The upcoming Trade Deadline is just weeks away, and teams are rushing to finalize their rosters before August 2 rocks around. With half a season left and the current baseball standings revealing which teams are likely to still be in contention come October, the New York Yankees continue to lead the World Series odds at +375. The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t far behind with odds of +450, but it’s definitely still anyone’s game.
As the American League and National League battle in their divisions to claim a spot in the postseason, who are the buyers and sellers of the AL going into this year’s Trade Deadline?
Baltimore Orioles: SELLER
Although he isn’t having the best year of his career, outfielder Cedric Mullins should be up for sale if the Orioles are looking to go big. He isn’t eligible for free agency until after 2025, and Baltimore would likely net a lot in return. If the Orioles decide to keep Mullins, at least until the offseason, outfielder Anthony Santander and first baseman Trey Mancini should garner a decent amount of interest.
Cedric Mullins is good at baseball. pic.twitter.com/sZ75OY1lyK
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 8, 2022
Boston Red Sox: BUYER
The Red Sox are in arguably the toughest division in the MLB, competing with the Blue Jays to get a Wild Card spot when the Yankees almost certainly take first place. Regardless, since they are currently in second with a good chance of staying there, Boston is likely to be buying. The team’s bullpen could use some help, even with Chris Sale due to return very soon, and maybe a strong bat at first base would be good, but the team isn’t really desperate. Because of this, I can’t see the Red Sox being particularly aggressive before the deadline.
New York Yankees: BUYER
As the favorites to win this year’s World Series, the Yankees will use this time before the Trade Deadline to ensure their roster is tight. The thing is, it sort of already is. The Yankees have very few needs going into the offseason, but if they want to space out their pitching rotation to take a load off the current stars, they may consider looking for another starter.
Tampa Bay Rays: BUYER
Tampa Bay needs a catcher and a big hitter, so the Chicago Cubs should expect an inquiry about Willson Contreras. Otherwise, I don’t think the Rays will be big buyers over the next few weeks.
Toronto Blue Jays: BUYER
The Blue Jays have great starters in Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman, but they need an experienced reliever to fill out the bullpen. Toronto and Boston will continue to battle for a Wild Card slot since the Yankees are almost sure to take first place in the AL East, so a strong reliever could definitely give the Blue Jays the edge they need.
Chicago White Sox: BUYER
The White Sox’s second base problem is well-known, but their real issue this season has been the lack of depth in their bullpen. It isn’t Chicago’s style to buy aggressively, but with their current 41-44 record, they arguably should be if they want to see themselves in the postseason. Regarding who would likely garner any interest from other teams, starter Johnny Cueto is the White Sox’s biggest chip coming up to the deadline, but Triple-A’s Lenyn Sosa may also see himself in a trade for a relief pitcher, preferably a left-handed one.
Johnny Cueto appreciation tweet. pic.twitter.com/N27thE55ON
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) June 19, 2022
Cleveland Guardians: BUYER
Like Tampa Bay, the Guardians are likely to be on the phone with the Chicago Cubs — Cleveland desperately needs a catcher, and Willson Contreras would make a great addition. Austin Hedges and Luke Maile have been sharing duties behind the plate up until now with limited success, so if the Guardians want to make a go at the postseason, a catcher is their most significant need.
Detroit Tigers: SELLER
Tigers closer Gregory Soto is likely to hear from many teams searching for a reliever. Soto is left-handed and under team control until after the 2025 season, so there are plenty of potential spots for him (maybe the White Sox?).
Kansas City Royals: SELLER
The Royals are almost certain to move Andrew Benintendi, who is arguably in the middle of the best season of his career. The outfielder is currently batting .313 with an OPS of .780. They will likely net a big return if Kansas City decides to make him available..
Andrew Benintendi reaches base for the fourth time tonight and extends the Royals lead! pic.twitter.com/q7Ochkn0dE
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 7, 2022
Minnesota Twins: BUYER
Currently in first place, the Twins have a great chance of winning the AL Central, but they need pitching help. It’s a bit of a tired problem for Minnesota, but without at least one strong starter and maybe a reliever, I can see their postseason run ending quite abruptly.
Houston Astros: BUYER
The Astros are yet another team who will likely want to talk to the Cubs about catcher Willson Contreras. Houston is having a good season, currently leading the AL West with a record of 56-29, but some extra help behind the plate wouldn’t hurt.
Los Angeles Angels: BUYER/SELLER
The Angels have had a rough season. Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout have been giving it everything they’ve got, but getting rid of manager Joe Maddon didn’t stop the team’s crappy record from continuing. As such, they have a lot of needs, but because they’ve been so inconsistent, they may be better off selling a high-level player like Noah Syndergaard for prospects.
Oakland Athletics: SELLER
The A’s will be looking for prospects pretty much across the board, but with Frankie Montas now missing his next start with shoulder inflammation, they don’t have a lot to sell right now. If Montas can return quickly, he will likely be able to get Oakland a few decent prospects if moved. The other potential trade chip for the A’s is catcher Sean Murphy. He’s under team control through 2025, and with Shea Langeliers down in Triple-A, they could comfortably part with him. There aren’t likely to be many catchers floating around this deadline, so Murphy could net a decent return.
Sean Murphy cuts down Bo Bichette at 2nd.
July 5, 2022 pic.twitter.com/HOaE8mobYD
— MLB Caught Stealing (@MLB_CS) July 6, 2022
Seattle Mariners: BUYER/SELLER
The Mariners have already shown they’re interested in making moves, having traded for Carlos Santana on June 27. I think they will continue to try and focus on improving their offense, and Noelvi Marte could be on the table if they are interested in selling. I see Seattle as a bit of a mystery case this year, so their moves will be fascinating.
Texas Rangers: SELLER
An argument could be made that the Rangers are going to buy at the deadline, but I think they are more likely to try and sell. If they want a competitive season in 2023 or beyond, they need pitchers desperately, but young prospects across the board wouldn’t kill them.
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