Everyone in the MLB world is focused on free agency this offseason. However, the trade market also needs to be monitored. Free agency will ultimately change the dynamic of the league, but certain deals between ball clubs will also have a major impact on the 2023 campaign. There are four specific stars who are most likely to be traded.
Without further ado, let's take a look at the top players who may be on the move during the MLB offseason.
4. Guardians Could trade Zach Plesac during the MLB offseason
The Cleveland Guardians manage to stay competitive despite consistently trading key players away. Over the past few years, the Guardians have traded no shortage of stars including but not limited to: Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Carrasco, and plenty of others. Cleveland is in a constant dual-state of rebuilding and competing all at once.
And their previous trade history suggests that Zach Plesac may be on the move this offseason. Ace Shane Bieber will also find himself in trade rumors. Additionally, Aaron Civale will be mentioned on the market as well. However, Plesac is the most likely candidate to be traded.
The Guardians were rumored to be shopping him ahead of the 2022 trade deadline. However, nothing came to fruition. Plesac has faced some off the field concerns during his tenure with the ball club, and the team seems ready to move on.
Zach Plesac won't get a return similar to previous names mentioned. Nevertheless, the Guardians are one of the best teams in baseball at identifying underrated talent. They were able to deal an aging Corey Kluber for a young pitcher from the Texas Rangers by the name of Emmanuel Clase just a few years ago. And it is safe to say that trade panned out. We will see if Cleveland can spin their magic once again with Plesac.
3. Sean Murphy will be traded from the Athletics
Speaking of the Guardians, Sean Murphy has been linked to a number of teams, including Cleveland, over the past few months. The Oakland Athletics entered a full-rebuild mode last offseason when they traded Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Sean Manaea away. They continued their rebuild by dealing Frankie Montas to the New York Yankees during the season.
And Sean Murphy is destined to be their next trade chip. The A's have catching depth in their farm system. So they will look to acquire depth at other positions in return for Murphy. Oakland will receive strong value for him given the lack of offensive-based catchers in the league. Out of all of the players on this list, Murphy is the most likely to be traded.
2. Marlins' Pablo Lopez is available
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Pablo Lopez is available and expected to be traded, per Bleacher Report. Lopez enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2022 season before fizzling out as the campaign rolled on. Nevertheless, he enjoyed a solid year overall and will draw interest during the MLB offseason.
Lopez was linked to both the Dodgers and Yankees ahead of the trade deadline. Both those teams could inquire about him during the offseason. The Marlins feature a plethora of youthful pitching depth but desperately need offensive help. Miami will look to acquire young hitters in return for Lopez.
1. Will the Dodgers trade Cody Bellinger this MLB offseason?!
Will Cody Bellinger be traded during the MLB offseason? There are questions as to whether the Dodgers will even tender Bellinger a contract following back-to-back frustrating seasons for the former MVP. They will likely give him a contract, but a trade is certainly not out of the question.
Cody Bellinger is still just 27-years old but has suffered rapid decline over the past couple of years. A fresh start may be best for both LA and Bellinger at this point.