Herrera, RH Reliever, Royals: It’s always hard to give up your favorites, but the Royals parted with Wade Davis last year and have much greater cause to move Herrera now — though his value is down after a less-than-excellent 2017.
- Zach Britton, LH Reliever & Brad Brach, RH Reliever, Orioles: Attention has shifted to another, even more important possible trade candidate. But the O’s still have two really good relief assets to market.
- Raisel Iglesias, RH Reliever, Reds: There’s no indication that Iglesias is going to be available for anything approaching his market value, but you never know if a team will end up offering up something the Reds can’t turn down.
- Brad Ziegler, RH Reliever, Marlins: The wily veteran is probably slated to earn a bit more than he’d receive on the open market after a down season, but he’s still an appealing roster target so Miami can anticipate finding some payroll savings here.
- Joakim Soria, RH Reliever, Royals: Speaking of trimming payroll, finding a taker for some of Soria’s remaining $10MM guarantee (that includes a 2019 buyout) is surely near the top of the Royals’ to-do list.
- Shane Greene & Alex Wilson, RH Relievers, Tigers: The rebuilding Detroit organization is willing to consider anything, but also won’t just give way affordable players such as these.
- Kyle Barraclough, RH Reliever, Marlins: That reasoning likely holds for the Marlins, too; they could hand over closing duties to the powerful but volatile Barraclough.
- Arodys Vizcaino, RH Reliever, Braves: With two years of control remaining, Vizcaino is coming off of a promising 2017 campaign. But if the organization wants to compete — or, at least, project an intention to do so — then it’d be tough to deal away such a prominent part of the bullpen.
- Darren O’Day, RH Reliever, Orioles: Sure, he’s 35 and hasn’t been as spectacular in the pat two seasons as he was in the four prior. But given the way the market has treated relievers this winter, two years at a $18MM commitment isn’t an unapproachable price tag for a high-quality relief arm.
- Junichi Tazawa, RH Reliever, Marlins: The Fish gave Tazawa a $12MM guarantee in hopes his results would catch up to his K/BB rates, but the opposite occurred in 2017. Miami will need to eat most of the $7MM remaining to make a deal.
- Dellin Betances, RH Reliever, Yankees: It seems clear that the Bronx Bombers have set their sights on some top-end pitching after finagling the acquisition of Stanton. The rights to the high-powered Betances, who struggled with command down the stretch, could help fill other needs and open some added payroll space.
- Christian Yelich, OF, Marlins: With his two outfield mates already gone, Yelich is now in the spotlight. While Miami is sending out signs that it may not deal the controllable, high-quality performer, that feels mostly like posturing.
- Andrew McCutchen, OF, Pirates: With some hints the Bucs may feel that 2018 just isn’t their year, perhaps we ought to expect a move involving McCutchen. His $14.75MM salary is a good price for a quality player, though it’s nothing like the bargain rate for an MVP the club no doubt expected it would be when the contract was signed.
- Billy Hamilton, OF, Reds: There has been plenty of smoke coming from Hamilton — not just from him tearing around the bases, but from the trade signal fires being sent up around the game. It seems the Reds have gone fairly far down the line on moving the speed-and-defense specialist, though there seem to be scenarios where he stays, too.
- Randal Grichuk, OF, Cardinals: With a 40-man roster loaded up with righty outfield bats, it seems that additional players will likely need to follow Stephen Piscotty out the door. Since the Cards now have settled their primary outfield mix, with eyes on some other improvements, Grichuk feels likeliest of the remaining players to be shipped out.
- Avisail Garcia, OF, White Sox: There has been some word of interest, but more of the exploratory variety. Odds are the ChiSox will hang onto Garcia and see whether he can sustain his 2017 outbreak before deciding upon next steps. It’s also possible the team could make a run at extending him this spring.
- Domingo Santana & Keon Broxton, OF, Brewers: After a highly promising 2017 season for both player and team, you might expect that Santana would not be on the market. And perhaps, realistically, he isn’t. But the Milwaukee organization is blessed with an impressive slate of outfield talent, and it makes sense to consider moving even Santana if it could mean a drastic improvement in the rotation. The likelier outcome, perhaps, is a deal involving Broxton, who is looking over his shoulder at a group of talented center field options.
- Adam Duvall, OF, Reds: There’s been some chatter here, but nothing yet that would suggest the Reds are preparing to deal away a player that has hit the ball out of the park thirty times in each of the past two seasons — but also has a sub-.300 MLB on-base percentage.
- Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Yankees: A no-trade clause and large contract make Ellsbury a difficult piece to move, but he doesn’t seem to fit very well on a roster that includes Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner along with corner sluggers Stanton and Aaron Judge. The Yanks would love to move some salary, but doing so will be tough — unless, perhaps, they are willing to hold onto the bulk of the remaining commitment and find a contending team that Ellsbury wouldn’t mind playing for.
