25 MLB players who could be traded this month
Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

25 MLB players who could be traded this month

As we approach the MLB All-Star Break, the league's landscape regarding who will be buyers and who will be sellers is starting to take shape. Let's dive into 25 names to know ahead of the trade deadline at the end of the month. 

 
Eduardo Escobar, IF  Arizona Diamondbacks
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Escobar is definitely getting traded, possibly even before this slideshow runs. The switch-hitter has been heavily linked to the White Sox in recent days, but he could assuredly help several other teams in need of offense. Heading into play on Friday the veteran had already tallied 30 extra-base hits, and driven in 53 runs. His ability to play multiple infield positions would decrease the need for a team to make a dramatic change to their own players' playing time while lengthening the new club's line-up and bench. 

 
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Ketel Marte, IF/OF Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte, IF/OF  Arizona Diamondbacks
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

While Escobar is 100% going to be leaving the desert sooner rather than later, his talented teammate is far less of a sure thing. Arizona has their best player under contract through 2024--albeit with some expensive option years--but moving him right now could prove to be the decision that accelerates their rebuild. Through play on Thursday night, Marte was hitting .370 with four homers and 13 doubles in 135 at-bats. He's currently on the IL with a hamstring strain for the second time in 2021 which is a little bit of a concern, but it won't deter other interested teams. If Marte can come back healthy and play well the next couple of weeks, the Snakes could justifiably ask other teams for the moon if they wanted to make him available at the end of July.

 
Trevor Story, SS  Colorado Rockies
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

When the Rockies made the decision to trade superstar third baseman Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals last February, they would have been much better off calling a spade a spade, tearing the whole thing down, and admitting they're headed to a full rebuild. Rather than doing that, they held on to guys like Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon, and here they are buried in the NL West yet again. Story in particular will be a free agent at year's end and has pulled no punches about wanting to follow his friend Arenado out of Denver. Colorado simply has to try to capitalize on its best remaining asset later this month. 

 
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Charlie Blackmon, OF Colorado Rockies

Charlie Blackmon, OF  Colorado Rockies
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Speaking of Blackmon. The left-handed hitting outfielder has been an iconic figure in Denver for a decade now, boasting a career average over .300, four all-star game appearances, a batting title, and two silver slugger awards. He's going to be remembered as one of the best offensive players Colorado has employed, but at 35-years-old the Rockies owe him a chance to go somewhere else and try to win during the last chapter of his career. 

 
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Jon Gray, SP Colorado Rockies

Jon Gray, SP  Colorado Rockies
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Another really intriguing trade chip the Rockies possess is right-hander Jon Gray, whom they took 3rd overall in the 2013 draft. The former Oklahoma Sooner has had an up and down big league career, seemingly alternating between good years and bad, but he's pitched pretty well in 2021. In 14 starts Gray has pitched to a 3.89 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP while holding opponents to a .222 batting average against--a mark that would be the best of his career if it held. He'll be a free agent at years' end, and it wouldn't be stunning to see Colorado try to package him in the same trade with someone like Story to maximize their prospect return. 

 
Richard Rodriguez, RP  Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

One of the best available trade pieces nobody seems to be talking about is the Pirates' closer Richard Rodriguez, who has just been lights out for the Bucs at the end of games. In his first 30 appearances for Pittsburgh, the righty has worked to a 2.59 ERA and an 0.80 WHIP in 31.1 innings while converting 10 of his 12 save chances. He's exactly the type of reliable, experienced bullpen arm teams covet in July, and the Pirates would be foolish not to trade him. 

 
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Adam Frazier, IF Pittsburgh Pirates

Adam Frazier, IF  Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

While trading Rodriguez is a slam dunk for the Pirates, parting with second baseman Adam Frazier would be a more difficult pill to swallow. The 29-year-old bounced around the diamond earlier in his career but has found a home at second base, where he was just named the NL's starter at the all-star game later this month. Entering play over the weekend, Frazier was hitting .326 while reaching base just shy of a .400 clip. He doesn't boast a ton of extra-base power but he's a smart, instinctual player who does a lot of things to help you win. If the Pirates make him available the phone will be ringing off the hook. 

 
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Bryan Reynolds, OF Pittsburgh Pirates

Bryan Reynolds, OF  Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Yet another Pirate who will be intriguing to other teams is outfielder Bryan Reynolds, who in 2021 is enjoying the best season of his career. The switch-hitter has already crushed 14 homers--two shy of his career-high--while slashing .312/.400/.534 in his first 77 games. In only his 3rd season Reynolds is someone the Pirates don't have to trade, but it's very unlikely he'll be around the next time they're good. They'd be doing themselves a disservice to not seriously consider making him available and trying to end high-end talent to their minor league system. 

