Here are the top seven guys that should be traded before the 2019 July deadline.
1. Yankees- Miguel Andujar
Miguel Andujar is a talented young ball player. Relatively soon though, there won’t be enough room for him. With Didi Gregorius most likely returning before the July deadline, you now have three guys ( Andujar, Gregorius, and Torres ) who all deserve to play. Sadly for Andujar, he should be the odd-man out.
Andujar had 27 home runs, 92 RBIs, a batting average of .297, and an on-base percentage of .328 through 573 at-bats in 2018.
So as you can see, there is no question that if put on the trade block, he will catch the interest of a lot of teams, despite having poor fielding ability.
This trade makes sense for the Yankees, as they simply don’t have room for all three players. The Yankees need a starting pitcher to keep up with the Red Sox, and I can see Andujar being the trade-bait that gets them their guy.
2. Red Sox- Christian Vazquez
Vazquez had a poor 2018 season, as he hit just .207 with an OBP of .257 through 251 at-bats. It’s not that impressive, but he is only 28 years old, and he has potential. Through his career, he has had a batting average of .246, so like I said, he has potential to be a decent catcher in the league.
The main issue is that the Red Sox have three catchers on the roster, none of which are impressive. Nor does Boston have time to develop any of them as they are in a win now mode.
It makes sense for Boston to move Vazquez because they are going to have a hole in the line-up with any catcher they put in there, so they might as well get rid of this guy and try and improve that pathetic bullpen.
The trade won’t make a lot of noise, but it could be a huge trade come postseason when they are able to fix their major bullpen issue, with a guy that wouldn’t be playing a lot anyway.
3. White Sox- Jose Abreu
It doesn’t make any sense for the young Chicago team to hold onto Abreu. They aren’t ready to be contenders, and he can’t be a part of their long term plan as he is already 32.
They need to trade him while he is still productive. Abreu hit 22 home runs, 78 RBIs, had a batting average of .265, and an OBP of .325 in 2018.
Come July, a team who is looking to contend in the postseason but has a bit of a shaky offense, such as maybe the Rays, will be looking and willing to shell out some decent prospects for a guy like Abreu.
This trade just makes sense for the White Sox, and I would be very surprised if it doesn’t happen.
4. Cubs- Ian Happ
Ian Happ is not a starter for the Chicago Cubs, but he has too much potential to ride the pine in 2019.
Where the Cubs currently stand, and especially when Addison Russell returns from suspension, it does not look like Ian Happ will be getting many at-bats. Chicago is ready to win now, and even though they can see his potential, they don’t have the time to wait on it.
He’s a switch hitter, utility player, and has power. And the best part, he’s only 24 years old.
The Cubs have needs, and those needs come in pitching, not another second baseman. As long as the Cubs are on the right track to make the postseason by July, I would not be surprised to see Happ be shipped out of Chicago.
5. Rangers- Joey Gallo
The Rangers are a mess and have no reason to keep a guy like Gallo.
I personally am not a big fan of his style of play, which is swinging for the fences every at bat, but I can see why some teams would want him.
Joey Gallo had 40 home runs, 92 RBIs, and an OBP of .312 last year. At first glance, you’re thinking why wouldn’t I want this guy? Well, he also only had a batting average of .206 with 206 strikeouts in 500 at bats. No, that is not a typo. He struck out 41.2% of the time.
Even with that terrible strikeout rate, he will get teams to interest for that home run potential. Some contender is going to see Gallo as a dangerous pinch hitter for the postseason and be willing to give up a prospect or two for him.
6. Astros- Hector Rondon
Keeping Rondon doesn’t hurt the Astros, but they also aren’t gaining much by keeping him. The Astros have a solid 3 other guys that they will probably be opting for over Rondon, and his relatively cheap contract makes him decent trade bait for the Astros.
He had a 3.20 ERA in 2018 and has a career ERA of 3.22 so you know what you’ll be getting from Rondon.
The Astros could only get better by trading Rondon, so I see this trade being very possible.
7. Blue Jays- Justin Smoak
Toronto is between rebuilding and contending, which is why they need to accept that this year isn’t the year and get what they can out of Smoak.
Justin is already 32 years old, so the odds that he is in their long term picture aren’t high. He is still productive though, so they can certainly get some decent prospects out of him.
Smoak had 25 home runs, 77 RBIs, a .242 batting average and an OBP of .350 in 2018. He could certainly fill some teams needs at first base or even DH for some decent prospects.