As July 31st quickly approaches teams have been evaluating themselves. This season’s July 31st non-wavier trade deadline is expected to be an active market. Relievers, starters, infielders, and outfielders are all expected to be moved. And with the league being, so top heavy as many teams are rebuilding. In this Top 10 countdown, we will cover the ten likeliest candidates to be traded. And be sure to take a look back at the Top 10 Buyers and Sellers. (In no particular order.)
1- Manny Machado
Manny Machado will be the most sought-after position player on the trade market this July. Manny knew heading into this MLB season he wanted to have a career year. This season is Manny’s final season under contract to the Baltimore Orioles. And while he is the best available hitter on the market, the return might not be quite what it could have been a year ago (because he is strictly a rental.) He should still command quite a significant return.
2- Cole Hamels
Hamels represents the most interesting pitcher on the market as the veteran is being looked at as the season’s Justin Verlander. When the Houston Astros acquired Verlander he had a career resurgence. Hamels is someone that could benefit significantly from being interjected into a playoff race.
3- JA Happ
Happ much like Hamels should have many interested suitors for his service. However, with the Toronto Blue Jays farm system not being quite where it used to be the price may be high. But Happ should still be moved to a contender by the trade deadline.
4- Mike Moustakas
Moose, as he is known in Kansas City, is a solid Major League player. Although he struggled early, he is having another solid campaign. And with many teams seeming unable to dabble in the Machado market, Moustakas is an excellent alternative.
5- Brad Hand
Hand will more than likely be traded by the San Diego Padres this July 31st trade deadline. As San Diego is still seen as a few years away from truly competing in the NL West. A lefty reliever like Hand should garner much in the way of discussion and return for his services.
6- Brad Brach
Brach is another asset the Orioles must look to move. Baltimore has a bottom ranking farm system and a foreseeable future of rebuilding on the horizon. Brach, although he will be a free agent, should still provide a solid return for the Orioles.
7- Francisco Liriano
Liriano was traded last season from Toronto to Houston for the stretch run. And although not used much he did help the Houston Astros reach and win the World Series. Does Liriano have some magic left? We will have to wait and see.
8- Lance Lynn
Lance Lynn signed a one year deal with the Minnesota Twins and while they played in a playoff game last season, this season has been a different story. So the Twins will more than likely be looking to capitalize on any potential value including Lance Lynn.
9- Steven Matz
While a lot of early reports speculated Noah Syndergaard or Jacob deGrom being on the move from the New York Mets. The more likely trade candidate is Steven Matz. Now while not quite a household name like the other two Matz can provide solid middle of the rotation help to a contender. And he will not cost an organization an arm and a leg to acquire.
10- Michael Fulmer
Fulmer is the guy that has the highest potential trade value. As a young player, he is under team control for a very long time. And as such he will cost a king’s ransom to acquire from the rebuilding Detroit Tigers. Some may question, why move such a young and controllable starter? But the answer is very simple. Detroit is in for a long rebuilding process. And at the point, they are indeed back in contention Fulmer won’t be as useful. While it will not be a popular move, it is a necessary one for Detroit.