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

Liam Hendriks of the Chicago White Sox

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.

Related: 2023 MLB Fantasy: Can Mark Vientos Be a Difference Maker with Pete Alonso Headed to IL?

The Top Trade Target

1GuardiansSPShane Bieber
2White SoxRPLiam Hendriks
3CubsSPMarcus Stroman
4CardinalsSPJordan Montgomery
5White SoxSPLucas Giolito
6RoyalsRPAroldis Chapman
7RockiesOFJurickson Profar
8NationalsRPKyle Finnegan
9NationalsRPCarl Edwards Jr.
10RockiesRPBrad Hand

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

11CardinalsSPJack Flaherty
12White SoxSSTim Anderson
13RockiesOFRandal Grichuk
14TigersSPMichael Lorenzen
15TigersSPEduardo Rodriguez
16TigersRPAlex Lange
17Athletics1B/OFSeth Brown
18GuardiansSSAmed Rosario
19CubsOFCody Bellinger
20RedsRPAlexis Diaz

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.

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