MLB trade candidates around 2023
Sometimes things don’t work out. Or stop working. And this is true in professional sports, where it is difficult to establish a long-lasting relationship between a player and a team. For whatever reason (comfort or training or some quirk), there are certain players who only prove to be able to give their best after being sent to a new team.
What follows is a list of guys for whom this might be the case. Whether it’s a veteran in need of a rebound or a locked-in youngster, these trade candidates could benefit from a change of scenery this offseason.
Following the Teoscar Hernández acquisition, the Mariners are still looking for other ways to upgrade their outfield, and that could mean moving one or both players. Kelenic has bounced between the majors and minors and struggled to live up to the hype that accompanied his arrival in a blockbuster trade with the Mets, and Winker’s attitude and conditioning have questionable in the short time since arriving in a trade with Cincinnati last winter. Given that Winker was an All-Star for the Reds in 2021 (.949 OPS, 24 homers, 32 doubles) and Kelenic was not long ago considered one of the sport’s absolute best, can’t-miss prospects, it’s not a section think they might succeed elsewhere.
In college at UC Irvine, in the Minors and in his first season in the big leagues (2019), everything this guy did was hit. But he appears to have been depleted for more power and has suffered as a result, slashing .205/.293/.394 with a 38.5% slugging rate over the past three seasons. His defensive issues have also hurt his standing with the Brewers, who offered him a contract through 2023 but may not want to dedicate the DH spot to him. Maybe another club could get his swing and his career back. Hiura is only 26 years old.
Adell, the 10th overall pick in the 2017 Draft, was the Angels’ top prospect and rated the sixth overall prospect by MLB Pipeline when he was first drafted in 2020. But his large skill set physicality just hasn’t translated to big league success. Adell has slashed .215/.259/.356 in 161 games. The The addition of Halos to Hunter Renfroe it makes Adell expendable, but she’s only 23 and could benefit from some new voices.
A supposed sure thing when he was acquired from the Cubs as a prospect in the 2016 Aroldis Chapman trade, Torres has had an erratic streak. He was an All-Star in each of his first two seasons in 2018-19 before posting a combined OPS+ below league average while struggling defensively at shortstop in 2020-21. A full-time switch to second base was part of a better 2022 in which Torres slashed a more respectable .257/.310/.451. Torres is entering his age-26 season and had above-average slugging and barreling percentages last season. So, unlike fellow Yankees prospects Josh Donaldson and Aaron Hicks, an acquiring team could speculate that his best days are still ahead of him.
It just hasn’t worked out for Arizona’s former World Series hero. Three seasons into a five-year, $85 million contract, Bumgarner is 15-29 with a 4.98 ERA with the D-backs. There was hope that his work with new pitching coach Brent Strom would help unlock the Bumgarner of old in 2022, but a strong start to the season wasn’t really necessary. Peripherals aren’t pretty and the D-backs would have a hard time moving the money attached to him, but you never know if there’s a deal that could return Bumgarner as a league-average rotation option.
The Tigers made Baez their offseason favorite last year with a six-year, $140 million contract, and he, like the team itself, turned out to be a major disappointment. Any concerns about Baez’s free-swinging ways came to a head when he slashed .238/.278/.393 with one of the league’s worst walk rates (4.4%). The Tigers are much more likely to root for a bounce in 2023, but it’s worth including Baez in case some creativity from new general manager Scott Harris comes into play and Baez is shipped elsewhere . We saw a stretch in late 2021 where he was dealt to the Mets and was briefly in his prime, so maybe another move would motivate him.
69 OPS+ (31% below league average) isn’t very nice, but let’s not forget that Robles was a solid everyday player (finishing sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting) for a World Series championship club in 2019. And he’s only 25. Robles still offers excellent defense (90th percentile in Above average outputs) and the 86th percentile a sprint speed, but has struggled to throw the ball consistently. The rebuilding Nats are not known to be shopping him (starter Patrick Corbin, who could also be a candidate for a change of scenery, is another story). But the difficulty of filling the center field spot could entice some other team to take a good look at Robles and see if there are tweaks to his swing or approach that would yield better results.
Neither player figures prominently in Boston’s 2023 plans, and you could argue that either could benefit from a move to a market with less scrutiny and more opportunity. Dalbec struggled in ’22 after posting an .819 OPS, 33 homers and 24 doubles in 156 games in 2020-21, and has been locked down at first base by the club. when 2 prospectus, Triston Homes, and Eric Hosmer. Duran was a highly touted prospect (No. 84 in MLB, per MLB Pipeline, early 2022) who has instead had an uninspiring start to his major league career (.219/.269/.354 in 91 games) and is only seen as a depth option for a Boston club looking for other ways to improve their production on the field.
Plesac had once looked like another positive product of Cleveland’s pitching factory when he emerged with a 3.32 ERA and 140+ ERA in 171 innings through his first 29 career starts in 2019-20. But over the past two seasons, he’s fractured his thumb while “aggressively ripping his shirt off,” broken his pitching hand punching on the mound and worked to a 4.49 ERA and a 90+. The Guardians are open to dealing him, and maybe somewhere else he could regain his success and eliminate his self-inflicted injuries.
The vibes are much stronger after a postseason in which he suddenly looked like a Gold Glove-caliber corner outfielder. But there’s no denying that Castellanos’ first season of a five-year, $100 million contract wasn’t what anyone signed up for. His slugging percentage was down nearly 200 points from his 2021 season in Cincinnati, and Bryce Harper’s inability to play the field due to an elbow injury only exposed a decidedly unworthy performance from the glove. gold on the field for the Castellanos in the regular season. He’s unlikely to be dealt because of the money involved, but one has to wonder if there would be a better fit for Castellanos. with Harper on the mend coming off Tommy John surgery, Castellanos’ questionable defense is a constant concern.
In the first two years of the six-year extension DeJong signed with the Cardinals after finishing second in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2017, he provided league-average offense along with excelling · slow defensive metrics. Unfortunately, the last three seasons have been a mess (.631 OPS, 76 OPS+), and DeJong hit rock bottom and was demoted to Triple-A for a stretch last season (and struggled in his return). The Cards are likely stuck with the $9 million they owe DeJong through 2023, but there might be a team willing to roll the dice to get the 29-year-old back into a viable offense to go with the D yet strong (87th percentile in Outs Above). Average in 2022).
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