MLB trade deadline 2019: Ranking the 50 best trade candidates, including Trevor Bauer and Noah Syndergaard in top 10

The Major League Baseball trade deadline is only one day away. Beginning this year, all trade activity will cease after July 31 -- meaning there won't be any waiver deals in August. Teams on the bubble, then, are about to have to make some difficult decisions about their seasons: Are they good enough to buy, bad enough to sell, or somewhere in between?

As part of our deadline coverage here at CBS Sports, we've decided to rank the 50 best players who could be on the move. We also broke down lists for of the top 10 pitchers and top 10 hitters on the block. Before we get to the main event, do note that we acknowledge this is more of an art than a science. We don't know who will be on the move with great accuracy. We're working off our best guesses -- which are informed by what we're hearing from sources. 

Our rule of thumb was to include anyone we felt had at least a 25 percent chance of being dealt. Why 25 percent? Folks, do you want to be distracted from society's horrors by a meaningless exercise or do you want to ask questions about arbitrary thresholds? We thought so. 

As for the rankings themselves, they're objective. You'll notice some clusters of similar players. You can almost always flip flop those players if you so desire. We won't mind.

Now, onward.

Where will some of the biggest names on the trading block end up? Our experts at Sportsline have the odds on who Noah Syndergaard, Madison Bumgarner and more will be playing for on Aug. 1.

usatsi-10215919.jpg
Will Pablo Sandoval be headed out of San Francisco this month? USATSI

50-41

50
Jordan Lyles Pittsburgh Pirates SP
Lyles has slipped recently. He's shown the potential to be a decent back-end starter. Possible fits: Athletics, Astros, and pretty much any other contender.
49
Jake Diekman Kansas City Royals RP
Although Diekman has unsightly numbers, he's a left-hander with a pulse and some promise. That means he'll keep getting opportunities. Possible fits: Athletics, Astros, Nationals, and pretty much any other contender.
48
Melky Cabrera Pittsburgh Pirates RF
Cabrera is having a surprisingly competent season. He could come in handy as a bench bat. Possible fits: Cleveland and pretty much any other contender.
47
Ian Kennedy Kansas City Royals RP
Kennedy is still being paid like an above-average starter. Should the Royals eat money, he could have a lot of value to a contender seeking bullpen help. Possible fits: Any team willing to take on money, including Nationals, Phillies, and Dodgers.
46
Jesse Chavez Texas Rangers RP
Chavez doesn't throw hard or blow batters away. He has guts and guile and is under contract for $4 million next season. We doubt he gets moved, but his versatility makes him a fit on most any roster. Possible fits: Any team. Really.
45
Billy Hamilton Kansas City Royals CF
Hamilton can really run and plays a mean center field. He'd make an excellent substitute come October. Possible fits: Braves, Rays, Dodgers, and any team that values fun.
44
Adam Duvall Atlanta Braves LF
Duvall was an All-Star in 2016. He deserves a look on another team's 25-man roster. Possible fits: Any team moving a piece the Braves would want.
43
Logan Forsythe Texas Rangers 1B
Forsythe's offensive approach is don't swing. It's worked for him. His defensive versatility isn't what it once was, but he'd be useful off the bench. Possible fits: Cleveland and pretty much any other contender.
42
Pablo Sandoval San Francisco Giants 3B
We're not sure if Sandoval will be able to keep hitting nearly this well, but the Giants are shopping him to competitive teams. Possible fits: Cleveland, Athletics, and pretty much any other contender.
41
Freddy Galvis Toronto Blue Jays SS
While Galvis has shown way more pop than usual this season, you're best acquiring him because of his glove and clubhouse qualities. Possible fits: Rays, Athletics.
clint-frazier.jpg
The Yankees are currently keeping Clint Frazier in Triple-A. USATSI

