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2021 MLB Season: Top Trade Candidates

The 2021 MLB season is off to a scorching hot start, and can only get hotter. Looking at the stars on expiring deals, the amount of movement that can occur this season should get any baseball fan excited. Whether it will be a surprise move or a ‘godfather’ deal for a young player under contract, the trade market will be buzzing as the 2022 MLB free-agent class is locked and loaded.

2021 MLB Season Sellers

Colorado Rockies

Trading Nolan Arenado came as a surprise to every baseball fan this past offseason. Not only because Arenado had plenty of his contract left, but also because star shortstop Trevor Story was an expiring deal the upcoming season. But what is done is done and now the Rockies are in the cellar of the NL West. So expect movement out of the Rockies before the deadline.

Trevor Story

A Gleyber Torres for Trevor Story trade certainly would make waves around baseball, but it does not make sense for either team. But the package of Torres for Story makes sense. Story on the last year of his deal can vault a playoff contender to a championship contender with his excellence at the dish and in the field. Story should be the number one player on the market for the July 31st deadline.

German Marquez

With Colorado in full teardown mode for the 2021 MLB season, why not take a look at selling off young starter German Marquez before the deadline. It is nothing special from Marquez, but he can add depth to any contending team"s starting staff. The 26 year old right hander is young and affordable, so do not be surprised to see some potential suitors emerge.

Miami Marlins

The Marlins were a contending team last season and are currently in the middle of a very talented NL East division. Coming into the 2021 MLB season, Miami did not make any big offseason splashes after last year"s deadline acquisition of Starling Marte. Miami might be on the upswing now, but come trade deadline, do not be surprised to see the Marlins selling off pieces.

Starling Marte

The ‘Marte Party" will be an impending free agent in the aforementioned loaded 2021 free agent class, so expect Miami to try to find a suitor for the veteran outfielder. With a career batting average of .287, Marte has come out of the gates hitting .326 building trade value as the trade market is heating up.

Texas Rangers

The Rangers have started their 2021 MLB season losing 7 of their first 12 games and expect Texas to keep dipping in the standings. In the offseason, they have shown they are willing to sell off pieces, shown by Elvis Andrus and Lance Lynn in different uniforms this season. A rebuilding year is expected for the Rangers, so some of their pieces could be shipped away.

Joey Gallo

The only reason Gallo would stay in Arlington is to draw fans in the fully packed stadium this season. But during last deadline, heavy rumors surrounded the slugging left hander. His contract expires this season, so interest should be coming the Rangers way.

David Dahl

Coming off shoulder surgery last season, the Rangers took a risk on the former Rockies outfielder for a one-year deal. Now healthy, Dahl has started his 2021 MLB season slow, however, if the left-handed bat can pick it up and build his value, Dahl could be on the move to a contending team.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Every single Pirate outside of rookie standout Ke"Bryan Hayes should be hitting the trade market this season. Pirates are currently in the mix in the NL Central, but Pittsburgh"s 2021 MLB season aspirations are far from making a run at the playoffs. Pittsburgh will be heavy sellers at the deadline.

Richard Rodriguez

A career ERA of 3.32 and a K/9 of 10.3, Rodriguez can add depth to any contending team"s bullpen. The right hander had a strong 2020 campaign and has built off it heading into the 2021 MLB season. A right handed strike out pitcher out of the pen can boost any team"s chances, so keep an eye out on Richard Rodriguez in the trade market.

Chicago Cubs

One of the ‘surprise" teams on the sellers list, the Cubs have already let go of players such as Kyle Schwarber, Jon Lester, Yu Darvish. They are currently at the bottom of the NL Central race, and their superstar third-basemen Kris Bryant has seen his name in rumors all offseason. If the North-siders were to come out as sellers, they have pieces that every contending team would be willing to make moves for.

Joc Pederson

Pederson signed a one-year deal with the Cubbies this offseason, and would be one of the first pieces Chicago would turn to trade. Struggling out of the gate, Pederson"s value will have to be built as the season progresses. But a left-handed bat that hits right-handed pitchers well with his playoff resume, Pederson will draw attention if his name hits the rumor mill.

Kris Bryant

In what has been a regular discussion for the past two seasons, Kris Bryant"s name is in trade rumors. With no indications of an extension either, Bryant is in the last year of his deal. So the 2021 MLB season is the time for Bryant to earn his keep with the Cubs or he will be on the rumor mill as well.

2021 MLB Season Surprise Trades

Josh Hader, Milwaukee Brewers

Much like Bryant, Hader has seen his name in the rumor mill for the past few seasons. With a heavy contract looming for the hard throwing left-hander, the smaller market Brewers may not be ready to pay him, and why would they? 2020 rookie of the year, Devin Williams is ready to step in to that closing role. Milwaukee may be in contention, but Hader"s name will certainly be in the rumor mill throughout the 2021 MLB season.

Eduardo Escobar, Arizona Diamondbacks

Coming off a disappointing 2020 season, Escobar is looking to bounce back in the 2021 MLB Season. If Arizona is not in playoff contention, and Escobar is producing, his name will hit rumors as well. A switch-hitting bat that can play almost every position is a contender"s dream for building depth. Add in that Escobar is only a few seasons removed from a 35 home run season and on a team-friendly contract, making a deal for him will be low-risk, high-reward.

David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers

Never was a world imagined where Price would not be in the starting five on any team in the MLB, but here we are. Struggling to find starts in L.A., Price may hit the trade market with plenty of suitors. His contract is a bit expensive, but adding a starter of his quality and of his experience, Price will be a hot commodity.

The 2021 MLB Season is just Starting

Only weeks into the season, some of these teams might prove to be buyers by the deadline. But for teams like the Pirates, Rangers, and Rockies trades feel inevitable, and they have the assets to sell. The July 31st deadline certainly will be a fun one, especially if any of the top names listed are dealt!

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Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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