2024 MLB Trade Deadline

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This year’s MLB trade deadline is shaping up to be an unpredictable affair. With the addition of a third wild-card spot in each league, it’s harder than ever to determine which teams will be buyers and which will be sellers, let alone the MLB Odds going forward. Let’s break down the current landscape, starting with the National League.

 

National League Overview

 

In the old playoff format (one wild-card team per league), the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Philadelphia Phillies would hold the usual three playoff spots, with the Braves securing the wild-card spot. However, in the new format, the Cardinals and Padres are currently above the cut, and seven other teams are within striking distance. Even the Giants, despite being the third-worst team in the NL, are only three games out.

With more teams in the mix and new draft rules discouraging tanking, more teams are trying to win. Only the Rockies and Marlins are clear sellers in the NL. 

The Rockies’ trade strategy has been puzzling in recent years, and three of the Marlins’ top targets are either injured or underperforming. Left-handed reliever Tanner Scott remains a top target despite his high walk rate.

 

American League Overview

 

In the American League, the White Sox and Athletics are obvious sellers. The Angels and Blue Jays are likely to follow suit, with the Tigers on the bubble, being 6 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot. 

 

Team Needs

 

Red Sox: Red Sox chief baseball officer Craig Breslow discussed the team’s middle-infield depth in the minors that could be used to address big-league needs. The Red Sox, currently 43-36, need another starting pitcher and a shortstop.

Guardians, Orioles, and Astros: All three teams, leading their divisions, need pitching due to multiple starters being out with season-ending injuries. The Braves are in a similar situation. The Astros, despite a slow start, are 13-7 in June and cannot be counted out yet.

 

Padres: The Padres need bullpen help and are a team to watch, especially with A.J. Preller at the helm during trading season.

Cubs: The Cubs need an impact bat, preferably someone who can play third base or catcher, like Elias Díaz of the Rockies.

Mariners: The Mariners have a strong starting rotation, but their offense has underperformed. Expect them to be active in the market.

 

Possible Trade Targets

luis robert jr

Luis Robert Jr. (White Sox): The dynamic center fielder is likely to be moved, though new GM Chris Getz might overvalue him. Robert is hitting just .198 this season but has extra years of control.

Garrett Crochet (White Sox): Crochet is another potential trade piece, boasting a 3.05 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 94 1/3 innings. He could appeal to many teams needing pitching.

Pete Alonso (Mets) and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays): Alonso’s trade prospects have dimmed with the Mets’ recent resurgence. Guerrero Jr. could be on the move if the Blue Jays continue to struggle.

Jack Flaherty (Tigers): Flaherty has rebounded in Detroit, making him a desirable target for teams needing starting pitching. The Tigers could trade him for prospects or offer him a qualifying offer and receive a compensation draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

 

Mason Miller (A’s): Miller is a top bullpen addition with 60 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings. The A’s might demand a high price given their future plans to contend by 2028.

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