MLB trade deadline 2021: 10 potential deals, including Bryant, Gallo landing in New York and a Red Sox reunion


Baseball’s annual trade deadline is less than two weeks away and we’ve already seen some movement. The Brewers added Willy Adames and Rowdy Tellez, the Blue Jays added Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards, the Braves added Joc Pederson and Stephen Vogt, and it feels like more trades could happen at any moment. There is no shortage of motivated sellers and motivated buyers.

With that in mind, here are 10 trades we’d like to see before the deadline. Come with me, won’t you?

1. Bryant to the Mets

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The Mets already have three players who can play third base (JD Davis, Luis Guillorme, Jonathan Villar), but none can impact the game like Kris Bryant, who would also balance New York’s lefty-heavy lineup. The Cubs can give Bryant the qualifying offer after the season, so you have to give up something worth at least a supplemental first-round draft pick to get him, and that’s a price the Mets can (and should be willing) to pay. The Mets are among the lowest-scoring teams in baseball and Bryant would be a huge lift. 

2. Cruz to the Athletics

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Mitch Moreland has been injured and ineffective, so the Athletics have received some of the worst DH production in the league. Nelson Cruz would be a massive middle-of-the-lineup upgrade and the A’s are not afraid to make a big splash at the deadline. The Twins are out of it and there’s no sense in hanging onto a recently turned 41-year-old DH. Cruz is an obvious trade chip for Minnesota and Oakland has a glaring need at DH.

3. Frazier to the White Sox

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The White Sox are expected to get Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert back in the coming weeks, but Nick Madrigal is done for the year following hamstring surgery, and Adam Frazier has been among the best second basemen in the game this season. As an added bonus, he’s under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year, and Chicago could put him in the outfield in deference to Madrigal at second base next season (Frazier has played plenty of outfield in his career). The Pirates are in full rebuild mode and Frazier is their top trade chip. 

4. Gallo to the Yankees

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The whole “this lefty hitter will hit 50 homers in Yankee Stadium!” idea is overblown, but Joey Gallo might? If nothing else, he would give the Yankees a sorely needed left-handed bat, and he’d be a defensive upgrade in the outfield as well. Gallo is also under team control as an arbitration-eligible player next year, so even if the Yankees continue fading out of the race, they’d have him next year. The Rangers may never be able to get more for Gallo than right now, in the post-foreign substance crackdown world.

5. Gibson to the Cardinals

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The Cardinals have a pitching crisis. They have four starters on the injured list (Jack Flaherty, Dakota Hudson, Carlos Martínez, Miles Mikolas) and are currently starting Wade LeBlanc every fifth day. Even thought St. Louis is well out of the postseason race, Gibson is under contract for a mere $7 million next season, so he’s not a rental. Very productive and very affordable. Texas waited too long to trade Mike Minor and maybe even Lance Lynn too. Trading two postseason runs of Gibson rather than one (like Lynn) makes all the sense in the world.

6. Kennedy to the Astros

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There’s not much the Astros can do to get better at this point. They’re one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball and their rotation is sneaky excellent as well. The bullpen is a weakness, however, and while Ian Kennedy is not the sexiest name, he’s still very effective, and he’d free up manager Dusty Baker to use relief ace Ryan Pressly in high-leverage spots earlier in the game rather than marry him to the ninth inning. Kennedy is a free agent-to-be, so there’s no reason for the last-place Rangers to keep him.

7. Kimbrel to the Red Sox

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It’s all but certain the Cubs will trade Craig Kimbrel, who’s having an All-Star season, so why not a reunion with the Red Sox? Boston closer Matt Barnes is an All-Star as well, but there’s no such thing as too many good relievers, and Barnes recently signed a multi-year contract extension. He no longer has to worry about reducing his earning potential by moving out of the closer’s role.  Also, if the BoSox are feeling frisky, Kimbrel’s contract includes a $16 million club option for 2022. He doesn’t have to be a rental.

8. Marte to the Braves

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Ronald Acuña Jr. is done for the season and Marcell Ozuna might be as well giving his pending domestic violence investigation, meaning the Braves are looking at some combination of Ehire Adrianza, Abraham Almonte, Orlando Arcia, Guillermo Heredia, and Ender Inciarte in the outfield alongside the recently acquired Pederson. That’s not going to fly. Intra-division trades are always tricky, but Starling Marte is a rental, and the Marlins shouldn’t fret about dealing him within the NL East. Get the best return possible. Atlanta has a major need in the outfield and Marte is arguably the best outfielder on the trade market. 

9. Rodríguez to the Blue Jays

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The Blue Jays have one of the best run differentials in baseball, yet they’re still hovering around .500 because the bullpen has been such a weakness. Too many leads have slipped away the last few weeks. The last thing a rebuilding team like the Pirates needs is a great closer, and Richard Rodríguez is a great closer. He’s also under team control as an arbitration-eligible player through 2023, so he would be a long-term addition for an ascendant Blue Jays team. This is such an obvious and sensible fit.

10. Story to the Reds

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We’re in the second half now and the Reds remain within striking distance in the NL Central. They don’t have a true shortstop on the roster — their leaders in games played at the position are a catcher (Kyle Farmer) and a third baseman (Eugenio Suárez) — and they’ve received sub-replacement level production at the position. Trevor Story is one of the best shortstops in the game, so he’s an obvious upgrade, and he’s an impending free agent the Rockies should be motivated to trade.





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