With just over a week until the 2022 MLB Winter Meetings, here's a look at 15 noteworthy potential trade candidates.
Pablo López: RHP, Miami Marlins
The Yankees and Marlins discussed a trade for López before the trade deadline, and there figures to be quite a bit of interest in the 26-year-old again this offseason. Since the start of the 2020 season, López has a 3.52 ERA and 3.48 FIP in 63 starts. With two remaining years of arbitration eligibility until free agency, interest should be strong in López. And unless there's a sudden willingness to make significant free-agent investments to improve a dormant offense, dealing from their excellent crop of pitching may be the best path forward for the Fish.
Bryan Reynolds: CF, Pittsburgh Pirates
At this point, Reynolds' claim-to-fame nationally is being mentioned every trade season with the qualifier that "the Pirates probably aren't going to trade him in the end." Reynolds looked on the verge of becoming a superstar when he posted a .912 OPS and and 6.1 WAR in 2021. He had a nice season in 2022 -- .807 OPS, 2.9 WAR -- but it wasn't close to the production from his breakout campaign from the prior season. His value is also much higher if he stays in center field, but Reynolds had -14 defensive runs saved and -7 outs above average in 2022, so perhaps he's destined for a corner outfield spot. And while there's a lot to like about Reynolds, he may not be someone a team is willing to give up a king's ransom for.
Rafael Devers: 3B, Boston Red Sox
It would seem unthinkable to part ways with Devers, but so did trading Mookie Betts in his prime. So would allowing Xander Bogaerts to depart in free agency, which may very well happen this winter. If Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox can't close the gap on negotiations with Devers -- who can become a free agent after the 2023 season -- why are we to believe that they won't listen to offers on him?
Shane Bieber: RHP, Cleveland Guardians
The playbook in Cleveland over the last few years has been pretty simple: develop young pitching and then trade said pitching for more young pitching when they get close to a major payday. Bieber, the 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner, is two years away from becoming a free agent. This may be the offseason for Chris Antonetti and Mike Chernoff to get the most value back for Bieber, unless ownership changes course and is willing to pay to keep one of the game's best arms over the long haul.
Sean Murphy: C, Oakland Athletics
In an offseason where Willson Contreras -- entering his age-31 season -- is likely to seek a four-year free-agent deal, Murphy might become the most appealing catcher that can be acquired. After winning a Gold Glove Award in 2021, Murphy put together his best offensive season in 2022, posting a .759 OPS. With three years left of team control, he's probably as likely as anyone on this list to be traded this offseason. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score has already reported that the White Sox have interest in the 28-year-old catcher.
Mike Trout: CF, Los Angeles Angels
With Arte Moreno set to sell the Angels, they may just choose to stand pat this winter and allow a new ownership group to decide how to proceed with Trout. Then again, a new ownership group probably doesn't want their first act to be trading the greatest player in franchise history, if that's what he and/or the Angels decide is the best path moving forward. Trout does have a full no-trade clause, so he can block any trade if he chooses to do so. But you only get so many chances to play for a World Series contender, and the Angels have already wasted the bulk of his prime. If things don't go the way of the Yankees, Mets or Giants in free agency, perhaps they'll try to make up for it by trading for one of the greatest center fielders in MLB history.
Corbin Burnes: RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
If the Brewers' No. 1 goal is to compete for a World Series in 2023, they shouldn't trade Burnes. However, they traded Josh Hader during the 2022 season as he neared free agency. And if they aren't prepared to make a major investment in retaining Burnes beyond 2024, now would be the time to move him for a hefty return. The former NL Cy Young Award winner would likely draw interest from a significant portion of the league.
Rhys Hoskins: 1B/DH, Philadelphia Phillies
As Phillies' president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski put it this week, Hoskins is in the driver's seat to be the Opening Day first baseman for the defending NL Champions in 2023. However, Hoskins is a pretty flawed defender that would probably be best suited on a team where he can DH on a more consistent basis. While streaky, Hoskins provides a ton of value offensively and is one of the most respected clubhouse presences in the sport. There would certainly be trade interest in him if the Phillies listened before his contract year. Then again, it's unclear how much Hoskins would bring back in a trade, and the Phillies best move may be allowing his walk year to play out, even if they are uncertain to offer him a long-term deal after that.
