One Current or Future Trade Candidate For Each Team in The American League

Every team, whether rebuilding or contending, always has either a surplus of players at one position or a complete hole at others and will want to make a transaction to address those areas. Whether you’re team is looking to cash in on any players they can to get prospects for the future or are looking for the final pieces to the puzzle for a World Series title, every team has at least one player that can be considered a trade candidate or an eventual trade candidate in the near future. Here we will pick one player from each team that could make sense as a current, or near future, trade candidate.

-OF Mitch Haniger(Seattle Mariners)

The Mariners have been perhaps the most active team this offseason due to their tear down of the teams’ roster, and while GM Jerry Dipoto has made it clear he would have to be “blown away” to deal their star outfielder, Seattle would get a huge return for him which could further help out in their small rebuild. Of course, simply keeping him would help too.

-OF Mike Trout(Los Angeles Angels)

Many fans have wondered what the Angels would get in a trade(or who could make that deal happen) for the future hall of famer, and it would make sense due to the uncertain future with the Angels. They have the playoffs in mind in 2019, but if the team falls short once again, it would be interesting if they at least think about the thought of trading Trout in the 2019-20 offseason, especially if the Angels aren’t convinced he would sign an extension to remain in Anaheim for the rest of his career.

-IF Franklin Barreto(Oakland Athletics)

The A’s are relatively set except for a couple of positions next season(catcher and starting pitching) and with a full infield set for 2019, playing time will once again be hard to come by for former top prospect Barreto. Perhaps trading Barreto for an established major leaguer at another position of need, could help out. Of course, Barreto is just 22, so the A’s could take their time with him if they feel he still isn’t ready for consistent major league at-bats.

-OF Kyle Tucker(Houston Astros)

Tucker is the Astros’ top prospect, and one of the top 10 prospects in the game, and he’s mentioned here for one reason, he could very well headline a trade package for an elite major leaguer at a position of need. He’s been mentioned as a possible centerpiece in a trade for Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto, but with Miami still wanting more top talent, it’s unlikely at this time that Tucker would be included in any deal.

-RHP Mike Minor(Texas Rangers)

Minor is the current top Rangers player who is most likely to be dealt and while there’s multiple other players who could eventually be dealt(Jose Leclerc, Shin-Soo Choo), we’ll use Minor in this post. Many teams have been linked to Minor both in a starting and relief role, and the Rangers have made it clear they want meaningful prospects in return for their current top starter.

-OF Nicholas Castellanos(Detroit Tigers)

He’s currently the top trade candidate for the Tigers and they’ve been shopping him hard this offseason as he enters his final year of team control, with the Dodgers being most heavily linked to the Tigers’ outfielder, but with the asking price too high for teams right now, don’t expect a Castellanos deal soon.

-RHP Corey Kluber(Cleveland Indians)

Both Kluber and fellow starter Trevor Bauer have been all over the rumor mill this offseason but the Indians have not connected on a deal with anyone. It’s not known if Cleveland will deal either ace now, but several teams remain in talks with the Indians about Kluber.

-1B Jose Abreu(Chicago White Sox)

Abreu has been mentioned in the past as a trade candidate and teams have tried to trade for the White Sox slugger in the past. While Abreu makes sense as a trade candidate, it’s unlikely at this point that Chicago trades him.

-LHP Danny Duffy(Kansas City Royals)

While Whit Merrifield is the popular player amongst Kansas City players when it comes to teams showing trade interest, the Royals still aren’t interested in dealing their star 2nd baseman, which makes Duffy the more likely candidate if they can find a suitor for his services. Duffy will need a rebound in 2019 however, if KC wants to have a chance at dealing the left-hander for any meaningful return.

-3B Miguel Sano(Minnesota Twins)

This is a bit of an interesting one despite the inconsistencies Sano has had thus far in his career. If Sano can’t rebound in 2019, he could very well fall out of favor in Minnesota, who could look to trade him if he can’t get back to the player he was when he first came to the majors. He’s still just 25 though, so it remains to be seen just how much of a leash he still has left on the Minnesota roster.

-3B Miguel Andujar(New York Yankees)

The young 3rd baseman finished runner up in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2018 but despite that, Andujar has been one of the most popular trade candidates this offseason due to the fact that if New York is to land Manny Machado, Andujar would be supplanted at the hot corner, leaving him with no specific position. Teams have shown a lot of interest in Andujar, but it remains to be seen if the Yankees trade him.

-IF/C Blake Swihart(Boston Red Sox)

Since coming to the majors, the former top prospect has had no real position on the team and continues to be blocked at all positions around the diamond. Swihart has been used all over the field thus far to get more playing time, but he has yet to do much with the bat and eventually Boston could consider a change of scenery type of trade for the 26-year old.

-RHP Dylan Bundy(Baltimore Orioles)

Mychal Givens is the most popular Orioles player when it comes to teams showing interest, but if Bundy can rebound next season, teams could very well have renewed interest in the right hander, in part because he’s had success in recent seasons.

