The trading deadline promises to have some interesting players available to contending teams, but there are some players who will likely not be moved, but should be.
1. SP MAX SCHERZER, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
The Washington Nationals aren’t going to the playoffs this year. They also clearly have significant areas to improve in a competitive division that includes the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies, two teams that just simply look better going forward. Scherzer is the best Starting Pitcher in the game, but is also 34 and making $42 million a year for the next 3 years. If he declines and they’re not contending, that becomes a major burden. Does anyone see them winning the World Series in the next 3 years? Why not trade him now? Scherzer would almost guarantee the Houston Astros a championship, push the Milwaukee Brewers ahead in their division, give the St. Louis Cardinals an ace and put them ahead in the division and potentially make the Minnesota Twins contenders.
2. SP STEPHEN STRASBURG, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Another Washington starter. Strasburg is very good but has an injury history and is owed $138 million through 2023. He is 30 and still in his prime, as well as in the middle of a big year. He can also opt out of his contract after this season and next. Does it make sense for them to re-sign him if he opts out? Would it make more sense to trade him and get value in return for a potential future dynasty headlined by Trea Turner, Juan Soto and Victor Robles. The teams that I mentioned for Scherzer could still be in the mix for Strasburg.
3. 3B ANTHONY RENDON, WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Continuing with Washington, Rendon is another player who should be traded. A free agent at the end of the season, Rendon is yet to sign an extension with the team and at this point risking losing him for free in free agency just doesn’t make any sense. Even if they would like to keep him, why not try to bring him back in the off-season? The Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals and the division rivals Philadelphia Phillies could be destinations.
4. SP TREVOR BAUER, CLEVELAND INDIANS
Cleveland’s chances of going to the playoffs are seemingly declining daily. I expect them to buy at the trading deadline (just look at Rendon above), but I recommend for them to sell. They had a nice window but it’s over. Bauer is a free agent after next season and will almost certainly be out of their price range at that point. Considering his peripherals, it’s possible that last year was unrepeatable and his value is at its highest now. The same teams that would be in the mix for Scherzer and Strasburg, should be in the mix for Bauer.
5. SS FRANCISCO LINDOR, CLEVELAND INDIANS
Cleveland will not extend Lindor. If they rebuild as they should, then can you imagine the haul that they can expect for the game’s best SS?! The Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, the Houston Astros and the New York Mets (just kidding Cleveland don’t have big enough bad contracts to add to the deal) come to mind as potential trade partners.
6. RF WHIT MERRIFIELD, KANSAS CITY ROYALS
It’s simple, why does a rebuilding team need a 30 year old whose game largely depends on his speed? He should be traded and teams such as Philadelphia, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Milwaukee should be in the mix.