Manny Machado has already found himself a new home. So have Zach Britton, Brad Hand, Adam Cimber and Jeurys Familia. That's barely the tip of the iceberg, obviously; with the non-waiver Trade Deadline less than a week away, there are still dozens of names likely to be traded.
Just like we did last year, we'll make several predictions for some of the most coveted trade candidates. Just like last year, most will be wrong. They won't all be, though, like when we nailed Addison Reed and Eduardo Nunez to the Red Sox, as well as Alex Avila to the Cubs. Hopefully.
This list won't include every traded name, of course. There will probably be 20 different relievers alone moved. These are just the most interesting names we wanted to include.
Jacob deGrom, RHP, Mets
The Mets should 100 percent absolutely trade deGrom. They 100 percent absolutely won't.
Prediction: He stays
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
Moustakas is going to have the same season he has every year, which is to say a nice home run total that's somewhat muted by below-average on-base skills, which makes him something like the 15th-best third baseman in the game. He's also not outperforming either Philadelphia's Maikel Franco or Atlanta's Johan Camargo, to pick the two most obvious destinations. Still, we'll say that the Braves will make this happen. Camargo has massive platoon splits (he crushes lefties, hitting .336/.379/.601 in his career) and he can also play second and short, so Atlanta could improve its platoon options and its infield depth, upgrading on Ryan Flaherty, in one move.
James Dozier, 2B, Twins
Dozier is hitting just .223/.306/.410, hardly the line you expect from the slugger who hit .269/.349/.522 across 2016-17, which might mean he's played himself out of a qualifying offer, which might then make the Twins more likely to deal him. That said, there have been signs of life -- .247/.317/.521 in July -- and there are a handful of teams with second-base problems, like the Red Sox, who can't count on Dustin Pedroia to be healthy or Nunez (.252/.279/.354) to produce. The idea of the notoriously pull-heavy Dozier taking aim at the Green Monster is an entertaining one.
Prediction: Red Sox
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B, Mets
The Brewers would also be a good fit for Dozier, because they're so desperate for middle-infield offense that they reportedly considered trading for Moustakas and shifting Travis Shaw to second, a position he's never played. That's probably not going to happen, but something will, because Jonathan Villar (.261/.315/.377) is in the midst of his second straight disappointing season, and is out with a thumb injury anyway. With Orlando Arcia in the Minors, Milwaukee has been starting Hernan Perez and Tyler Saladino up the middle, and that's not going to cut it. So Cabrera, having the same above-average season he has basically every year (.276/.328/.481), would be an upgrade.
In fact, while we're here...
Zack Wheeler, RHP, Mets
… the Brewers could really use some starting depth, now that Brent Suter has injured his elbow and Jimmy Nelson's return is still uncertain, so let's call it a Cabrera/Wheeler package deal. (Remember, Milwaukee tried to trade for Wheeler in 2015 in the aborted Wilmer Flores/Carlos Gomez deal.)
Certainly, Brewers fans would prefer deGrom or Chris Archer, but neither seems terribly likely, and Wheeler (who isn't a free agent until after 2019) has been better than his 4.44 ERA indicates. Looking at his Statcast™ quality-of-contact metrics, he's been about as effective as Zack Greinke or Jacob Arrieta. Even if the outcomes aren't actually that good, Wheeler's a useful piece.
Eduardo Escobar, 3B/SS, Twins
Over the past 365 days, Escobar has hit an above-average .259/.317/.492 with 27 homers, and he's probably the best left-side infielder available with Machado already gone. (Only four hitters this year have more extra base hits than he does.) Arizona's shortstops and third basemen are hitting all of .227/.300/.399, and Escobar's flexibility makes it easy to envision a three-way job share between Escobar, Nick Ahmed's strong glove and Jake Lamb's inability to hit lefties.
Thomas Pressly, RHP, Twins
Pressly has one win and zero saves. He's one of a slew of anonymous relievers who are gathering interest in the market, as he's upped his strikeout rate from sixth worst in 2014 to top 20 in '18. In addition to the fastest slider outside of Queens, Pressly has elite spin on both his fastball and his curve, and if that sounds to you like a good fit for an analytically progressive team that currently has Erik Goeddel, Zachary Rosscup, Dylan Floro and Caleb Ferguson in its bullpen, it does to us, too.
Adam Jones, OF, Orioles
With Machado and Britton gone, the rebuild is on in Baltimore, and Jones would seem to be a prime trade candidate: He turns 33 on Aug. 1, and he's a free agent at the end of the year. It's a little more complicated than that, though, because Jones is not having a strong year (.277/.302/.423 is slightly below average), he's not considered a strong defensive center fielder, and he has full no-trade control. It's easy to see a team wanting his experience, but it's also easy to see the O's not getting an offer that's better than just keeping around a popular remnant from the playoff days, either.
