close
close

MLB teams that will be sellers at the trade deadline and the players they will dangle

With a week until Memorial Day, there are only six MLB teams that I project to be definite “sellers” at the July 30 trade deadline: the Chicago White Sox (14-33), the Colorado Rockies (15-31), the Los Angeles Angels (18-29), the Miami Marlins (15-33), the Oakland A’s (19-30) and the St. Louis Cardinals (20-26). For now, I can still see a pathway for the other 24 teams to stay in the race, at least in the short term.

Let’s look at those six prospective sellers and the players they have who could generate trade interest from contending clubs. In the process, we’ll see why those six teams have their respective poor records and also show they don’t have much to offer in deadline deals — with a few exceptions.


1. White Sox


Erick Fedde has a 2.60 ERA in 52 innings this season. (Jeff Curry / USA Today)

Starting pitchers: Garrett Crochet is the White Sox’s best starting pitcher, but they’re unlikely to trade him as he’s only 24 and profiles as their future No. 1 starter. Erick Fedde is the starter they’re most likely to deal. They signed him in the offseason to a club-friendly two-year, $15 million deal and he has delivered, going 4-0 with a 2.60 ERA in nine starts. A former first-round pick of the Washington Nationals, Fedde pitched in South Korea in 2023 and was the KBO’s best starting pitcher, going 20-6 with a 2.00 ERA over 180 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old righty looks like he’s figured it out in his return to the majors, and at that affordable price point should fetch the White Sox a relatively strong mid-level prospect package in return.

Relievers: Contenders will be chasing a couple of White Sox relievers who are off to solid starts: righty Steven Wilson (2.84 ERA in 21 appearances) and lefty Tim Hill (2.25 ERA in 19 appearances). The White Sox also might move their hard-throwing closer, Michael Kopech, if the price is right. He is under team control through next season.

Catchers: A contending team looking for a veteran backup catcher with a winning track record of calling pitches could make a move for Martín Maldonado, 37, though he’s in significant decline and provides zero offense. But a team seeking a mentor for a younger catcher might take a flier on him.

Infielders: The White Sox don’t have much to offer in the infield outside of utility players such as second baseman Nicky Lopez and shortstop Paul DeJong, and neither would bring back anything of significance. First baseman Andrew Vaughn is not hitting and third baseman Yoán Moncada (adductor strain) remains on the injured list. An impending free agent, Moncada is making $24.8 million this year with another $5 million due in the offseason when the White Sox decline his 2025 club option worth $25 million.

Outfielders: Center fielder Luis Robert Jr., who last year hit .264 with 38 home runs, 80 RBIs and 20 stolen bases, is the White Sox’s best trade asset. The 2020 Gold Glove Award winner is working his way back from a right hip flexor strain and should be reinstated later this month or in early June. The White Sox prefer to build around the 26-year-old, but with so little to trade, their best play would be to swap him for a strong prospect package. They should be able to land at least one top prospect, another top-10 prospect, and a couple of top-30 type prospects in return from a contender. Trading Robert, who is under team control through 2027, is probably the White Sox’s best opportunity to improve their long-term future. Tommy Pham didn’t generate much interest in free agency before signing with the White Sox in April, which was puzzling after he hit 16 home runs with 68 RBIs and 22 stolen bases last year. He can still help a contender at age 36. Meanwhile, outfielders Andrew Benintendi and Gavin Sheets aren’t giving the White Sox much offensive production and there is very little trade interest in either one.

Designated hitters: If he can start hitting, Eloy Jiménez could have some trade value for a team looking for another power bat to lengthen its lineup. Jiménez has five homers and 12 RBIs in 128 at-bats. He’s reached base at only a 27 percent clip.

Most likely to be traded: RHP Erick Fedde, RHP Steven Wilson, LHP Tim Hill, RHP Michael Kopech

2. Rockies

Starting pitchers: Austin Gomber and Cal Quantrill have both pitched well and could be traded. Through nine starts apiece, Gomber has a 3.02 ERA and Quantrill has a 3.66 ERA. But if the Rockies deal them, I can’t imagine how many games they’d end up losing and I’m not sure the return for either one would be worth fielding an even less competitive team for their fans.

Relievers: Lefty Jalen Beeks will probably be the most sought-after Rockies reliever at the trade deadline after converting four of five save opportunities and posting a 2.11 ERA over 19 appearances to start the year. Relievers such as Justin Lawrence and Victor Vodnik also could draw some interest.

