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9 All-Stars who could get traded this month

July 10, 2019

Last season, Manny Machado and Brad Hand appeared in the All-Star Game representing the Orioles and Padres, respectively. Less than 48 hours later, both had new homes. A handful of players from this year's crop of All-Stars may be nearing a similar outcome. Here are the 2019 All-Stars who could

Last season, Manny Machado and Brad Hand appeared in the All-Star Game representing the Orioles and Padres, respectively. Less than 48 hours later, both had new homes.

A handful of players from this year's crop of All-Stars may be nearing a similar outcome. Here are the 2019 All-Stars who could be dealt before the Trade Deadline on July 31.

MOST LIKELY

Marcus Stroman, RHP, Blue Jays

An All-Star for the first time this season, Stroman has rebounded from a difficult 2018 campaign to post a 3.18 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over 104 2/3 innings in '19. With home run totals skyrocketing around the Majors, Stroman's ability to keep the ball on the ground (lifetime 59.6 percent ground-ball rate) could be attractive to a number of contenders. The right-hander also has big-game experience, pitching in four different postseason series plus the '16 American League Wild Card Game, and earning MVP honors at the '17 World Baseball Classic. While Stroman still has a year of control remaining after this one, the rebuilding Jays could look to maximize the return by dealing him now instead of waiting until next summer, though the 28-year-old will first need to prove he's healthy after missing his final start of the first half with a left pectoral issue.

Will Smith, LHP, Giants

As the veteran closer on a rebuilding team and an impending free agent to boot, Smith is possibly the most likely to be traded among any Major Leaguer this season. It helps that the 29-year-old southpaw is in the midst of an outstanding campaign, recording a 1.98 ERA with a 0.80 WHIP and a 2.02 FIP in 36 1/3 innings. While the Giants also are expected to deal free-agent-to-be Madison Bumgarner, Smith may fetch as much or more in a trade at this point.

Shane Greene, RHP, Tigers

The Tigers have Greene under control for 2020 but could look to move him, as the club is likely at least a couple of years away from contention and doesn't have an abundance of trade assets on the Major League roster. Moveover, Greene's value may never be higher. One year after recording a 5.12 ERA, Greene has logged a 1.09 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and 22 saves in 24 chances. However, his track record and underlying metrics suggest the 30-year-old is bound for some regression in the second half. In addition to owning a 3.72 FIP, Greene has a .288 xwOBA, compared to his actual wOBA of .221. The difference of .067 between those two numbers is the sixth highest in MLB (min. 100 batters faced), per Statcast.

POSSIBLE

Felipe Vazquez, LHP, Pirates

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington downplayed the chances of the club trading Vazquez in late June, saying the "expectation and anticipation is that Felipe will be closing out playoff games, be it this year or in the future with us." Pittsburgh, meanwhile, is just 2 1/2 games out in the ultra-competitive National League Central despite holding a 44-45 record at the All-Star break. That said, the Pirates' plans could change if a team such as the Dodgers, who reportedly have interest in the left-hander, are willing to part with multiple top prospects for an elite reliever on an extremely team-friendly deal (owed $13.5 million over 2020-21 with $10M club options for '22 and '23).

Brad Hand, LHP, Indians

The Indians have gone 21-8 over their past 29 games to cut their American League Central deficit from 11 1/2 to 5 1/2, lessening the chances of players such as Hand and Trevor Bauer being moved. However, there's some speculation that the Tribe could still trade them if it is offered young assets who can improve the team's future outlook while also providing help this season. Hand is less likely than Bauer to be dealt, as the left-hander is owed just $7.583 million next year and has a $10 million club option ($1 million buyout) in 2021, while Bauer is set to hit free agency after the '20 campaign.

Mike Minor, LHP, Rangers

Minor has been one of the most effective starters in the American League this season, recording a 2.54 ERA over 117 innings, and he's a big reason why Texas is surprisingly in contention at 48-42. He is also signed for just $9.83 million in 2020. There are a number of reasons why the Rangers could explore a Minor trade, however, including his age (31) and past shoulder problems. The Rangers' performance to start the second half could greatly influence the decision as well, especially after the club went 2-7 in the nine games leading up to the break.

Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres

Could history repeat itself with San Diego trading its All-Star closer just days after the Midsummer Classic, as it did with Hand a year ago? The Padres are just two games out in the race for the second NL Wild Card, but the club could have trouble staying in the hunt if its -35 run differential is any indication. Although the team would undoubtedly like to have Yates on board to make a more serious postseason push in 2020, it might be in the best interest of the organization to trade the 32-year-old for a major haul and then figure out the closer's role in the offseason.

LONG SHOTS

Zack Greinke, RHP, D-backs

Despite an average four-seam fastball velocity below 90 mph, the crafty Greinke made the All-Star team for the fifth time in the past six seasons on the strength of a 2.73 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. Still, teams may be hesitant to take on the $70 million owed to Greinke over 2020-21, as well as the remaining portion of his $34.5 million salary for this season. Further complicating matters is Greinke's 15-team no-trade list, which reportedly includes the Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Tigers, Yankees, Orioles, Athletics, Padres, Giants, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Angels, Dodgers, Twins and Phillies.

Whit Merrifield, 2B/OF, Royals

Since the start of 2017, Merrifield has amassed 10.4 Wins Above Replacement, per FanGraphs, tied for 29th in the Majors with the Astros' George Springer, and he signed an incredibly team-friendly contract this past offseason worth a guaranteed $16.25 million through '22 with a club option of $10.5 million for '23. So why would the Royals trade him? For starters, Merrifield is 30 years old, and the Royals are likely multiple years away from contending. Furthermore, Kansas City just selected shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, making Witt and Adalberto Mondesi the team's middle infield of the future. While it would take a significant return, a Merrifield deal remains in play.

Thomas Harrigan is a reporter for MLB.com.