Ranking All 30 MLB Teams by Their Trade-Asset Power

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    There are two types of teams who hold significant power at the MLB trade deadline.

    One is a rebuilding club with coveted veteran assets, and the other is a contender with the prospect talent to swing a blockbuster deal to acquire said veteran talent.

    Ahead we’ve taken a crack at ranking all 30 teams based on their trade-asset power.

    That first meant identifying each team as a buyer or seller, based on expected performance and organizational philosophy. In other words, don’t expect a rebuilding team such as the Milwaukee Brewers to suddenly change course or a club pushing hard to contend like the Seattle Mariners to throw in the towel if they’re within striking distance.

    From there, each team’s five most valuable potential trade chips were identified, and clubs were ranked according to trade-asset power based on that collection of players as well any other veteran trade chips in the case of sellers and overall prospect depth in the case of buyers.

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    Ketel Marte

    Ketel MarteDarron Cummings/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. LHP Cody Reed
    2. OF Marcus Wilson
    3. SS Ketel Marte
    4. RHP Braden Shipley
    5. RHP Taylor Clarke

    Untouchable: None



    The Arizona Diamondbacks have the talent to maintain their surprising early start, but they might be forced to do it without the help of any significant outside additions.

    Left-hander Cody Reed (46.2 IP, 1.74 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 49/11 K/BB) and outfielder Marcus Wilson (.325 BA, 1.035 OPS, 17 XBH) are both off to scorching starts for Single-A Kane County. In a thin system lacking top-tier talent, that’s enough to make the 20-year-olds the team’s two most valuable prospect chips.

    Braden Shipley and Ketel Marte are no longer prospects, but they don’t have a clear place in the team’s short- or long-term plans either and are still young enough to offer intriguing upside, so they could conceivably be moved as well.

    Taylor Clarke, Anthony Banda, Dawel Lugo, Jasrado Chisholm, Domingo Leyba and 2016 draft pick Jon Duplantier are other names opposing clubs might target.

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    Brad Hand

    Brad HandGregory Bull/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RP Brad Hand
    2. SP Trevor Cahill
    3. SP Clayton Richard
    4. SP Jhoulys Chacin
    5. RP Craig Stammen



    With a roster that’s already been stripped down to the studs and low-cost veterans signed in the offseason doing little to build value, the San Diego Padres don’t have much in the way of viable trade candidates.

    Lefty reliever Brad Hand is the one clear chip with significant value.

    In his first full season as a reliever last year, Hand appeared in an NL-high 82 games and posted a 2.92 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 111 strikeouts in 89.1 innings.

    He’s been even better this year with a 1.80 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings in 21 appearances, and he’s under team control through the 2019 season. He could be this year’s version of Will Smith, who went from the Brewers to the Giants last summer.

    Beyond that, veteran starters Trevor Cahill, Clayton Richard and Jhoulys Chacin could eat some innings for a desperate fringe contender, and reliever Craig Stammen has a decent 8.8 K/9 rate.

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    Bud Norris

    Bud NorrisJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RP Bud Norris
    2. OF Cameron Maybin
    3. 3B Yunel Escobar
    4. SP/RP Jesse Chavez
    5. OF Ben Revere



    Bud Norris, closer.

    It’s fair to say nobody saw that coming, but he’s held his own in that role and has pitched well enough on a one-year, $1.75 million deal to emerge as a viable flip candidate at the deadline.

    Meanwhile, Cameron Maybin has been on an absolute tear since turning in a five-hit game on May 16, posting a .483/.583/.828 line with four doubles and two home runs in his last seven contests.

    He obviously won’t keep up that pace, but teams are no doubt taking notice of the free-agent-to-be.

    Yunel Escobar, Jesse Chavez, Ben Revere, David Hernandez, Cliff Pennington, Yusmeiro Petit, Danny Espinosa and Andrew Bailey are all upcoming free agents as well, albeit with limited trade value. It’s not out of the question to think one or two could be moved, but they won’t bring much in return.

    The game-changer here would be if Garrett Richards and Tyler Skaggs got healthy and became available, but that’s a big “if.”

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    Thyago Vieira

    Thyago VieiraCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Nick Neidert
    2. RP Thyago Vieira
    3. SP Andrew Moore
    4. OF Braden Bishop
    5. OF Chuck Taylor

    Untouchables: OF Kyle Lewis, OF Tyler O’Neill



    Given all the wheeling and dealing general manager Jerry Dipoto has done since taking over in September 2015, it’s hard to see the Seattle Mariners going into any sort of sell-off this summer.

    Instead, they seem likely to be buyers if they’re anywhere within striking distance of reaching the postseason for the first time since 2001.

    The issue here is a lack of high-end prospect talent.

    Assuming outfielders Kyle Lewis and Tyler O’Neill are off the table, right-hander Nick Neidert (50.2 IP, 3.20 ERA, 56/9 K/BB) is far and away their most valuable trade chip as a 20-year-old who looks ready to make the jump to Double-A.

