As many people have pointed out, the trade deadline has the potential to be very wonky this season. Because of the expanded playoffs, a lot more teams are going to feel like they have a chance at the postseason. Combine that with the poor play in the AL and NL Central divisions, and there might not be too many teams willing to punt on their seasons over the next month.
In this piece, I’ll be dividing potential sellers into three categories: for sure selling, probably selling, and on the fence. Let’s see who could be a potential trade partner for the Braves before the August 1st trade deadline.
For Sure Sellers
- Washington Nationals
- Kansas City Royals
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Colorado Rockies
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Kansas City Royals
- Chicago White Sox
- Oakland Athletics
Some of these teams might be better suited in the “probably selling” category, but I feel confident that all of these clubs will sell in some capacity at the trade deadline. The St. Louis Cardinals have been arguably the most disappointing team in baseball. Nothing is working, and they are 12.5 games out of first place in the NL Central. I’m not sure how they justify not selling at the trade deadline unless they rattle off a huge win streak over the next month.
The Pittsburgh Pirates aren’t totally out of it, but they don’t have the roster to compete, and their recent run of play has made that clear. They would be stupid not to sell everything they can before the trade deadline.
The Chicago White Sox also aren’t totally out of it, but all reports suggest they intend to sell at the trade deadline. They have a lot of pieces that would be intriguing to competing teams, and in a seller’s market, it makes the most sense for them to re-tool their roster.
The rest of the teams in this category are last place teams that will undoubtedly be looking to trade whatever they can for as much as they can before the trade deadline.
- Detroit Tigers
- Chicago Cubs
Both of these teams are in similar spots, trailing by 6-7 games in a weak division. They are rebuilding clubs that don’t really have championship aspirations, but a hot July could keep them from selling off their spare parts. At the end of the day, both of these teams would be wise to punt on the season, continue rebuilding, and look forward to the future, but that doesn’t mean they will.
On The Fence
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Mets
- San Diego Padres
- Los Angeles Angels
This list features three of the most disappointing teams in the league. The Mets and Padres have two of the three highest payrolls in baseball. Both were popular picks to win the World Series, yet they are closer to last place in their respective divisions than first. They will put their best foot forward in July, but if they continue to lose ground, I’m not sure how they don’t sell at the trade deadline. They both have some very good players they could look to move that every team will be interested in.
The Angels are another disappointing squad. They didn’t have the expectations of the Mets and Padres coming into the year, but with the season that Shohei Ohtani is having, it’s almost unfathomable that they are just one game over .500. I expect them to buy at the trade deadline, but if they continue to fall out of the race over the next month, they may have no choice but to look to move Ohtani.
The Red Sox are probably overachieving this season and are not totally out of the Wild Card race, but they are in a rebuild. Their fans are going to hate it, but it makes sense for them to sell and continue stockpiling assets for the future.
Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire