2022 MLB Trade Deadline Primer

2022 MLB Trade Deadline Primer

We're still weeks away from the August 2nd MLB trade deadline, but the time to start assessing who teams are, where they'll be in a month, and which players may be on the move is now. We'll assess each team's current status, including potential trade candidates and their 2022 salary at the deadline.




Los Angeles Dodgers

  • NL Wst 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 2nd
  • Farm System: 5th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$42M

The Dodgers are going through a rough stretch to finish off June, including notable injuries to SP Walker Buehler & OF Mookie Betts. They'll be in the market for a starting pitcher (like always), but will need to monitor adding a significant bat over the next 3 weeks as well.


Landon Knack (P, 24)
The rich continue to get richer, as one of the best MLB teams also has one of the best farm systems in the game. They’ll continue to have too many good options for their annual 40 man roster, and will need to shed one or two every year to gain value. Knack is currently LAD’s #8 prospect, and could bring back a nice haul in other positions of need.

Milwaukee Brewers

  • NL Central 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 19th
  • Farm System: 25th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $85M

Milwaukee's biggest strength (starting pitching) is depleted by two nearing July. Brandon Woodruff should be back in the fold soon, while Freddy Peralta could still be a month away from return. They're inline for a big bat addition next month if they think they have the roster to contend.


Sal Frelick, Joey Wiemer, Garrett Mitchell (OF)
5 of the Brewers Top 8 prospects are outfielders, and all of them can hit. It stands to reason that one could be on the move this deadline, especially if the rotation’s injury situation doesn’t improve. Lorenzo Cain (DFA) is on an expiring contract, and Hunter Renfroe is under team control through 2023, so there are MLB OF spots opening up sooner than later.

New York Mets

  • NL East 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 1st
  • Farm System: 20th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$62M

Steve Cohen bought big this offseason, and watched the Braves win it all 10 months ago by buying big at the deadline. The Mets won't be passive, though getting Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill back into the rotation will make this team feel brand new down the stretch. There are a few MLB ready players (Smith, J.D. Davis) who could easily latch on elsewhere, and the Mets should be thinking lefty reliever, switch hitting bench bat come July.


Dominic Smith (1B, 27)
Smith has shown flashes of being an everyday starter in the league, but the Mets may be running out of leash on allowing that to come to full fruition. Dom has two more arbitration years ahead of him, and carries a $1.4M deadline salary in 2022.

Ronny Mauricio (SS, 21)
Was destined to be the SS of the Mets future, until Francisco Lindor came to town and locked in $341M. There’s a world where he slots in at 2B in the short term, but trading him as a young/cheap SS gave the Mets maximum value.

New York Yankees

  • AL East 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 3rd
  • Farm System: 13th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$30M

The 50-win Yankees have been nothing short of amazing thus far in 2022, leading the league in homeruns & ERA, boasting the likely AL MVP winner (Judge), and getting maximum efficiency from a rotation that looks "OK" on paper. They'll look to add an innings eater time starter/reliever for the stretch run, and a shakeup in the lineup might be good for business as well (can they find a Gallo taker?).


Ken Waldichuk (P, 24)
The Yankees #5 prospect might be the “best available” player floated out by NY this summer. He’s nearly MLB ready, so this would be a piece in a bigtime deadline move in an attempt to secure the Yankees with a surplus of ammo to get to the finish line this year.

Miguel Andujar (3B, 27)
Andujar’s spot in the Yankees lineup has all but vanished, as the 27 year old finds himself in AAA, awaiting his eventual move out of New York. He’s operating on a $1.3M salary this year.

San Diego Padres

  • NL West 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 5th
  • Farm System: 17th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$4M

With the Dodgers off to a much more uneven start than many expected, San Diego could be smelling blood in the National League. This sure feels like a team ready to model the Braves' run in 2021 (including having their star bat out of the lineup for much of the season). Tatis Jr. will be back in the fold at some point, but that won't be enough to take this all the way. Look for a notable bat (Pham, Benintendi), and at least one backend arm (Barlow, Bednar).


Ryan Weathers (SP, 22)
Farm system is depleted from previous trades (Taylor Trammell, Trent Grisham, Trevor Rosenthal, Mike Clevinger, Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Sean Manaea) and CJ Abrams likely untouchable. Otherwise, not much to trade and SDP likely hoping for Tatis return as their ‘big move’. Plenty of short term SP pitching depth (Musgrove, Darvish, Manaea, Snell, Gore, Clevinger, Martinez). Weathers was originally included in the proposed Eric Hosmer trade before it died.