Shohei Ohtani: RHP/DH, Los Angeles Angels
Yes, we are aware that general manager Perry Minasian has said that the Angels won't trade Ohtani this offseason. And certainly, doing so while the team is in the process of being sold wouldn't be ideal. But as we said with Trout, if potential bidders are wary of having to be the ones to trade the best show in the sport since Barry Bonds, they may request the current group does so on their way out. And there's more of an impetus for a trade of Ohtani than Trout, given that the two-way star can become a free agent next winter.
Jesse Winker: LF, Seattle Mariners
It appears that Winker may be one-and-done in Seattle. Just an offseason after being acquired from the Reds, Jon Morosi of MLB.com says that Jerry DiPoto and the Mariners have talked about trading Winker with some potential suitors. This is on the heels of acquiring Teoscar Hernandez from the Blue Jays. Winker is scheduled to make $8.25 million in 2023, and still has one remaining year of arbitration eligibility after that. He could be an interesting trade candidate for a team that believes he'll bounce back following a disappointing 2022 season.
Blake Snell: LHP, San Diego Padres
Snell had a nice bounce-back in 2022 -- 3.38 ERA, 2.80 FIP over 128 innings -- following an underwhelming first season with the Padres. After reaching the NLCS, San Diego may very well keep Snell for next season, when he'll make $16 million in the final year of his contract. But they've traded away a ton of resources in recent years, and the possibility exists that Manny Machado, Josh Hader and Yu Darvish all become free agents next offseason, with Juan Soto behind them in the following. Not every player on your team can be an expensive one, and perhaps a trade of Snell this winter would allow A.J. Preller to acquire a young arm or two in return.
Nick Castellanos: OF/DH, Philadelphia Phillies
Both Dave Dombrowski and Rob Thomson had some interesting thoughts earlier this week in trying to diagnose why Castellanos struggled mightily in his first season with the Phillies. From here, the best bet for the Phillies may be hoping the former All-Star bounces back in his second year with the team, rather than paying down a large portion of the four years and $80 million remaining on his contract to move him. But it's unclear when Bryce Harper will be able to return to right field, and with Kyle Schwarber and the aforementioned Hoskins in the picture, the Phillies aren't short on DH types. It's fair to wonder if they would do the Castellanos deal a second time if given a mulligan.
Tyler Glasnow: RHP, Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays signed Glasnow to a two-year/$30.35 million deal shortly before he returned from Tommy John surgery late in the 2022 season. That means there's a good chance that he'll get the ball for them to open the 2023 season. But this was someone who was emerging as one of the best starters in the game before Tommy John surgery, even if he's not necessarily a workhorse. Given that he's only set to make $5.35 million in 2023, there are certain to be times who try to pry Glasnow away from the Rays this winter.
Daulton Varsho: OF/C, Arizona Diamondbacks
Arizona already had a crowded outfield picture, and they added to it Thursday by acquiring former AL Rookie of the Year Kyle Lewis from the Mariners. With a surplus of outfielders, Varsho -- who also caught 175 innings in 2022 -- could become an appealing trade candidate. In parts of three MLB seasons, Varsho has a .738 OPS. He's also only entering his first of three years of arbitration eligibility.
Gleyber Torres: SS/2B, New York Yankees
Torres was apparently a name mentioned in trade talks with the Marlins for Pablo López over the summer, and Jon Heyman of The New York Post says that his name is once again "being heard on the [trading] block." While Torres hasn't developed into the superstar he once seemed destined to be, he did have nine defensive runs saved at second base in 2022, while also hitting 24 home runs. With two years of arbitration left, he would be worth the roll of the dice for a team hoping to strike gold on a slugger.