The 2023 MLB Trade Dealine begins to inch closer. It’s a time where playoff hopefuls can bolster rosters for the stretch run, but which players are likely to find new homes this summer? Here’s a look at our top trade candidate list for the month of June.
The Top Trade Target
|2||White Sox||RP||Liam Hendriks|
|5||White Sox||SP||Lucas Giolito|
|9||Nationals||RP||Carl Edwards Jr.|
Thanks to the expanded playoff format that was introduced last season, it’s hard to get a true grasp of the trade market at this point. Aside from five or six teams, virtually every other team in the Majors has a legitimate chance of making the 2023 MLB Playoffs. Thus, very few teams are poised to sell at this moment in time.
Right now, the most intriguing name out there is Shane Bieber. The former AL Cy Young winner is set to hit the market after the 2024 season, and Cleveland may very well likely look to move the 28-year-old given the Guardians’ deep group of young starters and ability to maximize a return for a pitcher with one more year of control remaining. We profiled a number of possible landing spots for Bieber earlier in June.
White Sox RP Liam Hendriks make sense for a contending team, for obvious reasons. Then there’s Marcus Stroman. The Cubs right-hander is a NL Cy Young contender, and the 32-year-old owned a sparkling 2.42 ERA over his first 85.2 IP of the season. The problem for the Cubs is that Stroman has a player option for 2023. Given how well he’s pitched thus far, it’s likely that he’ll test the market yet again and per Stroman, the organization “wasn’t interested” in an extension for him.
Other notable starters on this list include Jordan Montgomery and Lucas Giolito, both on teams poised to sell this summer. Also here are several relievers, including two — Kyle Finnegan and Carl Edwards Jr. — on the Nationals. The Athletic reported earlier in June that teams have been interested in several of the Nationals’ relievers, and both of their names came up. Right-hander Hunter Harvey was also listed, but it’s hard to envision Washington deal the former first-round pick, who has multiple years of control left, unless it’s a sweetheart deal.
We should note that Corbin Burnes, another pitcher who’s had his name thrown out there, is not on this list. The Brewers are currently in first place in the NL Central and it’s hard to fathom Milwaukee deal Burnes unless the Brew Crew spiral downward in the standings. Shohei Ohtani is also not on this list, as it’s just too early to count out an Angels team that’s just 1.5 GB of the third and final AL Wild Card spot as of June 10.
The Next Tier
|12||White Sox||SS||Tim Anderson|
Again, the fact that very few teams can be considered sellers make this portion of the list tricky.
Jack Flaherty and Michael Lorenzen are both free agents after the end of the season and both could be appealing to a few contenders. Any team that potentially acquires Flaherty, however, will have to contend with his command issues.
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez looked like a prime contender for a trade last month, but the Tigers hurler landed on the IL in early June.
Infielder Tim Anderson is another potential trade chip for the White Sox. Anderson, who has a club option for 2024, has struggled both in the field and at the plate but could be an exceptional grab for a team if he can get hot.
Reds closer Alexis Diaz is also on this list, as his name has been linked with the New York Mets. It’s easy for Mets fans to dream of Alexis teaming with brother Edwin Diaz in the bullpen, but it’s a long shot given Alexis’ value and years of team control remaining.