San Francisco Giants

  • NL West 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 13th
  • Farm System: 11th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $56M

The Giants were hoping Joey Bart was going to breakout and solidify the middle of this lineup, but he's back in AAA and the Giants are showing signs of being good but not great. Will they follow last year's plan in captializing on the Cubs' tear down? Chicago has someone at nearly every position group to offer.


Randy Rodriguez (SP, 22)
The Giants’ #12 prospect had a ridiculously good 2021, and could progress to the MLB level by next season at this rate. He’s the type of prospect that brings back immediate MLB talent for a contending team like the Giants.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • AL East 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 11th
  • Farm System: 21st
  • Estimated Tax Space: $39M

The time to trade Cavan Biggio was probably 8 months ago, but it's still a chip worth playing. The offense as a whole sputtered out of the gate, but is showing signs of finding its legs as we speak. Losing SP Ryu for the season + the Yankees historic start has Toronto somewhat deflated, but they're too good of a squad to rest of laurels. Moving a player like Gurriel might bring back the kind of return that flips a season.


Toronto is rich with above average, young catching, and it seems like something is soon to give in that regard. Gabriel Moreno (C, 22), the Blue Jays #1 prospect (#7 in MLB) is currently their starting DH. Alejandro Kirk (C, 23) is their everyday backstop. And Danny Jansen (C, 27), currently injured, can handle starting duties as needed. Toronto is in Wild Card/win now mode, so dangling Moreno out there for a big package of MLB ready talent makes sense.

Cavan Biggio (2B, 27)
The production has fallen off of a cliff, the playing time has dwindled along with it. Toronto will be selling low here, but if you can toss Biggio into a larger trade package, the time to do so is probably now.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (OF, 28)
There's a lot to like about Gurriel, which makes him an easy player to keep, or a great player to dangle onto the trade block. He's under contract/control through 2024, so we're a year away from this "needing" to happen, but with plenty of big contracts coming for Toronto, freeing up some cash here might make a little sense. Gurriel carries a $1.8M deadline salary.

Window Shopping


Atlanta Braves

  • NL East 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 9th
  • Farm System: 27th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $20M

Acuna is starting to look like Acuna, rookie Michael Harris is looking every bit the hype, and a torrid June has Atlanta right back in the division race. They don't have the prospect pool to swing big this July, but it seems likely an arm joins this roster at some point.


Braden Shewmake (SS, 24), Drew Waters (OF, 23)
The Braves lost a few notable prospects when they acquired Matt Olson this offseason, but Shewmake and Waters will draw interest if they’re dangled. Shewmake’s future in Atlanta hinges on their offseason decision with Dansby Swanson, who’s eligible for free agency.

Boston Red Sox

  • AL East 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 6th
  • Farm System: 14th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$12M

As seen below (and at every local MLB blog near you, Boston could be one of the most explosive expiring contract sellers this deadline. But their last few weeks show why going in the exact opposite direction could be just as fun. The Red Sox hold one of the toughest schedules in baseball down the stretch, but that includes games against the very divisional foes they'll be fighting off for Wild Card status. A few big swings at the deadline could be the fuel they need to power through it.


J.D. Martinez (DH, 34)
The pending free agent is finishing a 5 year, $110M contract in Boston this summer. If the Red Sox fall out of the Wild Card race, look for him to request a move to a contender down the stretch. Martinez will carry about a $7M salary at the deadline.

Xander Bogaerts (SS, 29)
Technically, there’s 4 years, $80M left on Bogaerts contract, but a player opt-out available after this season puts his immediate future in doubt. Those questions got louder when Boston acquired Trevor Story this past March. If his plan is to opt-out this winter, will Boston find a suitor at the deadline and snag a few prospects before he does so? Bogaerts will carry about $7.1M remaining on his 2022 salary at the deadline.

Nathan Eovaldi (SP, 32)
Consistency has always been the issue here, and injuries have reared their ugly head the past two seasons, but a quality SP on an expiring contract is always at least considerable. There will be a little over $6M left on his salary at the deadline.

Chicago White Sox

  • AL Central 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 7th
  • Farm System: 30th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $14M

Expectations were high for this squad, but injuries, bad luck, and bad coaching has this season spiraling. Many will ask the White Sox to add and attempt to right the ship immediately, but with the last ranked farm system in the game, selling off a few pieces seems the better way to rest 2022.


