MLB trade targets for each contender, plus deadline priorities for all 30 teams


With only 48 days remaining until the MLB trade deadline, it’s time to look at specific trade targets who make sense for the contending teams.

The biggest names being targeted by teams include starting pitchers such as Jesús Luzardo of the Marlins, Luis Severino of the Mets, Garrett Crochet and Erick Fedde of the White Sox, and Jack Flaherty of the Tigers. In terms of position players, Mets slugger Pete Alonso is the most high-profile name major-league executives believe will be traded at the deadline.

However, keep in mind that only five teams are nine games or more out of the playoff positions right now: the White Sox, A’s, Angels, Rockies and Marlins. A lot can and will change over the next 48 days, particularly in the final week leading up to the July 30 deadline, but if the wild-card races remain tight, those five teams might not be joined by many more “sellers.”

With about seven weeks to go, here’s a snapshot of where each team stands, including their trade deadline priorities and the positions they’re most focused on targeting, based on what I’m hearing in conversations with people across the game. For the contenders, I’ve broken out some possible trade targets as of today.

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American League East

New York Yankees

Position targets: First baseman, second baseman

1B: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Pete Alonso, Yandy Díaz, Connor Joe, Paul Goldschmidt, Josh Bell
2B: Nolan Gorman, Jonathan India, Edouard Julien

The Yankees will monitor the right side of their infield between now and the trade deadline with hopes that both first baseman Anthony Rizzo and second baseman Gleyber Torres start producing at a higher rate. If they don’t, the Yankees will look at possible trade options. Depending on what teams fall out of the race, whether certain players sign contract extensions and other factors, impact players such as Pete Alonso or Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could become available at first base. In terms of second base, there aren’t a lot of options much better than Torres. Gorman’s power would be intriguing, especially in Yankee Stadium with the small confines of right field. I still think the Yankees are more likely to stand pat at the deadline.

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Baltimore Orioles

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Tanner Scott has a 1.30 ERA in 26 appearances. He will be a free agent after this season. (Denis Poroy / USA Today)

Position targets: Closer, set-up relievers, right-handed-hitting outfielder

Closers: Mason Miller, Ryan Helsley, Kyle Finnegan, Camilo Doval, Tanner Scott
Set-up relievers: Dylan Floro, Austin Adams, Lucas Erceg, Steven Wilson

The Orioles have a legitimate shot at winning the AL East, the AL pennant and the World Series with their current roster. However, upgrades in the bullpen could be the difference in whether they accomplish any of those goals. Closer Craig Kimbrel has done the job as of late, but based on his recent history, Baltimore should be looking to add another closer or at the very least improve its set-up reliever depth. The Orioles have the best and deepest farm system in the sport, so it would be shocking if they don’t address their needs before the deadline.

Boston Red Sox

Position targets: Starting pitcher, shortstop

SP: Garrett Crochet, JP Sears, Tyler Anderson, Jesús Luzardo
SS: Blaze Alexander, Nick Ahmed, Kevin Newman

The Red Sox are looking to acquire more starting pitching and would love to add a left-hander to their mix. They’re also looking for a short-term shortstop to play the position until Trevor Story returns next year after recovering from shoulder surgery. The Diamondbacks activated Geraldo Perdomo this week from the injured list, which could allow them to dangle one of their other shortstops in exchange for bullpen help.

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Toronto Blue Jays

Position targets: Left fielder, third baseman

LF: Luis Robert Jr., Taylor Ward, Lane Thomas, Jesse Winker, Michael Conforto, Randy Arozarena
3B: Ryan McMahon, Jake Burger, Jeimer Candelario

The Blue Jays have the pitching and defense to be a playoff team, but they lack the offense to make it to the postseason, even as a wild-card team. That’s why they’re calling teams looking for bats, specifically a third baseman and left fielder.