    Flame-thrower Thyago Vieira possesses a legitimate 80-grade fastball and would likely be one of the first names out of teams’ mouths as well, though being limited to relief work limits his value.

    Andrew Moore, Max Povse and Brandon Miller are among the other pitching prospects who could generate interest, while strong starts from outfielders Braden Bishop, Ian Miller and Chuck Taylor should put them on opposing teams’ radars as well.

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    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SS Ryan Mountcastle
    2. LHP Tanner Scott
    3. 3B Jomar Reyes
    4. LHP Keegan Akin
    5. OF Jake Ring

    Untouchable: C Chance Sisco



    The Baltimore Orioles have had one of the thinnest farm systems in baseball the past several years, and even after a strong 2016 draft, there’s still little in the way of impact talent.

    Assuming catcher of the future Chance Sisco is off-limits, shortstop Ryan Mountcastle is an easy choice as the team’s most valuable trade asset.

    The 20-year-old is hitting .324 with a .914 OPS and 24 extra-base hits for High-A Frederick, although he too could be deemed untouchable with J.J. Hardy on his way out the door.

    Tanner Scott holds obvious intrigue as a left-hander with a fastball that touches triple digits, but control remains an issue and his slider still lags behind as a viable secondary offering.

    Cody Sedlock, Keegan Akin, Austin Hays and Jake Ring could all be of interest after being selected in last year’s draft, while Jomar Reyes, Chris Lee, D.J. Stewart and John Means are other names worth monitoring.

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    Nick Markakis

    Nick MarkakisBrett Davis/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RF Nick Markakis
    2. RP Jim Johnson

    3. RP Jason Motte
    4. 2B Brandon Phillips
    5. SP Jaime Garcia



    While the Atlanta Braves have a handful of veteran pieces they could unload at the July 31 non-waiver deadline, there’s no marquee trade chip now that it looks like they’ll build around starting pitcher Julio Teheran.

    Nick Markakis is once again hitting for a solid average (.296) with a strong on-base percentage (.365) and limited power. The 33-year-old is due a reasonable $11 million next season and could intrigue teams looking for a proven table-setter.

    Closer Jim Johnson (20 G, 9/12 SV, 3.66 ERA) and Jason Motte (12 G, 1.59 ERA) have pitched well enough to help a contender’s bullpen. Johnson is signed for a palatable $5 million next season, while Motte made good on a minor league deal this year.

    Veterans Brandon Phillips, Jaime Garcia, R.A. Dickey (club option), Bartolo Colon and Kurt Suzuki are all headed for free agency in the offseason. It remains to be seen if any of them will generate any real interest this summer, though.

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    Jeremy Hellickson

    Jeremy HellicksonKeith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Jeremy Hellickson
    2. RP Pat Neshek
    3. 2B Cesar Hernandez
    4. RP Joaquin Benoit
    5. OF Daniel Nava



    The Philadelphia Phillies won’t be able to extend another qualifying offer to starter Jeremy Hellickson under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, so they should be motivated to move him this time around.

    The 30-year-old is off to another strong start at 5-1 with a 3.44 ERA and 1.03 WHIP through nine starts, albeit with a confusingly low 3.6 K/9.

    His $17.2 million salary is steep, but he’s a capable middle-of-the-rotation starter.

    Reliever Pat Neshek will be the easiest piece to move as he’s been lights-out with a 1.10 ERA and 0.86 WHIP over 18 appearances in the final year of his contract.

    Joaquin Benoit and Jeanmar Gomez are also potential rental arms who could help in a contender’s bullpen, while Daniel Nava has proved to be a productive bench bat.

    The big question is whether the team will be willing to shop infielders Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis with top prospect J.P. Crawford once again struggling in Triple-A and not looking ready to take over a starting job should one of them be moved.

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    Francisco Mejia

    Francisco MejiaRoss D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. C Francisco Mejia
    2. SS Erik Gonzalez
    3. 1B Bobby Bradley
    4. RHP Shane Bieber
    5. RHP Aaron Civale

    Untouchables: RHP Triston McKenzie



    The Cleveland Indians were willing to offer up catching prospect Francisco Mejia in exchange for Jonathan Lucroy at the deadline last year. It stands to reason he’d be available once again if the right deal came along.

    That said, he has the tools to be a franchise catcher and a perennial All-Star, so it would take a similar blockbuster move.

    Slugger Bobby Bradley has big-time power and has already reached Double-A as a 20-year-old, while middle infielder Erik Gonzalez is ready for the majors in some capacity.

    Shane Bieber (47.2 IP, 2.64 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 45/1 K/BB) and Aaron Civale (53.2 IP, 3.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 51/4 K/BB) are both pitching well after going in the third and fourth rounds last season, respectively. With the Indians looking to win now, the two prospects could be made available while their stock is on the rise.

