2023 MLB Trade Deadline: Top Trade Candidates to Watch (July Edition 2.0)

We are just two weeks away from the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline. A number of contenders will look to improve, and there could be some marquee names available. Here now is a look at the top trade candidates to watch this month.

Related: When is the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline?

2023 MLB Trade Targets (1-10)

Let’s take a look at our top ten targets:

1Lucas GiolitoWhite SoxSP
2Eduardo RodriguezTigersSP
3Jordan MontgomeryCardinalsSP
4Jack FlahertyCardinalsSP
5Marcus StromanCubsSP
6Tommy PhamMetsOF
7Keynan MiddletonWhite SoxRP
8Jeimer CandelarioNationals3B
9Cody BellingerCubsOF
10David RobertsonMetsRP

The list is headlined by White Sox SP Lucas Giolito, a pending free agent that’s likely to be dealt from Chicago. Giolito brings a couple of above-average weapon to the table, and his walk rate is down to a comfortable 2.7 BB/9, better than the 3.4 BB/9 he sported last season.

The California native has been unsurprisingly linked to the Dodgers, given Los Angeles’ need for a starter. It would be fitting if the Dodgers scooped the 29-year-old up from the White Sox, given the fact he went to high school in Los Angeles.

As one can see from this list, there’s a lot of starters, including Eduardo Rodriguez and Marcus Stroman. That’s not much of a shock, given how many competitive teams right now need a starter. Aside from the Dodgers, the Reds, Orioles, and possibly the Rangers could look to add a piece. 

Outfielders Tommy Pham and Cody Bellinger, as well as Nationals 3B Jeimer Candelario are on this part of the list. The Cubs could look to keep Bellinger past this season, as the former NL MVP has found his stroke in Wrigley Field. However, it’s highly likely that both parties will exercise a $12M mutual option for next season. Thus, a move could net the Cubs a solid prospect or two.

2023 MLB Trade Targets (11-25)

Now, let’s move on to targets 11-25:

11Jordan HicksCardinalsRP
12Michael LorenzenTigersSP
13Randal GrichukRockiesOF
14Lance LynnWhite SoxSP
15Rich HillPiratesSP
16Jose CisneroTigersRP
17Jurickson ProfarRockiesOF
18Mark CanhaMets1B/OF
19Pierce JohnsonRockiesRP
20Hunter RenfroeAngels1B/OF
21Paul BlackburnAthleticsSP
22Reynaldo LópezWhite SoxRP
23Scott BarlowRoyalsRP
24Teoscar HernandezMarinersOF
25Brad HandRockiesRP

Before we get into the rest of this list, let’s quickly get into who is not on this list, namely Shane Bieber and Shohei Ohtani. Bieber looked like a potential name to watch, but a forearm issue sent him to the IL for the time being. And as for Ohtani, all the rumors at this point seem to indicate that the Angels are unlikely to deal with the two-way sensation. It will be interesting to see if that changes.

The back end of this list has plenty of value. One notable starting pitcher to watch is White Sox starter Lance Lynn, who entered play on July 17 with the fifth-most strikeouts (133) in the American League, but a MLB-high 24 home runs and a 6.06 ERA. There’s risk with Lynn, but also reward if he can get into a groove with a contender.

Then, there are the relievers. Flamethrower Jordan Hicks is on this list, as is Scott Barlow and Pierce Johnson. Johnson, in particular, could be a sneaky find for a contender. His numbers at Coors Field are poor (7.54 ERA, .922 opp. OPS, 10.7 K/9), but are significantly better on the road (3.86 ERA, .795 opp. OPS, 16.7 K/9).

Some bats can be found on this part of the list, as well. Angels 1B/OF Hunter Renfroe may be the most interesting one, although it’s yet to be seen whether Los Angeles plans to sell. The 31-year-old slugger hit 15 home runs over his first 86 games, and hit 60 between 2021-22.

This rankings list is based on a number of factors, including likelihood a player gets dealt and overall value. This list is subject to update.