Catchers: Elias Díaz, the 2023 All-Star Game MVP, is off to a nice start with a .299/.342/.423 slash line that would be a career best. Any contending team in need of a starting catcher will be looking at him first. Díaz will be a free agent after this season.

Infielders: Ryan McMahon is probably their best infield trade asset due to his positional flexibility and strong start to the season (.873 OPS). But he’s signed to a club-friendly deal through 2027 and it’s unlikely they will move him (or any other infielder).

Outfielders: The Rockies are building their team around their young outfielders — Nolan Jones (IL), Jordan Beck and Brenton Doyle — and won’t be shopping or moving any of them.

Designated hitters: Charlie Blackmon, 37, is an impending free agent but also in real decline. He’s batting .237 with one homer and an 82 OPS+ and is not tradable.

Most likely to be traded: C Elias Díaz, LHP Jalen Beeks

3. Angels


Taylor Ward has an .807 OPS and is under team control through 2026. (Charles LeClaire / USA Today)

Starting pitchers: The Angels’ best three starters — Reid Detmers, Patrick Sandoval and Griffin Canning — all have ERAs above 4.55. Tyler Anderson has posted a 2.72 ERA over nine starts and José Soriano has a 3.30 ERA with 22 walks in 46 1/3 innings. Detmers and Sandoval are the best of the five and teams will have interest in them as third or fourth type starters.

Relievers: Carlos Estévez has six saves and three blown saves to go with a 4.91 ERA. He has 17 strikeouts and one walk in 14 2/3 innings. Sidearmer Adam Cimber and veteran Hunter Strickland could draw interest from teams looking for bullpen depth.

Catchers: Logan O’Hoppe is a franchise building block and won’t be available. None of their backup catchers will draw any interest.

Infielders: The Angels feel that first baseman Nolan Schanuel and shortstop Zach Neto are anchors of their long-term infield. No other infielders on this roster will generate trade interest.

Outfielders: Mike Trout isn’t going anywhere. Jo Adell is having a breakout season, leaving Taylor Ward as the best available outfielder via trade. Ward is hitting .275 with 10 homers and 28 RBIs.

Designated hitters: There is no trade interest in Willie Calhoun or the other players the Angels use in the DH spot.

Most likely to be traded: OF Taylor Ward, RHP Carlos Estévez, RHP Adam Cimber, RHP Hunter Strickland

4. Marlins

Starting pitchers: The Marlins’ best starters, Sandy Alcantara and Eury Pérez, are on the IL and out for the year after Tommy John surgeries. Their next-best starter, Jesús Luzardo, has a 5.02 ERA over seven starts and spent time on the IL with elbow tightness. However, he’s pitched well in his first two starts back, striking out eight and walking two in 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies, then striking out seven and walking none in six scoreless innings versus the Mets. If Luzardo pitches well between now and the deadline, he’s the Marlin most likely to be traded. Other Marlins starters include Trevor Rogers (5.79 ERA in nine starts) and Edward Cabrera (7.17 ERA in five starts and currently on the IL). Ryan Weathers (3.81 ERA in nine starts) could generate some trade interest, but his lack of innings pitched over his career will be a concern for teams.

Relievers: Tanner Scott has converted five of six save opportunities and owns a 1.89 ERA over 19 appearances. He will be the most sought-after Marlin in trade talks.

Catchers: The Marlins have been looking to upgrade the catcher position ever since they traded J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies in 2019. Christian Bethancourt and Nick Fortes both profile as backup catchers with little trade interest.

Infielders: The Marlins will listen on both of their corner infielders, first baseman Josh Bell and third base power hitter Jake Burger. Bell is hitting .229/.313/.369 with six home runs. Burger has spent significant time on the IL and is hitting .171 with three homers in 105 at-bats.

Outfielders: Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been a mixed bag this season but has six homers and eight steals. Jesús Sánchez has never developed and is batting .222 with two homers. Avisaíl García is batting .240 with two homers.

Designated hitters: Bryan De La Cruz has been their best offensive outfielder, leading the team with nine home runs and 25 RBIs.

Most likely to be traded: LHP Tanner Scott, LHP Jesús Luzardo, 1B/DH Josh Bell

5. A’s

Starting pitchers: JP Sears and Paul Blackburn have been their two best starting pitchers and Blackburn, who is on the IL with a foot injury, is the most likely trade candidate, if he gets healthy and regains his fine early-season form. Veterans Ross Stripling and Alex Wood could provide rotation depth for a contender with significant starting pitching injuries, though Wood is currently on the IL himself with rotator cuff tendonitis.

