Who Will Teams Target at the MLB Trade Deadline?

Which players are on the trade block this week? Let's look around the league.
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No one knows how this year's trade deadline will play out, especially with an expanded playoff field and only a month left in the regular season, but every club still has roster needs to address. Tapping into SI's network of local reporters, here's a look at players on eight clubs who could traded for or traded away.

Chicago White Sox

Trade For: José Quintana, SP, Chicago Cubs

The Cubs would never trade José Quintana back to the White Sox, but given his expiring contract and rumored demotion to the bullpen after an accidental cut at home required surgery and some rehab, might as well get something for him. Quintana was the prize the Cubs traded away Eloy Jiménez and Dylan Cease for near the trade deadline three years ago, a trade that has become the subject of countless “Thanks Cubs!” memes coming out of the South Side. The White Sox could pony up a legit top 20-25 talent in southpaw reliever Kodi Medeiros in return.

Trade Away: James McCann, C

The White Sox talk a lot about loving the All-Star catching tandem they have in Yasmani Grandal and James McCann. But with Grandal the catching cornerstone through mid-decade on the South Side, McCann is sure to depart in free agency after the season. With hyped bat and dancing for dubs maestro Zack Collins wilting away on the bench, it might not be unwise to consider a McCann deal—especially given he has value in a market starved for strong backstops. If the right deal comes along, meaning a substantial prospect or an immediately usable arm/bat, the White Sox should explore it. – Brett Ballantini, South Side Hit Pen

Cleveland Indians

Trade For: Mike Yastrzemski, OF, San Francisco Giants 

The Indians are going to be involved in a lot of discussions, and one name they seriously should look into obtaining is that of Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski. "Yaz" is 30, but only made his debut a season ago in San Francisco. The Giants are a few games under .500, and while Yastrzemski is a player to build around, the Indians likely would be willing to part with something the Giants need right now–pitching. If the team made a deal today for the young outfielder they right away would upgrade their starting nine.

Trade Away: Zach Plesac, SP

One name that has popped up a lot is that of pitcher Mike Clevinger, but personally I think Zach Plesac is the player who really has disappointed the club after the going out incident in Chicago. The 25-year-old was 8-6 a season ago, and this year was off to a good start with an ERA of 1.29 in three starts. The Indians should be able to get a nice haul for Plesac, who with his age and sample size is going to bring more to the roster than Clevinger. The Indians have a very tough decision to make when it comes to dealing more pitching after already shipping off Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber over the last 13 months. – Matt Loede, Cleveland Baseball Insider

Mike Yastrzemski rounds third base

Colorado Rockies

Trade For: Closer

The one area of uncertainty is closer in light of Scott Oberg being on the injured list with blood clots for the second time in 12 months. The Rockies, however, are not inclined to make an impact trade in light of the price getting a legitimate closer would cost, and the feeling a couple of the younger arms on the team could claim the job. They have blown only two save opportunities so far.

Trade Away: Daniel Murphy, 1B

Daniel Murphy is a veteran who has been down stretch runs. In the final year of his contract, he could step into the lineup of a contender and provide experience. He played second base earlier in his career, has been primarily a first baseman with the Rockies, and serve as a left-handed DH. He could provide a lift for a contender. – Tracy Ringolsby, Inside the Seams

Detroit Tigers

Trade For: Prospects. Literally, Any Prospects.

The Tigers would do well to end this month with any new players in their minor league system. As mentioned below, the club should explore a trade of second baseman Jonathan Schoop. While it doesn't make too much sense to acquire players to help this version of the Tigers, Detroit's pitching staff has a ghastly 6.01 ERA this season. Adding a young arm who could slot into the rotation or bullpen right now wouldn't be a step back for the organization. That much we know.

Trade Away: Jonathan Schoop, 2B

The Tigers should trade veteran second baseman Jonathan Schoop to add depth to their farm system. Schoop hits in the cleanup spot for the Tigers and wields a .278 average and .803 OPS. The Tigers are not likely to sneak into the playoffs even with the expanded field. Schoop is on a one-year contract, so the Tigers likely won't get much in return for a one-month rental. Something, however, is significantly better than nothing for a rebuilding club. – Genna Rose, Tigers Baseball Report

Los Angeles Dodgers

Trade For: Whit Merrifield, UTIL, Kansas City Royals

The 2020 Dodgers roster is as deep as can be. The team literally does not have room for all the talent it possesses. You can ask Tony Gonsolin about that. They certainly don’t need a starting pitcher; they just have to choose the right five—and four in October. The bullpen is almost too good to be believed this year (1.82 ERA, 0.962 WHIP, .181/.259/.263 slash line against). For once. 

Already leading the National League in runs scored, lefty sluggers Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson are heating up, Mookie Betts was hot from the start and Corey Seager looks reborn two years out from multiple surgeries. Now imagine Whit Merrifield in the lineup, with his almost-always stat line of .300/.350/.450. L.A. would play him at second base over Enrique Hernandez vs. right-handers, in center at times with Bellinger moving to first and Muncy to the keystone, mixing and matching as is the Dodger Way. Adding one more fine base runner to a team full of them. And watch as the rest of the league exclaimed, “are you kidding me?!” (For more detail, click here.)

