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Sports 10 AL players who could be traded this winter

16:25  05 december  2020
16:25  05 december  2020 Source:   thescore.com

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10 players (not named Betts or Lindor) who could get traded this winter . The big names involved in trade rumors this offseason are Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor and the entire Cubs Quick take: Maybe the best reason to keep Merrifield, however, is that the AL Central could be wide open in a

The lowdown: The 2015 AL Cy Young winner was looking for a big deal as a free agent last offseason and didn't get one, finally signing a one-year deal with The lowdown: Encarnacion had a busy year, getting traded from Cleveland to Seattle in the offseason and then from Seattle to the Yankees in June.

In this two-part series teeing up next week's (virtual) winter meetings, theScore's MLB editors identify 10 players who could be dealt in each league this offseason and rate their likelihood of being traded.

a baseball player holding a bat while wearing a uniform © Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport / Getty
  • 10 NL trade candidates

Francisco Lindor, Indians, SS

Francisco Lindor wearing a uniform: Joe Sargent / Major League Baseball / Getty © Provided by theScore Joe Sargent / Major League Baseball / Getty

Remaining contract: Final year of arb

Trade probability: ★★★★★

Potential fits: Blue Jays, Reds, Mets, Yankees, Phillies, Cardinals

The Cleveland Indians reportedly intend to trade their All-Star shortstop at some point this winter, which makes him the most coveted player in the game. He has only one year remaining on his contract, but Lindor could be the difference between a team being a playoff hopeful and a legitimate World Series contender. The club that acquires him - for what should be a top-notch collection of prospects - would likely be the first in line to negotiate an extension, similar to how the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Mookie Betts to a 12-year pact after acquiring him from the Boston Red Sox.

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Blake Snell, Rays, SP

a baseball player holding a bat on a field: Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 3 years, $40.8M

Trade probability: ★★★★☆

Potential fits: Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Dodgers, Marlins, Mets, Padres, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins, White Sox, Yankees

Since getting controversially lifted in the decisive Game 6 of the World Series against the Dodgers, it's seemed Snell's days with the Tampa Bay Rays are numbered. Now, his name is unsurprisingly popping up in the rumor mill as the Rays look poised to continue trading their players at the peak of their value after inking them to a team-friendly contract. To date, the Rays have paid Snell just under $9 million, but the left-hander's salary goes up to $11 million next year and increases incrementally over the subsequent two seasons. If the front office believes it can get back pieces that help the team win both now and in the future while cutting costs, it'll do it. If not, the Rays could keep their Cy Young winner for one more season.

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Gary Sanchez, Yankees, C

a baseball player holding a bat: Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Elsa / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 2nd-year arb (FA after 2022)

Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Potential fits: Cardinals, Marlins, Mets, Padres, Rays, Rockies

Sanchez is coming off an atrocious season both at the dish and behind it, but one of those seems fixable. Among all hitters with at least 150 plate appearances last year, Sanchez finished second-last with a .159 BABIP. Sure, part of that is because he's slow, but he was also incredibly unlucky: Sanchez was 97th percentile in barrel rate, 92nd percentile in hard-hit rate, and 89th percentile in exit velocity, according to Baseball Savant. There's no reason he can't morph back into the prodigious slugger he once was, and it may take just one team banking on that happening to lure him away from the New York Yankees.

Lance Lynn, Rangers, SP

a man in a baseball uniform throwing a ball: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 1-year, $9.33M

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Those are some exceptional players , and the truth is , we ’ re just scratching the surface. With that in mind, here are 25 players we think could be dealt As such, he’s shaping up as one of the most likely players to be moved this winter . Kendrick has one year and $ 10 M left on his contract, so he could

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Trade probability: ★★★★★

Potential fits: Twins, Phillies, Angels, White Sox, Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees

The best time to trade Lynn was this past summer after he posted a 1.93 ERA through his first eight starts. The second-best time to trade him is this offseason. The wheels came off in September (5.51 ERA, 1.29 WHIP), but he proved he can stabilize a rotation. He eats innings for breakfast, throwing fewer than six in only two of his 13 starts in 2020. The Texas Rangers have made him available, so it may be a matter of when, not if he gets dealt.