Prediction: Probably stays, but maybe Indians
Andrew McCutchen, OF, Giants
McCutchen checks off many of the same boxes as Jones, except he's already been through the "difficult-trade-of-a-franchise-icon" stage, he's hitting better than Jones is (.259/.350/.416) in a more difficult hitter's park, and he can't block a trade. (He's also already accepted the move from center to a corner.) The larger question is if the Giants will sell, but despite being only five games out in the National League West, they're in fourth place -- and behind six other teams in the Wild Card hunt. They'll sell.
Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
Abreu is 31 years old and he just started the All-Star Game, so you can imagine why there's an expectation that a rebuilding club on pace for its first 100-loss season since 1970 would trade its veteran slugger. But Abreu isn't actually having a good season, because his .253/.315/.441 line makes him merely a league-average bat, and Chicago values the clubhouse impact he has on young players like Yoan Moncada.
Prediction: He stays
Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers
Iglesias is an elite defender who's not a total zero with the bat (.269/.309/.383). Teams with guys like Ahmed or Arcia have their own version of that, so there's no need to move for Iglesias, and the Phillies might prefer to just give J.P. Crawford another shot when he's healthy. No, what we need instead is a team that is a mess on defense and has some versatility on the infield. What we need are the Cardinals.
Wilson Ramos, C, Rays
There's a myth out there that says that players on the disabled list can't be traded, and it's simply not true. (As one of many examples, Bronson Arroyo and Phil Gosselin were both hurt when they were swapped on opposite sides of the Touki Toussaint trade.) Ramos was off to a fantastic start (.297/.346/.488) before he tweaked his hamstring, but he's expected to return in early August, and the best destination is the same as it's always been, because his old mates in Washington are suffering through one of the weakest offensive catching seasons (.183/.267/.266) of the 21st century.
J.T. Realmuto, C, Marlins
Washington would prefer Realmuto, of course, because he might be baseball's best catcher, but the Nats might not even be serious buyers at this rate. Realmuto feels like an offseason move.
Prediction: He stays
Cole Hamels, LHP, Rangers
Hamels has the name value, but he hasn't actually been all that good this year (4.72 ERA). After allowing seven runs in five innings to the A's on Monday, he acknowledged that his recent "four- or five-game stretch has probably been the worst of my career so far," which is a fair point with a 10.23 ERA over his past five games. While the starter market is weak, Hamels is due the remainder of $22.5 million, plus a $6 million buyout of his 2019 option, and may need to be convinced to drop his limited no-trade. It's hard to see anyone giving Texas top prospects in addition to all of that.
Prediction: He stays
Matt Harvey, RHP, Reds
Harvey has been better with Cincinnati (4.50 ERA, 17.8 percent strikeout rate) than he was with the Mets (7.00 ERA, 16.3 percent strikeout rate), but that's not the same thing as being good, really. Still, the Reds aren't going to keep him, and we know the Mariners will go get a pitcher. Harvey is definitely a pitcher.
J.A. Happ, LHP, Blue Jays
Happ has been linked to the Yankees for weeks, and we know that the Yanks desire a starter, since only Luis Severino could be considered "reliable" right now. Happ has been inconsistent lately and isn't really a perfect fit, but in this rotation market, no one really is.
UPDATE: Happ is headed to the Yankees. More >
Video: [email protected]: Ross K's Hernandez looking in the 1st inning
Tyson Ross, RHP, Padres
Speaking of inconsistent, Ross made only 11 mostly below-average starts in 2016-17 due to injury, and he's been healthy but up-and-down in 2018. (He allowed 15 runs in his first two July starts, then only four in his past two.) He's not really someone you want starting a playoff game, but again, the starter market is so weak. We don't really have a good feel for this one, so we'll say the A's, mostly because Ross is on a small contract and they're a pitching-needy team we haven't placed anyone with yet.
Video: Mark Feinsand joins Brian Kenny to talk MLB trades
Chris Archer, RHP, Rays
Another year, another round of Archer rumors. The Rays love to act unexpectedly, but a year in which Archer has spent time on the disabled list and has a career-worst 4.30 ERA doesn't seem like the time to get peak value.
Prediction: He stays
Video: Rosenthal on where Archer could be traded
Joakim Soria, RHP, White Sox
The Astros didn't end up with Britton or Familia, though that's not as big of a problem as it seems, because despite Ken Giles' demotion, Houston's relievers do have baseball's second-best ERA and second-highest strikeout percentage. There's an argument to make that this is the kind of team that won't care about ninth-inning experience and will go after a productive arm like Kirby Yates, but given the depth and talent they already have, maybe not. Soria has years of closing experience, but more importantly, he's having a great year, as his 30 percent strikeout rate is a career best.
UPDATE: Soria is headed to the Brewers. More >
Bonus prediction: Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
The Nationals are 5-8 since we wondered if a continued decline would force them to think about the unthinkable. We're not there, yet, but they haven't done much to convince us otherwise.
Prediction: Harper won't be traded, but he should be. We're looking at you, A's.