Johnny Cueto (SP, 36)
Cueto’s re-found some things this season, and while his days of overpowering hitters with high strikeout rates are over, teams will keep an eye on his ability to command the zone through the summer. His $1.5M deadline salary could be very attractive to teams looking for an inning eater.

Jose Abreu (1B, 35)
Abreu’s $6.42M deadline salary might be a little too rich for most teams to take on as an expiring rental, but he’s certainly the right kind of late season hitting addition contenders look for. He’s been a key piece to this White Sox revival, but age, and the need to replenish their farm system could force a move here.

Josh Harrison (2B, 34)
The power and efficiency numbers have vanished, but that's become status quo for this year's White Sox across the board. A change of scenery seems imminent. Harrison carries a $1.4M deadline salary, plus a $5.5M club option in 2023 ($1.5M buyout).

A.J. Pollock (OF, 34)
The hitting numbers are down across the board, and there's way too much money left on this contract ($4M at the deadline + a $10M player option) as well. Chicago will be eating much of this to move on, but it's likely they'll try.

Cleveland Guardians

  • AL Central 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 28th
  • Farm System: 2th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $138M

Remember when we were all shocked that Jose Ramirez signed an extension and remain tied to Cleveland? 4 months later he's an MVP candidate, and the Guardians are closing in on the division lead. Cleveland continues to develop young players as good as any franchise in the league, and tend to strike big at deadlines when they feel like they have the framework to contend. Is that this summer?


Amed Rosario (SS, 26)
Rosario put together a nice 2021, and is averaging a hit a game out of the gate here in 2022. But he’s an average at best shortstop defensively, and the Guardians don’t just have Andres Gimenez stepping into that role, but a strong farm of middle infielders coming up the pipeline. With one year of arbitration control left, and a $1.76M deadline salary, Rosario’s versatility should draw interest.

Austin Hedges (C, 29)
The offensive numbers look a lot like last season, and the defensive numbers (notably throw out rate), are way down, but a $1.4M deadline salary for an expiring catcher contract could still be attractive.

Houston Astros

  • AL West 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 10th
  • Farm System: 29th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $31M

Houston has built up a big lead in the AL West, but an upcoming stretch against the Mets/Yankees could put a dent in it if they're not careful. The Astros refuse to go away, despite a notable player or two lost each offseason. Will they drop a big starter onto this roster to maintain depth, and keep an aging Verlander stretched out through the dog days?


Chas McCormick (OF, 27)
McCormick still has a ton of team control left ahead of him (one pre-arb year plus three arbitration years), and he showed extremely well in 2021, his first year in the show. But Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker are now fixtures in this outfield, and there are plenty of options ready to graduate from the system as needed. Houston might have a chance to sell high on McCormick and fill a few other holes rather quickly.

Miami Marlins

  • NL East 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 26th
  • Farm System: 6th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $118M

Every team above .500 will be calling this front office to inquire about their young starting pitching. Will they be tempting to turn it over for a few big bats? We're probably a year away from that being the case, but with flashes of spark, it might only take one big add to really jumpstart this roster in a positive direction.


Garrett Cooper (OF, 31)
Cooper’s been a bit of an underappreciated player through his 5+ year career, but he’s also missed a lot of action in recent seasons due to injury. He’s under team control through 2023, but it might be the right time for a change of scenery. The Marlins are rich with prospects all over the field, and getting cheaper is always on their agenda. Cooper carries an $892k deadline salary.

Jesus Aguilar (1B, 31)
Aguilar is on pace to match his 2021 production, which should be attractive to a contender looking for a depth/bench bat down the stretch. Miami should be motivated to move off Aguilar with Lewin Diaz primed for a permanent callup this summer. A deadline move means a $2.6M salary for Aguilar, + a $200,000 buyout in 2023

Anthony Bass (RP, 34)
Bass holds a 2.08 ERA/1.03 WHIP in 27 appearances for the Marlins. Experienced relief arms are as good as gold this time of year, and the $1M deadline salary doesn't hurt either.

Minnesota Twins

  • AL Central 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 18th
  • Farm System: 19th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $64M

The Guardians are tracking closely and could be pressed to add in the coming weeks. Will Minnesota try to jump the gun and bring in depth across the board before Cleveland gets there? Moving a players like Martin/Urshela could bring back a playoff type return midseason.