Trade Away: Alex Wood, SP

The Dodgers have more starters than they know what to do with. There’s Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Dustin May, Julio Urías, Ross Stripling (who’s struggling) and Tony Gonsolin twiddling his thumbs at the club’s alternate site at USC, waiting for an opportunity. Only four of the six will start in October, which leaves Alex Wood, who isn’t a candidate for the bullpen, the odd man out. 

On the injured list after making only one rough start in his reunion with Los Angeles, Wood is about ready to return. And there’s no room for him in Southern California. There is room for him in his home state of Georgia, where the Atlanta Braves need arms. Multiple arms; attached to capable starting pitchers. In three years with the team who drafted him, Wood posted a 3.10 ERA, a 3.19 FIP, a 1.267 WHIP, with 337 strikeouts in 468 2/3 innings while in Atlanta. He has 16 postseason appearances under his belt, including an inspiring 5 2/3 innings of one-hit, one-run ball in Game Four of the 2017 World Series. The Dodgers wouldn’t ask for an unreasonable return, Atlanta president of baseball operations Alex Anthopoulos worked in L.A. with Andrew Friedman while Wood was there and if the teams were to meet in the postseason, the Dodgers can deal with facing their old mate. It’s a perfect match. – Howard Cole, Inside The Dodgers

New York Yankees

Trade For: Veteran Starting Pitcher

While Yankees fans will undoubtedly call for the Evil Empire to add Francisco Lindor, Trevor Bauer and Josh Hader at the deadline, the asking price for the market’s best available will surely be high. That said, if New York makes any deal at the deadline, it’ll be to acquire pitching. With James Paxton out for the foreseeable future—and the rest of the rotation besides ace Gerrit Cole producing average to subpar numbers—a veteran or two would go a long way. Perhaps Detroit’s Matthew Boyd, Los Angeles’ Dylan Bundy or even Seattle’s Taijuan Walker would help the Yankees outlast the injury bug and catch some momentum leading into October. If general manager Brian Cashman is feeling even more frisky, we could see Cleveland's Mike Clevinger in pinstripes. 

Trade Away: Miguel Andújar, 3B

As much as the future looked bright in the Bronx for Miguel Andújar when he nearly won the Rookie of the Year Award in 2018, now it appears the 25-year-old third baseman would benefit most from a change of scenery. Andújar is hitting .095 (2-for-21) so far this season (after playing in just 12 games a year ago) and has been optioned to the Yankees’ alternate site two times already. He’s still got plenty of potential—factor in his track record on offense with an increase in his versatility on defense—but it seems he won’t hit his stride until he’s able to play everyday. Blocked in pinstripes, with the emergence of Clint Frazier, Mike Tauchman and Gio Urshela, Andújar would be a solid return to a non-contender that can pencil him in the starting lineup day in and day out. – Max Goodman, Inside The Pinstripes

Lance Lynn throws a pitch

Oakland Athletics

Trade For: Lance Lynn, SP, Texas Rangers

The A’s have had offensive issues, but manager Bob Melvin said he expects if a move is made, it will be for pitching. And since the bullpen has been lights-out, the addition of a starter would be useful. 

Look for the A’s to explore the possibility of trying to pry right-handed starter Lance Lynn from the Rangers. He’s signed through 2021, and his salary next year is a manageable $8 million. Yes, he’s 33, but he’s pitching like an All-Star again. In other years, options might include Zack Plesac or Mike Clevinger of the Indians, but the A’s, who are proud of the way they have socially distanced, will probably give those two a pass because of their quarantine-violating pasts. The Reds’ Trevor Bauer, a free agent at season’s end, is a backup to Lynn as an A’s option. Two players the A’s might be willing to part with are former first-round draft picks James Kaprielian and Daulton Jefferies, starting pitchers who are healthy again after injury issues

Trade Away: Khris Davis, DH

Khris Davis was the cornerstone of the Oakland offense for 3.5 years, but after getting injured running into a wall last year, his production has plummeted, and the 2018 home run champ (48) is reduced to starting only against left-handed pitching. The A’s would love to have him be productive again, but they have a number of hitters who are getting at-bats at Davis’s expense. The trouble with moving Davis is that the A’s wouldn’t get much for him, given that he has just started a two-year, $33.5 million contract. – John Hickey, Inside The Athletics

Texas Rangers

Trade For: Josiah Gray, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers

Will the Dodgers give up their top pitching prospect? Probably not. The Rangers would likely have to add another quality option like Rafael Montero to get the Dodgers to budge. But this is the value the Rangers should try to acquire if they shop Lance Lynn. Young pitching that doesn’t need much more development should be near the top of the Rangers’ wish list. Gray fits that category. There are other contending teams like the Padres, Braves, and Twins that can offer high-end value for an ace like Lynn. But why not try to send him to the one super team in baseball and get a high-end prospect in return?

Trade Away: Lance Lynn, SP

I think it’s pretty obvious the Rangers need to trade Lance Lynn. He finished fifth in the AL Cy Young voting in 2019 and he's a frontrunner for the award this season. What's more, he’s under contract through the end of next season for only $9.3 million. The Rangers need a jolt of talent and Lynn is their best chance to add a top prospect to an organization that lacks them. – Chris Halicke, Inside the Rangers