With Monday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline now just days away, general managers for both buying and selling teams are working the phones to either bolster their potential playoff rosters or build for the future.There's already been some activity involving top prospects, with the White Sox getting Eloy Jimenez
With Monday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline now just days away, general managers for both buying and selling teams are working the phones to either bolster their potential playoff rosters or build for the future.
There's already been some activity involving top prospects, with the White Sox getting Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease from the Cubs for Jose Quintana and Blake Rutherford from the Yankees in the Todd Frazier deal. Smaller deals have involved lower-profile prospects, with the Tigers getting Dawel Lugo and Sergio Alcantara from the D-backs for J.D. Martinez, the Giants getting Shaun Anderson from the Red Sox for Eduardo Nunez, the Mets getting Drew Smith from the Rays for Lucas Duda, and the White Sox receiving Casey Gillaspie from the Rays in return for reliever Dan Jennings.
Some contending teams are in better shape farm system-wise to make big additions for the stretch run. Here are five teams with the most prospect talent to deal from, with five other contending teams who might not be quite as deep, but could pull off a trade if needed.
Number of Top 100 prospects: 6
Top prospect:Gleyber Torres, SS (3)
The Yankees have already traded away one Top 100 player, Blake Rutherford, in the recent deal with the White Sox. They do have one of the deepest systems in all of baseball to use if they decide they need help to catch the Red Sox atop the American League East. Torres and Dustin Fowler (No. 78 overall) are hurt, but teams like young outfielder Estevan Florial (No. 93). Every prospect ranked 6-10 on the Yanks' list (lefty Justus Sheffield, infielder Tyler Wade, shortstop/outfielder Jorge Mateo, third baseman Miguel Andujar and right-hander Domingo Acevedo) are all in the upper levels of the system, often a strong selling point.
Number of Top 100 prospects: 6
Top prospect: Walker Buehler, RHP (13)
It might be more likely to see Buehler help the big league club out of the bullpen than as a trade chip, but there is a ton of talent for interested teams to ask about. Both Alex Verdugo and Willie Calhoun, Nos. 2 and 3 on the Dodgers' Top 30, have shown they can hit at the highest level and are ready for a shot, without an obvious spot for them to play in Los Angeles. And a source told MLB.com that the Rangers, who are confident that they will deal Yu Darvish, are enamored with Verdugo. It's hard to imagine the Dodgers dealing Futures Gamer Yadier Alvarez since they paid a total of $32 million to get him, but the Red Sox did deal Yoan Moncada, so you never know.
Number of Top 100 prospects: 5
Top prospect: Kyle Tucker, OF (10)
The Astros might be in the same "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" boat as the Dodgers and could just use the farm system to bolster the big league club via callups, as they did in bringing outfielder Derek Fisher back up recently. Colin Moran is hurt, but he's resurrected his career and there isn't a clear spot for him to play in Houston. There's pitching, with Forrest Whitley rapidly becoming one of the best right-handed pitching prospects in the game, and Franklin Perez isn't far behind him, and catching, with 2016 draftee Jake Rogers, who has risen to the top of the depth chart internally, and Garrett Stubbs.
Number of Top 100 prospects: 5
Top prospect: Lewis Brinson, OF (15)
The Brewers were just overtaken by the Cubs for first place in the National League Central and could use help from their deep system. It's hard to see a scenario where Brinson would be part of a deal, but there is some right-handed pitching that many teams could covet, starting with Luis Ortiz, Brandon Woodruff and rapidly-rising Corbin Burnes. All three are in the upper levels of the system (Woodruff is on a rehab assignment). The next position players, outfielder Corey Ray and infielder Isan Diaz, have struggled a bit in 2017, and thus might not get the return Milwaukee would want.
Number of Top 100 prospects: 7
Top prospect: Brent Honeywell, RHP (14)
The Rays are three games out of first and 1 1/2 games back of an AL Wild Card spot. Don't expect them to empty out their once-again deep system to go all in, and it probably is more likely to see Honeywell come up and help the pitching staff in St. Petersburg rather than be dangled in a trade. Outfielder Jesus Sanchez has a big up arrow next to his name as he enjoys a stellar full-season debut, while Jake Bauers and Justin Williams provide some upper-level bat options.
Other contending teams (Top 100 prospects in parenthesis)
Indians (2): Cleveland went all in last year, so don't expect a blockbuster, meaning top prospect Francisco Mejia probably stays put, but there are some upper-level bats (Bobby Bradley, Yu-Cheng Chang, Yandy Diaz or Greg Allen) who could garner some interest.
Rockies (3): Colorado could bolster its NL Wild Card run with smaller moves involving lower-level bats like Colton Welker or Garrett Hampson. A big splash could be made if the Rockies wanted to include Ryan McMahon in a deal.
Pirates (3): Pittsburgh tends not to go the blockbuster route at the Deadline, but even though he's hurt, top prospect Austin Meadows would still bring quite a return, as would graduated prospect Tyler Glasnow.
Nationals (2): It's hard to imagine Washington would trade either of its top two toolsy outfielders, Victor Robles or Juan Soto, but the Nats don't shy away from making deals, so could No. 3 prospect Erick Fedde (RHP) or shortstop Carter Kieboom be available?
Red Sox (2): Boston did just get Eduardo Nunez in smaller deal, but if the Red Sox wanted to go big, packaging Rafael Devers and Jay Groome in a deal would do just that.
Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.