Austin Martin (SS/CF, 23)
One of the big pieces brought back from Toronto when Jose Berrios was sent packing, Martin hasn’t been able to find any power in his tenure through the minor leagues. He’s a viable contact option, and can a few positions (projects to end up at 2B), but the Twins may seem him as a longer term project that can garner them immediate returns now in a trade.

Giovanny Urshela (3B, 30)
Gio's on pace to replicate his 2021 campaign with the Yankees, and the 1st place twins certainly don't want to ruffle too many feathers here, but star prospect Jose Miranda might be ready to take the role on right now. Urshela is under team control through 2023, so there's no rush in moving him right now, but if an attractive offer sits out there, Minnesota may pull the trigger. He costs around $2.3M at the deadline.

Philadelphia Phillies

  • NL East 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 4th
  • Farm System: 26th
  • Estimated Tax Space: -$11M

The Philles are team built to outscore everyone else, with below average defense nearly everywhere on the field. They'll go through good and bad stretches based on this construction, but a little tinkering at the deadline could swing things in the right direction. GM Dave Dombrowski is plenty known for tinkering.


Kyle Gibson (SP, 34)
If the wheels fall off this summer, Gibson’s expiring contract makes sense to move on from. His $2.5M deadline salary should be acceptable for a team or two looking for depth.

Brad Hand (RP, 32)
Another expiring contract and a veteran reliever that has joined contenders down the stretch in the past. The $2.1M remaining on his salary at the deadline might be a tad rich for a 7th inning addition.

Seattle Mariners

  • AL West 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 22nd
  • Farm System: 2nd
  • Estimated Tax Space: $93M

There are plenty of expiring contracts to flip in the coming weeks, but GM Jerry DiPoto likes to be flashier than that. Is he ready to give up on Kelenic just yet?


Mitch Haniger (OF, 31)
Haniger is set to hit the open market this fall, and with plenty of young talent ready to come through the pipeline, probably doesn’t factor long term. He’s not slated to rejoin the team from the injured list until Mid-July, so the timing might not allow a trade to happen, but his $2.7M deadline salary isn’t dreadful.

Adam Frazier (2B, 30)
Acquired last winter from San Diego, Frazier is having one of his worst statistical seasons to date. But his pedigree and career on base percentage could attract a low risk move come late July. He’ll cost around $2.5M around that time.

Sergio Romo (RP, 39)
There's not much left in the tank, and the slider is really the only pitch getting batters out these days, but at $714k from the deadline on, Seattle may toss him into a trade package to sweeten the pot a bit.

Jarred Kelenic (OF, 22)
The big piece in the Robby Cano/Edwin Diaz trade with the Mets, Kelenic has done more swinging and missing than anything in his Mariners tenure. Can the Mariners find another top prospect fizzling out to swap 1-1 for?

St. Louis Cardinals

  • NL Central 1st
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 12th
  • Farm System: 16th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $52M

The Cards are carrying contracts for Wainwright/Molina/Pujols in a traditional sense, but also need more ammo to maintain their top NL Central spot. Will they deplete some of their middle of the league ranked farm system for a stretch run? Do they trust the health of their rotation?


Paul DeJong (SS, 28)
The former everyday shortstop is now stuck in the minor leagues trying to refind his swing. There's $17M left on his contract, and the Cardinals will need to pay nearly all of it to get him out the door.

Tampa Bay Rays

  • AL East 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 24th
  • Farm System: 3rd
  • Estimated Tax Space: $107M

After selling off more pieces, Tampa extended SS Wander Franco to an historic deal this offseason. They're in Wild Card play now, but boast a very tough schedule through the deadline. There's a good chance they're selling by then.


Xavier Edwards (2B, 22)
Edwards is battling back from a shoulder injury and was recently promoted to AAA. With young middle infielders already on the 40-man roster ahead of him, Edwards may simply get squeezed out in the next few months. There’s a chance TB can grab a few assets for him now.


Stuck in the Middle


Arizona Diamondbacks

  • NL West 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 25th
  • Farm System: 4th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $128M

Arizona can sell off a few expiring pieces without damaging their rebuild process too much. The D-Backs boast one of the game's best farm systems, and could package a significant youngster with a vet to bring back potential immediate impact players for 2023.


