You may have heard that the trade deadline is approaching, and indeed, it's less than a week away. Much of the chatter has focused on real-world possibilities, but of course, what happens in the real world impacts our own Fantasy world. Perhaps, then, it's time that we braced ourselves for some of the possibilities.
What I have for you here are 10 players who could be traded. They're not the only 10 players who could be traded or even the 10 most likely to be traded, but among those who could realistically be traded, they're of particular interest to Fantasy Baseballers.
Let's just call them the 10 players I'm monitoring most leading up to the deadline.
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LAA L.A. Angels • #17 • Age: 29
Ohtani is the player on everybody's mind given that he's an impending free agent and the Angels probably aren't going anywhere. But "probably" is doing a lot of work there given that they're over .500 and 4 1/2 games out of the wild card race. Owner Arte Moreno also seems reluctant to trade him, but it would of course be a seismic move. One complicating factor for Fantasy is that the acquiring team would be forced into a six-man rotation.
Dylan Cease SP
CHW Chi. White Sox • #84 • Age: 27
MLB Network insider Jon Heyman has called Cease "close to untouchable," and indeed, the young flamethrower still has two years of control left. But if the White Sox are moving everyone else (as is suggested by the rest of this list), then it might make sense to cash in their biggest trade chip of all. The return for Cease would be bigger than for most any other player precisely because of his controllability.
Josh Hader RP
SD San Diego • #71 • Age: 29
Several contenders could use a closer, the Diamondbacks chief among them, but there aren't any obvious upgrades out there except for Hader, who would of course be an upgrade for most everyone. Between him and Blake Snell, who's also an impending free agent, the Padres have some tough choices to make as they currently sit six games back in the wild-card race.
CHC Chi. Cubs • #24 • Age: 28
Bellinger accepted a one-year offer from the Cubs in the hope of restoring his value for a big payday the following offseason, but right now, it's the Cubs' turn to cash in. While he's performed at an MVP level when healthy, his exit velocity readings have been less than stellar, raising concerns that a venue that's deeper in the outfield gaps might be less forgiving.
CLE Cleveland • #27 • Age: 29
There are no option years for Giolito that might make the White Sox think twice, and as a 29-year-old who's been a borderline ace for most of his career, he should fetch a pretty nice haul. His bounce-back season shows up more in the ERA than the underlying stats, but fears of regression would be assuaged by a trade given that he has a career 4.60 ERA in Chicago compared to 3.94 everywhere else.
CHC Chi. Cubs • Age: 32
Stroman has a player option for $21 million, but he's arguably having a career year and will likely score big in the offseason. Every contender could use another starting pitcher, so even as a rental, he's likely to fetch a big return. He's moved around enough for us to know that his skill set translates everywhere.
Blake Snell SP
SD San Diego • #4 • Age: 31
Snell has been so volatile for his entire time with the Padres that we'd just as soon see him stay put while he's going well. Even with him staring at free agency in the offseason, it's hardly a foregone conclusion he's on the move given that the Padres are still on the fringes of the wild-card race.
Lance Lynn SP
LAD L.A. Dodgers • #35 • Age: 36
Though Lynn technically does have an option for 2024, the $18 million price tag would be hard to justify unless his season turns on a dime. A trade may be his best bet for that, with the hope that a change in scenery helps everything click into place. His decline seems totally on point for a 36-year-old, but his massive swinging-strike and strikeout rates suggest it's not that simple.
Tim Anderson SS
CHW Chi. White Sox • #7 • Age: 30
Because Anderson is having an uncharacteristically bad season, the White Sox may decide to hold out another year and exercise his $14 million option, which isn't unreasonable given his track record and place on the defensive hierarchy. Inserting him into a playoff race could help reinvigorate him, though, and in fact, he's already showing signs of improvement in July.
C.J. Cron 1B
LAA L.A. Angels • #25 • Age: 33
Another impending free agent, Cron has verged on must-start status in Fantasy since joining the Rockies in 2021, but most contenders probably view him as a low-rent right-handed power bat who might not even play every day. His career away from Coors Field, where he has hit .307 with a .980 OPS, is nothing to write home about.