2023 Trade Deadline Rumors

The MLB Trade Deadline is three weeks away and a key move or two could propel several teams in or out of the playoff picture as a result. Last year, the Padres added Juan Soto and Jake Hader among others, and that led to an NLCS appearance. The Twins, meanwhile, made several moves as well but instead of propelling them to a deep run in the American League playoffs, the Twins lost their hold on first place in the AL Central and ended up completely out of the playoff picture. Let’s take a look at some potential deals that could shape this year’s playoffs.

Pitching, Pitching, and More Pitching

As is always the case at the trade deadline, starting pitching is at a premium as teams try to set up for a deep run in the playoffs. There are a few viable candidates this year that could provide some playoff contenders with the shot in the arm they need to make a run.

Starting Pitchers:

  1. Lucas Giolito RSP Chicago White Sox - Teams like the Yankees, Mets, Astros, Dodgers and even the Braves might be willing to part with a prospect or two to get the veteran White Sox right-hander that could become, at worst, a serviceable fourth starter.

  2. Marcus Stroman RSP Chicago Cubs - The Cubs’ decision not to extend Stroman may be an indication that the team would prefer to turn Stroman’s breakout first half into a potential slew of prospects. Stroman will certainly draw interest from all the teams mentioned above and maybe a few more, including one of his former teams, the Toronto Blue Jays.

  3. Jordan Montgomery LSP St.Louis Cardinals - Montgomery helped propel the Cards into the playoffs last season upon his arrival at the trade deadline from the Yankees. Could he do it again going to a different team this year? He’s a legitimate #2 or #3 starter that could help step into any rotation.

  4. Lance Lynn RSP Chicago White Sox - The White Sox are all but out of it and they will certainly be willing to move several players at the deadline and Lynn remains a viable candidate. While his numbers are way down this year, he still has a very high K/9 rate and that could translate well in a new environment.

  5. Paul Blackburn RSP Oakland A’s - Blackburn could be the last pitching arm that the A’s can trade to get back some prospects. Oakland is likely several years away from competing again and Blackburn could bring back a few prospects.

Relief Pitchers:

With starting pitching hard to come by or at least expensive to come by, several teams may look to strengthen their bullpen in order to compete in September and, hopefully, October.

  1. Scott Barlow RRP Royals - Barlow could be a nice setup man for a contender after serving as the Royals' closer. KC needs to move assets like this to keep bolstering their farm system and Barlow could be a valuable piece for a playoff team. The Texas Rangers come to mind as a team that could use more bullpen help.

  2. David Robertson RRP Mets - the Mets could be sellers at the deadline unless they stay hot out of the break. Robertson could net them a decent prospect while being a nice piece to add to a contender’s bullpen.

  3. Reynaldo Lopez RRP White Sox - Lopez throws 100 MPH and has proven to be a valuable setup man for a White Sox but they aren’t a viable playoff contender. Lopez could give several teams a shot in the arm at the back of their bullpen, such as the Marlins, Phillies, and Blue Jays.

Position Players:

  1. Shohei Ohtani DH/RSP Angels - While it is unlikely, Ohtani would net a massive haul for the Angels should they decide to move on from the free-agent to be. Ohtani would give a potential suitor a #1 starter and a #3 hitter all in one. He’s the most unique player ever and would have to bring an amazing return.

  2. Cody Bellinger CF/1B Cubs - Bellinger signed on a one-year deal with the Cubs so he would certainly be available at the right price. The Yankees lineup could use his pop from the left side as could teams like the Twins, Brewers or Giants.

  3. Justin Turner 1B/3B and Adam Duvall OF Red Sox - The Red Sox five-game win streak to close out the first half could slow their potential trade talk as sellers but, if they start slowly at all in the second half then these are two veterans that could be available. Turner could provide playoff experience and value to a teams like the Padres or Giants while Duvall can be an excellent platoon outfielder for the likes of the Padres, Giants or even his old team, the Braves.

  4. Jeimer Candelario 3B Nationals - Candelario is a free agent after the season and will almost certainly be moved by the rebuilding Nationals. A team like the Dodgers might certainly be interested in the versatility of the switch-hitting infielder depending on the Nats’ asking price.

Teams to Watch Closely:

  1. LA Dodgers (+275/+550) - The Dodgers certainly have the means and prospects to be heavily involved at the break. I fully expect the Dodgers to try and improve their rotation and potentially add some versatile bench pieces like Candelario or even former Dodger Kike Hernandez from the Red Sox. The NL is wide open and their current numbers of +275/+550 could look like a steal if LA loads up at the deadline.

  2. Texas Rangers (+600/+1300) - The Rangers ownership has proved that it's not afraid to spend money. Texas will likely look to bolster its bullpen and potentially add a starter as well. They have the offense but the pitching could hold them back. The right moves could make them a serious October threat.

  3. Houston Astros (+390/+2800) - The Astros have the bullpen and have playoff-ready lineup-especially when Alvarez and Brantley return, but will need arms for the rotation. If this team gets a quality starter like Giolito or Montgomery, they could resume favorite status once again.

  4. New York Yankees (+850/+1800) - The Yankees could be the most interesting team at the deadline. Will they be all in as buyers or could they end up being an intriguing seller? The key will likely be Aaron Judge. If his foot injury turns to surgery, he’s likely gone for the season and the Yankees might look to move an impending free agent like DJ LeMahieu. If Judge is returning soon, the Yankees might go all in and grab a starter and a versatile player like Cody Bellinger.

  5. New York Mets (+3000/+6000) - like the Yankees, the Mets' decision to a buyer or seller could change the landscape of the playoffs. If they sell, the Mets can move on from the likes of valuable starting pitchers like Verlander and Scherzer, a helpful reliever like Robertson, and potentially everyday players like outfielder Pham and 2B McNeill.

This is a great time to consider a future bet on the AL/NL championships and the World Series title. Once the trades start coming in, you’re going to see drastic changes in the odds. Houston might not see odds this favorable as a defending World Series Champion again. The Yankees and Mets have the means to completely revamp their rosters and get on a run and it is rare to see two preseason World Series contenders with odds as high as they have now. Watch the trade rumors and consider how your team might approach the deadline. An early future bet could pay off handsomely with the right moves.

*All odds courtesy of Draftkings.com

By Mark Ruelle

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Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.