There are players who should be traded but will not. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my list in the comments and on Twitter at @NeilfromNYC.
1. BRYCE HARPER, RF WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Washington are in playoff contention and presumably want to re-sign the free agent to be, but he’s having a down year and with all of their injuries it’s beginning to look as if the playoffs may not be in the cards for them this year. What about trading him to a contending team for prospects to have a stronger team next year? They already have a string OF mix with Adam Eaton , Victor Robles, Michael A. Taylor and Juan Soto. The best part is that they can still compete this season even without Harper.
2. JOEY VOTTO, 1B CINCINNATI REDS
Votto doesn’t want to be traded according to reports, but does he really want to be on a rebuilding team for the rest of his prime? Wouldn’t he be better off on a contending team competing for s championship? Imagine him starting at 1B for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners or Houston Astros? I’m also sure that Cincinnati wouldn’t mind shedding his salary.
3. CLAYTON KERSHAW, SP LOS ANGELES DODGERS
They won’t trade their franchise icon in a year when they’re trying to contend. That said, he’s in decline, can’t stay healthy and might not opt out of his contract after the season. There is no way that they should want to pay him his current salary for the next few years, or to give him an even bigger contract. They’re not really that good this year and they can still compete even without him. Just like with him, they’re simply not contenders.
4. MADISON BUMGARNER, SP SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
The San Francisco Giants have a weak lineup, weak bullpen and have an unimpressive farm system. They are not likely to go to the playoffs let alone win the World Series this year. Bumgarner is a free agent after next season and it’s hard to imagine them being much better by then. They could heavily replenish their farm system by trading Mad Bum while he still has a year and a half of control left.
5. NOLAN ARENADO, 3B COLORADO ROCKIES
The Colorado Rockies are likely not going to the playoffs this year. Raise your hand if you believe that they will improve their rotation enough to be contenders next year. Arenado is a free agent after next season and Colorado are unlikely to be able to afford him. Can you imagine how much they can get for the player considered to be the best 3B in the game?! The St. Louis Cardinals would likely be willing to give up their best young starters such as Jack Flaherty and Luke Weaver. Trading Arenado may be the best way for them to fix their annually below average rotation.
6. MIKE TROUT, CF LOS ANGELES ANGELS
Why would the Los Angeles Angels trade the best player in the game? They still have him under contract through 2020, but in a division with the Houston Astros they’re playing fit the Wild Card playoff game every year. Trading Trout would likely create a fan backlash, but might actually be the best way for them to improve their mediocre farm system. They can potentially have a far better team by the time Houston is in decline if they trade Trout.
7. JACOB DEGROM, SP NEW YORK METS
DeGrom is having the best season of his career but he’s also in his 30’s on a bad team. The New York Mets have a terrible farm and should cash-in on him now. Unfortunately for them, they will almost certainly put an unrealistically high price tag on him and won’t trade him until his value drops and he’s months from becoming a free agent.
8. NOAH SYNDERGAARD, SP NEW YORK METS
He’s not in his 30’s but what applies to his teammate, applies to him too. He’s on a bad team and the New York Mets badly need to improve their farm. He’s also injury prone. Just like with DeGrom, the New York Mets will expect too much for him and keep him when they should be rebuilding their weak farm.
9. JUSTIN UPTON, LF LOS ANGELES ANGELS
I think that it’s pretty clear that I’m a proponent for a rebuild for LA’s other team. Upton signed an extension last off-season, but he’s not overpaid and is still productive. He might not fetch too much in return but he will help the team shed payroll and improve their farm. The Los Angeles Angels won’t rebuild until it’s too late however.
10. DYLAN BUNDY, SP BALTIMORE ORIOLES
Baltimore has a terrible farm system and are in desperate need of a rebuild. They will finally trade Manny Machado, and will likely be unable to move Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis, but they will be able to get a good return for Bundy. He’s a controllable starting pitcher with potential and upside. They need to trade him for multiple more controllable pieces. They will likely stick with Bundy, but it will be a big mistake in my opinion.