    Yandy Diaz would likely also be of interest to rebuilding clubs, and the 25-year-old has little left to prove in the minors, but the Indians may value him too highly as a depth piece to part with him.

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    Yonder Alonso

    Yonder AlonsoJae C. Hong/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. 1B Yonder Alonso
    2. RP Ryan Madson
    3. IF Jed Lowrie
    4. 3B Trevor Plouffe
    5. OF Rajai Davis



    Who would have guessed that Yonder Alonso would be among the most coveted bats on this year’s trade market?

    It’s certainly shaping up that way as he’s hitting .275/.379/.642 with a career-high 13 home runs and likely won’t be a candidate for a qualifying offer given his limited track record of success and the team’s small-market limitations.

    The other big trade chip for the Oakland Athletics is reliever Ryan Madson.

    Currently the highest-paid player on the team with a $7.6 million salary, Madson has pitched to a 2.08 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with four holds in 19 appearances. He’s signed through next season and the salary is a bit high, but he’s a proven veteran capable of sliding into a setup role on a contender.

    Jed Lowrie has a $6 million team option for next year but will become expendable once Marcus Semien (wrist) is healthy and top prospect Franklin Barreto gets the call. His .283/.355/.464 line and defensive versatility should be enough to drum up interest.

    Trevor Plouffe, Rajai Davis and Adam Rosales will all be available as free-agents-to-be.

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    Matt Garza

    Matt GarzaGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. LF Ryan Braun
    2. SP Matt Garza
    3. RP Carlos Torres
    4. RP Neftali Feliz
    5. IF/OF Eric Sogard



    “Unexpected early success won’t tempt Brewers to skip steps in rebuilding process,” read a recent headline from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

    So don’t think of the Brewers’ being deemed “sellers” here as an indictment on their chances of contending for a wild-card spot. Think of it simply as the most realistic outcome for a team still looking at the big picture.

    That said, the Brewers don’t have much in the way of moveable veteran talent still on the roster, so standing pat might actually be the most likely outcome.

    Ryan Braun now has full 10-and-5 veto rights, so he’ll need to approve any deal the team tries to swing to unload the remaining three years and $53 million on his deal. There’s little question he’d net a huge return, though.

    Veteran starter Matt Garza might actually be the team’s most intriguing trade chip, however.

    The 33-year-old has a $13 million vesting option for next season that is unlikely to vest, which would then turn it into a $5 million team option. He’s pitched to a 2.43 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in five starts after opening the season on the disabled list, and it’s borderline impossible to find a viable rotation option for $5 million these days.

    Setup man Carlos Torres has been quietly effective with a 2.77 ERA and 28 holds in 96 appearances since the start of last season, and he is under team control through next year.

    Any other viable trade candidate figures to bring little more in return than a player to be named or some cash.

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    Johnny Cueto

    Johnny CuetoBen Margot/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Johnny Cueto
    2. IF/OF Eduardo Nunez
    3. C Nick Hundley
    4. RP Bryan Morris
    5. IF Aaron Hill



    Will Johnny Cueto opt out of the final four years and roughly $88 million of his current contract?

    He’s got a mediocre 4.64 ERA and an ongoing blister problem, and if the San Francisco Giants believe he will opt out, they will need to consider flipping him at the deadline.

    As for other potential trade chips, assuming things don’t turn around between now and the July 31 non-waiver deadline, the cupboard is relatively bare.

    Eduardo Nunez won’t bring back more than they gave up (Adalberto Mejia) to acquire him a year ago when he was in the midst of an All-Star season, but he should still generate interest thanks to his defensive versatility.

    Backup catcher Nick Hundley, reliever Bryan Morris and veteran infielder Aaron Hill are all upcoming free agents likely to be made available, though interest figures to be sparse.

    The team could shop outfielder Hunter Pence in an effort to unload his $18.5 million salary for next year, but it’s hard to see anyone biting.

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    Addison Reed

    Addison ReedDavid Dermer/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RP Addison Reed
    2. RF Jay Bruce
    3. 2B Neil Walker
    4. RP Jerry Blevins
    5. C Rene Rivera



    The New York Mets will hold out hope for as long as they can that things will turn around this season, but they’d be wise to start preparing as potential sellers at the deadline.

    Jay Bruce and Neil Walker are two big bats in the final year of their respective contracts, and Bruce, in particular, is off to a strong start with an .844 OPS and 11 home runs.

    However, there’s little doubt the team’s most coveted trade chip, if it decided to sell, would be setup man Addison Reed.

    His $7.75 million salary in his final year of arbitration could be a sticking point for teams with limited payroll flexibility, but there’s little question he’s been among the best eighth-inning arms in the league since the start of last season. He’s also saved six games as a fill-in closer this year.

    Lefty reliever Jerry Blevins would also undoubtedly garner interest as he’s posted a 1.72 ERA and 1.02 WHIP with 23 strikeouts in 15.2 innings on the year. However, he has a $7 million team option next season, so the Mets may prefer to hang on to him.

