One of the best parts of any major pro sport(s) season is the month leading up to their respective trade deadline(s). Every sports media outlet comes out of the woodwork to get their hands on any rumor that they can. Some even come up with their own outrageous trade rumors just for clickbait. Even if no major trades happen, it’s still an entertaining part of the season.
MLB’s trade deadline is a little over a month away (July 31), so as you can probably guess the rumor mill is starting to heat up. There are a few big name players whose names are being put out there. But I want to focus on a couple players that will get overshadowed by the big name guys. So here are 3 players, not named Trevor Story, that should get moved elsewhere by July 31st.
Trey Mancini, 1B/OF, Baltimore Orioles (.258/.332/.457, 14 HRs, 52 RBIs)
The favorite for the Comeback Player of the Year Award, Mancini is more than just an inspirational story. Back in his 2017, his rookie year, he came third in AL ROY voting. Ever since then he has been thought of as the guy in the Orioles lineup that pitchers fear more than others. The former 8th-round pick missed the whole 2020 season battling colon cancer. He came back for spring training this season ready to go, and he’s been solid so far. As shown above by the stats next to his name.
A lot of people probably don’t know the 29 year old by name. But your diehard/more than casual baseball fans know him. That has mostly to do with the fact that he is an Oriole. Baltimore has been consistently near the bottom for a few years now, including this year. They are 23 games behind first place in the AL East already. That probably won’t change much anytime soon.
While Mancini is a guy they could build around, no big name player wants to come to Baltimore. It’s gonna be Adley Rutschman’s team in a few years anyway. There are plenty of contending teams that could use a guy like Mancini. Not only does he have a power bat, he also has a more than solid glove. While he hasn’t any Gold Gloves, his fielding percentage in both the OF and 1B are above .990 for his career. Not to mention, he’s only under contract for the rest of this season.
Baltimore, it’s time to let this caged bird sing.
Richard Rodriguez, RP/CP, Pittsburgh Pirates (1.78 ERA, 27 Ks, 30.1 IP)
Rodriguez, like Mancini, is becoming a bright spot of a consistently bad team and has only one year left on his contract. The Dominican-born righthander has been underrated throughout his young career. In 189.0 career innings pitched, he has 215 Ks to 53 BBs with a WHIP under 1.20. If you saw those three stats by themselves you would probably think they belonged to someone like Craig Kimbrel instead of Rodriguez.
The 31 year old knows what it’s like to work hard. He wasn’t a blue chip prospect nor did he work his way quickly through the minors. It took him eight seasons of blood, sweat and tears to get to the majors. That in itself should show a contender that they could use a guy like Rodriguez in their bullpen/clubhouse.
Pittsburgh, it’s time to let this pirate set out to sea.
Ketel Marte, SS/2B/OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (.370/.419/.556, 4 HRs, 21 RBIs)
Rounding out my list, a utility man extraordinaire in 27 year old Ketel Marte. Probably the most well-known name out of the 3 players, he is having an All-MLB type of season. While it has been said recently that Arizona is unlikely to move him, we’ve heard that before. The catch with Marte that differs him in one sense from the other two on this list has to do with his contract. While Mancini and Rodriguez are in the last year of their deals, Mart’s contract goes through next season. Not to mention a team option for 2023 and 2024.
Now would that be more enticing to a contender since they won’t have to worry about paying him after this seasons end? Yes, most likely it would. But it is also incentive for Arizona to keep him since they have the power until the end of the 2024 season. While he has been injury prone this season, mainly his hamstring(s), that won’t hinder teams from at least calling Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen.
He can fill just about any need a team is looking for on the field right now. While he plays SS/2B/OF, I’m sure he could do just fine at 1B or 3B if need be to cover every position. Marte doesn’t swing and miss a lot. In 7 years he has 371 strikeouts at the plate, whereas a household name like Aaron Judge has 659 in one less year of playing. Teams love players who don’t strikeout.
Arizona, it’s time to let this snake rattle elsewhere.
-Zach Derosia (@Derosia_14 on Twitter)
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