2024 MLB Trade Deadline Candidates: Ranking Top 10 Players

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San Diego Padres' Ha-Seong Kim reacts after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Monday, July 24, 2023, in San Diego.
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Jul 31, 2023, 2:33 PM
  • The 2024 MLB Trade Deadline date is yet to be announced.
  • Juan Soto and Kyle Hendricks top the list of players to watch.

Each season, the MLB Trade Deadline steals focus as players are moved around the league, and teams gear up for potential playoff runs. When is the MLB trade deadline? Which players are buyers, and which are sellers? Which star players could be on the move?

The date for the 2024 trade deadline is yet to be officially set, though it always falls at the very end of July or the first few days of August. 

So much can and will happen between now and next season’s deadline. Potential high-value trade chips could be re-signed to contracts with their existing teams, and surprising over or underperformance could quickly switch a team’s status as buyer or seller. 

Still, which players could be the big names at next year’s trade deadline?

2024 MLB Trade Deadline Rankings

RANKPLAYERTEAMPOSITION
1Juan SotoSan Diego PadresOutfielder
2Kyle HendricksChicago CubsStarting Pitcher
3Eduardo EscobarLos Angeles AngelsThird Baseman
4Jose AltuveHouston AstrosSecond Baseman
5Ha-Seong KimSan Diego PadresShortstop
6Jorge SolerMiami MarlinsOutfielder
7Josh DonaldsonNew York YankeesThird Baseman
8Zack WheelerPhiladelphia PhilliesStarting Pitcher
9Eloy JiménezChicago White SoxDesignated Hitter
10Mike ClevingerChicago White SoxStarting Pitcher

1. Juan Soto — San Diego Padres

Soto was the biggest name at the 2022 trade deadline, and his move to the Padres from the Washington Nationals was supposed to mean big things for San Diego. Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

While Soto has been relatively solid, he certainly hasn’t been the change-maker the Padres were hoping for when they traded numerous prospects in August 2022 and signed him to a one-year, $23 million contract in January. With one season left of club control and the team’s overall underperformance in 2023, the 24-year-old outfielder is likely to find himself on the trade market before he has a chance to hit free agency.

2. Kyle Hendricks — Chicago Cubs

The Cubs declared themselves to have finished rebuilding, but despite a strong start to the 2023 season, the team has left fans disappointed. If Chicago starts 2024 with the same level of underperformance, I expect a whole new refresh will be in order, and star closer Kyle Hendricks will be the team’s hottest trade chip.

Hendricks has been with the Cubs his entire MLB career and was a part of the 2016 team that took home the World Series title. Still, loyalty only goes so far in baseball, and with his contract expiring at the end of 2024, Hendricks is likely to move to a team in immediate contention.

3. Eduardo Escobar — Los Angeles Angels

The Angels are all but certain to lose Shohei Ohtani to free agency at the end of the season, and when they do, they’ll definitely feel it. Even with Ohtani on their roster, the Angels are effectively out of contention in 2023, so without him, I don’t have particularly high hopes for a winning season.

When the trade deadline rolls around next year, I expect the Angels to be major sellers. The seemingly ever-rebuilding team needs to properly start over, and when they do, Escobar will be a hot trade chip. The third baseman’s contract expires at the end of 2024, and I expect there will be plenty of teams looking to add a reliable infielder to their lineups.

4. Jose Altuve — Houston Astros

Altuve’s name is almost synonymous with the Astros franchise, but with his five-year, $151 million contract expiring at the end of the 2024 season, he may not be as safe in Houston as many fans would like to think.

The eight-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion has certainly had an illustrious career with the Astros, and while the team continues to perform well, Altuve will likely stay put. Still, Houston’s roster may be staring down the barrel of a shakeup after this season, and with free agency looming, Altuve may be a trade chip the Astros are interested in playing with.

5. Ha-Seong Kim — San Diego Padres

If you ask any Padres fan, they’ll tell you Kim has earned himself a contract extension after 2024. Still, if the Padres continue to struggle the way they have this season, I can see him being traded away from San Diego before his 2025 mutual option is even up for discussion.

Kim is one of the most consistent performers on the team’s roster, and there’s no question the second baseman would fetch a strong offer on the trade market. Padres GM A.J. Preller has made it clear he wants to bring a World Series title home to San Diego, so if he doesn’t start seeing results from the team soon, perhaps a dramatic roster shakeup will be the next step. If so, Kim’s status as a fan favorite is unlikely to be enough to save him from being traded at the deadline.

6. Jorge Soler — Miami Marlins

Soler signed a three-year, $36 million deal with Miami before the 2022 season, meaning that 2024 is the last year of his contract before he hits free agency. While the Marlins had a great start to 2023 and are slowly pushing their way up the standings, Soler’s likelihood of hitting the trade market midway through 2024 really depends if that luck continues.

The Marlins were buyers in 2023, but are they really contenders next season? There are more than a few weak spots in the roster, and if the team is looking to make a serious playoff run in 2024, Soler is a hot trade chip to move. Only time will tell.

7. Josh Donaldson — New York Yankees

The Yankees have consistently been buyers at the trade deadline for recent memory, but after a rather disappointing season in 2023, I won’t be surprised if major changes are coming. Perhaps they’ll chalk this year up to a one-off bad season and try the same recipe again next year, but after 13 years without an AL pennant, something’s gotta give.

Donaldson’s four-year contract includes a mutual option for next season, which is very likely to be exercised, but will he still be in New York at the end of 2024? With free agency looming, he’d be a hot rental player to trade at the deadline, and if the Yankees are looking for a shakeup, I expect he’ll be exactly where they start.

8. Zack Wheeler — Philadelphia Phillies

After losing to the Houston Astros in the 2022 World Series, fans expected another big year from the Phillies in 2023. While the team has admittedly had brief moments of hope, they’ve generally underperformed all season, and if it continues in 2024, the Phillies will likely be major sellers at the deadline.

Wheeler’s five-year, $118 million contract expires after the 2024 season, and while the All-Star is likely to want an extension with the Phillies, he may find himself negotiating with a different team. Despite Wheeler being a crucial part of Philadelphia’s playoff run in 2022, I expect the team to be listening to offers on the star next season. There’ll be no shortage of interested teams, and if the Phillies want a roster shakeup, Wheeler will be a major trade chip.

9. Eloy Jiménez — Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have had a rough couple of seasons, and their out-of-character aggression at the 2023 trade deadline has proven they want to turn it around. Jiménez has been a fan favorite in Chicago for long enough that many think he’s untouchable, but with his six-year, $43 million contract due to expire at the end of 2024, I expect the White Sox to seriously consider putting the designated hitter on the market at the deadline.

After playing in the outfield in his earlier career, Jiménez has moved to designated hitter after shaky performance and seemingly constant injuries. Still, he’s proven his bat to be relatively consistent on a wildly inconsistent team, and with two years of club control left after 2024, I expect he’ll garner a fair few trade offers on the market.

10. Mike Clevinger — Chicago White Sox

Clevinger’s first season with the White Sox has been interesting, to say the least. From off-the-field controversies to questionable starts on the mound, the 32-year-old has regularly been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Still, with Chicago continuing to shed veterans to rebuild their struggling roster, Clevinger is likely to get some interest.

After a rough start to 2023, Clevinger eventually found his footing with a number of strong outings, and is now one of the better starters on the White Sox. Assuming his mutual option for next season is exercised, he’ll enter free agency at the end of 2024, and if Chicago is truly all-in on a roster shakeup, Clevinger will be a reliable rental player to trade at the deadline.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.