- Shin-Soo Choo, OF/DH, Rangers: As the Rangers look for ways to improve their rotation, taking on a big contract while moving some of the dollars owed to Choo seems to have emerged as something of a possibility. It’ll be a tall order to get rid of much of the $62MM Choo still has coming his way, though, after he again hovered around league average at the plate in 2017.
- Yasmany Tomas, OF, Diamondbacks: Likewise, the D-Backs would surely love to get some of these dollars off of their books. But Tomas struggled early before losing the rest of his season to injury, so it seems unlikely that a trade will come to pass.
- Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Red Sox: There are conflicting signs here, but it seems there’s at least some plausibility to the idea that Boston could move Bradley if it finds cause to put a big slugger in the outfield. On talent, he’d be much higher up this list, as Bradley has a significant defensive and baserunning floor along with a history of some high-quality output at the plate. But the odds still seem to weigh against a deal at this stage.
- Kyle Schwarber, OF/?, Cubs: On the one hand, it just makes good sense for Schwarber to be playing in the American League. On the other, the Cubs front office may not be able to part with him — at least, not for what the market would likely bear at this point. While everyone knows the upside, Schwarber wasn’t good in 2017 and the market is flooded with defensively limited power bats.
- Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles: While reporting now suggests the O’s are likely to deal their best player, this is one we’ll need to see to believe. The key difficulty here is that Baltimore still wants to compete in 2018 while also improving in the future. Threading the needle on a trade wont be easy.
- Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox: On paper, Abreu is a pretty likely trade piece. But indications are the South Siders have a high asking price. And the rebuiding team’s present strategy is a bit difficult to discern at the moment given its reported interest in renting Machado.
- Yasmani Grandal, C, Dodgers: There have been some suggestions that Grandal can be had, as he has seemingly been bypassed as the number one option by Austin Barnes. But the Dodgers don’t need to deal him and talks seemingly haven’t really heated up.
- Evan Longoria, 3B, Rays: The veteran had a tepid season at the plate and is still owed a big chunk of change, but he has been durable and mostly productive for quite some time now, so there will be interest. The seriousness of the Rays’ dabbling in trade considerations remains unclear.
- Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Phillies: The departure of Freddy Galvis leaves Hernandez with more breathing room. It’s still possible he’s shipped out if the right opportunity arises, but the Phils will surely also be mindful of rushing to part with a valuable and controllable player when the younger options still have some learning and growing left to do.
- Jed Lowrie, 2B, Athletics: Oakland has sent conflicting signals on the veteran, but the latest word is he’s on the block again. There should be solid interest if that’s the case.
- Josh Harrison, INF, Pirates: There should be quite some interest in Harrison, a versatile player who’d add many dimensions in just one roster spot. It helps that the last two years of his contract (2019 and 20) come via option, leaving an escape clause if he can’t sustain his return to league-average offensive output.
- Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians: Chatter on the 30-year-old has gathered some team despite the fact he’s owed $30.5MM over the next two years (including a 2020 buyout). He’s coming off of an injury-plagued, sub-standard 2017 season, but Kipnis has mostly been a quality MLB regular.
- Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers: With Galvis being dealt to the Padres, the avenues for an Iglesias deal seem less clear. Perhaps there are still some possibilities, but it feels increasingly likely he’ll remain with Detroit to open the season.
- Starlin Castro, INF, Marlins: The just-acquired Castro is no more bolted to the deck than is any other player, though the team could hang onto the relatively marketable player while also hoping he’d be an even better chip at the trade deadline. Teammate Derek Dietrich could also be considered.
- Jurickson Profar, INF, Rangers: The Profar saga has continued to twist and turn over the offseason, as the once-forgotten man now could be back in the team’s plans. We’ll just sit back and see how this situation turns out.
- Yangervis Solarte & Chase Headley, INF, Padres: Taking on Headley’s salary was not about adding the veteran infielder. The Pads will be looking to move either or both of these players; despite a desire to begin winning before long (despite an overarching focus on the future), there’s just no real reason for both of these solid but unspectacular veterans to be on the same roster.
- Martin Prado, 3B, Marlins: It stands to reason that some organization would take on some money to get the respected Prado. But Miami will have to decide whether to take what it can get now or roll the dice that he’ll turn in a big first half in 2018.
- Nicholas Castellanos, 3B/OF, Tigers: Despite somewhat surprising extension talks, it still seems possible that Castellanos could be parted with. He has been a quality hitter in the past two seasons, but defensive question marks weigh down his trade value.
- Javier Baez (INF), Addison Russell (INF) & Ian Happ (INF/OF), Cubs: Coming into the winter, it seemed one of these three would likely be moved for pitching. Now? It’s really not clear.
- J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins: How deep will the cuts go? There’s an argument to be made that any and all trade assets should be marketed, and Realmuto would be an excellent one. He’s an established, affordable, and controllable young regular catcher — one of baseball’s rarest birds — and it is hard to see Miami truly being competitive during his three remaining arb seasons.
- Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays: While Donaldson is in theory in a similar spot to Machado, the rumor flow has been in quite the opposite direction. It seems unlikely that Toronto will move him.