Its officially July, which means we are less than one month away from the trade deadline. Contenders like the Yankees and Astros will match up with sellers like the Orioles and Royals to try to upgrade their team for a postseason push, while sellers can stock up on their farm system. Here are 15 trades involving all 30 teams that make sense for all parties.
Braves acquire RHP Joakim Soria from White Sox
To the surprise of many, the Atlanta Braves still lead the National League East by 3 games. However, if they want to keep this up, they should seriously consider upgrading the bullpen. Arodys Vizcaino has been excellent as the closer with a 1.88 ERA, but his shaky peripherals make one wonder how long this production will last. His FIP is a 3.17, which creates a dramatic gap of 1.29. Even if he keeps it up, the Braves bullpen relies heavily on inexperienced youngsters. Adding a veteran like Soria would give them a reliable option in the bullpen and wouldn’t force them to give up any significant prospects. He’d be a great compliment to Vizcaino as while Vizcaino can be wild at times, Soria barely walks batters and has an excellent WHIP of 1.100. He looks like the perfect 8th inning set up guy for Atlanta, which they need desperately. The White Sox already have a stacked farm system, so its likely they’d take a chance on a high upside guy, such as outfielder Drew Waters.
Predicted Deal: Braves acquire Joakim Soria for OF Drew Waters (#18 ATL Prospect) and RHP Jasseel De La Cruz (#27 ATL Prospect)
Yankees LHP JA Happ from Blue Jays
The Yankees are one of (if not) the best teams in baseball. Their 54-27 record means that they could do nothing at the deadline and still have a good chance at winning the world series. However, the rotation is a big question mark outside of Luis Severino. Sonny Gray was expected to emerge into the #2 pitcher, but he’s struggled with a 5.44 ERA. Masahiro Tanaka was also supposed to help compose a dominant rotation, but he’s currently on the disabled list. This isn’t a long-term issue, but the Yankees definitely need pitching now. The solution? Go after a veteran pitcher in JA Happ, who is a free agent at the end off the year. Happ, 35, continues to get better with age. This year he has a 3.62 ERA with very solid peripherals. His FIP is slightly lower than his ERA at 3.58, he is striking guys out at a career high at 9.84 K/9, and his 2.51 BB/9 suggests that he isn’t going to beat himself on the mound. He’d be great veteran option to start a game two in a playoff series with Severino starting game one. If he can maintain this pace down the stretch as well, he could play a pivotal role in helping the Yankees capture the AL East title. The Blue Jays farm system lacks arms, but luckily for them, the Yankees have plenty off them to send to them in a package for Happ.
Predicted Deal: Yankees acquire LHP JA Happ from Blue Jays for RHP Albert Abreu (#3 NYY Prospect), Freicer Perez (#6 NYY Prospect), and RHP Domingo Acevedo (#7 NYY Prospect)
Giants acquire OF Adam Duvall from Reds
The 2018 Campaign hasn’t been kind to Adam Duvall. He currently has a .206 average and only a .685 OPS. However, these stats can be misleading. He’s actually seen increases in both his exit velocity and barrel percentage, suggesting he’s hitting the ball hard. He has also increased his walk rate, which suggests that he has a better approach this year than to prior years. These stats make Duvall an excellent breakout candidate for the second half. At the very least, Duvall plays gold glove caliber defense and is a power threat in the lineup. The San Francisco Giants have gotten little both offensively and defensively in left field. They’ve tried out Austin Jackson, Hunter Pence, Mac Williamson, and even Alen Hanson in left, but none of those guys look like the answer in left. Sure, youngster Austin Slater has done well when given playing time, but he looks more like a bench bat than anything. Duvall would be a significant upgrade in left, and could be the missing piece to a Giants team that is on the fringe of contention if he were to breakout in the second half. The Reds however, are committing a lot of their corner outfield playing time to Jesse Winker and Scott Schebler. This has limited Duvall’s playing time, so it make sense for them to trade him to get rid of this outfield cluster they have while adding a few prospects. Because of Duvall’s poor start, he won’t cost much in the form of prospects, which is good for the Giants because they lack any high quality prospects.
Predicted Deal: Giants acquire OF Adam Duvall for RHP Gregory Santos (#13 SF Prospect) and RHP Garrett Cave (#18 SF Prospect)
Rockies acquire C JT Realmuto and 1B Justin Bour from Marlins
Despite having a really solid lineup, the Rockies have gotten limited production from their lineup. Two reasons for that would be limited production from both catcher and first base. In acquiring both JT Realmuto and Justin Bour from the Marlins, Colorado can kill two birds with one stone. The Rockies have no long term answer at catcher, and it’s not often a 27 year old all star caliber catcher with three years left of club control are available. Therefore, the Rockies need to take advantage of this opportunity and snag one of the game’s best young catchers. Realmuto’s .306 average is nearly twice the combine average of Tony Wolters and Chris Ianetta. Just from that, its safe to say adding Realmuto would make them a much better team in both the short term and long term. As for Bour, he’s only hitting .237 with just 13 home runs. However, his power numbers should get a boost in playing at Coors Field. Plus, he’s a much better option over Ian Desmond, who is hitting .217 with 17 homeruns. At the very least, the two would from a solid platoon at first base. Colorado is unlikely to trade top prospect Brendan Rodgers, but they should be able to get a deal done if they include a large amount of their top ten prospects.
