With the All-Star Game upon us, it is the unofficial start of the MLB trading season, leading up to the August 1st deadline. Who will be buyers, and who will be sellers?
There are some teams that will be obvious buyers, teams like the Rays and Braves that are clearly making the postseason and need to bone up for a deep run.
There are also teams that are seemingly in no man’s land, who could potentially buy to go for it or throw in the towel to regroup for 2024. This is a huge block, including teams like the Padres and Mets, who are 6.5 games out of a wild card spot, the Angels, who are 4.5 games out, the Mariners, who are 4.0 games out, and even the Tigers, who are 5.5 games out of winning their division. Or, the poster child of this category, the Red Sox, who are back to within two games of a wild card spot, and realistically should be buyers at this time.
And then there are the clear sellers. This block has a solid six teams. The White Sox, Royals, A’s, Cardinals, Nationals and Rockies will all be dumping players. The Royals and Rockies have already started. The Royals traded away Aroldis Chapman to the Rangers, and the Rockies traded Mike Moustakas to the Angels.
Here are a handful of players who will most likely be with new teams this time next month.
SP Lucas Giolito, Chicago White Sox
Giolito is currently with the White Sox, who are well out of the playoff hunt. He’s in the last year of his contract, earning $10.4M this season. Starting pitching is tough to come by, so he will definitely be able to help a contender.
RP Scott Barlow, Kansas City Royals
Barlow is earning $5.2M this season with one more year of arbitration where he’ll see a bump in pay. No way the Royals want to pay him $8M+ next year. They already traded Chapman, and they have no reason to hold onto Barlow.
RP Trevor May, Oakland A’s
May is making $7M on an A’s team with a payroll under $60M. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and he’ll be traded away for something … a bag of balls, most likely.
SP Jordan Montgomery, St. Louis Cardinals
Montgomery is making $10M and is a free agent at the end of the year for the Cardinals. He’s a solid lefty who’ll help a contender out. Maybe a reunion with his former team, the Yankees, is on the cards.
SP Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals
Flaherty is also currently with the struggling Cardinals. He’s only making $5.4M this year and will be a free agent heading into 2024. The Cardinals have always been one of the smarter teams in baseball and do what they need to do to win year in and year out. With Flaherty and Montgomery on the team having expiring contracts, they should be able to reload fairly quickly. And although this article isn’t about proposing specific trade partners, a team like the Red Sox could really use someone like Flaherty, a solid veteran arm that isn’t going to cost them too much in salary or trade chips.