    Curtis Granderson, Jose Reyes, Lucas Duda, Rene Rivera and Fernando Salas are all upcoming free agents who could be made available as well.

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    Luke Weaver

    Luke WeaverGene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RHP Jack Flaherty
    2. OF Harrison Bader
    3. RHP Junior Fernandez
    4. RHP Zac Gallen
    5. 1B/OF Luke Voit

    Untouchables: RHP Alex Reyes, RHP Luke Weaver, C Carson Kelly, SS Delvin Perez, RHP Sandy Alcantara



    The St. Louis Cardinals generally shy away from flipping prospects. With that in mind, we’ll go ahead and assume pitchers Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver and Sandy Alcantara, as well as catcher of the future Carson Kelly and 2016 draft steal Delvin Perez, are all off-limits this summer.

    That still leaves some intriguing names with which to get a deal done.

    Right-hander Jack Flaherty (57.1 IP, 1.26 ERA, 55/11 K/BB) is off to a terrific start in Double-A and could be a legitimate headliner in a significant trade package.

    Junior Fernandez has the big fastball teams covet, while Zac Gallen (47.0 IP, 1.72 ERA, 53/10 K/BB) has been and standout among 2016 draft picks while making the early jump to High-A Palm Beach.

    Outfielder Harrison Bader has seen his stock drop over the past year, but he still has the tools to be a trade target.

    The wild card here is Luke Voit, who is hitting .348/.436/.613 with 15 doubles and eight home runs for Triple-A Memphis. The 26-year-old was not viewed as much of a prospect entering the season, but his performance has been impossible to ignore.

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    Michael Chavis

    Michael ChavisBill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RHP Roniel Raudes
    2. 3B Michael Chavis
    3. 1B Josh Ockimey
    4. LHP Darwinzon Hernandez
    5. 1B Sam Travis

    Untouchable: 3B Rafael Devers



    After gutting the system to acquire Chris Sale during the offseason, the Boston Red Sox are unlikely to be willing to part with their one remaining elite-level prospect in slugger Rafael Devers. Uncertainty at the third base position only adds to his value within the organization.

    That leaves a mishmash of low-level arms with upside and a few intriguing bats for the Red Sox to pull from.

    Roniel Raudes gets high marks for his polish. He’s already reached High-A at the age of 19, though his ceiling might be limited to the middle of the rotation.

    Meanwhile, left-hander Darwinzon Hernandez has been the system’s breakout pitching prospect. The 20-year-old has a 2.72 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 39.2 innings for Single-A Greenville.

    Michael Chavis (.346 BA, 1.118 OPS, 13 2B, 10 HR) and Josh Ockimey (.309 BA, .906 OPS, 14 XBH) are both raking for High-A Salem, while Sam Travis is a big league-ready bat capable of developing into a steady everyday player.

    The team won’t move 2016 picks Jay Groome, Bobby Dalbec and C.J. Chatham unless it has to.

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    Ronald Guzman

    Ronald GuzmanCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. LHP Yohander Mendez
    2. RHP Ariel Jurado
    3. 1B Ronald Guzman
    4. RHP Connor Sadzeck
    5. LHP Brett Martin

    Untouchables: OF Leody Taveras



    The Texas Rangers have surrendered a good deal of prospect talent in recent years to acquire the likes of Cole Hamels, Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran in deadline deals.

    That works as a double-edged sword here in the sense that they’re clearly not afraid to mortgage their top young talent for a chance to win now, but they’re also somewhat lacking in that department as a result.

    Five-tool outfielder Leody Taveras is probably the only prospect who is off the table.

    Yohander Mendez, Ariel Jurado, Connor Sadzeck and Brett Martin headline a somewhat thin crop of pitching talent, and while all have starting rotation potential, none possesses true front-line upside.

    Ronald Guzman is close to big league ready and has a plus hit tool, though his power lags behind a bit, especially for a first baseman.

    One name to watch here is Yanio Perez.

    The 21-year-old is hitting .356/.429/.630 with 18 extra-base hits for Single-A Hickory after signing out of Cuba last September for a $1.1 million bonus. He still has some raw power to tap into and could move quickly if his hit tool continues to exceed expectations.

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    Zack Cozart

    Zack CozartJohn Minchillo/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RP Raisel Iglesias
    2. SS Zack Cozart
    3. RP Drew Storen
    4. SP Scott Feldman
    5. IF Scooter Gennett



    Raisel Iglesias has been lights out this season, converting all seven of his save chances with a 0.76 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 in 18 appearances.

    Iglesias is owed a reasonable $16.64 million over the next three seasons after signing a seven-year deal in 2014 following his defection from Cuba, and he would fetch a huge return in the current reliever market. Someone might be willing to make the Cincinnati Reds an offer they can’t refuse.