Predicted Deal: Rockies acquire C JT Realmuto and 1B Justin Bour from Marlins for 3B Colton Welker (#2 COL Prospect), RHP Peter Lambert (#3 COL Prospect), RHP Riley Pint (#4 COL Prospect), 1B Ryan McMahon, and RHP Robert Tyler (#23 COL Prospect)
Nationals acquire C Francisco Cervelli from Nationals
Despite having one of the league’s most talented rosters, the Nationals are at risk of completely missing the playoffs at 42-40. A big reason for that is their inconsistent production from their offense. To take it one step further, their catchers are hitting a combined .205, which certainly won’t get the job done. Cervelli is only hitting .257, but he has a terrific on base percentage of .390. With that on base percentage, he could be a table setter for Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, and Juan Soto in the Nationals lineup. He also is a great teammate with postseason experience, which is another major plus. He’s not a rental as well, as he has another year of control on an affordable contract. As for the Pirates, it makes sense for them to trade the remaining veterans to acquire some extra talent in the farm system. Despite being in a semi rebuild, they haven’t built up their farm system the way you’d expect when they traded Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in the offseason. They’re 8 games out of the division, and shouldn’t have high hopes on making the playoffs. So now would be the time to finally fully commit to a rebuild.
Predicted Deal: Nationals acquire C Francisco Cervelli from Pirates for RHP Erick Feede (#3 WSH Prospect) and OF Telmito Agustin (#22 WSH Prospect)
Dodgers acquire RHPs Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler from Mets
The Los Angeles Dodgers have escaped their horrible start to season, and now find themselves at 44-39. They don’t have a lot of weaknesses, but two things they could use are an 8th inning setup man to closer Kenley Jansen and some extra depth in the rotation. Similar to the Rockies, why not kill two birds with one stone? The Mets have gone from 11-1 to 33-48 in whats been an awful season for them. They’ve already come out as sellers, and are open to trading everyone. The Dodgers’ strong farm system would surely entice the Mets to make a deal. Familia’s 2.45 FIP is a great sign that he should continue to see his ERA drop as the season progresses and also has closing experience. He’d be a great set up man, and could take the pressure off of Kenley Jansen, who the Dodgers tend to overuse. Wheeler is having a breakout season with a 3.67 FIP. He isn’t a top of the rotation starter by any means, but is cheap and is an excellent option as a #4 or $5 starter.
Predicted Deal: Dodgers acquire RHPs Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler from Mets for RHP Mitchell White (#3 LAD Prospect), RHP Yadier Alvarez (#8 LAD Prospect), C Will Smith (#9 LAD Prospect), and 3B Cristian Santana (#13 LAD Prospect)
Mariners acquire LHP Matt Boyd and CF Leonys Martin from Tigers
Despite being 54-31, the Mariners still have several needs that they need to fill if they want to break their postseason drought. Their two main needs are an upgrade in the rotation, and an upgrade defensively in center field. They could fix both needs by acquiring Matt Boyd and Leonys Martin from the rebuilding Tigers, who will almost certainly look to trade their main assets to further strengthen the farm system. Their rotation has a combined 4.03 ERA, and they are relying too heavily on injury prone ace James Paxton. Finding another middle of the rotation starter would go along way to clinching a playoff berth, and Matt Boyd would be a great option. Boyd may only have a 4.18 ERA, but his H/9 and HR/9 are solid. His 2.17 K-BB ratio isn’t exactly ideal, but by no means is it bad. Entering June, he had an ERA of just 3.00, which skyrocketed after a couple bad starts vs the Indians and Reds. This would be the perfect time for the Mariners to buy low on him, as there is a good chance Boyd could see his ERA drop down once again to where it was prior to June. He also is controlled through 2023, so this by no means is a rental for Seattle. Leonys Martin’s .257 average and .758 OPS would be a big upgrade over Guillermo Heredia’s .230 average and .646 OPS. Plus, Martin’s 1.7 WAR is a substantial upgrade over Heredia’s 0.2 WAR. He’s also just making $1.75M, which means that acquiring him and Boyd would cost a total of $2.3M. Therefore, Seattle could also look to make other moves to address the roster, as their financial flexibility due to the fact that they saved $10M from Robinson Cano’s suspension would remain in place.