Whit Merrifield, Royals, 2B

Whit Merrifield standing on a baseball field: Duane Burleson / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Duane Burleson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 2 years, $9.5M (2023 team option)

Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Potential fits: Angels, Athletics, Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Phillies, Rays, Reds, Twins, Yankees

The Kansas City Royals shouldn't necessarily be motivated to move Merrifield, who's under team control for another three years on a very reasonable contract. However, the utility man is entering his age-32 season and may not be around when Kansas City enters its next window of contention. Once DJ LeMahieu lands somewhere in free agency, Merrifield's market could develop from the teams that missed out, and the Royals would be wise to listen.

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Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Blue Jays, OF

a baseball player wearing a blue shirt: Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty © Provided by theScore Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

Remaining contract: 3 years, $14.7M + final arb year

Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Potential fits: Indians, Cubs, Rays, Rockies, Astros, Giants

The Blue Jays signed Gurriel to a seven-year, $22-million contract as an international free agent ahead of the 2017 season. He since became a mainstay and moved to the outfield once the Toronto Blue Jays' infield got a tad crowded. With Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. presumably untouchable, Gurriel's name has popped up in rumors as a potential piece in a big trade for Lindor, Snell, or someone who fits a similar profile. His contract is very team-friendly and he's improving with each passing year.

Andrew Benintendi, Red Sox, OF

a baseball player holding a bat: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 1-year, $6.6M + final arb year

Trade probability: ★★☆☆☆

Potential fits: Angels, Athletics, Blue Jays, Brewers, Cardinals, Giants, Indians, Marlins, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Twins

The Red Sox shouldn't be terribly motivated to move Benintendi, as chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom continues to evaluate the roster. However, if teams are willing to pay up for an outfielder who struggled last season, Boston could send him packing and look to top-tier free agents to fill the void. At his best, Benintendi has shown elite discipline, approach, and on-base acumen. However, his pop hasn't yet materialized and his defense won't play in center field, so a change of scenery may be worthwhile.

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Michael Fulmer, Tigers, SP

a baseball player is getting ready to pitch the ball: Harrison Barden / Major League Baseball / Getty © Provided by theScore Harrison Barden / Major League Baseball / Getty

Remaining contract: 2nd-year arb (FA after 2022)

Trade probability: ★★★★☆

Potential fits: Angels, Twins, Padres, Mets, Reds, Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals

Fulmer's numbers this past season weren't pretty, to put it lightly, but the right-hander was returning from Tommy John surgery. He's not far removed from being one of baseball's most exciting young pitchers. Fulmer won the AL Rookie of the Year and finished 10th in Cy Young voting in 2016 when he went 11-7 with a 3.06 ERA over 26 starts. He was an All-Star the following year before things started to unravel. With Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Spencer Turnbull in the rotation, Matt Manning on the verge, and the team tendering Matt Boyd a contract, Fulmer doesn't have a clear, long-term fit.

Kyle Seager, Mariners, 3B

a baseball player throwing a ball: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 1-year, $18.5M (2022 team option)

Trade probability: ★★★★☆

Potential fits: Blue Jays, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Rays

The Seattle Mariners already made arguably the hardest move toward their future by letting Felix Hernandez leave last winter via free agency. Now, as the team seems to be entering its new era, it seems increasingly likely Seattle could ship out Seager. The 33-year-old could fetch a worthwhile return to complement a roster headlined by Kyle Lewis, Jarred Kelenic, and Julio Rodriguez.

Matt Chapman, Athletics, 3B

a man standing on a baseball field: Lindsey Wasson / Getty Images Sport / Getty © Provided by theScore Lindsey Wasson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Remaining contract: 1st-year arb (FA after 2023)

Trade probability: ★☆☆☆☆

Potential fits: Nationals, Braves, Blue Jays, Yankees, Dodgers, Cardinals, White Sox

The Oakland Athletics - like the Rays - famously cut bait when their star players get expensive. Though first baseman Matt Olson seems like the player the A's would prefer to part with, Chapman plays the more premium position and would fetch a better haul. It will largely depend on if he's fully recovered from the hip injury that forced him to miss the last few weeks of the season. Oakland fans surely still remember the trade that sent Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays in November 2014. Donaldson was similarly hitting arbitration for the first time and due for a significant raise. It seems unlikely the team will make the same mistake again, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

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