40-31

40
Mike Leake Seattle Mariners SP
The question with Leake is how much money the Mariners will eat to move him. They've already had one deal squashed by ownership. Possible fits: Any team willing to take on money.
39
Corey Dickerson Pittsburgh Pirates LF
Dickerson is a capable platoon bat who missed most of the season due to injury. Possible fits: Cleveland, Athletics.
38
Kole Calhoun Los Angeles Angels RF
It's unclear if anyone would exercise Calhoun's club option ($14 million) for next season, but he could be a useful platoon bat the rest of this season. Possible fits: Cubs, Cleveland.
37
Jason Vargas New York Mets SP
Vargas is persona non grata in New York after his incident with a reporter. He's having a fine season on the field, though, and that seems likely to take precedent for some contender in need of a back-end starter. Possible fits: Astros and pretty much any other contender.
36
Todd Frazier New York Mets 3B
A team could do worse than starting Frazier at the hot corner. He can still hit a bit. Possible fits: Cleveland, Rangers, and pretty much any other contender.
35
Ian Happ Chicago Cubs CF
Somewhat of a forgotten man, Happ could probably use a change of scenery and might be one of the Cubs' most movable players. Possible fits: Any team moving a piece the Cubs would want.
34
Clint Frazier New York Yankees RF
Frazier is essentially the Yankees' version of Happ. He deserves a spot on someone's 25-man roster. Possible fits: Any team moving a piece the Yankees would want.
33
Alex Wood Cincinnati Reds SP
Wood hasn't thrown a regular-season pitch this year. He should be back sooner than later, and we think someone would take a chance on him as a contributor in either the rotation or bullpen. Possible fits: Athletics, Astros.
32
James McCann Chicago White Sox C
If McCann can keep hitting, then he might be the best catcher moved before August. The 2019 All-Star is an offensive plus who struggles behind the dish. Possible fits: Athletics, Reds, Rays.
31
Omar Narvaez Seattle Mariners C
We doubt Narvaez gets dealt, but he can hit. Possible fits: Athletics, Reds, Rays.
MLB: Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays
Nicholas Castellanos is on an expiring deal in Detroit. USATSI

30-21

30
Wilson Ramos New York Mets C
Ramos' defense has slipped, but he can still hit a lick. That Mets pitchers seem to prefer Tomas Nido will likely impact Ramos's marketability. Possible fits: Athletics, Reds, Rays.
29
Nick Anderson Miami Marlins RP
Anderson used to stink it up in the Frontier League. Now he has a high-grade breaking ball and a rising fastball. He's better than his numbers. Possible fits: Braves, Nationals, Phillies, Rays, Astros, Dodgers.
28
Austin Brice Miami Marlins RP
Brice is a side-armer with tons of team control left and a high-spin curveball. He's quietly having an effective year. Possible fits: Braves, Nationals, Phillies,Twins, Astros, Rays.
27
Mychal Givens Baltimore Orioles RP
A free agent after the 2021 season, Givens has an impressive strikeout rate …but an equally unimpressive home-run rate, which leaves him down here instead of with the market's top relief arms. Possible fits: Dodgers, Phillies, Red Sox.
26
Hunter Pence Texas Rangers DH
How long can Pence keep up this level of production? We we don't know, but we hope it's for a while. Possible fits: Rays, Cubs, and pretty much any other contender.
25
Justin Smoak Toronto Blue Jays 1B
Smoak is not having his best season at the plate, but the switch-hitting first baseman might be a valuable bench bat for someone in October. Possible fit: Cleveland.
24
Nicholas Castellanos Detroit Tigers RF
Unfortunately for Castellanos, he doesn't offer defensive value and he isn't having a special season at the plate. Not the kind of walk year you want. Possible fits: Cleveland, Cubs.
23
Tony Watson San Francisco Giants RP
Can you tell that it's a pitching-heavy class? Watson has the ability to get out lefties and righties alike. His contract includes a player option for next year. Possible fits: Twins, Astros, Rays.
22
Sam Dyson San Francisco Giants RP
Dyson has turned his career around since joining the Giants. He has ample late-inning experience and one additional year of team control left. Possible fits: Twins, Astros, Dodgers.
21
Alex Colome Chicago White Sox RP
Colome does have the label. He's been dealt a couple times the past year-plus, and he should be on the move for a third time before the deadline. Possible fits: Twins, Astros, Dodgers, Nationals, Braves.
zack-wheeler-1400.jpg
Zack Wheeler is expected to come off the injured list before the trade deadline. USATSI

