This year in the MLB could see some of the biggest names in baseball be traded before the deadline on July 31st. This period can make some teams into World Series contenders if they add the right pieces and can destroy some teams' chances of winning championships. Some teams will add prospects that can add to their future success, while others will look to add stars to contend in the playoffs. The likes of Yasiel Puig, Ryan Braun, and Jose Quintana have already been speculated to be on the trading block for their respective teams, and as the trade deadline gets closer, the rumors on these players as well as many others will only heat up more.
The most interesting part of the deadline is of, course, where the players will wind up. Teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and the New York Yankees are always busy, but this list will consist of the top 15 players that are likely to be traded. The start of the 2017 season and how the teams are doing are major factors for choosing the players in this list, and in determining who moves where. Here are top 15 players who will be traded in the current MLB season and where they will likely be traded to.
15 Zach Britton
Zach Britton had an incredible year in 2016 and had proven to be one of, if not the top relief pitcher in all of the MLB. Britton won the Mariano Rivera Award last year and was last season's AL saves leader. If Baltimore cannot sign him to an extension, then trading him will give them a lot of assets for the future. The Texas Rangers have a lot of pieces but really need help in the bullpen, and also their rotation, Britton with the Rangers is exactly what both need. The Rangers will have to give up a lot for Britton, but it's absolutely worth it. As long as his injury woes don't kick in this season, the Rangers would be fools not to attempt to get one of the best relievers in the MLB.
Verdict: Texas Rangers
14 Jose Iglesias
The 27-year-old Tigers shortstop could be on the market as Detroit has him on a one-year contract like they have for the last few years. Jose Iglesias may be perfect for the San Diego Padres, whose starting shortstop is Erik Aybar right now. Iglesias is a great solution for their weakness, while the Padres wait for some of their young prospects to be ready to be called up to the majors. Iglesias can add great defense and solid batting to San Diego as long as the Padres are willing to give up enough to Detroit, but they could still find themselves getting him for a lower price, as Iglesias is a free agent at the end of the season and could finally be wanting a long term deal.
Verdict: San Diego Padres
13 Leonys Martin
Leonys Martin could see himself wearing another uniform this season after the suspension of Starlin Marte of the Pittsburgh Pirates. There were many rumors that Pirates' star outfielder Andrew McCutchen was going to be traded last year or this year, but now with the Marte suspension, they will opt to keep McCutchen and attempt to replace Marte during his suspension with a quality outfielder. Martin is that quality outfielder who can be a Band-Aid for the Pirates for the next 60-70 games. This trade is one that could be done soon as Martin isn't a top player for the Mariners and hasn't had a great 2017 season so far, so the Pirates swooping in and getting Martin and giving him the opportunity to prove himself would make sense for both teams.
Verdict: Pittsburgh Pirates
12 Ian Kinsler
Ian Kinsler is a fantastic second baseman and has had a great few years in Detroit, but Kinsler is a free agent in 2018 and Detroit can get much more out of him now than if they wait until next year. The Tigers would have plenty of suitors if they wish to put Kinsler on the trading block, and the one most likely to call are the St. Louis Cardinals. Ian Kinsler would be an upgrade on Kolten Wong who remains the Cardinals' starting second baseman. If St. Louis is able to deal some pitchers and prospects, that would likely be a generous enough deal to sway the Tigers into trading the four-time All-Star and Gold Glove winner last year to a terrific baseball city like St. Louis.
Verdict: St. Louis Cardinals
11 David Robertson
The current White Sox righthander is one of the best closers in baseball today. The White Sox are in a rebuilding stage at the moment, and they can get quite a bit out of Robertson. There are plenty of teams that will be in the market for a closer, and the Nationals, as hot as they are, can add a closer to make themselves one of the favorites to win the World Series. In the postseason, a closing pitcher is vital, and with the Nationals having a win-now attitude for this season, they will be the most aggressive in gaining as much firepower as they can. Washington will give up the most for Robertson, which is why Chicago will likely pull off the deal with the Nationals. Robertson to the Nationals could make them the odds-on favorite to represent the National League in the 2017 World Series.
Verdict: Washington Nationals
10 Carlos Gonzalez
Carlos Gonzalez has struggled a bit in the start of the 2017 season, which will make a move more difficult for the Rockies. However, the once-All-Star center fielder is still a quality player, and there is a team that may be looking at him after losing their center fielder. The Washington Nationals just lost Adam Eaton to a torn ACL, and will lose him for the rest of the season. In steps Carlos Gonzalez, as this is the best fit for Gonzalez and the Rockies. Currently, Washington is on a hot streak and is in 1st place in all of the MLB. Carlos Gonzalez can keep the Nationals as one of the top teams in the MLB, pairing with Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth as well to create one of the best outfields out there.
Verdict: Washinton Nationals
9 Lorenzo Cain
The Kansas City Royals will inevitably be involved in the trade deadline, but the question is how often and who will they be moving? The Royals could be trading away Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas or Lorenzo Cain, or all three. The Royals could have a couple of potential bidders for Cain. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Phillies will be just some of the teams attempting to add an outfielder before the trade deadline ends, and if the Royals can get a decent offer, they should cut ties with Cain. The Indians could use another serviceable outfielder while Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall are still developing, and as they attempt to do everything they can to get back to the World Series and win it this time.
