Featured Image by: Gene J. Puskar/AP
Written by Wyatt
The MLB trade deadline is one of the most exciting parts of the season. It is a great opportunity for bad teams to improve their farm systems and for good teams to improve their chances of winning the World Series. Here are the top five trade deadline targets for contending teams and my predictions as to where they will go.
1. Ryan Braun (Milwaukee Brewers)
Ryan Braun is one of the best bats in the major leagues and can slide into the number three spot in almost any lineup. The Brewers who are rebuilding, need some valuable farm players as well. Braun’s trade value is not as high as you may think, however, because he is still due 76 million dollars over the next 4 years. Not only that, but he has a no trade clause and can rule out any trade he doesn’t approve of. I can see him going to the Giants because they have the money and need an outfielder with the absence of Hunter Pence. Even when Pence comes back, Angel Pagan can turn into a utility outfielder behind Braun.
2. Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee Brewers)
Jonathan Lucroy is one of the best catchers in the game, and is in an era of baseball where good hitting catchers are very rare so he holds lots of trade value. As mentioned earlier, the Brewers are rebuilding and need some young farm pieces, and Lucroy has told Milwaukee that he wants to get traded to a contender. Lucroy would be a great fit for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are in dire need of a catcher. Both Yasmani Grandal and AJ Ellis are hitting under .200 this year. This move would make even more sense if Braun ends up with the Giants, because the Dodgers will need to acquire someone as well so they don’t fall behind in the NL West race.
3. Julio Teheran (Atlanta Braves)
Julio Teheran is one of the more solid pitchers in the league, and can definitely help a contending team out down the stretch. He is one of the top arms on the market and has sported a 2.66 ERA so far this year. The most likely destination for him would be the Baltimore Orioles who need some pitching in order to secure a playoff spot. If they don’t trade for him, they will most likely lose their playoff spot to the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, or Cleveland Indians (wild card). Starting pitching is the Orioles biggest weakness, and if they acquire him they will be even a stronger force in the AL East.
4. Sonny Gray (Oakland Athletics)
Sonny Gray is one of the best pitchers in the game, despite a rough start to the 2016 season. Athletics general manager Billy Beane is known for selling at the trade deadline and Sonny Gray can get them an array of prospects. The Red Sox are a likely destination for Sonny, because they need another arm in their starting rotation to go with their explosive offense. Also, the Red Sox have a very impressive farm system, so they can definitely afford the pricey cost of Sonny Gray.
5. Chris Archer (Tampa Bay Rays)
I know this one comes as a surprise to people due to Archer being the future of the Rays franchise. However, it would make sense for the Rays to shop him. The Rays have an impressive young pitching core led by Blake Snell and Jake Odorizzi, but they need some young and promising bats to go along with it. Archer is their best chance to get these bats and improve their weak farm system. I can see Archer getting sent to the Astros, who have the valuable offensive pieces the Rays are looking for. Jeff Luhnow, the Astros GM, has acquired starting pitching at the trade deadline before. Last year, the Astros traded for Scott Kazmir and he helped them down the stretch. The Astros are currently a .500 team, but they have played well recently and need a valuable pitching asset in Chris Archer to pair with Dallas Keuchel and possibly surpass the Texas Rangers.
Other trade deadline targets include:
Rich Hill (Oakland Athletics)
Carlos Gonzalez (Colorado Rockies)
Jay Bruce (Cincinnati Reds)
Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati Reds)
Sean Doolittle (Oakland Athletics)
Carlos Beltran (New York Yankees)
Andrew Miller (New York Yankkes)