8 trade candidates on the rise -- and where they could go

June 27th, 2022

It’s been two weeks since we last checked in on some trade candidates whose stock was rising, but much like the financial markets, players’ value can ebb and flow from one day to the next. 

With that in mind, here’s a look at eight potential trade chips on the rise as we head toward July, with just a over a month until the Aug. 2 Trade Deadline.

Josh Bell, 1B, Nationals
Washington isn’t going anywhere this season, and while the Nationals might not be ready to entertain the idea of trading Juan Soto, Bell -- who turns 30 on Aug. 14 -- figures to draw plenty of attention from offense-needy teams. Bell has overcome his slow start, posting a 1.069 OPS with seven homers and 17 RBIs in his first 23 games in June.
Potential fits: Astros, Mariners, Red Sox

Zach Davies, SP, D-backs
Davies pitched to an ERA close to 5.00 during the first two months of the season, but the right-hander has been much better in June, compiling a 2.56 ERA in five starts. At 29, Davies is earning $1.5 million in 2022 and has a mutual option for 2023 that will likely send him back to free agency, making him a solid option for the middle to back end of a contending rotation.
Potential fits: Braves, Guardians, White Sox

Brandon Drury, 3B, Reds
If it feels like anybody on the Reds roster could be on the block, it’s because they probably are. Drury is earning just $900,000 this year and has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent, but he turns 30 in August and doesn’t figure to be a building block for Cincinnati. The versatile infielder/outfielder has thrived in June, slashing .333/.378/.619 with seven home runs in 21 games.
Potential fits: Brewers, Rangers, White Sox

Ian Happ, LF, Cubs
Willson Contreras has been the Chicago player garnering the most trade headlines, but Happ could bring the Cubs a solid return, given that he’s under club control through 2023. Happ -- who is earning $6.85 million this year and is arbitration-eligible for the final time in the winter -- is having a strong season, though he’s really turned it on this month, slashing .349/.430/.593 in 24 games since May 31. Unless the Cubs envision the soon-to-be 28-year-old as a long-term part of their future, this might be the perfect time to move him.
Potential fits: Braves, Padres, Yankees

Jorge López, RP, Orioles
A former starter who carried a 6.07 career ERA into the season, López is making $1.5 million in his first year of arbitration, and he’s eligible for each of the next two years, meaning that salary should continue to rise. Given the volatility of relievers on a year-to-year basis, López’s strong season -- he has a 0.75 ERA and 13 saves in 31 appearances -- makes the 29-year-old journeyman a prime candidate for teams looking to bolster the bullpen.
Potential fits: Dodgers, Padres, Red Sox

Tyler Mahle, SP, Reds
Following his four-inning, eight-run outing on May 24, Mahle’s inconsistency left many wondering whether a contender might even want to deal for the 27-year-old righty. Since then, Mahle has a 2.14 ERA in five starts, striking out 40 batters in 33 2/3 innings and reemerging as a trade option. He’s making $5.2 million this season and is arbitration-eligible for another year.
Potential fits: Guardians, Rangers, Red Sox

Frankie Montas, SP, Athletics
After allowing four or more earned runs in three of his first seven starts, Montas has settled in this season despite the constant whirlwind of trade talk. The right-hander has a 2.70 ERA in his past eight outings, striking out more than a batter per inning. He continues to be the best available starter on the market, and the question is when -- not if -- he will be moved prior to the Trade Deadline.
Potential fits: Blue Jays, Cardinals, Dodgers

Bryan Reynolds, CF, Pirates
Reynolds’ name will continue to appear on lists of trade candidates for some time, as he remains under club control through 2025. But given the state of the Pirates’ rebuild and Reynolds’ recent play, GM Ben Cherington might find himself fielding very attractive offers. Reynolds got off to a dreadful start in 2022, but he’s been superb for the past month, slashing .304/.350/.563 in 29 games since May 25.
Potential fits: Padres, Rays, Yankees