    Shortstop Zack Cozart also looks like a valuable trade chip thanks to a .343/.421/.571 line that includes 20 extra-base hits. The Reds will be motivated to move the free-agent-to-be, though finding a contender in need of an everyday shortstop could be tricky.

    Drew Storen (20 G, 2.70 ERA, 8.1 K/9) and Scott Feldman (56.1 IP, 3.99 ERA, 47/22 K/BB) are obvious flip candidates on one-year deals, and Storen comes with the added value of having closer experience.

    Moving infielder Scooter Gennett could declutter an infield logjam and open the door for Dilson Herrera to make his way to the majors in the second half.

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    Ervin Santana

    Ervin SantanaJim Mone/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Ervin Santana
    2. 2B Brian Dozier
    3. SP Hector Santiago
    4. RP Craig Breslow
    5. RP Brandon Kintzler



    Props to the Minnesota Twins on their 24-18 start.

    That said, I’d still be shocked if we’re still saying “first-place Minnesota Twins” by the middle of June, let alone by the time the trade deadline rolls around.

    Once that inevitable slide down the standings occurs, there’s no more obvious sell-high trade chip in the league than Ervin Santana.

    The 34-year-old has gone 7-2 with an MLB-best 1.80 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over his first 10 starts, and he comes with the added value of being more than just a rental with a $13.5 million salary in 2018 and a $14 million option for 2019.

    Do the Twins honestly believe they can contend for a World Series title within the next three years? If not, they have to cash in Santana.

    On the other hand, second baseman Brian Dozier has seen his stock take an undeniable hit from where it was during the offseason as he’s off to a slow start. Selling low might not make sense with another year left on his deal.

    Hector Santiago, Craig Breslow and Brandon Kintzler are all staring down free agency and could be of use as complementary pieces to a contender’s staff.

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    J.D. Martinez

    J.D. MartinezCarlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. RP Justin Wilson
    2. RF J.D. Martinez
    3. LF Justin Upton
    4. C Alex Avila
    5. 1B/OF Efren Navarro



    How aggressively will the Detroit Tigers approach the trade deadline if they continue to hover around the .500 mark?

    At the very least, trading slugger J.D. Martinez makes sense, with an in-season extension looking less and less likely, according to Jordan Horrobin of MLB.com.

    The 29-year-old has been on fire since returning from the disabled list May 12, posting a ridiculous 1.442 OPS with six home runs and 12 RBI in 11 games. If the Tigers don’t get a return to their liking, a qualifying offer is always a possibility.

    Justin Upton is also a potential trade candidate as he can opt out of the remaining four years and $88.5 million of his contract at the end of the season. That may be more money than he’s willing to leave on the table, though, especially after the way this past offseason’s free-agent market played out.

    All of that said, the Tigers’ most valuable trade chip is undoubtedly lefty reliever Justin Wilson.

    He’s pitched to a 1.50 ERA and 0.61 WHIP with 30 strikeouts in 18 innings, and he comes with team control through next season, making him one of the most obvious sell-high candidates around.

    Alex Avila is having a nice season on a one-year deal and Efren Navarro is a viable bench bat currently residing in Triple-A, but neither will fetch much in return.

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    Raimel Tapia

    Raimel TapiaAssociated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. OF Raimel Tapia
    2. 3B Ryan McMahon
    3. SS Garrett Hampson
    4. RHP Yency Almonte
    5. OF Sam Hilliard

    Untouchables: IF Brendan Rodgers, RHP Riley Pint, RHP Jeff Hoffman



    The No. 3 pick in 2015 (Brendan Rodgers) and No. 4 pick in 2016 (Riley Pint) headline the Colorado Rockies farm system, and both are probably off-limits for rival clubs.

    The same can almost certainly be said about Jeff Hoffmanwho is currently pitching in Triple-Aas well as German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland, who all occupy spots in the big league rotation.

    Even with a clearly improved staff, if the Rockies swing a major trade, it’s undoubtedly going to be for pitching help, so it doesn’t make much sense to subtract from what they have.

    Despite all of those perceived untouchables, a competitive package can still be built around expendable outfielder Raimel Tapia and rising third base prospect Ryan McMahon.

    Tapia is hitting .400 with 15 doubles in Triple-A and could immediately step into a starting role on a rebuilding club, while McMahon has bounced back nicely from a disappointing 2016 campaign to hit .310/.381/.516 with 20 extra-base hits in Double-A.

    Looking at the rest of the system, 2016 third-rounder Garrett Hampson (.305 BA in High-A) looks like another expendable piece who could generate interest, while right-hander Yency Almonte (26.1 IP, 1.37 ERA, 27/9 K/BB) and Sam Hilliard (.340 BA, .962 OPS, 18 XBH) have no doubt opened some eyes with their strong starts.

