Four MLB Teams Poised for Blockbuster Trades

As the 2024 Major League Baseball (MLB) season nears its midway point and the much-anticipated end-of-July trade deadline, all 30 teams are analyzing how their season has gone so far, with those in contention already considering areas where their roster needs upgrades. World Series hopefuls like the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, and Los Angeles Dodgers are already looking to improve their rosters for the second half of the season by trading young prospects for valuable players from rebuilding, selling teams such as the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox.

Four MLB Teams Poised for Blockbuster Trades

MLB Calendar Breakdown

March, July, and October are the three most significant months of the MLB calendar. Every March, MLB Spring Training begins in earnest with players competing in games of no consequence to warm themselves up and get valuable reps before the 162-game season begins. A few months later, they all get a needed break except for the league’s elite players who partake in the All-Star Game. Many players swap teams in July as the league buzzes with trade news. The deadline marks the last day that players can be traded during the regular season. Some teams go all-in, pulling off multiple blockbuster trades to acquire or sell talent, while others stay put and trust the players they already have in the clubhouse. Lastly, the MLB playoffs commence in October, raising the stakes and drama to the max as the 12 playoff-bound teams fight to win the World Series. 

2024 Trade Deadline Overview 

Reflecting the importance of the trade deadline, the last few MLB champions received immense contributions from their July acquisitions. For instance, the Texas Rangers likely would not have won their first-ever World Series in 2023 if not for left-handed pitcher Jordan Montgomery, who stepped up big-time, helping the club overcome the injury absences of fellow mid-season acquisition Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, the club’s big free-agency signee the offseason before their successful campaign.

The following four clubs can follow in the Rangers’ footsteps by pulling off potential franchise/season-altering deals over the next few weeks. 

1) Chicago White Sox

Before the 2024 season started, nearly everyone involved with the sport thought that the A’s would be the worst team in the league. Yet, that honor currently belongs to the White Sox, holders of a horrific 20-55 record. The Southsiders signaled their dreary aspirations before the season when they traded their best starting pitcher Dylan Cease to the San Diego Padres, got off to a dreadful start, and have not come close to righting the ship. No one expected them to contend after losing over 100 games last year, but their current play is unfathomably bad to the point that second-year manager Pedro Grifol may not make it to the end of the season. 

As a result, the White Sox are expected to be one of the most active-selling clubs in the lead-up to the deadline. If they play their cards right, this club could significantly bolster their farm system, which will be the ticket to their future success. Ace pitcher Garrett Crochet and superstar center fielder Luis Robert Jr, the White Sox’s two best players, will bring back the biggest return based on their talent level and the fact that a bidding war may emerge among many contenders eager to acquire them.

However, due to Robert’s extensive injury history and Crochet’s small sample size of success, fellow White Sox pitcher Erick Fedde seems like the player on this team who could provide the unheralded spark that all contending clubs need down the stretch. Returning to MLB after reinventing himself in the Korean Baseball League (KBO) last year, Fedde has thrived, going 5-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 15 starts. His versatility as a mid-rotation starter who could also pivot to a swingman/long relief role in the playoffs could prove invaluable to a World Series hopeful.

2) Seattle Mariners

The American League (AL) West was thought to be one of the toughest divisions in baseball this season with the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, and reigning champion Rangers all vying for the crown. It has not played out that way as the Mariners have opened up an eight-game lead, taking advantage of both Texas teams underachieving compared to their preseason expectations. The Mariners’ success once again stems from their pitching with their five-man starting rotation (Luis Castillo, Logan Gilbert, George Kirby, Bryce Miller, and Bryan Woo) among the best out of all 30 MLB teams.

As long as these starters and closer Andrés Muñoz remain healthy and effective, Seattle will have a shot at winning almost every game. Thus, while they may need another arm at the deadline, their front office’s main focus should be to lure an accomplished, productive hitter to strengthen the lineup behind offensive focal points—shortstop JP Crawford and superstar center fielder Julio Rodriguez. The Mariners would have to be willing to part with high-end prospects in any trade, but they have the prospect depth and would be foolish to close this wide-open win-now window.

New York Mets’ first baseman Pete Alonso, a free agent at season’s end would be a huge pickup. Other good options include St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and A’s designated hitter Brent Rooker.

3) Los Angeles Dodgers 

Having gone all-in this offseason, the Dodgers should not stop this summer as anything short of a World Series trip would be considered a letdown for this super-talented, expensive roster. A summer trade is even more critical in the wake of stars Mookie Betts and Yoshinobu Yamamoto getting placed on the injured list a few days ago.

Like the Mariners, the Dodgers have an aggressive front office and a strong farm system from which they can sacrifice some prospects. Rookie Andy Pages has been holding down the fort in center field, but a trade for Robert Jr. would level up that position and make an already scary lineup even more frightening for opposing pitchers. Additionally, the club may seek another starting pitcher for the stretch run as Yamamoto and Walker Buehler have injury concerns and who knows how much rehabbing future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw has left in his magical left arm.

4) Baltimore Orioles 

As of June 20, the Baltimore Orioles are a half-game back of the Yankees in a tightly contested AL East division race that looks destined to span the whole season. Both clubs are good enough to end up in the playoffs, but only one can capture the division title. The Orioles, seeking their second straight East title, have one of the best offenses in baseball led by the dynamic duo of Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman. On the other side of the ball, there are some question marks.

Their starting pitching depth has been hampered by injuries, with the club losing Kyle Bradish, Tyler Wells, and John Means to season-ending elbow injuries. In the bullpen, Yennier Cano is one of the game’s best set-up relievers, but closer Craig Kimbrel is not as reliable as when he was younger. Despite all the pitching injuries, the club won a series against the Yankees in the Bronx.

Rumors have already started connecting A’s flamethrowing closer Mason Miller to this team, a move that has a slim likelihood of happening as the A’s have no motive to trade the youngster and are likely to demand a ridiculous amount of talent in return for this elite pitcher. Nevertheless, if any team can meet the A’s asking price, it would be Baltimore as they have one of the top-tier farm systems in the league. With Cano and Kimbrel there and injured closer Félix Bautista due back next summer, the Orioles may be better served acquiring a mid-to-back end starting pitcher to slot in behind co-aces Corbin Burnes and Grayson Rodriguez and a trusted, veteran middle/setup relief pitcher.

These are just a few teams guaranteed to be active in the coming weeks. As it gets closer to the trade deadline, rumors will start picking up steam and a few will become reality. Some of these players may get moved as will countless others not mentioned in this article. Check back at the end of the season to see which blockbuster midseason trade makes the biggest impact this year.

Main Image: Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

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