Predicted Deal: Mariners acquire LHP Matt Boyd and CF Leonys Martin from Tigers for OF Julio Rodriguez (#4 SEA Prospect) OF Braden Bishop (#5 SEA Prospect), RHP Art Warren (#8 DET Prospect), and 2B Joseph Rosa (#22 SEA Prospect)
Cardinals acquire 3B Mike Moustakas from Royals
Matt Carpenter and Jedd Gyroko have hit a combined .247 with 20 home runs this season. Mike Moustakas on his own is hitting .258 with 16 homeruns. Also, outside of Carpenter and Kolten Wong, the Cardinals don’t have any lefties in their everyday lineup. Moustakas would give them the left-handed power they desperately need and would allow them to move Carpenter to second base to replace Kolten Wong, who is hitting just .192 with 6 homeruns. Because he’s a rental, the Royals will almost certainly trade Moustakas and he won’t cost much prospect wise. This is great news for the Cardinals, because Moustakas fills their biggest need and won’t require them to deal any of their young pitchers.
Predicted Deal: Cardinals acquire 3B Mike Moustakas from Royals for 2B Max Schrock (#6 STL Prospect) and RHP Connor Jones (#18 STL Prospect)
Red Sox acquire LHP Jose Alvarez from Angels
The Red Sox have only left-handed pitcher in the bullpen in Brian Johnson. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have to prospects to go after Brad Hand. Jose Alvarez however, would be a great addition. He has quietly put together a 2.95 ERA this year, which is backed up by a 2.84 FIP. The Angels are 43-41, but they are well out of the playoff race due to the Mariners’ 54-31 record. Trading Alvarez would be a smart way to boost up their weak farm system while not hurting their team’s chances of contending in 2019 too much. Boston is also looking to trade away C Blake Swihart. The Angels have gotten limited production from the catching position, so it would be a good idea for them to take a chance on Swihart in what has unfortunately become a lost season for them due to injuries and the Mariners and Astros’ success.
Predicted Deal: Red Sox acquire LHP Jose Alvarez from Angels for C Blake Swihart, LHP Darwninzon Hernandez (#7 BOS Prospect), and OF Tyler Esplin (#20 BOS Prospect).
Diamondbacks acquire 2B Brian Dozier from Twins
Brian Dozier may only be hitting .221 with 12 home runs, but don’t expect that to last for long. His .243 BABIP and career high 38.4% hard contact rate suggests that he has been the victim of very bad luck. Similar to Duvall, this makes him an excellent candidate to breakout in the second half. Arizona has gotten limited production from their middle infield this season, as their second basemen and shortstops are hitting a combined .235 with just 16 homeruns. They’d like to solve that problem by acquiring Manny Machado, but they simply don’t have the prospects to win those sweepstakes. Therefore, they’d be better off targeting Dozier. Because of his “down year” and the fact he’s a rental, he shouldn’t be hard to acquire. If Dozier were to breakout and return to his old form, Arizona would be a world series contender. As for the Twins, they’re probably not resigning Dozier so they might as well get some compensation before they lose him in free agency.
Predicted Deal: Diamonbacks acquire 2B Brian Dozier for RHP Taylor Widener (#4 ARI Prospect), RHP Matt Tabor (#9 ARI Prospect), and OF Afernee Grier (#20 ARI Prospect)
Astros acquire LHP Brad Hand from Padres
The Astros are sitting at 55-31, yet they’re only 0.5 games ahead of the Mariners. To make certain that they win the division, they need to bolster their bullpen. Their only lefty is Tony Sipp, which could be a problem come playoff time. They also could use an upgrade at closer over Ken Giles, who has been extremely inconsistent this season. They can accomplish both by acquiring Brad Hand from the Padres. The Padres southpaw has struggled recently, but that shouldn’t stop the Astros from realizing that he’s an upgrade over Giles. He still leads the league in saves (23), has an elite K/9 of 12.9, and carries a solid WHIP of 1.091. Just imagine what those stats would’ve been if he hadn’t struggled at the end of June. He’s also controlled through next season, so he isn’t a rental, and would be the Astros closer for at least this season and next. It’s possible that Hand’s rough June could lower the Padres’ asking price, but even if it doesn’t, the defending champs need to make this move if they want to repeat as champs.
