Blockbuster potential: Who has the prospects?

July 31st, 2019

On Sunday, the Mets acquired starter Marcus Stroman for a pair of pitching prospects, lefty Anthony Kay and right-hander Simeon Woods-Richardson. Neither pitcher is currently on the Top 100, though Kay was for a time right before MLB Pipeline re-ranked all of the lists.

The duo does slot into the Blue Jays’ Top 10, at Nos. 5 and 7 respectively, but one has to wonder how this deal, involving two non-contenders, will impact the market as the Trade Deadline nears. Or put it this way: If Stroman can be landed for two non-Top 100 prospects, what could any contender with one or more Top 100 guys bring in to help make a playoff push?

As of Tuesday, there were 15 teams within three games of a division or Wild Card lead. All but two have at least two Top 100 prospects. But if the Stroman deal is the bar, then even a team with just a single Top 100 guy and some other Top 30 prospects of value can play in this market, meaning half of all the teams in baseball are equipped to make a major trade by Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.

Just how likely is it for any contending team to make a big deal? Below is a list of all 15 contenders, who their Top 100 prospects are and how well positioned they are to be buyers. Teams are ranked by Prospect Points, which are are determined by assigning a numerical value to each spot in the Top 100, giving 100 points to No. 1, 99 points to No. 2, and so on. A team's total is calculated by adding the values assigned to each of its Top 100 prospects.

Top 100 prospects (7): Wander Franco, SS (No. 1); Brendan McKay, LHP/DH (No. 15); Vidal Brujan, 2B (No. 41); Jesus Sanchez, OF (No. 42); Matthew Liberatore, LHP (No. 44); Brent Honeywell, RHP (No. 75); Shane Baz, RHP (No. 96)

Prospect Points (rank): 393 (1st)

The Rays are just a half-game out of the Wild Card and have one of the deepest systems in baseball. No. 1 prospect Franco has to be off the table, but there’s plenty of talent to use to help the big league team. Keep in mind that Tampa Bay isn’t a team that goes all in, so look for more incremental-type deals from the organization’s depth than any major Top 100 guys changing hands.

Top 100 prospects (5): Cristian Pache, OF (No. 11); Drew Waters, OF (No. 27); Ian Anderson, RHP (No. 34); RHP Kyle Wright, (No. 38); C Shea Langeliers, (No. 69)

Prospect Points (rank): 326 (4th)

The Braves traded four prospects to get Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day last year from the Orioles, but none were Top 100 guys. There’s pitching to spare here and even if the Braves are reluctant to deal top arms like Anderson or Wright, a right-hander such as Bryse Wilson (once a Top 100 prospect) or lefties like Joey Wentz, Kyle Muller and Kolby Allard all have tremendous value, putting Atlanta in a very good spot.

Top 100 prospects (4): Gavin Lux, SS (No. 10); Dustin May, RHP (No. 35); Keibert Ruiz, C (No. 36); Will Smith, C (No. 57);

Prospect Points (rank): 266 (5th)

The Dodgers have held on to top prospects of late, with Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo a big reason they’re running away with the NL West. So maybe Lux is off the table, but Ruiz’s name has come up in Felipe Vazquez trade rumors and dealing the No. 3 catching prospect in the game could fetch quite a return.

Top 100 prospects (5): Royce Lewis, SS (No. 7); Alex Kirilloff, OF (No. 16); Brusdar Graterol, RHP (No. 58); Jordan Balazovic, RHP (No. 82); Trevor Larnach, OF (No. 97)

Prospect Points (rank): 245 (6th)

Much like the Rays, the Twins aren’t the type of team to completely raid the farm system, preferring to promote from within and it’s hard to imagine them parting with either Lewis or Kirilloff. But there’s depth here, so if the Twins wanted to go all-in with, say, one of the Top 100 arms and Top 30 prospects close to the big leagues (Brent Rooker or Nick Gordon?), they could get something big done.

Top 100 prospects (3): Jesus Luzardo, LHP (No. 19); A.J. Puk, LHP (No. 45); Sean Murphy, C (No. 46)

Prospect Points (rank): 193 (11th)

Luzardo is hurt and Puk is just making his way back from Tommy John surgery, so the two top lefties are likely not tradable, especially given the likelihood the A’s wouldn’t cash in all of their chips anyway. This system isn’t as deep as some of the others on this list, but the A’s could take advantage of someone like shortstop Jorge Mateo’s career year and trade him at the height of his value.