David Peralta (OF, 34)
Peralta is on pace to replicate his 2021 campaign, with the exception of home runs, where he has 8 through June 14th, while finishing last season with 8 in 150 games. He’s decent depth value for a team looking to push down the stretch. His $2.85M deadline salary might be a little rich.

Ian Kennedy (RP, 37)
Kennedy has been a reliable setup option to Mark Melancon of late, but could give a contender legitimate 9th inning work down the stretch. His $1.6M deadline salary and $4M club option should draw interest.

Zach Davies (SP, 29)
Davies has posted a strong 3.78 ERA through 13 starts and carries a very moveable $535k deadline salary. He'll be coveted as a back of the rotation depth piece.

Colorado Rockies

  • NL West 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 17th
  • Farm System: 24th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $61M

Still not quite sure who and what the Rockies believe they are, but they seem to be flipping the switch between sellers and buyers (both internally and externally speaking) every few months. We're back at a point to sell, and while the names below could be dangled, slugger CJ Cron is easily the most eyed prize on this roster, and is under contract through 2023. If they're selling Cron, we at least have a better idea of where things are going.


Chad Kuhl (SP, 29)
The 29 year old is having his best year to date by far in 2022, carrying a 3.70 ERA and 1.75 WAR through 11 starts. He’s on an expiring contract, carries a $1M salary at the deadline, and if the Rockies don’t think they can keep him long-term, should find his way to the trade block.

Jose Iglesias (SS, 32)
Middle infielders seem to be everywhere, but Iglesias comes with plenty of experience, good contact at the plate, and a reasonable price tag. His $1.78M deadline salary should attract buyers.

Charlie Blackmon (OF, 36)
He’s nowhere near the player he was 5 years ago, but there’s plenty of juice left in Blackmon’s game. The problem of course is the contract. The 36 year old will carry a $7.5M salary at this deadline, with a sure to be exercised $18M player option ahead in 2023. Colorado’s eating quite a bit of this to move on.

Los Angeles Angels

  • AL West 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 8th
  • Farm System: 28th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $21M

A season ending injury to 3B Anthony Rendon is jut the latest blow to this Angels organization, who cant stop paying big money to players who refuse to stay healthy or play well. Mike Trout has $318M left on his contract, and Shohei Ohtani will soon be sitting down to sign his version of that. They're a .500 team of late, and probably project to finish 2022 right around that mark.


Jordon Adell (OF, 23)
Still just 23, it’s not yet fair to call the Adell career a full bust, but a change of scenery is probably the very best next move here. Can he be one of the major pieces in a deal that brings back a MLB ready arm for the Angels to finally start turning that corner? Adell has 4 more years of team control ahead of him.

Texas Rangers

  • AL West 2nd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 15th
  • Farm System: 9th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $68M

Texas bought the farm this offseason and has a stable of arms nearing MLB promotion availability. They're 10 games back in the division, and 5 games out of the wild card as we speak, so it's a big few weeks for the Rangers forthcoming. If they slide back anymore, SP Martin Perez will be a high interest sale. If they creep closer to contention, GM Chris Young may be inclinced to buy aggressively.


Martin Perez (SP, 31)
Perez is having a career year on a 1 year, $4M late free agency contract. The Rangers have one of the best young pool of pitching prospects making their way toward the show, but they’ll need a few veteran arms to right the ship as they continue to push back into contention. If the wheels fall off of their Wild Card hopes next month, Perez becomes a deadline trade asset, but re-signing him this winter could also be in Texas’ plans. His $1.42M deadline salary should draw plenty of interest.

Charlie Culberson (3B, 33)
Culberson can play everywhere and carries a healthy $625k deadline salary. Texas is keeping pace with the AL Wild Card race, but if that slips, look for expiring contract sell offs like this.

Kole Calhoun (OF, 34)
Calhoun has been an above average power bat for years now, and his $1.85M deadline salary + $5.5M club option (no buyout) should attract the bigger franchises, especially if injuries start to file into the conversation.




Baltimore Orioles

  • AL East 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 30th
  • Farm System: 1st
  • Estimated Tax Space: $165M

At some point in time, Baltimore needs to figure out a way to get a pitcher or three. With a few notable position players to boot, flipping a few (even if it means the coveted Cedric Mullins) in order to bring back arms has to be the plan. Will this summer be the start of that process?


