MLB trade predictions
MLB trade rumors never really stop. Even after the trade deadline, attention turns toward the offseason. When the season is underway, the baseball media and fans are quick to push teams into buying or selling.
Five things to look out for ahead of the MLB Trade Deadline
The 2021 MLB trade deadline is July 30th. This is a day earlier than usual. It’s the final opportunity for teams to make non-waiver trades before the offseason. Front offices are either looking for players to help them in the short-term, perhaps in the pursuit of a ring, or to flip established players to improve their farm system.
As we make some early MLB trade deadline predictions, here are five storylines to follow over the next few weeks.
Twins become sellers
Many preseason projections tabbed the Minnesota Twins as division winners. Their start to the season has effectively taken them out of the race before summer even begins. The Twins are languishing alongside the rebuilding Tigers at the bottom of the American League Central.
As ever, sections of the MLB media are already pushing rumours that the Twins could sell at the deadline. They probably will, but it isn’t that straight forward.
Much of this roster is still under control for next season. Minnesota likely isn’t aiming for a full rebuild. Jose Berrios and Byron Buxton are unlikely to be on the trade block.
Michael Pineda, Hansel Robles, Andrelton Simmons and Nelson Cruz are pending free agents. They should all be available at the deadline, but none of them will get a massive return.
Giants have decisions to make
With Kevin Gausman, Alex Wood and Anthony DeSclafani all heading for free agency, the Giants can go either way at the deadline. San Francisco has tens of millions coming off the books this offseason, giving Farhan Zaidi unprecedented flexibility.
The Giants are also surprise contenders. Gausman, Wood and DeSclafani have led the charge with bounce back years from Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. Zaidi could look to restock the farm by dealing his expiring starters, but he could just as feasibly make some moves to improve the bullpen and push for a wildcard berth.
The aforementioned Robles would be a good fit with the Giants. Ian Kennedy is a name to keep an eye on, too.
Joey Gallo on the move
It’s looking like a fifth consecutive losing season for the Texas Rangers. This is a roster short on talent and having made changes to the front office over the winter, they are embarking on another rebuild.
Unfortunately, the Rangers are low on assets to flip for prospects. Their farm ranked 21st in the Majors before the season according to MLB Pipeline, a worrying situation to be in when you’re out of the division race before June.
Joey Gallo is their greatest trade piece by a distance. Gallo has developed into a versatile, elite defender and possesses arguably the best raw power in the game. He’s not having his best year, but plenty of teams would be interested in his services.
Reds throw in the towel
Five games off the division lead at the time of writing, the Cincinnati Reds are slipping out of contention. This is a team which made a push a couple of years ago, but has run into a roadblock.
Eugenio Suarez continues to struggle. Jonathan India and Nick Senzel are yet to live up to expectations.
If the Reds choose to tear it down, their phones will be ringing relentlessly.
Teams will have interest in Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakas and Tucker Barnhart. Sonny Gray would get a solid prospect return. It’s probably worth keeping Luis Castillo, though, as this would be selling at his lowest value.
Due to become a free agent at season’s end, Trevor Story is one of the premier trade candidates ahead of the deadline. The Colorado Rockies are one of the worst teams in baseball. The Nolan Arenado deal signalled their long-term intent.
A Story extension is possible. While it would be a strange move for the Rockies, this is a front office which specializes in the bizarre.
The most likely scenario, though, is Story getting traded before July 30th. The Yankees, Phillies, Brewers and Athletics would all make sense as possible destinations.