10 teams with the prospects to make big moves

December 8th, 2017

History tells us that there will be headline-grabbing trades at the upcoming Winter Meetings, which begin Sunday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Last year outside of Washington D.C., the White Sox swung blockbusters that sent Chris Sale to the Red Sox and to the Nationals on consecutive days. The year before in Nashville, the Diamondbacks stunned the industry by shipping Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 pick in the Draft just six months earlier, to the Braves as part of an ill-fated deal for .

The Marlins, determined to shed the potential $295 million remaining on reigning National League MVP 's contract, have a tentative deal in place with the Yankees even before heading down to Walt Disney World. While we wait to see which players will actually change addresses, here are 10 teams that could contend in 2018 and have depth in young talent that could provide trade fodder to bolster their chances of making the postseason:


Top 100 Prospects: 3

Top-rated prospect: Kyle Tucker, OF (No. 7)

Houston wouldn't part with Tucker or RHP Forrest Whitley, yet it still found a way to get a trade done in August -- and that worked out pretty well. Even if Tucker and Whitley remain untouchable, the Astros still could put together an attractive package with outfielder and right-handers and Joe Musgrove, former Top 100 Prospects who have graduated to the big leagues. Beyond Tucker and Whitley, the system features flamethrowing 2017 first-round righty J.B. Bukauskas and outfielder/first baseman Yordan Alvarez, a gifted young hitter.

Blue Jays

Top 100 Prospects: 3

Top-rated prospect: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (No. 3)

After consecutive American League Championship Series appearances, Toronto dropped to 76 wins in 2017 and is looking to rebound. Trading Guerrero, who has the highest offensive ceiling of any prospect anywhere, would be foolhardy, but the Blue Jays do have a pair of sweet-swinging shortstops in Bo Bichette (this year's Minor League batting champ at .362) and Logan Warmoth. Outfielder combines hitting savvy and athleticism, while the Jays have plenty of attractive right-handers led by T.J. Zeuch, Sean Reid-Foley and Nate Pearson.


Top 100 Prospects: 7

Top-rated prospect:, OF (No. 12)

Milwaukee made a surprise run at a postseason berth this year and could use its surplus of prospects to break through to the playoffs in 2018. The Brewers are loaded with outfield prospects (Brinson, Monte Harrison, Corey Ray, , Tristen Lutz, Trent Grisham), and they're also deep in offensive-minded inifielders (Keston Hiura, , ) and right-handers (Luis Ortiz, , Corbin Burnes, , ). They could trade from their areas of strength without compromising their ability to build from within.


Top 100 Prospects: 5

Top-rated prospect:, RHP (No. 14)

Coming off its worst season in a decade, St. Louis figures to look to make a big move after reaching an agreement to acquire Stanton only to be unable to convince the Marlins slugger to waive his no-trade clause. may be the game's best all-around catching prospect yet is blocked by , while the Miles Mikolas signing means there's only one spot in the rotation left for the talented trio of Alex Reyes, and . Similarly, , and are caught up in an outfield logjam.


Top 100 Prospects: 6

Top-rated prospect:, RHP (No. 10)

Elite prospects Buehler and outfielder are just about ready for prime time, but lack a clear path to playing time on a stacked Los Angeles club, so maybe they could be had in a deal for a superstar. Even if the Dodgers won't part with them, they have catchers (Keibert Ruiz, Will Smith) to spare and plenty of high-ceiling if raw talents such as right-hander Yadier Alvarez and outfielders Yusniel Diaz and Jeren Kendall.


Top 100 Prospects: 2

Top-rated prospect:, C (No. 13)

Cleveland was willing to make Mejia the headliner in a four-prospect package for in July 2016, only to see Lucroy veto the deal. Mejia still has a ways to go behind the plate and looked shaky at third base in the Arizona Fall League, so maybe he still could be had. Perhaps the Indians' pitching riches at the Major League level could make right-hander Triston McKenzie (second in the Minors with 186 strikeouts at age 20 in 2017) expendable as well, and they have a number of attractive teenaged prospects (third baseman Nolan Jones, outfielders Will Benson and Quentin Holmes) who could be spun off for more immediate help.


Top 100 Prospects: 3

Top-rated prospect: Austin Meadows, OF (No. 16)

Yes, Pittsburgh is more likely to trade a veteran (?) than give up prospects to get one. But if the Pirates wanted to, they have plenty of projectable right-handers (Tyler Glasnow, Mitch Keller, Shane Baz, Steven Jennings, ) and infield prospects (third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, shortstops Kevin Newman and Cole Tucker, first baseman Will Craig, second baseman Kevin Kramer) around whom to build a deal.


Top 100 Prospects: 6

Top-rated prospect: Brent Honeywell, RHP (No. 11)

Cost-conscious Tampa Bay rarely trades young talent, but it also has holes to plug after four straight losing seasons and owns the best farm system among the teams on this list. The Rays probably won't part with Honeywell, shortstop or first baseman/left-hander Brendan McKay, but could land just about anyone on the trade market if they would. Nevertheless, they have lots of outfield prospects (Jesus Sanchez, , , Joshua Lowe, Garrett Whitley) and some interesting pieces they've acquired in past deals (right-hander Jose DeLeon, shortstop Lucius Fox).


Top 100 Prospects: 4

Top-rated prospect: Royce Lewis, SS (No. 26)

Minnesota already has a good young shortstop in and three more on the way in Royce Lewis (the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 Draft), Nick Gordon and Wander Javier, so one of those guys could be the starting point for a trade. Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves and right-hander are attractive too, though the Twins might just be better off bringing them to Target Field in the next year or so.


Top 100 Prospects: 5

Top-rated prospect:, INF (No. 1)

Even after promoting All-Stars , and from within and sending five players who were first-round picks and/or Top 100 Prospects to the White Sox and Athletics in a pair of trades last July, New York still is overflowing with young talent. Infielder Gleyber Torres, right-hander Chance Adams, lefty and third baseman are all on the current Top 100 and nearly ready for the big leagues -- and it's not like the Yankees have a lot of gaping holes on their roster. They're also well stocked with power arms from the right side (Albert Abreu, Freicer Perez) and have a number of players who stood out in the Arizona Fall League (outfielder Estevan Florial, Sheffield, Abreu, shortstop Thairo Estrada, reliever Cody Carroll and outfielder ). Right-hander Jorge Guzman is reportedly part of the tentative package for Stanton.

MLB.com and MLB Network will provide extensive coverage of the Winter Meetings from the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort from Dec. 10-14. Fans can watch live streams of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, including the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. ET.