5 teams that should be sellers at MLB trade deadline

By Matt Johnson
Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

We’re approaching the midway point of the 2020 MLB season and the trade deadline, set for Aug. 31, is quickly approaching. While the expanded playoff field will provide some clubs with more opportunities to contend, several teams would be better off being sellers at the deadline.

We’re approaching the midway point of the 2020 MLB season and the trade deadline, set for Aug. 31, is quickly approaching. While the expanded playoff field will provide some clubs with more opportunities to contend, several teams would be better off being sellers at the deadline.

We’re approaching the midway point of the 2020 MLB season and the trade deadline, set for Aug. 31, is quickly approaching. While the expanded playoff field will provide some clubs with more opportunities to contend, several teams would be better off being sellers at the deadline.

With the MLB trade deadline now just two weeks away, let’s examine five teams that should be sellers.

Boston Red Sox

It should’ve become clear the direction Boston was headed after trading Mookie Betts and David Price. Once Chris Sale went down with Tommy John Surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez was shut down due to a heart issue caused by COVID-19, the Red Sox were done.

In the next two weeks, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom needs to unload a lot of veteran talent. J.D. Martinez is the best player Boston would likely trade, but ownership might need to attach some cash if he exercises his $19.35 million option next year. Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mitch Moreland should also attract interest, netting the Red Sox with depth for a farm system that desperately needs it.

MORE: Five players who could be traded before MLB trade deadline

New York Mets

When the year starter, it seemed like the Mets could be a contender this season. They built an excellent, deep rotation and an improved bullpen could help push this team into October. Unfortunately, as happens every year with this club, bad breaks wiped out hopes of serious contention.

The Mets are still technically hanging around, but a 9-13 record with a thinning rotation makes it likely they will slip further in the standings. New York might not have bats to move, but relievers Seth Lugo (2.89 ERA) and Edwin Diaz (2.16 ERA) would generate plenty of interest. Given the direction this team is headed, trading relievers for prospects would be the smart approach for the club’s long-term outlook.

Houston Astros

Things might be looking up for Houston after series victories over the San Francisco Giants and Seattle Mariners. However, the front office should recognize that they might just be an average team that can only be counted on to beat some of the worst clubs in baseball.

Things would be different if Justin Verlander or Houston’s bullpen were healthy. But with the current roster, the Astros have little chance of competing with the New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Minnesota Twins or Oakland Athletics. The Astros can keep their core, but they should trade either Michael Brantley or George Springer. One of the two will be too expensive to re-sign, making now the time to send them off to restock the farm system.

Kansas City Royals

Kansas City is proving to be a thorn in the Twins’ side this season. Outside of that, the Royals aren’t a club that is ready to win. This is an organization that should be entering a transition and that means selling off win-now assets to build for a better tomorrow.

The Royals have two impact players who could move in Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield. Perez, a six-time All-Star and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, is perfect for teams like the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays. Meanwhile, Merrifield could be the top trade target at the deadline as an impact player sought by nearly every contender. While moving on from two clubhouse leaders would be tough, it would be the best move for the future.

Pittsburgh Pirates

This is the most obvious seller heading into MLB’s trade deadline. Pittsburgh is just starting its rebuild, with an effort that began this offseason by trading Starling Marte. While there might not be a ton of talent to move, the Pirates should still be active in tearing down the roster and completely overhauling the farm system.

All-Star first baseman Josh Bell is the top trade chip, due to his talent, age and a team-friendly contract. Pittsburgh can also move closer Keone Kela. The 27-year-old just returned from the COVID-19 injured list and he was brilliant in 2019 (2.12 ERA, 1.01 WHIP). If the Pirates can get anything decent for infielder Adam Frazier or reliever Richard Rodriguez, that will be a win for general manager Ben Cherington.