These are the top 25 MLB trade chips to keep an eye on as we get closer to the annual trade deadline at the end of July.
As the month of July fast approaches, that means only one thing — MLB Trade Deadline season is almost here. The league has closed off the August waiver wire, meaning this year will have only one official, final chance for contenders to acquire the pieces they need to put themselves over the top. That could lead to more movement than usual, especially with many divisions and Wild Cards still completely up for grabs.
The New York Yankees have already made one big move to go out and trade for slugger Edwin Encarnacion to pack even more punch to a lineup that is now all the way back to full strength with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. The Yanks still need to bolster their rotation and will be in the market for a starter. The NL East is also an exciting division to keep an eye on, with the Washington Nationals fighting back from over 10 games below .500 to get back to the fringe of playoff contention. The Nats will be an interesting team to watch if they break down again or make a sustained push for contention.
In the AL Central, the Cleveland Indians are a team to watch at the deadline. After failing to crack .500 until the middle of June, they are now holding onto a Wild Card. The Indians contemplated trading a few of their starting pitchers this winter before electing to hold pat. The Tribe could still make an attempt to contend while selectively trading assets with an eye on the future.
This list is far from complete, but an attempt to predict the top players and prospects who could potentially come available depending on how the next month of the season plays out.
25. Noah Syndergaard
If the New York Mets are honest with themselves, they’ll admit that they should have traded ace Noah Syndergaard last summer. Instead, the Mets attempted to retool a very flawed roster into a contender by taking on Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz and signing Jacob deGrom to a long-term extension. Syndergaard stayed on the roster despite obvious interest from every contender with a deep farm system. In true Mets fashion, the attempt to keep pace with the younger teams of the division backfired spectacularly and Syndergaard is now on the Injured List with a hamstring strain.
The Mets still have a few years of team control to figure out if Syndergaard will be a part of their longer-term vision. He had struggled through his first 15 starts this season before injuring his hamstring. Syndergaard was 5-4 with a 4.55 ERA and had the lowest strikeout rate and highest home-run rate of his career before the injury.
There’s no rush for the Mets to trade Syndergaard this season, but if he is back on the mound and looking more dominant before the end of July, they may receive offers. If a good offer comes along, there may be no refusing it, especially considering the pitcher’s injury history and the Mets miserable track record.