- The 2023 MLB Trade Deadline is Tuesday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. ET.
- The White Sox, Cubs, and Royals will be top sellers on the market.
With the MLB season well into its second half and the playoffs rapidly approaching, all attention is on the looming trade deadline.
The 2023 MLB Trade Deadline date is Tuesday, Aug. 1, at 6 p.m. ET, marking the last opportunity for contending teams to acquire any missing links they need to compete in the postseason. For teams with slim to no chance of advancing this year, the deadline is a chance to sell, focusing on future seasons by trading their high-value players for promising prospects.
So with the deadline just around the corner, who are the top three selling teams to watch, and which players could we see moving?
MLB Trade Deadline 2023: Top 3 Sellers to Watch
Chicago White Sox
After an extremely disappointing season in 2022, the White Sox have somehow managed to perform even worse this year. An offseason managerial change has proven not to be even close to enough to lead the White Sox to their supposed potential, and with the team now well out of playoff conversations, I expect them to be major sellers at the deadline.
As of July 26, the White Sox’s record of 41-61 places them fourth in the AL Central (a division with only one team over .500). Last year, Chicago ended the regular season second in the division at a perfectly mediocre 81-81. Keep in mind, this is supposed to be the team’s “contention window.” Fans can blame the front office all they want (and, to be fair, the front office does deserve a lot of blame), but if the White Sox want to move forward, it’s time for a serious roster shakeup.
The White Sox have multiple players likely to garner interest at the deadline, and with pitching help a major need from buying teams across MLB, I expect Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, Kendall Graveman, and Liam Hendriks to all receive offers. As for position players, there’s a lot of argument to be made that Tim Anderson and Yasmani Grandal should be on the market, too.
While aggressive trades are famously not Chicago’s style, it’s time for the White Sox to force a hard reset in the dugout. Right now, I wouldn’t bet on any player being completely safe from a move.
The White Sox aren’t the only team from Chicago underperforming this season. After a hot start, the Cubs cooled right down, and as of July 26, they’re third in the NL Central at 49-51. Having declared the rebuild to be over, 2023 was supposed to be the Cubs’ comeback year, but it simply hasn’t worked out that way.
The Cubs’ biggest trade chip is starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, and with pitching demand from the Orioles, Diamondbacks, and Rangers (just to name a few), I doubt they’ll be short on offers. Stroman has posted a 3.09 ERA with 105 strikeouts through 21 starts this season, so he’ll be a hot asset for any team looking to bolster their rotation for the playoffs.
Cody Bellinger is another trade chip that could move in the next week. As of July 26, Bellinger is slashing .314/.363/.540, making him arguably one of the hottest bats in MLB right now. The Astros and Yankees both need a strong hitter after some shaky offense this season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays show interest, as well.
As much as the Cubs would’ve loved to cross over into buying this season, 2023 isn’t their year. I expect some big sales at the deadline, hopefully to secure some prospects to continue that roster rebuild that’s supposedly already finished.
Kansas City Royals
After a pretty awful season in 2022 (65-97), the Royals are doing even worse in 2023. As of July 26, Kansas City is last in the AL Central with a record of 29-74, and if there was ever a team that needed to sell, this is it.
The Royals started their fire sale early. On June 30, they shipped All-Star pitcher Aroldis Chapman to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Cole Ragans and Roni Cabrera, and both acquisitions are exactly what Kansas City needs — young players ready to be developed into the next generation of stars. So who’s next?
There are a lot of players on the Royals’ roster with the potential to garner significant interest, and how many of them are traded really just depends on how aggressively the team is taking this rebuild. Nicky Lopez, Scott Barlow, Salvador Perez, Taylor Clarke, and Jose Cuas could all move over the next week, and if Chapman’s early trade is anything to go by, I expect nearly all of them to be on the market at a competitive rate.
The biggest question mark for the Royals hangs over the head of veteran starter and impending free agent, Zack Greinke. Due to enter free agency at the end of the season, Greinke could be a hot trade chip — but would the team part ways? This is Greinke’s second stint with the Royals, and having made his MLB debut with the team 20 seasons ago, retiring in Kansas City is a perfect full-circle moment for the star. Still, there are only too many teams in need of pitching help right now, and Greinke would likely pull a strong offer.
The Royals have a lot of options right now, and most of them will result in a trade, one way or another. For Greinke, the situation is more complicated. Is there space for loyalty in baseball? Only time will tell.
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