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    Willie Calhoun

    Willie CalhounMatt York/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. OF Alex Verdugo
    2. 2B Willie Calhoun
    3. OF Yusniel Diaz
    4. 3B Edwin Rios
    5. SP Trevor Oaks

    Untouchables: RHP Yadier Alvarez, RHP Walker Buehler, 1B/OF Cody Bellinger



    Cody Bellinger and pitching prospects Yadier Alvarez and Walker Buehler were all non-starters during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pursuit of a second baseman during the offseason, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, and chances are nothing has changed regarding their availability.

    That leaves Alex Verdugo (.319 BA, .780 OPS, 6 XBH) and Willie Calhoun (.308 BA, .922 OPS, 18 XBH) as the team’s most valuable trade chips this summer.

    Touted Cuban defector Yusniel Diaz still has tremendous upside, and slugger Edwin Rios (.344 BA, .926 OPS, 19 XBH) has continued to rake in Double-A.

    Trevor Oaks turned some heads with a strong spring training performance, and he represents an MLB-ready arm, albeit one with somewhat limited upside.

    From there, any number of lower-level prospects who have been acquired in the team’s recent international spending spree could entice opposing teams as secondary pieces.

    One other intriguing name here is veteran right-hander Justin Masterson.

    He’s pitching to a 2.66 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 52 strikeouts in 50.2 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City and could be flipped if a spot doesn’t open up on the big league roster.

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    Marcell Ozuna

    Marcell OzunaLynne Sladky/Associated Press

    Top 10 Trade Chips

    1. LF Marcell Ozuna
    2. 2B Dee Gordon
    3. RP A.J. Ramos
    4. RP David Phelps
    5. RP Dustin McGowan



    At 16-28, the Miami Marlins are one of just three teams in baseball with a winning percentage below the .400 mark.

    That could lead to some significant changes to the roster, especially with a new ownership group incoming, and a trade of outfielder Marcell Ozuna is one possible avenue to explore.

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote:

    The Marlins find themselves in an interesting position with Ozuna. He is a free agent after the 2019 season, and with Boras as his agent, the chances of him re-signing in Miami are slim and none, minus the slim part … Ozuna could be the sort of player who inspires a bidding war at the deadline: 26 years old, 2.5 years of team control and really, really good.” 

    Speedy second baseman Dee Gordon is another significant piece who could be placed on the block, per Nick Cafardo of the Boston GlobeHe has three years and $38 million remaining on a five-year extension.

    Relievers A.J. Ramos and David Phelps are both one year removed from free agency, so now could be the time to sell high, while Dustin McGowan could bring back a low-level prospect as a rental.

    It’s hard to figure out what direction the Marlins will go this summer, but they have some intriguing chips if they decide to sell aggressively.

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    Ian Happ

    Ian HappNam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. IF/OF Ian Happ
    2. 3B Jeimer Candelario
    3. RHP Trevor Clifton
    4. C/1B Victor Caratini
    5. OF Mark Zagunis

    Untouchables: RF Eloy Jimenez, RHP Dylan Cease, RHP Oscar De La Cruz



    The Chicago Cubs’ willingnessor unwillingnessto part with Ian Happ will be one of the most intriguing decisions of this year’s trade deadline.

    The 22-year-old has done nothing but hit since going No. 9 overall in the 2015 draft, and that includes going 10-for-31 with seven extra-base hits in his first 36 MLB plate appearances.

    A package built around him would go a long way toward netting the Cubs a controllable, impact starter.

    Jeimer Candelario (.322 BA, 1.081 OPS, 24 XBH), Victor Caratini (.342 BA, .901 OPS, 17 XBH) and Mark Zagunis (.246 BA, .850 OPS, 14 XBH) are all currently playing in Triple-A and are ready to make an impact in the majors.

    However, they also don’t have a clear spot in the Cubs’ plans going forward, so all three could be deemed expendable.

    The Cubs won’t part with high-ceiling pitchers Dylan Cease and Oscar De La Cruz. That makes right-hander Trevor Clifton (44.2 IP, 2.42 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 37/16 K/BB) the most attractive arm for teams looking at the pitching side of things.

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    Chris O’Meara/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. 3B Josh Donaldson
    2. SP Marco Estrada
    3. RP Joe Smith
    4. RF Jose Bautista
    5. SP J.A. Happ



    The Toronto Blue Jays are six games under .500 and 7.5 games back in the AL East standings, so they have significant work to do if they’re going to avoid being sellers at the deadline.

    Assuming Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna are off the table—which seems likely—their biggest trade chip will be third baseman Josh Donaldson.

    Donaldson still has one year of arbitration remaining, albeit an expensive one, as he’s already making $17 million this season, so it would take more than a rental-level return to acquire him. First, he needs to put a nagging calf injury behind him, though.

    As for other trade chips, starter Marco Estrada (62.2 IP, 3.30 ERA, 70/16 K/BB) and reliever Joe Smith (24 G, 7 HLD, 2.45 ERA, 13.5 K/9) will be attractive rental options.

    Jose Bautista has a $17 million mutual option for next season, so there’s a good chance he too would be a rental, provided he rebounds to put together a solid season.