 
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Brian Anderson, 3B/OF Miami Marlins

Brian Anderson, 3B/OF Miami Marlins
(Photo by Rob Foldy/Miami Marlins via Getty Images)

The National League East is sort of a clustered mess with four teams still thinking they've got a chance to win it. The one club that is probably out of the equation is Miami, which has already made one trade to sell off some pieces. More are coming. Brian Anderson is currently on the IL with a shoulder injury--not good timing for a Marlins team that could really use him as a trade chip. He's not eligible to return until later this month, but if he can, and if he hits, the Marlins could still find a team willing to pay up for a career .264 hitter with some pop and positional versatility. 

 
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Jesus Aguilar, 1B Miami Marlins

Jesus Aguilar, 1B  Miami Marlins
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

The affable Aguilar is both a useful offensive piece and a valuable glue guy in the clubhouse, making him an ideal fit for several teams. So far this season the veteran has impressively driven in over 50 runs and notched an OPS of over .750. On a contract that's set to expire and with young Garrett Cooper ready to take over at first base once he departs, this is a guy Miami simply has to find a contending team for. 

 
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Anthony Bass, RP Miami Marlins

Anthony Bass, RP  Miami Marlins
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Miami brought right-hander Anthony Bass in to be their closer, but it didn't take long for Yimi Garcia to steal that job from him. Even so, it's hard to dismiss the veteran set-up man ahead of the trade deadline. His peripheral numbers indicate he's pitched better than his 4.34 ERA, and with over 250 games of big-league experience, Bass is someone who could certainly help a bullpen down the stretch. 

 
Andrew Miller, RP  St. Louis Cardinals
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

The Cardinals sure didn't fancy themselves sellers when 2021 began, especially after the addition of Nolan Arenado. But the Redbirds have had a rough go, and enter play over the weekend in 4th place in the NL Central well off the pace. They'll probably put off this decision for a while in hopes of making a run, but if things don't improve in the next three weeks look for them to reconsider. If they decide to make some trades, a certain valuable veteran lefty with a ton of postseason success on his resume will generate some interest. 

 
Archie Bradley, RP  Philadelphia Phillies
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The Phillies still hope to contend in an NL East that is still very much unsettled, but at a certain point, they're going to need to be realistic. Philadelphia's pitching staff is far too short behind starters Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, and the bullpen, in particular, has been a disaster. Veteran righty Archie Bradley was brought in over the winter to try to help with that, but he's struggled, working to an ERA of 4.00 through play last Thursday. That said, while the return might not be high, on an expiring contract the Phillies should be able to bring something back if they decide to move him. 

 
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Kyle Gibson, SP Texas Rangers

Kyle Gibson, SP  Texas Rangers
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The performance of Rangers' right-hander Kyle Gibson is one of the biggest surprises of baseball's first half. After seven mostly mediocre years in Minnesota, Gibson came to Texas ahead of the 2020 campaign, and struggled mightily in the truncated season. But he's emerged out of nowhere in '21 to become potentially the most sought-after available starter. In his first 15 starts, Gibson has gone 6-0 with a stellar 2.00 ERA. All while striking out far below a hitter/inning. Texas will assuredly capitalize on his breakout season and trade him to a contender, and several clubs should be in the mix. 

 
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Ian Kennedy, RP Texas Rangers

Ian Kennedy, RP  Texas Rangers
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Sticking with pitchers in Arlington. Veteran Ian Kennedy has played a lot of different roles on a lot of different teams, but in the last decade, he's never pitched better than he has as the Rangers' closer in 2021. Heading into the weekend Kennedy had converted 14 of his 15 save opportunities while working to a 2.96 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP. There's not a single contending team in baseball that couldn't use another reliable bullpen arm, and they will be lining up trying to add Kennedy later this month. 

 
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Joey Gallo, OF Texas Rangers

Joey Gallo, OF  Texas Rangers
(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

No hitter in baseball has more raw power than Rangers' slugger Joey Gallo, and while for most of his career the veteran has been sort of an all-or-nothing hitter, in 2021 he's become a little more of a complete offensive player. In 255 at-bats following play last Thursday, Gallo had already crushed 20 home runs while hitting .239 and reaching base at a .396 clip. Gallo is under team control through next season, meaning the return would be better than a rental. It's something Texas should and probably will entertain. 

 
Greg Holland, RP  Kansas City Royals
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The most predictable commodity to be in demand in July is always upper echelon relief pitching, and in some cases, even if a guy has had a bit of a rough year if he has a track record of success teams will take a flyer on him. Enter Greg Holland. The veteran righty has been shaky for the Royals in '21, but he was completely lights out just one year ago. He also has just shy of 300 Major League saves on his resume and a lifetime ERA under three. Kansas City can find a taker if they want. 