Predicted Deal: Astros acquire LHP Brad Hand from Padres for OF Yordan Alvarez (#3 HOU Prospect), RHP JB Bukauskas (#4 HOU Prospect), RHP David Paulino (#8 HOU Prospect), and OF Myles Straw (#20 HOU Prospect)
Phillies acquire LHP Cole Hamels from Rangers
Many expect the Phillies to be a major player in the Manny Machado sweepstakes. However, there is a good chance that they wait to sign him in free agency rather than give up top prospects to get him now. Phillies starters outside of Aaron Nola and Jake Arrieta have an ERA of 4.81 ths year. To fix this issue, it would be wise for them to consider a reunion with Cole Hamels. Unlike many of the players on this young Philies team, Hamels has a long postseason history. He’d also form one of the best rotations in baseball with him, Nola, and Arrieta. His 4.05 ERA doesn’t leave much to be desired, but going back to the Phillies could help him get back on track. The Phillies are also one of the few teams that can take on his $20M cap hit, as they have plenty of cap space. Centering a package around former #1 overall Mickey Moniak should entice the Rangers, who are desperately trying to rebuild their farm system by trading Hamels.
Predicted Deal: Phillies acquire LHP Cole Hamels from Rangers for OF Mickey Moniak (#4 PHI Prospect), RHP Enyel De Los Santos (#11 PHI Prospect), and RHP Francisco Morales (#18 PHI Prospect)
Indians acquire RHP Blake Treinen from A’s
The Indians (45-37) and A’s (46-39) actually have near identical records. However, the Indians lead the weak AL Central, while Oakland is 8.5 games back in the AL West and 8 games out of the AL Wildcard. Therefore, they are likely to be sellers while Cleveland is likely to try to upgrade their team for the postseason. Their bullpen has been miserable outside of Cody Allen and Andrew Miller. Even Allen and Miller have had their share of problems, as the former has a 4.01 FIP and the latter has dealt with injuries. Both are also free agents at the end of the season, so getting a quality controlled reliever is a must for the Indians. Blake Treinen is a great option, as he has a 0.89 ERA and is controlled through 2021. So why would the A’s look to trade him? Well, Treinen is already 30 and is likely to get more expensive once he reaches arbitration. Trading him now would boost up Oakland’s farm system, while giving Cleveland much-needed help in the bullpen and insurance in case they lose Allen and Miller in free agency.
Brewers acquire RHP Chris Archer from Rays
It seems as though Chris Archer has been the subject of trade talks since he came into the league. However, now is the perfect time for Tampa Bay to trade him. He’s got two years of control left, which is the best time to trade someone, and has a 4.24 ERA. However, he had been doing much better prior to landed on the disabled list and has a FIP of 3.79. Tampa can’t risk his value going down anymore, so they may be forced to trade him now. The Brewers have several needs that they are trying to fill, and a top of the rotation guy. is the main one. Archer has the upside the become an ace, and could become one with a change of scenery. He’s controlled through 2020 and only is making $4.3M this year, so this allows the Brewers to maintain some financial flexibility to fill other needs, such as catcher and middle infield. Millwaukee needs to add Archer if they want to contend this year and beyond. A deal centered around RHP Corbin Burnes should be enough to get a deal done. Keep on eye on Freddy Peralta in a potential deal though. His “tweener” stamina (6-7 innings max) and high K/9 make him an ideal pitcher to pitch in their bullpen games.
Predicted Deal: Brewers acquire RHP Chris Archer for RHP Corbin Burnes (#2 MIL Prospect), OF Corey Ray (#5 Prospect), and RHP Freddy Peralta (#9 MIL Prospect)
Cubs acquire SS Manny Machado from Orioles
For some reason, many believe that SS Manny Machado isn’t the missing piece for the Cubs winning the championship, but he is. Due to a hot June, SS Addison Russell now has respectable numbers with a .286 average and 5 home runs, but don’t be fooled. His .766 OPS is almost 200 points lower than Machado’s .941 OPS. Chicago has also gotten inconsistent production from the top of their lineup, and Russell isn’t going to be able to help with that. Manny Machado however, could turn the Cubs lineup from mediocre to elite. A 2-3-4 of Machado, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant would give pitchers nightmares. This added protection would surely help Rizzo and Bryant see their production rise, as pitchers would have to go right after them. So not only would Machado be a major upgrade over Russell, he would help his new teammates start to produce to their capabilities. Many are considered by his below average defense by the metrics, but he is improving with more time at short stop and still has the athleticism and the arm strength to be an average defender at least at short stop. Baltimore has no choice but to trade him, as he’s a free agent at the end of the season. Chicago may not have the prospects to compete with other teams in these sweepstakes, but they do have a young up and coming player who is established in the big leagues in Russell. A package centered around him should be enough for them to win the sweepstakes.
Predicted Deal: Cubs acquire SS Manny Machado from Cubs for SS Addison Russell, RHP Oscar De La Cruz (#3 CHC Prospect), RHP Jose Albertos (#4 CHC Prospect), RHP Dillon Maples (#12 CHC Prospect)
Prospect Rankings from MLB.Com. Stats from Fangraphs and Baseball Reference.