    A healthy J.A. Happ could also be shopped with one year and $13 million left on his contract, though the lack of in-house rotation options to replace him next season could be enough for them to shy away from that idea.

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    Erick Fedde

    Erick FeddeJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. OF Juan Soto
    2. RHP Erick Fedde
    3. SS Carter Kieboom
    4. 3B Sheldon Neuse
    5. OF Daniel Johnson

    Untouchables: OF Victor Robles



    The Washington Nationals moved a few guys most would have called untouchable in the offseason when they sent Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Chicago White Sox as part of the return package for Adam Eaton.

    While it’s safe to assume uber-prospect Victor Robles won’t go anywhere this summer, that doesn’t mean the Nats don’t have the pieces to swing another blockbuster deal.

    Juan Soto is hitting .360/.427/.523 with eight extra-base hits for Single-A Hagerstown, and he might be the fastest-rising position-player prospect in baseball.

    Erick Fedde is a quality pitching prospect with No. 2-starter upside, and he headlines a group of arms that also includes Austin Voth and perhaps even Joe Ross if the team finds the right return piece.

    Carter Kieboom (.333 BA, .984 OPS, 16 XBH) is one of the early standouts from the 2016 draft class, and Sheldon Neuse (.272 BA, .746 OPS, 13 XBH) has the tools to be an everyday third baseman down the line.

    Speedster Daniel Johnson—a fifth-round pick last yearhas shown surprising early pop (8 2B, 9 HR) to go along with a .312 average, making him one to watch.

    A move for a closer seems inevitable, but will they do anything else to shore up the roster?

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    Logan Morrison

    Logan MorrisonChris O’Meara/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Chris Archer
    2. RP Alex Colome
    3. SP Jake Odorizzi
    4. SP Alex Cobb
    5. 1B Logan Morrison



    The Tampa Bay Rays traded one rotation piece at the deadline last year by shipping Matt Moore to the Giants, then they moved another starter during the offseason, dealing Drew Smyly to the Mariners.

    That won’t stop them from fielding more calls on their starting staff leading up to the deadline, though.

    With top prospects Jose De Leon and Brent Honeywell expected to be ready at some point in 2017, they’ll have plenty of motivation to free up at least one spot in the rotation.

    Chris Archer and his team-friendly contract remains their most valuable trade chip, and more so now than a year ago as he’s back to front-line form.

    Jake Odorizzi and free-agent-to-be Alex Cobb will also garner interest, and Cobb is probably the most likely player on the roster to be moved.

    Closer Alex Colome saw his name come up plenty in the offseason, and the team will dangle him again, but the asking price will remain extremely high given his club’s control through 2020.

    Logan Morrison (.872 OPS, 12 HR) and Colby Rasmus (.793 OPS, 4 HR) will get some looks as rental bats. 

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    Tony Watson

    Tony WatsonKeith Srakocic/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Gerrit Cole
    2. RP Tony Watson
    3. RP Juan Nicasio
    4. CF Andrew McCutchen
    5. RP Wade LeBlanc



    The Pittsburgh Pirates flipped closer Mark Melancon at the deadline last season before he reached free agency, so it stands to reason that they’ll do the same with his replacement, Tony Watson, this time around.

    Watson likely won’t be targeted as a closer by contenders, but he’s proved himself as one of the game’s most reliable late-inning lefties, and that holds plenty of value.

    However, all eyes will be on ace Gerrit Cole.

    The 26-year-old still has two years of arbitration remaining, but a number of MLB insiders—including Peter Gammonsare already starting to speculate that he could be shopped this summer.

    It would take a huge prospect haul that only a handful of teams would be able to put together, but it’s an intriguing idea nonetheless.

    Andrew McCutchen also figures to be a popular name on the rumor mill, though he’s done nothing to rebuild his value after a down season a year ago, hitting .200 with a .630 OPS, so he might not generate a ton of interest in a deep market for outfield help.

    Starter-turned-reliever Juan Nicasio (21 G, 8 HLD, 1.37 ERA, 6.9 K/9) should also generate some interest as a rental.

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    Lorenzo Cain

    Lorenzo CainCharlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. CF Lorenzo Cain
    2. SP Jason Vargas
    3. RP Kelvin Herrera
    4. 3B Mike Moustakas
    5. 1B Eric Hosmer



    If there’s one team that’s going to go into full-blown fire-sale mode this summer, it’s the Kansas City Royals.

    Four core pieces of the team’s 2015 World Series championship run—Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar—are all headed for free agency and there’s simply no scenario where all four return.

    Cain has the most value as a standout defender in center field and is enjoying a bounce-back season at the plate, while the team might be better off simply extending a qualifying offer to Hosmer and Moustakas relative to their value on the trade market.

    The real prize here might be another upcoming free agent in left-hander Jason Vargas.

    After making just 12 combined starts the past two seasons while recovering from Tommy John surgery, the 34-year-old boasts a 2.30 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 54.2 innings.