 
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Jarrod Dyson, OF Kansas City Royals

Jarrod Dyson, OF  Kansas City Royals
.(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Another thing contending teams like to shop for at the deadline is speed, and a base-running specialist almost always finds himself changing teams this time of year. There isn't a better option to do just that and help a team steal a key base down the stretch than Kansas City burner Jarrod Dyson. Dyson has never been much of an offensive threat, but few in the game are faster. And for a move that wouldn't cost much in terms of prospect capital, it makes a lot of sense for more than a few teams. 

 
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Danny Duffy, SP Kansas City Royals

Danny Duffy, SP  Kansas City Royals
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

While the aforementioned guys might bring Kansas City some depth minor league assets, the guy that quite possibly will bring them back the best return is southpaw Danny Duffy. One of the few holdovers from the Royals' championship team in 2015, Duffy is quietly enjoying one of his best seasons in '21. Across 48 innings the veteran has worked to a sterling 2.44 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP and .221 batting average against. The lifetime Royal has plenty of experience pitching out of both the rotation and the bullpen, and he could be a potential difference-making addition for a contender. 

 
Jose Berrios, SP  Minnesota Twins
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

When it comes to the starting pitching market we've already touched on Kyle Gibson and Danny Duffy. But make no mistake. This list begins and ends with Twins' ace Jose Berrios. Minnesota was certainly not expecting to be buried in 4th place in the AL Central when the calendar flipped to July, but now that they're here, they need to make the best of the situation. And that starts with a high-profile trade for their best player. In his first 16 starts, this season the right-handed Berrios has pitched to a 3.52 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP. He won't be a free agent until the conclusion of the 2022 season, and the price tag for a year and a half of his services will be exuberant and probably turn into a bidding war. None of the other pitchers will move until his status is resolved. 

 
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Nelson Cruz, DH Minnesota Twins

Nelson Cruz, DH  Minnesota Twins
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Sticking with the Twins, for American League team's looking to make an impact offensive addition, there is no better option than 41-year-old Minnesota DH Nelson Cruz. Father time just continues to fail to catch up to Cruz, who simply just does not stop hitting. Heading into play last weekend Cruz was slashing .310/.382/.584 with 18 home runs. Being primarily a DH will limit his market some, but not enough to prevent the Twins from bringing back a big-time return. 

 
Paul Fry, RP  Baltimore Orioles
(Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Plenty of other relief pitchers are going to get more attention, but an under-the-radar guy who could really help a good team is Baltimore lefty, Paul Fry. In 31 appearances this season the 28-year-old has held left-handed hitters to just a .190 batting average, and his splits aren't so egregious that you'd worry about him facing righties with the three batter rule. 

 
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Trey Mancini, 1B Baltimore Orioles

Trey Mancini, 1B  Baltimore Orioles
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)

This one would be really tough for both the Baltimore organization and its fans and community, but man does Trey Mancini deserve a chance to go to a contender and try to win. The veteran right-handed slugger missed all of the 2020 season due to cancer, but he's come back and raked in '21. Through play last Thursday Mancini has hit .254 with 14 homers and 52 RBI, and he easily already has Comeback Player of the Year in the bag. There are a lot of teams that could use his right-handed bat in the middle of their line-up and the Orioles will definitely get calls. Whether they'd actually pull the trigger could be a different issue entirely. 

 
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Matthew Boyd, SP Detroit Tigers

Matthew Boyd, SP  Detroit Tigers
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Left-hander Matthew Boyd has seemingly been the topic of trade rumors for three years yet he's still residing in Detroit. For now. Right now Boyd is pitching as well as he has in several seasons, and if the Tigers don't pull the trigger now they never will. Plenty of teams that miss out on guys like Berrios and Duffy could pivot to Boyd, meaning this market might take some time to develop. Detroit will need their southpaw to continue pitching well in the interim to maximize their return. 

 
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Raisel Iglesias, RP Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Raisel Iglesias, RP  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
(Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

The Angels appear poised to waste yet another year of Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, as here we are in July talking about them being sellers. And when it comes to them being sellers, the name that makes the most sense for them to move is their hard-throwing closer, Raisel Iglesias. Thus far in 2021, the right-hander has converted 15 of his 18 save chances while working to a 3.63 ERA and notching an eye-opening 54 punch-outs in 34.2 frames. Whether a potential suitor wants to bring him in to close or set-up, he'd bring a potentially dominant late-inning arm to a contending bullpen. 

Justin Mears is a freelance sports writer from Long Beach Island, NJ. Enjoys being frustrated by the Mets and Cowboys, reading Linwood Barclay novels, and being yelled at by his toddler son. Follow him on twitter @justinwmears

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