The 20 MLB players who might get traded by the deadline

·12 min read

The All-Star break is over and it’s officially trade season in Major League Baseball. In the coming weeks, some teams will try to make blockbuster deals to solidify their postseason hopes in the second half while others try to find the next great prospect who will lift their franchise back to relevance.

The 2018 trade deadline promises to be full of intrigue. The crown jewel on the market — Manny Machado — was already shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The best reliever available — Brad Hand — was also traded away.

That leaves names like Mike Moustakas, J.A. Happ and Zach Britton as likely candidates to go next. Even guys like Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and José Abreu have been thrown out there, though it’s less likely those players will be moved.

Below, we’ve included a list of 20ish (we got a little overexcited) players we expect to draw interest around the deadline. We also have a likelihood they get dealt section to give you an idea of which players are probably getting moved, and which would require mega offers to be traded. We’ve also listed some possible destinations that will almost certainly be proven wrong in a few weeks.

Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is on the block, but it would take a lot for the team to move him. (AP Photo)
Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom is on the block, but it would take a lot for the team to move him. (AP Photo)

Jacob deGrom, SP, New York Mets

DeGrom’s agent let us know how he feels about his client’s future. He’s asked the Mets to either offer an extension or trade deGrom before the 2019 season. The Mets don’t seem likely to consider either option during the 2018 season. While deGrom’s current value is the highest it’s ever been, they still have two seasons of control to weigh their options. The Mets asking price is reportedly high enough that interested teams believe he’s not truly available.
Likelihood he is dealt: Low
Possible destinations: Yankees, Indians, Brewers

J.A. Happ, SP, Toronto Blue Jays

Happ isn’t a huge name, but he might be the best starting pitcher deal at the deadline. While his 4.29 ERA leaves a lot to be desired, Happ is striking out batters at a career-high rate. The 35-year-old Happ is only under contract through the end of the season, so he shouldn’t cost a ton. And if he can replicate what he did for the Pirates after getting dealt in 2015, teams will be more than happy to bring him on board.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Yankees, Mariners, Athletics

Nathan Eovaldi, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

After not pitching in 2017, Eovaldi has done enough to draw some attention from clubs in 2018. The 28-year-old’s 4.59 ERA is scary, but he has decent peripherals. Eovaldi is striking out 22.5 percent of batters while posting one of the lowest walk rates in the majors. He’s in the final year of his deal with the Rays, so they have no reason to hold onto him. Eovaldi feels like the perfect low-end starter for a team looking to stabilize the back-end of its rotation.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Mariners, Athletics, Yankees

Chris Archer, SP, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays are two games over .500 and Archer is locked up for a few more seasons. While the team can’t topple the Red Sox or Yankees in 2018, they could try to make a run while Archer is still under contract. Still, Archer always seems to be a popular name around trade deadline season. For the first time in a while, it seems like he’s a safe bet to stay put, but maybe someone will blow the Rays away with an offer they can’t refuse.
Likelihood he is dealt: Low
Possible destinations: Cubs, Yankees, Brewers

Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

Donaldson hasn’t done much to increase his trade value in his walk year. The 32-year-old has spent much of the season injured, and hasn’t produced when healthy. He’s hit just .234/.333/.423 in 36 games. If he comes back before the deadline, there’s probably not much he can do to drastically improve his value. Even if he doesn’t, the possibility that a healthy Donaldson could still be a dominant hitter might be enough to convince a team to take a chance.
Likelihood he is dealt: 50/50
Possible destinations: Phillies, Yankees, Cardinals

Noah Syndergaard, SP, New York Mets

It’s been a nightmare season for the Mets, but the team hasn’t indicated it is going to tear everything down just yet. They’ve said they’ll listen to deals on Syndergaard, but it’s clear they aren’t motivated to make it happen unless they are completely bowled over. Syndergaard is young, good and still under team control through 2021. He’s staying put for now.
Likelihood he is dealt: Low
Possible destinations: Brewers, Yankees

The Orioles might continue their tear down by getting rid of Zach Britton. (AP Photo)
The Orioles might continue their tear down by getting rid of Zach Britton. (AP Photo)

Zach Britton, RP, Baltimore Orioles

Interested teams wanted Britton to prove he’s back healthy and can be effective after he suffered a torn Achilles during an offseason workout. He started slow after being activated on June 11, but looked like old dominant over the last two weeks, making seven straight appearances without allowing an earned run. He’s even appeared in back-to-back games twice, which will further ease concerns. At this best, Britton is probably the best reliever available.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Potential destinations: Dodgers, Phillies, Yankees

Matt Harvey, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Harvey’s already been on the move once this season, going from the New York Mets to Cincinnati in May. Chances are he’ll be dealt again after rebuilding his value with a solid stretch in a Reds uniform. In 12 starts with Cincinnati, Harvey has posted a 3.64 ERA. That’s a vast improvement from his 7.00 ERA to begin the season in New York. For a guy who looked finished two months ago, Harvey actually looks like he could help a contender.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Yankees, Giants

Mike Moustakas, 3B, Kansas City Royals

Moustakas seems like the perfect fall-back option for whatever teams miss out on Machado. The 29-year-old has hit .249/.306/.466, with 19 home runs, in 2018. He’s not perfect. Moustakas can’t play short and he doesn’t walk much, but he can provide a ton of power and his contract isn’t an issue. He’ll be a free-agent at the end of the season.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Yankees, Phillies