Relievers: Mason Miller will be the most sought-after reliever at the trade deadline. The A’s do not want to trade their rookie closer, but they have to listen. What if a team such as the Orioles is willing to offer a package of something like third baseman Coby Mayo and right fielder Heston Kjerstad, which would net the A’s two everyday players for the long term? I still think the A’s best move is to develop Miller into a starting pitcher because he could become a difference-making ace who could lead their rotation for years to come. In addition to Miller, teams will pursue several other A’s relievers including Lucas Erceg and Austin Adams.

Catchers: The A’s aren’t going to trade Shea Langeliers, who is an important building block for them. Kyle McCann has been a solid backup and I don’t see him getting moved either.

Infielders: Their best infielder, second baseman Zack Gelof, is off to a slow start this season with a .188 batting average and they’re not looking to move him anyway.

Outfielders: The A’s haven’t gotten the offensive production they were hoping for from outfielders JJ Bleday, Esteury Ruiz, Lawrence Butler (currently in the minors), Tyler Nevin or even Seth Brown. Not much to deal from there.

Designated hitters: Brent Rooker, who represented the A’s in the All-Star Game last year, has slashed .281/.358/.578 with seven doubles, 11 home runs and 32 RBIs in 151 plate appearances. Teams that need more offense include the Mariners, Reds, Royals and Guardians.

Most likely to be traded: DH Brent Rooker, RHP Lucas Erceg, RHP Paul Blackburn, RHP Austin Adams

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Ranking the top 10 rookies in the AL, an early ROY race no one expected

6. Cardinals


Will Paul Goldschmidt be on the move at the trade deadline? (Kiyoshi Mio / USA Today)

Starting pitchers: Sonny Gray has been their best starter and at this point is the only one they will not consider trading. Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, who both signed one-year contracts in the offseason, could be moved at the trade deadline, as could Miles Mikolas; all three are 35 or older.

Relievers: Teams have already been calling the Cardinals about Ryan Helsley, who is one of the best closers in baseball. The Cardinals will ask for a haul in exchange, but because they have so many needs on their roster, a trade is possible if not likely. Helsley, who has a 1.35 ERA and 13 saves, is under team control through next season. Other St. Louis relievers who will draw trade interest include lefty JoJo Romero and righty Andrew Kittredge.

Catchers: Willson Contreras is on the IL and is untradable because of his contract. Iván Herrera has been solid for them. I can’t see a scenario where the Cardinals trade a catcher.

Infielders: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is an impending free agent and could get traded at the deadline if he can start hitting. Goldschmidt, 36, looks like age and decline have caught up to him (75 OPS+, 32.3 percent strikeout rate), but with his strong intangibles and plus defense at first base, he could be dealt if he can show more offensively. Second baseman Nolan Gorman and shortstop Masyn Winn are in the Cardinals’ long-term plans. Third baseman Nolan Arenado’s slow start (only three homers) and big contract that runs through 2027 make him tough to trade.

Outfielders: The Cardinals are not getting much offensive production from any of their young outfielders including Dylan Carlson and Lars Nootbaar as well as Jordan Walker and Victor Scott II, who were demoted. Center fielder Tommy Edman has been on the IL all season and the versatile Brendan Donovan is hitting just .233 with a .313 on-base percentage. The Cardinals have had a long list of outfielders who’ve played well after they got rid of them, from Adolis García to Randy Arozarena to most recently Tyler O’Neill. So, who knows, perhaps they trade from their plethora of young outfielders and that player blossoms elsewhere too.

Designated hitters: Alec Burleson has held his own, hitting .292 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 120 at-bats. Matt Carpenter, 38, has played in only eight games, going 7-for-30.

Most likely to be traded: RHP Ryan Helsley, 1B Paul Goldschmidt, RHP Lance Lynn, RHP Kyle Gibson, LHP JoJo Romero, RHP Andrew Kittredge

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

Bowden: 6 MLB prospects who are major-league-ready and just waiting for the call

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

The 10 biggest surprises of the MLB season, from sensational Shota Imanaga to underwhelming Astros

(Top image photos: Ryan Helsley: Rick Ulreich / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images; Brent Rooker: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images; Jesús Luzardo: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)