With Opening Day officially upon us, trade rumors continue to circle. According to theserumors, which MLB superstars may be dealt this season?
The most wonderful time of the year is finally upon us once more, baseball season. It has been a long journey for us baseball fans, as that final out in the Chicago Cubs’ World Series win seems so long ago. Now, on April 3, a new year is upon us and every baseball fan is excited.
Opening Day is the best day in baseball outside of the postseason because of the promise that it holds. All 30 teams go into the season full of hope, knowing that there is indeed a chance that they might pull off the impossible. With a 0-0 record, anything can happen, regardless of any predictions and projections.
However, as we see teams begin to split off, some into contention and others into last place, we will undoubtedly see superstars be dealt. Every season we see it; at the trade deadline, desperate teams that need a reason to be excited for the future give up their current stars in favor of their farm system.
With so many viable contenders to win the World Series, there will undoubtedly be superstars dealt at the deadline. These teams will be willing to pay that extra fee just to get ahead of their counterparts.
This over-pricing of market value will certainly influence teams to trade their superstar talents at the deadline. Therefore, as we embark on our 2017 journey, who are three superstars that may get dealt this season?
Last season, the Brewers made a splash when they dealt Jonathan Lucroy to the Rangers for prospects Lewis Brinson and Luis Ortiz. Brinson is now the top prospect in the Brewers organization, according to MLB Pipeline’s rankings, and the 18th best prospect in all of baseball. Ortiz is the Brewers’ fourth-rated prospect, coming in at 62nd in all of baseball.
Ryan Braun rumors have been circling for years now, and at one point the Dodgers and Brewers supposedly discussed a swap of Braun and Yasiel Puig. Now, with no realistic opportunity to make the postseason anytime soon, the Brewers need to cash out on Braun’s high worth and reap the benefits.
The common perception is that since the steroid suspension Braun served back in 2013 that his talent has fallen off the map. However, last season Braun managed to bat over .300 all while slugging 30 home runs and driving in 91. Despite this, Braun was snubbed of an All-Star appearance, despite being one of the best left fielders in all of baseball.
There are several teams that could benefit and would pay for Braun’s services. The San Francisco Giants instantly come to mind. However, with Tyler Beede being their only big prospect trade chip, they likely could not afford the Brewers’ asking price.
Another team that could benefit from the services of Ryan Braun would be the Toronto Blue Jays. Braun would join an already good offensive unit with great young pitching and strengthen Toronto’s chances of slaying the Red Sox.
Two-time All-Star and Home Run Derby winner Todd Frazier is undoubtedly one of the best power-hitting third baseman in all of the league. His batting average does need some improvement from his .225 clip last season, but he does provide a power dynamic that would be welcome in the midst of a playoff push.
With only one year left on his contract, the 31-year-old slugger may see himself traded from the Chicago White Sox this season. With so many moves already being made, there is no real reason for the White Sox to hold on to Frazier for one more year. I would expect Frazier to be dealt sooner rather than later, that way Frazier can get comfortable in a new system.
Todd Frazier’s 40 home runs in 2016, second-most among third basemen, would be much appreciated by any team that needs a power push. As of now, each playoff teams seems solid at third base, with the only exception possibly being the Boston Red Sox.
However, as the season goes on, players are unfortunately destined to get hurt, and there will be a hole somewhere that Frazier needs to fill. Heck, even if he is put into the designated hitter spot or even first base, Frazier would help a team that desperately needs a power-hitting bat.
Because of his contract, however, the White Sox likely won’t get what they want for Frazier. We all have seen the high asking price that the White Sox typically have, and they may not get that for Frazier. Seeing Frazier swapped for a lower top-100 prospect and perhaps a big league guy seems like the most logical deal.
Andrew McCutchen‘s name was tossed around quite often during the offseason as a potential big-name trade for multiple teams. After a down year, the Pirates seemingly had doubts on whether or not to keep the former MVP, especially with their outfield talent. Although they could make a push for a Wild Card spot this season, I still see the Pirates parting ways with the former MVP.
Although he did have a down year, McCutchen could still provide a spark for a playoff team and would give the Pirates a good return on their investment. Although he obviously would not draw in what he would have four years ago, playoff teams would likely pay up for McCutchen. With two more seasons under contract, this will tempt teams to not overlook the outfielder.
The primary reason why the Pirates may part ways with McCutchen at the deadline is prospect Austin Meadows. With Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte also in the outfield, the odd man out seems to be McCutchen. If the Pirates want to make room for the ninth-best prospect in baseball, McCutchen has to be the one to go.
Any team with a particular hole in the outfield, whether because of injury or lack of depth, would have a trade target in McCutchen. The Pirates should ask for two top-100 prospects and a big league starting pitcher. The Pirates do have promising young arms, but are thinnest in the pitching department.
Overall, 2017 looks poised to be one of the best MLB seasons in recent memory. With so many viable contenders for that World Series gold, anything can happen. One thing that will happen, though, is that at least one of these superstars will be dealt.