Major League Baseball’s Trade Deadline isn’t until August 1st, but that doesn’t stop general managers from taking and making calls to improve their teams for now and in the future. The end of May/start of June is usually when things are all but headed in one direction, either good or bad. Teams, by now, should have some kind of identity and knowledge of where they’re heading. Nowadays, most teams will do a bit of both buying and selling to ensure they can compete now and in the future.
3 MLB Players Who Could Be Traded
1. Tim Anderson
What is going on with the White Sox is somewhat embarrassing, a team with a giant payroll in a weak division has done nothing but struggle. From top to bottom, this season has been awful. After what was a long rebuild, the result of that being just a single playoff appearance will be seen for what is a complete and utter failure. Fans won’t want to see this, but it’s better to rip off the band-aid now than wait and regret not getting something back. It should be noted Tim Anderson does have a team option that will more than likely be picked up if does stay on the Southside.
Anderson is a professional hitter by every definition. The league leader in batting average back in 2019, two-time All-Star, and Silver Slugger winner, the guy can flat-out hit. The shortstop position has become a premier position again in the game and Anderson is definately near the top of that list. The only question at this point is whether the White Sox will be sellers when the time comes.
If they become sellers, the phones will be ringing nonstop for him. One team in particular that could want a shortstop upgrade is the Los Angeles Dodgers. Losing Gavin Lux in spring training created a hole over at short. Miguel Rojas has done okay as a replacement at short as they rotate guys in and out there. Anderson could provide stability there as they head into the postseason, and as we know, they have no issue trading prospects to get players they did to improve the roster.
2. Aroldis Chapman
Kanas City isn’t going to compete for the American League Central anytime soon. The team is in the middle of a rebuild after losing the World Series core of the 2010s. Kansas City made some moves that could get them some quality pieces at the deadline from teams needing some help. If those players can perform during the first half of the season, these buy-low guys could help speed up what is a long rebuild back into contention. For a rebuilding team, the name of the game is resource gathering; the more lottery tickets you can have, the better.
A change of scenery is sometimes all a player needs to find that thing they lost somewhere. Aroldis Chapman has found his fastball velocity again, pitching over 100mph again as a 35-year-old. The Royals have already received calls on him and it’s only May. The 13-year vet has playoff and World Series experience and is left-handed, which is always a need for every team going down the stretch.
Almost every team could use a player with closer experience and postseason experience. One team that could take a flyer on Chapman could be the Los Angels Angels. The Angels’ bullpen had been a revolving door outside two guys at the end of games. If they want to make a push, Chapman might be worth it. On top of the possibility of wanting to make a push for the Wild Card spot, there are some prospects that they could part with.
Jo Adell is dominating at AAA but has a K rate of 33% for a team that wants to contend that’s way too high. Maybe that could be a good thing for Adell changing teams being in a spot to develop at the pro level, plus the Angels get much head help in the bullpen.
3. Shohei Ohtani
The flip side of the Angels season is the giant question mark in Shohei Ohtani. What do you do with a one-of-one player? Who knows what’s going on behind the scenes right now, he could have his mind made up on his future. He might want to stay and play with Mike Trout, or he might be tired of being out of the postseason, and winning the World Baseball Classic only fed his fire to lift a World Series trophy at the end of the baseball season.
The Angels have been the definition of a team with no actual direction. They own an eight-year playoff drought with the two best players in the sport. In any other sport, that would be all but impossible, however, in baseball, you can have that and still fail at getting to the postseason year after year.
Something to note was the selling of the team, that didn’t happen. That non-move was a hit to the offseason, having to stick with a manager that isn’t a long-term solution, losing time on the negotiations with Ohtani. It was an unnecessary splash of cold water. Similar to the Anderson situation ripping off the band-aid might be the best move, as much as it hurts.
There isn’t just one team that could benefit from Ohtani being on the trade market. Every playoff contender could use him. He’s a pitcher and a DH, what team couldn’t use at least one of those guys? Ohtani is elite at both. He’s an ace on the mound and a three or four hitter in the lineup.
In a potential trade, it’s going to come down to the best package coming back to the Angels without question. What could that package be, there isn’t any actual framework for something like this. It would have to be a combination of MLB-ready talent with a top prospect. Even that might seem like too much or too little. By the end of July and early August, he’d be a rental player. Even though winning a World Series would trump everything giving up, what team would set up to pay that incredibly high price remains to be seen.
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