Verdict: Cleveland Indians
8 Sonny Gray
Sonny Gray had an excellent 2015 campaign with the Oakland Athletics, but the 2016 season did not come with the same success. Gray had multiple injuries that set him back most of the year, and when he was pitching, it wasn't what the A's were expecting. Injuries have hampered the start of his 2017 season as well, and it looks like he will finally be back to pitching very soon. If the A's get worried about the injury history and have a compelling offer, Sonny Gray may be on a different team. As for a team that may throw their hat in the bid? Try the Houston Astros. Houston has had a great start to the season, and the question for them is if they have the rotation to compete for the championship. Trading for Gray will silence those critics and give Houston exactly what they are looking for.
Verdict: Houston Astros
7 Brian Dozier
Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier had a historic season for his position in 2016. It will be interesting to see if the Twins will be willing to trade away a player that just hit 42 home runs, is a former All-Star, and is a quality player on defense. There may be too many interesting offers coming in for the 29-year-old for Minnesota to ignore. Atlanta, San Francisco, the L.A. Dodgers, and Washington could all be in place to try to trade for Dozier based on need, but any team could be looking at Dozier as he is in the prime of his career. The Los Angeles Dodgers need a second baseman as Chase Utley is their guy at the moment and although he isn't a bad second baseman, he is getting old and Dozier would be a perfect replacement.
Verdict: Los Angeles Dodgers
6 Josh Donaldson
Josh Donaldson is rumored to be on the market right now, and teams should act fast. Donaldson was the AL 2015 MVP, and Toronto will get a lot of trade value for Donaldson. With the Blue Jays having the current 2nd-worst record, they can offload the third baseman and help their future. There is a team looking to get stronger for the postseason and compete for a championship, and while they are in New York, they aren't the Yankees. The New York Mets gaining Josh Donaldson is the kind of spark they need to make themselves extremely dangerous for the postseason. Look for multiple teams to be in for Donaldson, but for Donaldson to end up with the lovable Mets and possibly bring them a title.
Verdict: New York Mets
5 Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana has been a subject of trade talks for awhile now and this season may finally see him move from the south side of Chicago to another destination. The Pittsburgh Pirates are a team that could really use another starting pitcher. It will be interesting to see if Pittsburgh is willing to give up enough young prospects (likely what the White Sox would be wanting) to obtain Quintana's services. The Pirates may be losing some of their contending steam and adding Quintana may push them back in contention for the World Series. Only 28 years old, Quintana is on a decent contract that can be affordable for Pittsburgh. The Pirates trading for Quintana will allow him to play his last few best years for a team that would not be rebuilding, but going to the playoffs, that is, if Marte is the same player after his suspension, or if they can make a trade for a quality center fielder.
Verdict: Pittsburgh Pirates
4 Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun is likely the best-known player on this list, and that is not likely not for reasons he would want the public to know. Braun was suspended in 2013 for his previous use of PEDs, and in his next two seasons, he struggled to regain his superstar ability. In 2016 he had a bounce-back year, and it is the perfect time for Milwaukee to trade Braun while he is playing well. The Los Angeles Dodgers could really use someone like Braun, as they were ranked amongst the worst in hitting against left-handed pitchers last season, and are among one of the worst at the early stage of this season. Ryan Braun can provide a change to that as he is a terrific hitter against left-handers, and seems to be finding his old form again.
Verdict: Los Angeles Dodgers
3 Todd Frazier
The Chicago White Sox are trading away their big players to stock up on talented prospects to make their future exciting. Chicago is attempting to make their rebuilding as quick as possible while getting good value for their players, as they already traded Chris Sale to Boston, and will likely trade Jose Quintana to a team like Pittsburgh or someone else. Todd Frazier could go where Quintana goes, but San Francisco is more likely. The Giants need a lot of power and don't have a great third baseman, so adding Frazier makes the Giants a threat in the playoffs. Look out for teams like the Yankees or maybe even the Dodgers to come in for Frazier, but the Giants make the most sense for the home run hitter. His price will be hefty, but if the Giants want to make a strong run, they'll give up some good prospects for Frazier.
Verdict: San Francisco Giants
2 Chris Archer
Chris Archer is an outstanding star pitcher for the Tampa Bay Rays, while Tampa Bay has respectfully competed against richer teams in the past, it's time for them to concede and let Archer go to get something out of him. The run that the Rays made while not nearly spending the money spent by the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, etc. has been extremely respectable, however. Still, Tampa Bay is a small market, and they can't afford just to let big names go without getting something out of them. There's no better team to go out and get such a good player than the defending world champs, the Chicago Cubs. Adding Chris Archer to the Cubs rotation puts them outright as the favorite to repeat for the championship.
Verdict: Chicago Cubs
1 Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig is one of the most popular players in the MLB at the moment. He has been controversial and is seen as a megastar with huge potential. That potential hasn't been consistent, and if the Dodgers are going to be acquiring Ryan Braun to help stop them from being as abysmal as they are against left-handers, then Puig could see himself in this deal. Milwaukee has inquired about Puig before and if the Dodgers throw in a couple more pieces to get Braun, this deal could very well happen. The Brewers can also be a place for Puig to settle in and just worry about baseball. At just 26 years old, Puig still has his best baseball ahead of him and he still has the potential of becoming the superstar that many see in him.
Verdict: Milwaukee Brewers