With a little more than a week remaining before the MLB Trade Deadline arrives, let’s cover which teams are the most likely sellers this year. With so few star players available, this is indeed a seller’s market.
2022 MLB Trade Deadline sellers
You might have heard that there’s this guy, Juan Soto, who is available? Seems like a good player. But don’t overlook that the Nationals, who own the worst record in MLB, also have first baseman Josh Bell on the block. The 29-year-old switch-hitter has put together a solid .305/.388/.495 slash line this season. He is a free agent after this season. Designated hitter Nelson Cruz is another possibility, but the 42-year-old slugger is having his worst offensive season since 2007.
The Cubs could end up unloading the most players of any team prior to the deadline. Catcher Willson Contreras and closer David Robertson are frequently mentioned in trade rumors. But the Cubs also have All-Star outfielder Ian Happ and middle reliever Mychal Givens, both of whom are free agents after 2023.
The Reds have the best starting pitcher on the trade market; Luis Castillo is going to cost some playoff contender quite a lot. If the price for him is too steep, interested teams could turn to Castillo’s rotation mate Tyler Mahle.
At the plate, utility infielder Brandon Drury has been a pleasant surprise in his age-29 season. He and outfielder Tyler Naquin are both impending free agents. And if a team would like to take Mike Moustakas’ bloated contract off Cincy’s hands, the Reds would appreciate that.
Starting pitcher Frankie Montas is now healthy, which is big news for both the A’s and pitching-needy teams. The second-best starter in this market, Montas is a huge trade piece for a rebuilding team. He is under contract through 2023. Catcher Sean Murphy hasn’t even reached arbitration yet, but the 27-year-old has been brought up in rumors as a handful of contending teams — notably the Astros and the Mets — are struggling for production behind the plate.
Kansas City Royals
Is this the year the Royals finally trade Whit Merrifield? It’s only been a rumor for the past four years running. Unfortunately, the two-time MLB leader in hits is experiencing the worst year of his career. The 33-year-old has a .646 OPS.
On a brighter note, outfielder Andrew Benintendi has worked his way into being a sought-after trade chip. A 2022 All-Star, Benintendi is tied for 10th in the majors in hits.
Bryan Reynolds is turning into the new Merrifield. Although his name is mentioned often at this time of year, it doesn’t appear as if Pittsburgh will part with its 27-year-old center fielder who is under contract through 2025. The same probably goes for closer David Bednar, who became an All-Star this year and won’t be a free agent until after the 2026 season.
The Pirate most likely to be traded prior to the Aug. 2 deadline is left-handed starter Jose Quintana.
Boston Red Sox
And now for the wild card — will the Red Sox turn into sellers? They are only three games out of a playoff spot, but they are inundated with injuries and were just embarrassed by the Blue Jays over the weekend, getting swept at home and losing the three-game series by a margin of 40-10.
And Boston has a bunch of expiring contracts on its books: J.D. Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, Enrique Hernandez, Christian Vazquez, Michael Wacha and others are all impending free agents. Plus, star shortstop Xander Boagaerts can — and will — opt out of his contract following this season. Will Boston try to get something for him before they lose him for nothing? It’s not inconceivable.