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Tampa Bay Rays

Position targets: Offense, starting pitching depth

Last offseason, the Rays traded away their best starting pitcher, Tyler Glasnow, for financial reasons. Last August, they lost their best position player, Wander Franco, when allegations surfaced about an inappropriate relationship with a minor. To make matters worse, this season their best offensive players — Yandy Díaz, Brandon Lowe, Josh Lowe and Randy Arozarena — are all having bad years. This could be the trade deadline the Rays pivot and decide to “sell” instead of “buy” like they normally do, and just hit the reset button for 2025 and beyond.


American League Central

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Garrett Crochet has a 3.33 ERA over 14 starts this season and is under team control through 2026. (Benny Sieu / USA Today)

Cleveland Guardians

Position targets: Starting pitcher, corner outfield power bat

SP: Garrett Crochet, Jack Flaherty, Luis Severino, Erick Fedde, Chris Bassitt
OF: Luis Robert Jr., Taylor Ward, Jesús Sánchez, Randy Arozarena, Michael Conforto, Brent Rooker, Heston Kjerstad

The Guardians have established themselves as one of the top six teams in MLB this season and are now the favorites to win the AL Central. However, to make a deep run in October, they need to acquire another starting pitcher, preferably one who can miss bats, and an outfield power bat.

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Kansas City Royals

Position targets: Back end of the bullpen, corner outfield bat

Bullpen: Tanner Scott, Kyle Finnegan, Ryan Walker, Michael Kopech, Derek Law, Yimi García, Garrett Cleavinger
Corner OF: Luis Robert Jr., Heston Kjerstad, Taylor Ward, Eddie Rosario, Gavin Sheets, Jo Adell, Brent Rooker

Royals general manager J.J. Picollo already has been aggressive in trying to improve the back of their bullpen, but he won’t be able to meet the asking price for impact closers like Mason Miller of the A’s or Ryan Helsley of the Cardinals. However, a lot of quality relievers will be available on the market and that’s the main area Kansas City is committed to improving. The Royals have been led offensively by their two superstars, Bobby Witt, Jr. and Salvador Perez, but another part of their success is their lineup’s ability to avoid strikeouts. In fact, only two teams have struck out less than Kansas City. However, the front office would like to add another corner outfield bat if possible.

Minnesota Twins

Position targets: Right-handed-hitting corner outfielder, pitching depth

RHH corner OF: Luis Robert Jr., Heston Kjerstad, Randy Arozarena, Lane Thomas
Pitching depth: Erick Fedde, Patrick Sandoval, Luis Severino, Trevor Williams (IL)

The Twins are looking for a platoon type corner outfielder who hits right-handed. Like most teams, they also want to add some pitching depth, especially to their starting rotation, to protect from injuries.

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Detroit Tigers

Position targets: Lineup, starting pitching, bullpen

The Tigers aren’t likely to remain in the race and therefore will probably make trades to build for the future. Among the players they’d deal, starting pitcher Jack Flaherty has the most trade value. They also could trade closer Jason Foley and DH Mark Canha.

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Chicago White Sox

Position targets: Prospects

The White Sox are planning to have a fire sale, trading anyone and everyone off their major-league roster to build for the future. Luis Robert Jr. is their best trade asset and several teams could use him, including the Phillies, Mariners, Twins, Giants, Guardians, Blue Jays and Pirates. The White Sox also have two significant starting pitchers to deal in Garrett Crochet and Erick Fedde and some relievers to swap, headlined by Michael Kopech. The Sox are expected to be the cover story of this year’s trade deadline.


American League West

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Seattle needs offense, and Pete Alonso is expected to be the biggest bat traded at the deadline. (Gregory Fisher / USA Today)

Seattle Mariners

Position targets: Corner bat, bullpen arm

Corner bat: Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Luis Robert Jr., Paul Goldschmidt, Josh Bell, Brent Rooker, Lane Thomas, Taylor Ward
RP: Tanner Scott, Kyle Finnegan, Lucas Erceg, Austin Adams, Dylan Floro, Derek Law, Jalen Beeks, Jake Diekman

The Mariners have the starting pitching and defense to run the table in October but don’t have enough offense to make a deep postseason run, so it’s important for them to add bats at the trade deadline. Their front office also wants to add to the bullpen arsenal.