    Fellow starters Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel could also wind up on the trade block, as well as starter-turned-reliever Mike Minor (19 G, 1.82 ERA, 9.1 K/9), who has carved out a role as a lefty setup man.

    The X-factor will be the availability of closer Kelvin Herrera, who still has one year of arbitration remaining but would likely fetch a bigger return if he’s dealt now.

    The Royals should be motivated to deal, as they have one of the weakest farm systems in baseball and an inevitable rebuilding period approaching.

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    Jorge Mateo

    Jorge MateoJohn Raoux/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. OF Clint Frazier
    2. RHP Chance Adams
    3. IF Jorge Mateo
    4. OF Dustin Fowler
    5. RHP Albert Abreu

    Untouchables: SS Gleyber Torres, OF Blake Rutherford, LHP Justus Sheffield



    Gleyber Torres and Blake Rutherford aren’t going anywhere, regardless of how aggressive the New York Yankees decide to be at the trade deadline.

    The same goes for the team’s top pitching prospect, Justus Sheffield, whose standing in the organization became that much more important when James Kaprielian was lost for the year to Tommy John surgery.

    However, in the right deal for a young, controllable starting pitcher, it’s not out of the question to think Clint Frazier could be on the move once again this summer given the emergence of Aaron Judge.

    Chance Adams (47.0 IP, 1.15 ERA, 43/18 K/BB) has backed his breakout 2016 performance with more of the same between Double-A and Triple-A, though there is still some limit to his eventual ceiling.

    Speedy Jorge Mateo, polished outfield prospect Dustin Fowler and right-hander Albert Abreu, who was acquired in the Brian McCann trade, headline a long list of intriguing second-tier pieces.

    Even with three of the top guys deemed “untouchable” here, the Yankees have one of the game’s deepest farm systems and as much trade power as all but a few clubs if they decide to be aggressive.

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    David Paulino

    David PaulinoRon Schwane/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. OF Kyle Tucker
    2. RHP Franklin Perez
    3. RHP David Paulino
    4. OF Derek Fisher
    5. 1B A.J. Reed

    Untouchable: RHP Francis Martes



    The Houston Astros were unwilling to part with a package of Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove to acquire Jose Quintana during the offseason, according to MLB writer Peter Gammons.

    If there’s one player who was to be deemed truly untouchable from that group and in the system as a whole, it’s Martes. The 21-year-old has all the tools to develop into a legitimate front-line starter in the not-too-distant future.

    That said, building a package around Tucker and one or both of Franklin Perez and David Paulino is an offer still capable of swinging a blockbuster deal.

    Perez, 19, has tossed 14.1 scoreless innings and allowed just three hits to begin the season for High-A Buies Creek. He’s one of the game’s fastest-rising pitching prospects.

    Meanwhile, the towering 6’7″ Paulino still offers tremendous upside with a polished three-pitch mix that has steadily improved as he’s risen the ranks.

    Derek Fisher (.320 BA, .946 OPS, 22 XBH) and A.J. Reed (.269 BA, .812 OPS, 17 XBH) would both already be in the majors on a lot of other teams, but they don’t have a clear path to playing time in Houston and could be expendable.

    From there, the organization has a wealth of prospect depth to fill out trade offers around those key pieces, putting the Astros in a position to make a legitimate run at anyone they may target.

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    Jose Quintana

    Jose QuintanaJim Mone/Associated Press

    Top 5 Trade Chips

    1. SP Jose Quintana
    2. RP David Robertson
    3. SP Derek Holland
    4. RP Anthony Swarzak

    5. 3B Todd Frazier



    Jose Quintana is not off to the best start with a 3.92 ERA and a career-high 3.8 walks per nine innings, but he remains the Chicago White Sox’s most valuable trade chip.

    The 28-year-old is signed for an incredibly team-friendly $30.85 million over the next three years, so the White Sox have no reason to move him for anything below max value.

    On the other hand, closer David Robertson seems like as safe a bet as anyone to be dealt.

    He’s converted five of six save chances, and has a 2.81 ERA and 12.4 K/9. Unloading what’s left of his $12 million salary this season and $13 million figure for next year makes sense for the rebuilding club.

    Derek Holland (54.2 IP, 2.47 ERA, 44/20 K/BB) and Miguel Gonzalez (55.1 IP, 4.55 ERA, 33/20 K/BB) have pitched well enough to generate interest as back-of-the-rotation options on a contender, and moving them makes sense with a number of rotation prospects waiting in the wings in Triple-A.

    Anthony Swarzak (16 G, 1.37 ERA, 10.1 K/9) is the surprise name here, as he’s been perhaps the best minor league free-agent signing of the offseason among pitchers.

    Todd Frazier (.195 BA, .662 OPS) and Melky Cabrera (.241 BA, .623 OPS) are both upcoming free agents likely to be dealt, though neither has a ton of value at the moment.


    All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, while contract information comes via Spotrac.


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