It’s still early in the season, but teams are already talking about making trades as they continue on their paths towards the top – or bottom – of the standings. No team is perfect, so I expect some major contenders to make some moves before the trade deadline on July 31st. Let’s look at some needs for a few of the top teams and who could be available for them:
New York Mets: Outfield
The Mets have already expressed interest in trading for an outfielder:
Mets are in the market for outfielders now. Not a ton out there but there are a couple.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 17, 2021
Like Heyman mentioned, there are some names they could trade for, although most would be out of their price range. Particularly of note are Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo, who many teams are expected to be interested in, and Kris Bryant, who is naturally a 3rd baseman but has been playing outfield lately.
That said, unless they’re looking to trade some of their young talent, I think it would make more sense for them to go after a veteran right handed bat who can provide solid defense, at least in the short term. Dom Smith has played well in left for a first baseman, and they have Michael Conforto as well, though he hasn’t played very well so far this year. He just joined the injured list on Monday. Brandon Nimmo was on fire in his 21 games before getting injured himself, but he’s more of a corner outfielder than a center fielder. Callup Khalil Lee should fill that spot, platooning with Kevin Pillar.
Honestly, outside of injuries, I’m not sure if they really need an outfielder, unless they’re looking to unload one or two of Conforto, Nimmo, or Smith. That may be the case. Going to have to page @pchat12 for more insight here.
Oakland Athletics: Middle Infielder
The Athletics are tied for the 2nd best record in the AL, despite ranking 12th in team batting average and 8th in OPS. Those two stats would look a lot better if not for shortstop Elvis Andrus (.183/.232/.237). Andrus has played 40 of the team’s 42 games so far, and it’s clear he needs some rest at the very least. The As took him on from the Rangers and he’s likely untradable, as he’s due 15 million both this season and next. That might take them out of the Trevor Story sweepstakes (though he would likely have been out of their price range anyway), but they don’t need a big name. Perhaps a trade for the Twins’ Jorge Polanco or the Tigers’ Jonathan Schoop would be enough.
Milwaukee Brewers: Corner Infielder
The outfield for the Brewers should work itself out once Christian Yelich returns, but there are other holes on this team. Shortstop Luis Urias hasn’t looked great (.209/.316/.365), but he’s still young and improving. I think the better spot for this team to upgrade is corner infield. Travis Shaw (.223/.306/.392) and Daniel Vogelbach (.205/.314/.352) are not exactly cutting it, and thought you might not be able to replace both, you might need to replace one to be competitive. Shaw is at least been hitting home runs, so my money is on Vogelbach. Outside of his 2019 first half, where he was an All-Star, and his 19 games with the Brewers last year, he just has not looked good.
The good news is Shaw can play either corner position, so you can expand your search of you’re Milwaukee (especially if you still think Keston Huira is the future at 1st for you). Do you go for Michael Chavis of the Red Sox (who also has experience at both positions as well as 2nd), Colin Moran of the Pirates, Kyle Seager of the Mariners, or do you try to trade with the division rival Cubs for Kris Bryant? Personally, Chavis seems like a prime candidate, as he’s stuck in AAA on the Red Sox and the Brewers could throw in a bullpen arm that the Sox desperately need.
Toronto Blue Jays: Lefty Bat
The Blue Jays are in a pretty good spot. They’re in 2nd place in the division at 22-17, and big free agent signing George Springer has only played 4 games thus far. He should be back soon and take the place of either Lordes Gurriel Jr. in left or DH instead of Rowdy Tellez. Both are severely underperforming. Alejandro Kirk is now on the 60 day IL, but should be back by mid season and provide a much livelier bat than Danny Jansen.
That said, they don’t have many lefties in the lineup that can cause damage. Cavan Biggio has just a 92 OPS+. Tellez has been abismal, and their other lefties that have seen time are not much better. I would look to grab a utility bat that could spell Springer in the field. Maybe you make a play for Alex Dickerson or give away less for Willie Calhoun. Either should be a decent pickup at worst.
That’s it for my trade predictions today! Maybe when we’re closer to July 31st I’ll make another article predicting some deadline deals.
Use Promo code “couchguy20” or “LLP” at Manscaped.com and grab some of the best tools in men’s below the belt grooming. Using the code will get you 20% off of your order AND free shipping. Help out the site and help out yourself by buying some products from Manscaped TODAY.
– Pat Shuman (@PShu1996 on Twitter) Check out my other articles here!