20-11

20
Chris Martin Texas Rangers RP
Martin has a lively fastball and good numbers. He's a free agent at the end of the year and doesn't have the Proven Closer tag to boost his trade value. Possible fits: Twins, Astros, Braves, Nationals, Phillies.
19
Shawn Kelley Texas Rangers RP
Kelley has a swing-and-miss slider and a cheap club option for next season. Possible fits: Twins, Astros, Rays, but probably not the Nationals.
18
Trevor Richards Miami Marlins SP
Richards is said to be available. He's a league-average starter with a great changeup and five seasons of team control remaining. We're guessing he doesn't get dealt until the winter, but who knows. Possible fits: Brewers, Athletics, and pretty much any other contender.
17
Luis Urias San Diego Padres 2B
It seems pretty unlikely that Urias will be traded, but the current belief in the league is that the Padres would part with him in exchange for an ace. Possible fits: Mets, Cleveland, Blue Jays, and pretty much any other team willing to move a high-end starter.
16
Shane Greene Detroit Tigers RP
Greene doesn't have the track record of a Giles, a Smith, or even a Yates. He's having a fantastic season and has a year of team control remaining, so someone will have to pay up. Possible fits: Nationals, Dodgers, Rays, Phillies.
15
Ken Giles Toronto Blue Jays RP
Some rough times in Houston have obscured that Ken Giles has a career 150 ERA+. He has another year of team control left and -- provided he's healthy -- he's an above-average closer. Possible fits: Twins, Yankees, Braves.
14
Will Smith San Francisco Giants RP
Smith is a free agent at season's end. He's a proven late-game reliever and he should slot in as some team's eighth- or ninth-inning man. Possible fits: Nationals, Phillies, Rays.
13
Kirby Yates San Diego Padres RP
Another instance of a player making himself better in recent years, Yates nearly has more saves this season than baserunners allowed. He has another year of team control left. Possible fits: Twins, Braves, Rays.
12
Zack Wheeler New York Mets SP
Currently on the injured list, Wheeler checks a lot of the boxes teams want from their starters -- lively fastball, swing-and-miss secondaries, and strike-throwing ability. Possible fits: Astros, Yankees, Rays.
11
Tanner Roark Cincinnati Reds SP
Roark doesn't have big stuff, but he gets results. If the Reds sell, he'd slot in nicely as some contender's No. 4 starter. Possible fits: Astros, Yankees, Brewers.
MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox
Marcus Stroman could be the top pitcher moved at the deadline. USATSI

10-1

10
Jonathan Villar Baltimore Orioles 2B
Depending on your evaluation of Villar's defense, he's either an All-Star caliber player or a league-average hitter with good wheels. He's probably the most realistic second-base trade candidate. Possible fits: Cubs and pretty much any other contender.
9
Yasiel Puig Cincinnati Reds RF
Puig has been a slightly above-average hitter on the season. He's on a tear right now, however, and to his credit he's averaged more than three wins over the last two years. Possible fits: Cleveland and pretty much any other contender.
8
Robbie Ray Arizona Diamondbacks SP
We're not convinced the Diamondbacks will move Zack Greinke or David Peralta. Robbie Ray is their top entrant as a result. He's a volatile mid-rotation starter with another season of team control. Possible fits: Yankees, Astros, Padres.
7
Matthew Boyd Detroit Tigers SP
It's a testament to Boyd's work ethic that he ranks this highly on any list like this. As recently as last year, he would've been further down. Possible fits: Padres, Astros, Rays.
6
Trevor Bauer Cleveland Indians SP
Bauer feels more like an offseason trade candidate but he could be dealt before August. Possible fits: Padres, Astros, Twins.
5
Mike Minor Texas Rangers SP
We think the Rangers will bring back Mike Minor for next season. He almost started the All-Star Game, however, and they may decide to cash in on him when his value is at its peak. Possible fits: Rays, Astros, Twins.
4
Madison Bumgarner San Francisco Giants SP
Everyone knows Bumgarner is perhaps the most accomplished big-game pitcher in the league. His no-trade clause will help him dictate where he lands. Possible fits: Yankees, Brewers, Twins.
3
Whit Merrifield Kansas City Royals RF
We're skeptical Merrifield gets moved. That said, he's better than most people realize -- and he's on a sweetheart contract. If the Royals do trade Merrifield, they have every right to demand a ton in return. Possible fits: Cubs and pretty much any other contender.
2
Marcus Stroman Toronto Blue Jays SP
Stroman appears en route to a third 200-inning season in four tries. He has a 118 ERA+ dating back to 2017 and he has an additional year of team control left. Possible fits: Astros, Padres, Yankees.
1
Noah Syndergaard New York Mets SP
We think a Syndergaard deal is more likely to occur during the winter. We also think a lot of his issues this season can be blamed on the Mets defense -- meaning a change of scenery could help him return to being one of the game's top pitchers. Possible fits: Padres, Astros, Rays.
CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories