The Major League Baseball season has not yet started, as we are in the midst of the beginning of Spring Training. During Spring Training comes the World Baseball Classic this year, an event that will take plenty of players away from their respective teams for portions of Spring Training. That being said, when the World Baseball Classic finishes and/or when players’ respective countries are eliminated from the event, those players will return to their MLB teams, ready to compete for the World Series yet again. However, not all of the players participating in the World Baseball Classic will finish the season with their respective teams, and not all of the players in the MLB in general will finish the season with the teams they are currently on. Trades happen throughout the year, with the majority of the trades coming at the Deadline.
Still, moves can happen at any point during the season, and some players already look like prime trade bait moving forward. While some players may seem obvious to be moved, others are sneaking around as possibilities to be traded during the upcoming MLB season. Regardless, there will be plenty of moves that go down throughout the season, and while it is early in Spring Training it’s always worth looking at such possibilities. Therefore, let’s take a look at some players that will be moved at some point during the season. 15 players that will not finish the season with the team they are currently on in the MLB.
15. Andrew McCutchen
Andrew McCutchen was nearly traded multiple times this off-season, with it appearing like he was going to be a Washington National at various points. McCutchen never moved teams, however, instead simply moving positions. McCutchen switched from center field to right field for the Pittsburgh Pirates in an attempt to maximize the value of their many outfielders and also hold onto McCutchen rather than trading him for value that may not match his actual on the field value. That being said, it appears like Pittsburgh is still fielding offers for the American World Baseball Classic participant, and a strong showing in the event and/or Spring Training injuries can easily lead to his being moved at some point this season, as we all expected in the off-season.
14. David Robertson
David Robertson is another player that has been heavily rumored to be a future Washington National. A deal appeared close to happening at various points this off-season, with rumors still swirling to this day. Robertson is the closer for the Chicago White Sox, a team tearing down their MLB roster to do a full re-build like they should have done years ago. A team in a full re-build does not need a closer, so keeping Robertson would make little to no sense for the team. Instead, the White Sox would be wisest to trade Robertson to a contending team that needs help in the bullpen. The Nationals still make a lot of sense as a destination for Robertson at some point this season.
13. Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun has been through a fascinating career to date with the Milwaukee Brewers. At one point he was Milwaukee’s prodigal baseball son, helping lead the Brewers to the National League Championship Series, and even winning awards throughout his early career. Yet his career has been mired by controversy, as he was caught using steroids, then put together a terrible argument against his being caught that led to both a suspension and a complete tear down of his character. Now, Braun continues to play for the Brewers, but like the Chicago White Sox, the Brewers are in re-build mode. Milwaukee has no need for the aging outfielder, and considering the Brewers were close to dealing Braun to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, we think another deal will come.
12. Sonny Gray
If you are noticing a trend of players on teams that are not expected to be good this season, that is no coincidence at all. Add Sonny Gray to the list of players that will be moved at some point this season, but not because of controversy. Sonny Gray is an ace, and the Oakland Athletics do not need an ace right now. The Oakland Athletics need a full re-build much like the Chicago White Sox do, and seeing the package the White Sox got from the Boston Red Sox for Chris Sale should only further their motivation to trade Sonny Gray. He will not bring back the same package, but he should bring back a lot in a trade this season with a contender.
11. Jay Bruce
All off-season, the New York Mets have been rumored to be trying to trade Jay Bruce. The Mets acquired Bruce in a Trade Deadline deal this past season, but very shortly he became a waste of a roster spot for New York. The Mets recently distanced themselves from a potential Bruce maneuver, but we are not buying it one bit. Besides the fact that the Mets have enough outfield options without him, there should also be plenty of suitors for Bruce’s services. It would be best for both the team the player to cut ties this season rather than prolong a relationship that was doomed to fail from the start. Perhaps the Mets can recoup some of the assets they lost in the original deal as well.
10. Shelby Miller
It’s going to be an impossible task for the Arizona Diamondbacks to sell their fans on a trade involving Shelby Miller considering the Diamondbacks originally acquired Miller for their top prospect Dansby Swanson and a lot more as well. Trading Miller will not bring back nearly as much as what they lost, but at the same time it’s best for the Diamondbacks to cut their losses and move on. This is a new regime looking to start fresh in Arizona, and rather than having Miller hanging over their heads on the roster, they can let him go for assets and start a new chapter in the organization. It’s the best move for the team, and the best move for Miller’s career in the long run.
9. Zack Greinke
This is certainly a bold prediction considering Zack Greinke makes more than nearly every player in baseball, but when a pitcher of Greinke’s caliber exists, there will always be a team willing to take a chance. That team will be the Los Angeles Dodgers, as Greinke’s former team had considering signing him, then considered trading for him in the past. Greinke and the Dodgers are a match made in heaven, and his short stint with the Arizona Diamondbacks will one day go down as one of the strangest mini-tenures in sports. Greinke’s meant to pitch for the Dodgers, and the Dodgers have both the money and the assets to bring back their former sidekick to their team’s ace Clayton Kershaw. This is the year they reunite.