Trey Mancini (1B/DH, 30)
At $7.5M, Mancini carries the highest salary on the Orioles active roster, and he holds a $10M mutual option for 2023 ($250,000 buyout). It’s probably time for both sides to part here, and Mancini is off to a solid start statistically speaking (.290/.373/.424/.797). There will be about $2.6M left on his salary come the trade deadline.

Jordan Lyles (SP, 31)
The veteran starter has bounced around the league for a decade, but can still offer quality innings down the stretch. There's a $1.9M deadline salary plus an $11M 2023 club option ($1M buyout) to consider, but interest should exist.

Rougned Odor (2B, 28)
Odor is a home run hitter (and not much more), but he's working on minimum contracts this and next year because of a retained contract with Texas. Baltimore needs to start turning position players into pitchers, and this could be one piece of a larger package to do just that.

Cedric Mullins (OF, 27)
The only way Baltimore even answers the phone to move a player like this is if a franchise with potent young pitching (Miami, Texas, Cleveland) is calling. Mullins has all 3 arbitration seasons still in front of him.

Chicago Cubs

  • NL Central 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 14th
  • Farm System: 18th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $52M

The Cubs are the bank that many contenders will be lining up to cash out from this summer. The list of available players could branch out to as many as 8, with a potential name existing at every position group.


Willson Contreras (C, 30)
Easily the best catcher to be made available, it’s a surprise Contreras has stuck in Chicago this long. There’s a clear fit here for teams like the Yankees, Giants, & Cardinals. The 30 year old is eligible for free agency after the season, and will hold a $3.4M salary at the deadline.

David Robertson (RP, 37)
Veteran, experienced relief pitcher on an expiring contract with the ability to setup or close games? About as close to gold as you can get at the trade deadline. A $1.25M deadline salary helps too.

Mychal Givens (RP, 32)
Relief pitcher with 33 strikeouts in 25 innings, an expiring contract, and a $1.25M deadline salary?

Ian Happ (OF, 27)
Happ has one more year of arbitration ahead of him, and carries a $2.4M deadline salary. The power numbers are down, but so is the lineup protection around him. He's a strong "off-the-bench" option for a contender.

Cincinnati Reds

  • NL Central 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 21st
  • Farm System: 15th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $93M

The Reds are 20 games under .500 at the time of this piece and could potentially sell a half a dozen pieces in the coming weeks. Castillo seems a slam dunk to move, but they'll be looking for a strong, MLB-ready return as they push to be relevant again in 2023 (without spending too much of course).


Luis Castillo (SP, 29)
Castillo has 1 more year of arbitration left, so it’s not vital that the Reds move on this year. But contending teams may make offers they simply can’t refuse. Statistically, he’s not firing quite at the rate he did last year, when he posted 192 strikeouts and a 4.73 WAR in 187 innings. But a $2.6M deadline salary will be plenty attractive.

Tyler Mahle (SP, 27)
Like Castillo, Mahle has another arbitration-controlled year remaining before free agency. He posted a 3.75 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 2021, and is on pace for another 200 in 2022. Is he part of the Reds’ young core, or will he be a good size trade chip over the next 18 months? His $1.85M deadline salary will be enticing.

Brandon Drury (3B, 29)
Drury latched onto the Reds as a last ditch effort to ressurect his career. He's rewarded Cincy with 14 HRs, 11 doubles, and an .848 OPS through 60 games, and should be traded immediately before the shine wears off.

Tommy Pham (OF, 34)
Pham carries an OPS near .800 in 200+ at bats, he has exprience on the west coast and could rejoin one of the contenders out there for a stretch run. Pham holds a $2.1M deadline salary.

Detroit Tigers

  • AL Central 4th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 16th
  • Farm System: 10th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $84M

It felt like Detroit was putting together the building blocks to turn this around (experienced coach, draft picks ready to contribue, Javy Baez' addition), but they appear to be a year away from being a year away. The goal over the coming weeks should be to sell off as many expiring contracts as possible, including Michael Fulmer, Tucker Barnhart, and Robbie Grossman to name a few.


Robbie Grossman (OF, 32)
He was great last year. He’s not this year. But he’s a switch hitter with good on base numbers historically, and his $1.78M deadline salary isn’t terrifying. A bounce back June/July would certainly help in finding a potential suitor though.

