The 2016 MLB season is going roughly as planned, as the World Series favorites – the Chicago Cubs – look the part of a champion and most of the other top playoff threats are following closely behind. The Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, New York Mets, and Los Angeles Dodgers are all as good as ever – either sitting pretty in first place in their respective divisions, or in position to strike.
There are several teams that aren’t in a great spot, however, and if they want to improve this year or in the near future, they’re going to want to start making some news. This means acquiring a big name star, bringing in assets or simply cutting dead weight. There are a number of players that represent a problem for some teams, and they could soon be on the move. We detail the six that should be moved the fastest:
Ryan Braun, OF, Milwaukee Brewers
Braun is past his steroids issue of over a year ago and is actually enjoying a fantastic season, but the time could be now for the Brewers to part ways with their franchise player. Not only does Milwaukee have some nice young talent waiting to rise up the ranks, but the clock is ticking on getting something in return for the 32-year old outfielder. Braun can still mash the ball and is hitting a blistering .321 on the year, making now the best possible time to get value in return for him.
Braun is understandably a “hot name” out on the trading block, and with numerous teams looking for quality hitting and veteran leadership, he’s one of the leading candidates to be moved before this year’s MLB trade deadline.
Prediction: Milwaukee sheds their franchise player’s bloated salary and brings in some youth to keep building.
Julio Teheran, SP, Atlanta Braves
The Braves are one of the worst teams in the league and badly need to address their offense if they’re ever going to turn things around. Teheran may be their best trading chip, as he’s actually having a stellar 2016 run and at this point may be their best player.
It could be tough to part ways with the 25-year old hurler, but Teheran could get back quite a haul if the Braves deal with the right team. The New York Yankees could make some sense at first glance, as they aren’t getting a ton of consistency out of their starting pitchers and they have some bats they could potentially shed.
Boston Red Sox trade rumors: Braves’ Julio Teheran a potential target; should Sox pursue a trade? https://t.co/ZVX5hQVOZZ
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) June 10, 2016
We could keep it in the AL East here and look at the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, as well. In fact, both Boston and Baltimore are in better shape than New York offensively these days and may need pitching help even more.
Prediction: The Braves cut their losses and load up on some offense, dealing Teheran to the Orioles.
Jonathan Lucroy, C, Milwaukee Brewers
You can toss Lucroy’s name in with teammate Braun’s, as there have been many whispers about a full rebuild for a young Milwaukee team.
Ryan Braun on trade rumor season: “I think 90 percent of what’s mentioned out there is probably inaccurate.” https://t.co/QZba27i0vZ
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) June 7, 2016
It may not be a great idea to shed all of their stud veterans, but the Brewers want to get better with young talent, and not hold onto bloated salaries that are weighing down a losing organization. Lucroy could fit right in there, as the 29-year old catcher is enjoying a strong season of his own, but faces a club option next year. Getting rid of Lucroy before he possibly comes off the books could be just as big of a move as shipping away Braun’s meaty salary.
Prediction: Milwaukee holds onto Lucroy for now and instead deals Braun for all they can get, freeing up some cap room and keeping the lineup solid in the process.
Carlos Gonzalez, OF, Colorado Rockies
Cargo was involved in trade rumors for much of 2015, a season that ended with star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki getting dealt. Gonzalez hasn’t been shipped off yet and is actually enjoying a great year, but the Rockies are slipping out of contention after a fairly good start to the season and may see now as a good time to get all they can for one of their best offensive weapons.
Blessed with solid offensive depth, Colorado can afford to give up one of their best bats, provided they can get some pitching help and/or valuable assets in return.
Prediction: The Rockies keep building with their young pitching, hold onto Cargo and hope next year is their time to rise up.
Andrew Cashner, SP, San Diego Padres
The Padres have been rumored to be interested in dealing some of their top arms for a while now and finally just unloaded James Shields to the White Sox. They continue to flounder and aren’t going anywhere this year, so it may pay to get rid of The Cash Man, as well.
Cashner hasn’t enjoyed the best 2016 run (4.78 ERA), but he has shown a propensity to get guys to swing in the past. He’d be a quality depth piece for the right contender and San Diego wants to move the 29-year old.
Prediction: San Diego gets rid of yet another pitcher in Cashner, cutting their losses and taking whatever they can in return.
Jay Bruce, OF, Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are yet again far out of the MLB playoff picture, which should have them thinking about a fire sale.
I sense a trade coming very soon for Sox. Jay Bruce, or CarGo. One of those two will be on the South Side by June 30th.
— Josh Nelson (@SSS_joshnelson) June 10, 2016
You could probably throw Joey Votto into the mix here, but one way or another Cincy needs to get young and find a way to bring in some defensive help. That may be needed most in the form of pitching and shopping a strong hitter like Bruce might be the best way to get it.
Prediction: Reds try to trade Bruce but don’t find a deal they love. They can exercise their club option next year and try to trade him again then.