10 best trade candidates this offseason

MLB Power Rankings

MLB Power Rankings of the 10 best trade candidates this offseason. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

This week’s MLB Power Rankings takes a look at the 10 best trade candidates around the league and where they could end up.

Free agency can be fun and sometimes easy to predict or at least narrow down some landing spots in the offseason. On the contrary, players who will be traded are far tougher to gauge. This week’s MLB Power Rankings will take a shot at this challenge.

There are certain players around Major League Baseball who seemed well-positioned to move franchises. Ones whose contracts are getting a little too hefty for their frugal front offices or others on expiring deals we know set them up to become midseason trade bait fit into this category.

Then there are those who are blocking the path of a younger and maybe more promising player. Whatever the reason, these are 10 of the best players who could be traded this offseason power ranked in terms of skill and how likely it is they will be traded away.

10. MLB Power Rankings: Cardinals trade candidate Tyler O’Neill

St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Tyler O’Neill took a hard fall last season. He went from finishing eighth in the MVP vote to slashing only .228/.308/.392. The Cardinals were unwilling to part with some young pieces in a Juan Soto deal. O’Neill, in a deal for someone else, should be on the table.

While still a useful piece on the roster, his arbitration numbers are rising. It can start to become too costly to have an expensive player whose best attribute might be his glove. Striking this offseason with a trade could be huge for them. It would also allow prospect Jordan Walker a wide opening in left field with Nolan Arenado remaining at third base.

Look for O’Neill to land everywhere from a contender that could use a left field upgrade, such as the Atlanta Braves, to a club hoping they can get a steal in the trade; here’s looking at you Miami Marlins.

9. MLB Power Rankings: Braves trade candidate Travis d’Arnaud

William Contreras has better days ahead of him on the baseball diamond than Travis d’Arnaud. Both were All-Stars last year but d’Arnaud is signed for two more years with an option in the second. He might age pretty quickly as catchers tend to do. Rather than try to navigate this way, it might be beneficial for the Atlanta Braves to deal d’Arnaud following a strong season.

Wouldn’t you know, the Cardinals are actually a fit. Yadier Molina’s retirement gives them an opening at the catcher spot. Have we already stumbled on the makings of an offseason trade: O’Neill for d’Arnaud? Fans of apostrophes in names would go wild.

There is no absolute urgency in trading d’Arnaud thanks in part to the existence of the DH in the National League. Contreras can still get his at-bats. It would, however, free them up to explore a different roster construction.

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