Texas Rangers

Position targets: Middle reliever, bench bat (and getting healthy)

Middle Reliever: Reed Garrett, T.J. McFarland, Austin Adams, Lucas Erceg, Dylan Floro, Steven Wilson, Jason Foley, JoJo Romero
Bench bat: Brendan Donovan, Eddie Rosario, Gavin Sheets, Tommy Pham

The Rangers are simply hoping they can get Jacob deGrom, Tyler Mahle, Max Scherzer, Cody Bradford and Josh Jung off the IL in time to make a strong run over the last two months of the season. They’re expected to just tweak the roster with bench and middle-relief upgrades.

Houston Astros

Position targets: Starting pitcher, first baseman, reliever

SP: Jesús Luzardo, Garrett Crochet, Luis Severino, Tyler Anderson, Jack Flaherty, Erick Fedde, Trevor Williams (IL)
1B: Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Paul Goldschmidt
RP: Kyle Finnegan, Michael Kopech, Lucas Erceg, Tanner Scott

The Astros got off to a slow start and have had to deal with significant injuries to their starting rotation. But somehow, they are still within striking distance, just 5 1/2 games out of a wild-card spot. Therefore, expect them to be aggressive at this year’s trade deadline. They are focused on adding a starting pitcher and middle reliever and will keep their eyes open for an upgrade at first base, if it makes sense.

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Los Angeles Angels

Position targets: Middle-of-the-order bat, back-of-the-bullpen depth

The Angels’ best trade assets will be starting pitchers Tyler Anderson and Patrick Sandoval and outfielder Taylor Ward. This is an important trade deadline for them as they really need to add to their thin prospect pool.

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Oakland A’s

Position targets: Shortstop, starting pitcher

The A’s have starting pitching to trade, such as JP Sears and Paul Blackburn (IL), and a bevy of relievers including Mason Miller, Lucas Erceg and Austin Adams. They want to keep Sears and Miller unless they receive an overwhelming offer. In the trades they do make, the A’s will be focused on getting back their long-term solution at shortstop and as many starting pitching prospects as possible.


National League East

Philadelphia Phillies

Position targets: outfielder

OF: Luis Robert Jr., Jake McCarthy, Tommy Pham, Lane Thomas, Gavin Sheets, Brendan Donovan, Jacob Young

The Phillies’ front office is trying to improve their outfield with either an offensive upgrade in center field or by adding complementary outfielders. They could do one-stop shopping with the White Sox to acquire Luis Robert Jr. and Tommy Pham but that would cost them three of their top-four prospects, or they could lower their sights to outfielders like Jacob Young of the Nationals or Jake McCarthy of the Diamondbacks.

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Tommy Pham is batting .280/.331/.402 in 142 plate appearances. The veteran outfielder is expected to be traded. (Wendell Cruz / USA Today)

Atlanta Braves

Position targets: fourth outfielder, possibly a starting pitcher

OF: Tommy Pham, Eddie Rosario, Gavin Sheets, Jake McCarthy, Ian Happ, Heston Kjerstad, Jesús Sánchez, Jake Fraley, Michael Conforto, Randy Arozarena, Wenceel Pérez, Mike Yastrzemski
SP: Erick Fedde, Trevor Williams (IL), Paul Blackburn (IL)

Yes, the Braves lost the reigning NL MVP, Ronald Acuña Jr., and the preseason favorite for the NL Cy Young Award, Spencer Strider, to season-ending injuries. But that’s not going to stop them from making the playoffs as a wild-card team, though they do need to improve their corner outfield depth and maybe add a back-of-the rotation starter depending on how their young starters pitch over the next seven weeks.