Kansas City Royals

  • AL Central 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 23rd
  • Farm System: 8th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $112M

KC boasts one of the better trade classes in the league, and can be very aggressive next month if they desire. Benintendi and Merrifield seem as good as gone, but they're bullpen arms could draw major interest as well.


Andrew Benintendi (OF, 27)
The power isn’t coming back with any consistency, but Benintendi is rounding into a strong contact/on-base hitter. With an expiring contract, and a deadline salary around $3M, there’s a chance he latches on elsewhere as a lefty option.

Scott Barlow (RP, 29)
Barlow is under control through 2024, holds a 1.55 ERA /27 strikeouts in 25 appearances, and carries an $857k deadline salary. Kansas City might be able to snag a strong return here.

Whit Merrifield (OF, 33)
Merrifield still fills up all of the intangible stat columns, and is the perfect contender add down the stretch. He's worth $2.5M at the deadline this year, and is inline for a $6.75M salary in 2023. KC may have to take on some of that to move him.

Amir Garrett (RP, 30)
A lefty reliever under team control through 2023 with a $723k deadline salary. The phone is probably already ringing.

Oakland Athletics

  • AL West 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 29rd
  • Farm System: 22nd
  • Estimated Tax Space: $163M

Oakland did plenty of selling this witer, but they're largely expected to continue this summer. Montas might be the prized trade chip of the season, while Murphy & Laureano could be held into 2023 if the prices aren't right. The A's are going to lose 100 games this year either way.


Frankie Montas (SP, 29)
The best (likely) available starting pitcher at the deadline will draw a ton of interest over the next few weeks. With another year of team control through 2023, and a $1.8M deadline salary to boot, Oakland will be asking for the farm on this one.

Sean Murphy (C, 27)
Murphy boasts all three years of arbitration ahead of him, but that won’t stop teams from requesting his services this July. The catch? Oakland boasts 2 of the Top 8 catching prospects in all of baseball, both currently playing AAA ball in their system. If keeping Murphy makes more baseball sense, moving on from one of the prospects can immediately fill other holes.

Ramon Laureano (OF, 27)
Laureano has two years of arbitration remaining, so there's no rush here, but if defense-needy teams come calling (Brewers/Phillies) the price me be too good to wait on. He'll cost just $875,000 at the deadline.

Pittsburgh Pirates

  • NL Central 3rd
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 27th
  • Farm System: 7th
  • Estimated Tax Space: $154M

The Pirates young bats are starting to pay off at the big league level, and Oneil Cruz is on the way to add to that. Can they find an arm or two to begin to put this thing together come 2023? Bednar might be the right player to dangle in that regard.


Jose Quintana (SP, 33)
It’s been a renaissance year for Quintana, who’s striking out nearly a batter an inning, posting a 3.53 ERA, 1.33 WHIP thus far. He’s on an expiring contract, so once Pittsburgh falls far enough out of Wild Card chances, his $714k deadline salary will become attractive.

David Bednar (RP, 27)
Bednar has been one of the brightest parts of Pittsburgh's surprisngly average start to 2022. At the time of this piece, he's posting a 1.34 ERA, .802 WHIP with 46 strikeouts in 33 ininngs. The Pirates would probably love to hang on here (especially with 4 years of team control still ahead), but if a good starting pitching offer comes in, they must pull the trigger.

Washington Nationals

  • NL East 5th
  • ‘22 Payroll Rank: 20th
  • Farm System: 23rd
  • Estimated Tax Space: $66M

The Nats are on a 100-loss path, with zero help in the rotation or bullpen coming from any direction. They'll have a few expiring contracts to flip in the next few weeks, with Josh Bell as the focal point. The more this team loses, the louder the countdown on Juan Soto's team control clock will grow.


Nelson Cruz (DH, 41)
Cruz can still hit with power, and it simply doesn’t make sense to keep him on this floundering roster much longer. Washington may need to take on some of his $4.2M deadline salary to get him out the door.

Josh Bell (1B, 29)
Impending UFA, almost guaranteed to be dealt. Likely same suitors as Trey Mancini (Red Sox, Twins, Astros). Switch hitter, proven run producing bat - should come relatively cheap. His $3.5M deadline salary shouldn’t scare off too many.

Steve Cishek (RP, 36)
Viable, experienced relief pitcher with an expiring contract on a team going backwards. His $625,000 deadline salary will draw interest.

C.J. Edwards (RP, 30)
Viable, experienced relief pitcher with an expiring contract on a team going backwards.