Raisel Iglesias, RP, Cincinnati Reds

If the Reds are truly to going to keep Scooter Gennett, Raisel Iglesias might be the best trade piece they have. The 28-year-old has a 2.36 ERA over 42 innings with solid peripherals. He’s also under contract through 2020 at little cost, which should make him more appealing to other clubs.
Likelihood he is dealt: 50/50
Possible destinations: Indians, Cubs

Wilson Ramos, C, Tampa Bay Rays

Wilson Ramos will be on the disabled list when the trade deadline passes, but there’s still a chance he’ll get moved. Ramos is having a resurgent season, hitting .297/.346/.488. He’s only under contract for a few more months, so the Rays have no reason to keep him. Not only that, but the Nationals are desperate for catching help, and they have a history with Ramos. If he doesn’t go by the trade deadline, he’ll definitely leave on waivers.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Nationals

Cole Hamels, SP, Texas Rangers

The 34-year-old left-hander is on pace for his worst season as a major leaguer. He’s been especially ineffective since Memorial Day, posting a 5.11 ERA over nine starts. Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t or won’t turn it around down the stretch. Hamels is battle tested and would certainly be motivated by another chance to win. Hamels is still due over $10M this season, so the Rangers might have to eat some money to make a deal happen.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Phillies

Francisco Liriano, SP, Michael Fulmer, SP, Nick Castellanos, 3B, Detroit Tigers

The Tigers are going to sell, and it makes sense that they would make Liriano, Fulmer and Castellanos available. Liriano seems most likely to go. He’s under contract through the rest of the season, and while his 4.67 ERA isn’t great, he can be converted to a reliever if necessary. Fulmer was a hot trade candidate in the offseason, but he doesn’t increased his value in 2018. He may stick around. Castellanos has a year left on his deal after 2018, and is hitting well. He might be the piece that brings back the most. That might be underwhelming, but that’s the state of the Tigers right now.
Likelihood they are dealt: Liriano and Castellanos are probable. Fulmer is likely staying put.
Possible destinations: Yankees, Indians, Phillies

Tyson Ross, SP, San Diego Padres

Tyson Ross is only 31, but he feels like a blast from the past. The right-hander was secretly one of the better pitchers in baseball for the Padres from 2013 to 2015. Injuries derailed his career, but he’s back and pitching effectively. Ross has a 4.32 ERA in 19 starts. He’s no longer in his prime, but Ross is still capable of strong performances. He fits as a solid back-end starter for a contender.
Likelihood he is dealt: High
Possible destinations: Athletics, Brewers, Yankees

Starlin Castro, 2B, Derek Dietrich, UT, Miami Marlins

Castro was a trade candidate the instant he was acquired by the Marlins. He’s making nearly $11 million in 2018 and will make roughly the same figure in 2019, so he’s going. It helps that he’s produced like normal, hitting .291/.337/.408. Dietrich doesn’t have to go. He’s not too expensive, and is under team control for a few more seasons. But he’s already drawn interest and his versatility makes him more valuable.
Likelihood they are dealt: High
Possible destinations: Brewers, Cubs

Avisaíl García, OF, José Abreu, 1B, Chicago White Sox

Injuries have limited García to just 36 games in 2018. When healthy, he’s hit for average and power, proving at least part of last year’s breakout wasn’t a fluke. Still, García lacks a track record and probably won’t bring back a big-name prospect. Abreu isn’t hitting to his usual standard, but would still have value on the market. The White Sox have spoken highly about him, though, and may not be inclined to let him go.
Likelihood they are dealt: 50/50 on Garcia. Not likely for Abreu.
Possible destinations: Cubs, Giants

A number of teams could be interested if the Marlins make J.T. Realmuto available. (AP Photo)
A number of teams could be interested if the Marlins make J.T. Realmuto available. (AP Photo)

J.T. Realmuto, C, Miami Marlins

Realmuto is the most athletic catcher in MLB, and is arguably the most complete as well. That talent level, combined with his affordable 2.9M salary and the fact he’s controllable for two more seasons should make him attractive to potential buyers. A big haul will be required, but Realmuto is a big enough difference maker at his position that a contender should go for it.
Likelihood he is dealt: 50/50
Potential destinations: Nationals

Adrián Beltré, 3B, Texas Rangers

Rangers fans won’t want to see Beltré go, but from a business standpoint it makes sense for Texas to move on from their veteran third baseman. Potentially complicating matters will be Beltré’s high salary, which has him earning nearly $9M the rest of the season, and his 10-and-5 rights, which would allow him to block any potential trade. Though it’s been reported Beltré would waive those rights to play for a contender. He’s been slowed by injuries the last two seasons as well, but still puts togethers productive at-bats and plays solid defense.
Likelihood he is dealt: 50/50
Potential destinations: Phillies, Red Sox

The rest of the O’s

Let’s face it, anyone not named Chris Davis is a candidate to get traded by the Orioles. They would like to deal Davis too, but no one is taking on that contract. That leaves Adam Jones, Kevin Gausman, Jonathan Schoop, Brad Brach, Darren O’Day and Mark Trumbo as possible trade candidates. None of those players are signed past 2020, so they definitely won’t play a role on the O’s next contender.
Likelihood they are dealt: Expect many to go
Potential destinations: Cubs, Indians

Jonathan Lucroy, C, Jed Lowrie, 2B, Oakland Athletics

Will they or won’t they? The Athletics are surging going into the All-Star break, and there’s an argument to be made that they should be buyers at the deadline. If they keep it up, Lowrie and Lucroy will stay put. In the case that Oakland falters in the days following the break, they could entertain dealing both players. Both players will be free agents and Lowrie could bring back a useful piece based on how well he’s performed in the first half.
Likelihood they are dealt: 50/50
Potential destinations: Nationals, Red Sox

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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