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Washington Nationals

Position targets: two middle-of-the-order bats, promote prospects

The Nationals entered Thursday one game out of playoff position in the tight NL wild-card race, and president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo will not give in if they have a chance to win. However, if things go south between now and the end of July, he does have a lot of valuable trade pieces including: starter Trevor Williams (currently on the injured list); relievers Kyle Finnegan, Dylan Floro and Derek Law; corner outfielder Lane Thomas; and a bevy of bench assets, from Eddie Rosario to Joey Gallo to Nick Senzel to Jesse Winker. The Nationals are more likely to promote prospects from the farm system to address their major-league needs than do so through external additions.

New York Mets

Position targets: Prospects, starting pitching, offense

The Mets are going to be sellers because they need to take advantage of this trade deadline to keep adding solid prospects to their farm system. They have the headliner of this year’s deadline, first baseman Pete Alonso, whom they haven’t been able to extend to a long-term contract. It makes sense for them to trade him for prospects now and then try to re-sign him in the offseason. If the Mets keep Alonso and he leaves in free agency, they will get only a fourth-round draft pick as compensation. Meanwhile, right-hander Luis Severino will be one of the most sought-after starters at the deadline and could bring back a haul as well.

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Miami Marlins

Position targets: Offense, particularly corner bats

The Marlins don’t have any untouchables and lefty starter Jesús Luzardo has the most trade value of anyone on their roster. Teams are already calling them about closer Tanner Scott and the Marlins are preparing to trade first baseman Josh Bell as well. They are looking for trades that improve their offense with focus on corner outfielders. They are interested in prospects or major-league-ready players with little to no service time.


National League Central

Milwaukee Brewers

Position targets: Starting pitching, relief pitching

SP: Jesús Luzardo, Luis Severino, Tyler Anderson, Garrett Crochet, Erick Fedde, Jack Flaherty, Trevor Williams (IL)
RP: Kyle Finnegan, Lucas Erceg, Austin Adams, Dylan Floro, Michael Kopech, Tanner Scott

The Brewers have made it clear to other teams that they’re satisfied with their position player pool but want to improve their starting and relief pitching at the trade deadline. However, if they can’t land the pitching they seek, they could shock us by adding an impact first-base bat such as Pete Alonso, Yandy Díaz or Paul Goldschmidt.

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Elias Díaz, an impending free agent, has a .791 OPS. (Andrew Wevers / USA Today)

Chicago Cubs

Position targets: Catcher, bullpen depth, impact bat

C: Elias Díaz, MJ Melendez, Connor Wong, Shea Langeliers, Danny Jansen
RP: T.J. McFarland, Michael Kelly, Steven Wilson, Michael Kopech, Garrett Cleavinger, Calvin Faucher, Victor Vodnik
Impact bat: Pete Alonso, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Cubs have had almost no offensive production from their catchers as Miguel Amaya has hit .191 with two home runs and Yan Gomes .153 with two homers. They also need to improve their bullpen depth. While seeking to fill those two needs, they also have shown interest in acquiring an impact corner bat.

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Cincinnati Reds

Position targets: Offense, bullpen depth

Offense: Brent Rooker, J.D. Martinez, Josh Bell, Eloy Jiménez
RP: Michael Kelly, Dylan Floro, Jason Foley, Jake Diekmann

The Reds have been decimated by injuries and suspensions, including losing Noelvi Marte for 80 games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, losing Matt McLain to shoulder surgery, and losing TJ Friedl, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and others for significant stretches on the IL. They also have received subpar seasons from many of their players, from Spencer Steer to Will Benson to Jeimer Candelario, though he’s gotten hot of late. The Reds are hoping the players on their roster will get healthy and reinstated from the IL or just play to their accustomed levels. However, if they can add a bat via trade they will. In addition, they must improve the depth of their bullpen if they want to remain in the playoff hunt all season.

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St. Louis Cardinals

Position targets: Proven starting pitcher
SP: Erick Fedde, Trevor Williams (IL), Paul Blackburn (IL), Tyler Anderson

I think the Cardinals should be selling at the deadline, highlighted by impact closer Ryan Helsley, starting pitchers Lance Lynn and Kyle Gibson, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and whatever outfielders other teams want. However, they are focused on making the playoffs this year and have identified an affordable veteran starting pitcher as their biggest need.