8. Andre Ethier
While everyone seems to believe Yasiel Puig will be the player moved out of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfield this season, we believe Puig is due for a renaissance season in Chavez Ravine. Should that happen, the Dodgers will be looking to move a different outfielder. The primary choices will be Joc Pederson or Andre Ethier, and we believe the Dodgers will choose to move Ethier over the younger, more versatile Pederson. Ethier has been a Dodger for a long time, but the Dodgers have shown the ability to move long-time team members before, trading one of the faces of their franchise in Matt Kemp previously. Ethier will go for a small package, ending his long Dodgers career and being able to re-start his success.
7. Chase Headley
One of Chase Headley or Starlin Castro will be moved this season, to us it’s simply a matter of which one of the two goes. While Castro would be the more obvious guess based on the New York Yankees possessing plenty of middle infield depth and a lack of corner infield depth right now, we are going to predict Chase Headley gets moved instead. Our evidence stems from the Yankees trying to trade Headley throughout the off-season, Castro being younger, Castro having been involved with the development and maturing of some of the Yankees’ prospects, and the flexibility of various Yankees to move throughout the infield. Headley will go because of his typical slow starts as well, leaving the Yankees with an even younger roster.
6. Brett Gardner
Brett Gardner has been in trade rumors every season since he signed his most recent contract extension. It seems like every year he is about to be traded, but the New York Yankees either do not get good enough offers, or are afraid to pull the trigger on such deals. Regardless, Gardner is back in trade rumors once again, but this time the Yankees truly do have an abundance of outfielders. It will be impossible for the Yankees to get regular reps for Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Tyler Austin, Mason Williams, and more. Gardner is not needed in the Yankees lineup, and there are plenty of organizations that could use a top of the order outfield bat that can field and run.
5. Michael Wacha
There have not been many trade rumors swirling around Michael Wacha’s name, but we are taking this time to create some buzz of our own. The St. Louis Cardinals have far too many pitchers to know what to do with, and they also have plenty of roster holes outside of their starting rotation. Trading Wacha to fill a hole elsewhere in the lineup would be a wise move, and if there’s one organization in baseball that knows about making wise moves it’s the St. Louis Cardinals. Wacha was 7-7 with a 5.09 ERA last season, making him a trade candidate for the Cardinals, but also a buy-low trade candidate for another team to acquire. He’s the perfect guy to go in such a deal.
4. Chris Archer
Similarly to various other players on this list, Chris Archer’s name was bounced around throughout the off-season as a possible trade candidate. Archer was never moved, likely due to the high price placed on his name. Yet the American League East is projected to be a powerhouse division yet again, and the Tampa Bay Rays are projected to be at the bottom of the barrel yet again. Rather than sitting back, watching it happen, and doing nothing about it, it would be wisest for the Rays to make a move to help their present and future in the meantime. Once the Rays fall out of playoff contention, the fire-sale must begin. That fire-sale must begin with Chris Archer, the best pitcher on the team.
3. Derek Norris
The Washington Nationals often make trades without realizing the long-term effects of those trades. One such trade came this off-season, when the Nationals acquired catcher Derek Norris from the San Diego Padres. Norris was acquired to be the new catcher for the Nationals, but the plan changed before he could ever put on a Nationals uniform. The Nationals realized Matt Wieters’ price was far lower than they ever expected, so rather than staying put with the catcher they had already acquired to fill the role in Norris, the Nationals decided to give the nod to Matt Wieters instead. With that, now Norris is a backup on a team with plenty of in-house back-up options. Norris also should be a starter, making him a prime trade candidate.
2. Brian Dozier
The Minnesota Twins are an awful team, somehow looking like they have an even worse roster than the team that finished at the bottom of the league last season. With that in mind, changes appear to be in order for the Twins. By May the Twins could be sellers, and by June and July they should expect to be in full fire-sale mode. That means anyone with talent could go, and that means Brian Dozier, their most talented hitter who was the subject of trade rumors throughout the off-season, should expect to be moved by the organization. Plenty of teams need second basemen, and Dozier’s availability should help the Twins get a prime package and continue their re-build as effectively as possible.
1. Miguel Montero
Miguel Montero was arguably the un-happiest World Series game winning hitter in history of the sport. Montero wanted out of Chicago due to his lack of playing time, bashing the organization and especially Manager Joe Maddon along the way. Rather than trading Montero, however, the Cubs worked to make peace with the catcher. Maddon and Montero appear to be on the same page, and Montero is on the Cubs’ roster moving forward. However, issues like this do not simply go away after one meeting, and the lack of playing time does not appear like it is set to change. Eventually things will blow up once again, and Montero will be headed for a different organization where he can play more and feel more valuable.
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