There is nothing sports fans love more than a blockbuster trade that shakes up the league and changes the course of two franchises for years to come. While the MLB trade deadline is still more than a month away, this could be a special year when we see multiple All-Stars moved.
Many of this year’s top contenders also boast some of the best farm systems in MLB. Meanwhile, once great teams carried by young stars are now sinking and in need of a shakeup to help spark a turnaround with a new, young core in the coming years.
While not every high-profile player will be moved, it’s never too early to explore some potential mega deals that would shake up baseball for years to come. Here are five MLB blockbuster deals we’d love to see this summer.
Francisco Lindor to the Tampa Bay Rays
While Lindor is a star in Cleveland right now, team owner Paul Dolan indicated fans should enjoy him while they can. This is a club that wants to cut spending and Lindor is headed for huge money in the final two years of arbitration. His value is at its peak and that makes it the perfect time to move him rather than towards the end of his deal when Cleveland would get a fraction of the return.
The Rays are in the thick of an AL East race with a shot to compete for the World Series. Lindor would likely cost at least top prospects Brent Honeywell, Jesus Sanchez, Ronaldo Hernandez and potentially Willy Adames as the headlines. For a small-market club with the lowest payroll in MLB, adding an MVP-caliber bat to that lineup would make this club a potential Word Series favorite for years to come.
Matt Boyd and Shane Greene to the Minnesota Twins
The Twins are one of the more surprising success stories in MLB this season and they’ll need to take advantage this trade season. While inner-division blockbusters are rare, teams are reportedly more willing to make them now than years prior.
Greene and Boyd fill two obvious needs for the Twins. Boyd’s 3.08 ERA and 105 strikeouts would slide in perfectly between José Berríos and Jake Odorizzi to strengthen Minnesota’s rotation. Meanwhile, Greene would handle closer’s role and strengthen a bullpen that is proving it needs reinforcements rather soon.
While a deal would likely have to center around Minnesota’s top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol and could involve infield prospect Nick Gordon, the long-term upgrades to the rotation and bullpen Detroit’s duo would provide is worth it.
Trevor Bauer to the San Diego Padres
While the Padres might not be major contenders this season, a move to acquire an ace would put them in the wild-card hunt and make them an even greater playoff threat in 2020.
Bauer is under team control through the 2020 season and then only wants to sign one-year deals when he hits free agency, which could also work for San Diego. He’s a gifted pitcher and a move to the N.L. could help him post even better numbers while serving as a co-ace with Chris Paddack.
San Diego could send infield prospect Luis Urias and pitcher Ryan Weathers to Cleveland as the centerpieces, a win-win deal for both teams as the Padres pushed their way to contention and Cleveland prepares for an organizational reset.
Madison Bumgarner to the New York Yankees
San Francisco desperately needs to start over and with an aging roster and one of the worst farm systems in baseball, moving Bumgarner is the best solution. While the Giants won’t land as much as they would have a year ago, it’s still important to get something substantial for the impending free agent.
Bumgarner should draw interest from a variety of contenders, but a deal with the Yankees stands out. New York’s farm system is deep and it can afford to put together a package with No. 4 prospect Deivi Garcia and No. 9 prospect Antonio Cabello as the featured pieces going to San Francisco.
The Yankees would pick up a front-line starter with excellent postseason appearance, while the Giants land two high-upside talents that could be part of the team’s next core in a few years.
Max Scherzer to the Houston Astros
Scherzer is once again at the top of his game, even if his teammates aren’t doing him any favors getting wins. While Washington would love to hang onto the face of the franchise, getting out from his contract and an overwhelming haul might be enough to do the trick.
Houston is one of the few teams with the prospects to pull it off. A deal would have to include one of Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker, consensus top-10 prospects in MLB and likely include pitching prospect J.B Bukauskas and either prospect Seth Beer or Freudis Nova to even get a conversation started.
It would be a sizable price for the Astros, but the upside can’t be denied. Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole would be one of the best rotation trios in baseball history. Houston’s offense is already loaded and if carrying that trio into the postseason, this team would essentially be unstoppable. Even if Cole left in free agency, the Verlander-Scherzer duo could still dominate for multiple years to come.