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Pittsburgh Pirates

Position targets: Offense

Offense: Luis Robert Jr., Brent Rooker, Bryan De La Cruz, Jesús Sánchez, Tyler O’Neill, Eloy Jiménez, J.D. Martinez, Taylor Ward, Ryan McMahon

There is a lot of excitement in Pittsburgh with the emergence of rookie starting pitchers Paul Skenes and Jared Jones who, along with veteran Mitch Keller, have given the Pirates a starting rotation with arguably the best Nos. 1-3 in the division. If they can just improve their offense to middle of the pack, they might be able to stay in the wild-card race all season.


National League West

Los Angeles Dodgers

Position targets: Outfield, bullpen

OF: Luis Robert Jr., Cedric Mullins, Taylor Ward, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Michael Conforto, Spencer Steer, Ian Happ
RP: Tanner Scott, Kyle Finnegan, Michael Kopech

The Dodgers are a top-heavy team. The top five hitters in their lineup — Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Teoscar Hernández — are all expected to make the All-Star team. But the bottom of the lineup has underwhelmed and could use an upgrade, especially with another outfielder. In addition, the Dodgers, like most contenders at the trade deadline, will look to fortify the bullpen.

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Jesús Luzardo is among the top starters being targeted by teams. After reaching an agreement on the Luis Arraez trade in May, could the Padres and Marlins strike another deal? (Rich Storry / USA Today)

San Diego Padres

Position targets: Impact starter, right-handed reliever, bench upgrade

SP: Jesús Luzardo, Garrett Crochet, Erick Fedde, Jack Flaherty
RP: Lucas Erceg, Adam Ottavino, Hunter Strickland, Carlos Estévez, Kyle Finnegan, Michael Kopech, Steven Wilson
Bench: Brendan Donovan, Tommy Edman, Abraham Toro

The Padres always like to make a splash and this trade deadline looks to be no different as they’ve already talked with the Marlins about Jesús Luzardo and the White Sox about both Garrett Crochet and Erick Fedde, and the Tigers about Jack Flaherty. They also would like to pick up another right-handed reliever and a role player.

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San Francisco Giants

Position targets: Shortstop, center fielder

SS: Bo Bichette (but he’s not getting traded), Willy Adames (not getting traded), Paul DeJong, Zach Neto (not getting traded), Blaze Alexander, José Caballero
CF: Luis Robert Jr., Jarren Duran, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Cedric Mullins, Harrison Bader, Leody Taveras, Jacob Young, Jake Meyers

The Giants would like to find a full-time solution at shortstop and a stopgap for center field to replace the injured Jung Hoo Lee. They should be able to stay in the wild-card race all season considering they’re expecting to get starting pitchers Blake Snell, Robbie Ray and Alex Cobb back from the injured list at different points, a rotation boost which would change the dynamics for this team.

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Arizona Diamondbacks

Position targets: Reliever (and getting healthy)

RP: Michael Kelly, Dylan Floro, Reed Garrett, T.J. McFarland, Austin Adams, Lucas Erceg, Dylan Floro, Steven Wilson, Jason Foley, JoJo Romero

Like the Giants, the Diamondbacks have a strong trio of starting pitchers on the IL — Zac Gallen, Eduardo Rodriguez and Merrill Kelly — and they’re hoping all three are ready to return by the end of July if all goes well. In the meantime, they’re looking to add a reliever as well as some starting pitching depth at the deadline. They are open to bringing in another bat, too.

Colorado Rockies

Position targets: Starting and relief pitching

The Rockies are looking for pitching, pitching and more pitching in every trade they make. However, they’re not expected to be active at this year’s trade deadline. Catcher Elias Díaz, an impending free agent, is the player the Rockies are most likely to trade, and they match up well with the Cubs in a deal for a solid pitching prospect. They also could move a couple of relievers such as left-hander Jalen Beeks and right-hander Victor Vodnik.

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(Top image: Dan Goldfarb / The Athletic. Photo: iStock)



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