-OF Kevin Kiermaier(Tampa Bay Rays)

If there’s one player that the Rays would consider listening to offers on in the near future, it would probably be Kiermaier. His outstanding defense would be of interest to plenty of teams but it would take not only the Rays falling out of the playoff picture, but Kiermaier’s bat to come back to life in 2019 for Tampa to consider listening to offers on him.

-RHP Marcus Stroman(Toronto Blue Jays)

Teams have shown more interest in Stroman more than anyone on the Blue Jays, but Toronto wants a big return still for the right-hander. However, due to his underwhelming, injury riddled 2018, Toronto would somewhat be selling low on Stroman. The Padres have shown the most interest.

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Taking A Look At The Rays Top Trade Chips

The Tampa Bay Rays normally carry a small payroll every year, ranging anywhere from $60-70MM per year, with the team’s highest payroll coming in the end of the 2016 season at just over $81MM. Tampa’s owner Stuart Sternberg has called for a drop in payroll this offseason, which means another offseason of tough decisions are ahead for the Rays’ front office. With a strong farm system, the Rays don’t exactly need to have a fire sale and trade everyone, but they will have to market several veterans nonetheless. Let’s take a look at the players who may come up in discussions at the winter meetings.

-Jake Odorizzi/$7MM(arb projection)

Odorizzi enters his last season of club control next season before he hits free agency, and trading him and his projected salary is a no-brainer for a team that is cutting payroll. The Rays may not get as much in return as they would have in the past couple of years, but nonetheless Odorizzi and his 3.83 career ERA could fill a No. 3 or 4 spot in another team’s rotation.

-Corey Dickerson/$6.5MM(arb projection)

Dickerson was a 2.7 WAR player who hit a career high 27 homers and made the all-star team in the 2017 season but he struggled in the year prior and actually had his hot and cold streaks during this past season. Teams may not value him very highly despite the ability to hit 20+ homers per year. He’s not valued highly defensively, which is why the Rays use him as a DH often in the lineup. He can provide enough offense however that teams may have some interest.

-Alex Colome/$6MM(arb projection)

One of the top closers on the trade market, Colome is expected to receive plenty of interest, we’ve already heard the Cardinals are interested, and he should have a wide market for teams looking for back-end help that don’t want to pay the current free agent closers. The Rays will have a big asking price on Colome due to his club control, but with a reliable closer who saved 47 games in 2017, he should receive a big return.

-Evan Longoria/$13.6MM

He’s spent his entire 10-year career in a Rays uniform and has been a franchise cornerstone, but the Rays have been rumored to at least consider listening to teams if they call about Longoria in the past couple of years. The Rays have given no indication that they are shopping their longtime star 3rd baseman, but with his $13.6MM salary and the fact that his salary will rise in the years ahead, Tampa President of Baseball Operations Matthew Silverman may have to make a very tough call in considering trading the teams’ longtime franchise player. Despite his somewhat down 2017, Longoria has proved he is a strong offensive weapon and can help any major league lineup. The fact that he is 31 and is signed through his age 37 season could give teams some pause however.

-Wilson Ramos/$8.5MM

Ramos was added last winter with the hopes of him returning from his ACL injury to be the player he was prior to his injury, when he had a huge year with the Nationals in 2016 where he hit .307/.354/.496 in 523 PAs. He returned midseason to hit .260/.290/.447 with 11 homers, so perhaps the Rays may have to keep Ramos around and hope he can have a better year in 2018, where he’ll have a full year to prove his health and hopefully fully return to form to get some value at next year’s trade deadline.

-Chris Archer/$6.4MM

The clear top player in terms of trade value on the Rays, Archer is both very affordable and a top of the rotation starter. And as such, the Rays should have a massive asking price on the 28-year old right-hander. He is mentioned due to the fact that teams are always calling about Archer, but once again, unless if they are to receive a massive offer, don’t expect Archer to be traded.

Kevin Kiermaier/$5.6MM

Kiermaier was only recently extended last year, so he would be one of the last players the team would trade, but like Archer, unless the Rays receive a big offer, don’t expect a Kiermaier trade to happen.

Adeiny Hechavarria/$5MM(arb projection)

With the deadline to tender contracts to arb-eligible players, there’s the chance that Hechavarria may even be non-tendered. If he isn’t, the Rays are sure to aggressively shop the gifted defender at shortstop. His light bat works against the Rays and his projected $5MM salary in trade talks, and while he won’t receive much of a return in the event of a trade, the Rays getting out from his salary would be enough to make the team happy.

Brad Miller/$5MM(arb projection)

Perhaps the toughest player in terms of tendering a contract by tonight’s deadline, Miller looks like he’ll be tendered a contract despite those that say he may not. Miller had a really rough year in 2017, however his breakout 2016 in which he smacked 30 homers could help the Rays in at least keeping him around with the hopes of finding a taker in trade talks.

Special thanks to Cot’s Contracts for providing salaries.