Top 100 prospects (4): Joey Bart, C (No. 21); Heliot Ramos, OF (No. 55); Marco Luciano, SS (No. 65); Hunter Bishop, OF (No. 71)

Prospect Points (rank): 192 (12th)

The Giants were in rebuilding mode and two of their top 100 guys, Bart and Bishop, were top 10 Draft picks as a result. Just a couple of games over .500, it seems less likely they’d deal one of their top guys away in a deal.

Top 100 prospects (3): Kyle Tucker, OF (No. 13); Forrest Whitley, RHP (No. 17); Seth Beer, 1B/OF (No. 100)

Prospect Points (rank): 173 (14th)

While Whitley has lost his way a bit this year, Tucker is putting together another fantastic season in the Minors and doesn’t appear to have a place to play in the Astros outfield. Perhaps a change of scenery is in order and it’s hard to imagine the 22-year-old wouldn’t bring back a very good return, especially if combined with another prospect or two, even if the system isn’t quite as dynamic as it once was.

Top 100 prospects (2): Alec Bohm, 3B (No. 37); Adonis Medina, RHP (No. 92)

Prospect Points ranking: 73 (17th)

The Phillies have shown no hesitation in trading away top prospects to improve the big league roster, as evidenced by dealing top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and others to get J.T. Realmuto this past offseason. So while they only have two current Top 100 players, there are other intriguing prospects like right-hander Spencer Howard and shortstop Luis Garcia who have plenty of value.

Top 100 prospects (2): Nolan Gorman, 3B (No. 31); Dylan Carlson, OF (No. 52)

Prospect Points ranking: 119 (18th)

They managed to get Paul Goldschmidt last December and seeing them make an incremental move now is reasonable. But a Goldschmidt type of blockbuster? Not as likely given what’s in their system at present and it’s hard to envision them dealing Gorman or Carlson.

Top 100 prospects (2): Carter Kieboom, SS (No. 22); Luis Garcia, SS (No. 80)

Prospect Points ranking: 100 (20th)

GM Mike Rizzo isn’t afraid to make a big deal, but it’s hard to imagine him dealing Kieboom and the system doesn’t have a ton of depth right now.

Top 100 prospects (3): Deivi Garcia, RHP (No. 66); Estevan Florial, OF (No. 67); Jasson Dominguez, OF (No. 72)

Prospect Points ranking: 98 (21st)

They weren’t able to land Manny Machado a year ago, but were able to add some contributors by dealing other Top 30-type prospects. It’s hard to imagine any player off the table, though much of their Top 30 talent, outside of Garcia at the top, is pretty far away from the big leagues.

Top 100 prospects (2): Nolan Jones, 3B (No. 40); Triston McKenzie, RHP (No. 68), LHP Logan Allen (98)

Prospect Points ranking: 97 (21st - tied)

They won’t hesitate to deal a Top 100-caliber player to get better (just ask Francisco Mejia), but even if they don’t want to trade Jones or McKenzie, this sneaky good system has more than enough depth to put the Indians in a good position.

The Indians also added lefty Logan Allen from San Diego in the Trevor Bauer three-way trade. Allen checks in at No. 98 on the Top 100, giving them a bit more depth to deal from.

Top 100 prospects (2): Nico Hoerner, SS (No. 50); Miguel Amaya, C (No. 91)

Prospect Points ranking: 61 (27th)

All the contending the Cubs have done has made the system weaker, both via graduations and previous trades, though they do have on-the-rise prospects Brennen Davis and Brailyn Marquez at Nos. 3 and 4 in their system.

Top 100 prospects (1): Brice Turang, SS (No. 81)

Prospect Points ranking: 20 (29th)

The Brewers have been big shoppers the last couple of years, which has left the cupboards a little more bare. So don’t expect a Yelich-sized deal here.

Top 100 prospects (1): Triston Casas, 1B (No. 90)

Prospect Points ranking: 11 (30th)

The news that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has turned to buying mode should surprise no one. There’s not a ton of high-end talent, but smaller moves could be in the Red Sox’s future.