2023 MLB Trade Deadline: Who Might Be Available from the NL?

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Who Might Be Available at the MLB Trade Deadline, Part II: National League

Chicago Cubs

Call it a bored January curiosity, but I was wondering who might be available at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline, so I decided to take an educated guess. Using our own competitive projections and available contract details (thanks, Cots Contracts!), I’ve dug up some of the plausible trade candidates throughout each league.

Scope: Only two teams per division – likely sellers – and only players with two years or fewer of remaining team control (with one exception, because I had to).

In case you missed it, we’ve already taken a look at the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline candidates from the American League, so it’s time to switch over to the NL.

As a reminder, this is not designed to be to be an exhaustive list — particularly when it comes to random relievers, who pop up and are traded every season. And, having written it out, let’s just say that, if the Cubs are in the race, here’s hoping there are some surprise sellers. Because this is thin.

NL East

The NL East is going to be very competitive again this year, but with two distinct tiers. You’ve got the Mets, Braves, and Phillies, a LARGE gap, and then the Nationals and Marlins. Those are the clear sellers.

Washington Nationals:

  • Patrick Corbin, SP (L): 2/$59.8M
  • Trevor Williams, SP (R): 2/$13M
  • Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 1/$5M
  • Victor Robles, CF: ~1/$2.5M + Arbitration in 2024
  • Corey Dickerson, DH/LF: 1/$2.25M
  • Carl Edwards Jr., RP (R): 1/$2.25M
  • Erasmo Ramirez, RP (R): 1/$1M

Former Cubs alert! Trevor Williams, Jeimer Candelario, and Carl Edwards Jr. have made their way to D.C. and could be on the block this July.

Meanwhile, the Nationals have been trying to trade Corbin, 33, for while. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been even close to good in three straight seasons (5.82 ERA) and is incredibly expensive. That said, only Gerrit Cole (173) has started more games than Patrick Corbin (171) from 2017-2022. So if the Nats eat enough salary, maybe he could be an innings eater somewhere?

Robles is another guy the Nats have been trying to trade for years, including some rumors with the Cubs at one point. He still offers plus defense in center and is still only 25! The bat is rough, though, and he might just never get over the jump.

Miami Marlins:

  • Jorge Soler, DH/RF: 2/$26M
  • Johnny Cueto, SP (R): 2/$8.5M
  • Joey Wendle, SS: 1/$6M
  • Garrett Cooper, 1B/RF: 1/$4.2M
  • Dylan Floro, RP (R): 1/$3.9M
  • Matt Barnes, RP (R): 1/$8.375M + $8M Team option for 2024

Miami has a lot of interesting potential targets. They’ve got solid, cheap relievers from both sides of the mound. They have a veteran starting pitcher, Cueto, who was a lot better with the White Sox last season than most people realize (3.35 ERA over 24 starts and 158.1 IP). They have some (admittedly expensive) power in Soler, plus a couple of cheap, but quality role players in Joey Wendle (plus defense, league average-ish bat) and Garrett Cooper (career 117 wRC+, tons of hard contact).

Not a bad place to go shopping. How about a Soler reunion in Chicago? Has he gotten used to the cold, yet?

NL Central

If I expanded the maximum number of teams from two to three, the Cubs would be included here. But we’re sticking with two clear sellers, and that’s going to be the Reds and Pirates. The Pirates are always looking for a deal, and the Reds have been methodically tearing things down for years. Unfortunately, that means they don’t have much quality left from which to deal.

Cincinnati Reds:

  • Joey Votto, 1B: 1/$25M
  • Wil Myers, RF: 1/$6M + $1.5M buyout on 2024
  • Luis Cessa, RP (R): 1/$2.65M
  • Curt Casali, C: 1/$2.5M + $750K buyout
  • Luke Weaver, SP (R): 1/$2M
  • Buck Farmer, RP (R): 1/$1.75M
  • Luke Maile, C: 1/$1.175M

Will the Reds actually make Votto available? Will anyone bite on the formerly dominant hitter at that price level? I don’t think so. I think the 39-year-old is probably toast. That said, he did post a 139 wRC+ over 129 games after reinventing himself in 2021. So maybe he’s got one last hoorah left. Albert Pujols did.

Wil Myers is pretty much always an above-average bat. Maybe he gets hot. Cessa isn’t anything special, but he can swing in and out of the bullpen. Catchers (Casali and Maile) are difficult to trade in-season, so I’m not expecting anything there. Weaver isn’t very good. Which brings us to Farmer, who was a successful reliever last season (3.83 ERA, 3.51 xERA, 3.03 FIP) over 47 IP. Not much here.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • Rich Hill, SP (L): 1/$8M
  • Bryan Reynolds: 1/$6.75M + TWO more years of arb
  • Ji-Man Choi, 1B: ~1/$5M
  • Andrew McCutchen, OF/DH: 1/$5M
  • Vincent Velazquez, SP (R): 1/$3.15M

Another former Cub, Rich Hill, is a solid deadline candidate. The ageless lefty has managed to stay in the game (and productive!) year after year. If he turns in a solid first half and again looks healthy (57 combined starts over the last two seasons), contenders may seek out his veteran presence for a pennant run.

Bryan Reynolds TECHNICALLY breaks the rules, but he’s been included in SO MANY trade rumors, I consider him available. Again, it’s the Pirates. Anyone can be had. I think Choi and McCutchen could have some value for offense-needy teams. Then again, trading McCutchen in his reunion season would leave behind a bad taste (unless he wants it).

NL West

The Giants didn’t do as much as they wanted this winter, and they’re still well-behind the Padres and Giants. But all three teams are better than the Rockies and Diamondbacks.

Colorado Rockies:

  • German Márquez, SP (R): 2/$17.5M
  • Dinelson Lamet, SP (R): 1/$5M
  • Jose Ureña, SP (RP): 1/$3M
  • Charlie Blackmon: 1/$15M
  • Randal Grichuk, OF: 1/$10.3M
  • CJ Cron, 1B/DH: 1/$7.5M
  • Pierce Johnson: RP (R): 1/$5M

The trio of starters (Márquez, Lamet, Ureña) could be valuable. But none are particularly strong bets. Márquez is the best, with occasional success and the 4th most starts in MLB since 2017. Lamet threw out of the ‘pen last year, and Ureña fell WAY off the map. Still throws hard, though. Old friend Pierce Johnson could be a solid relief piece.

Arizona Diamondbacks:

  • Madison Bumgarner, SP (L): 2/$34.7M
  • Nick Ahmed, SS: 1/$10.375M
  • Lourdes Gurriel, OF: 1/$5.8M
  • Evan Longoria, 3B: 1/$4M

Well they certainly have some veterans, here! I actually think Longoria still has something left in the tank (115 wRC+ last year, 122 wRC+ in 2021). And a playoff veteran like Bumgarner certainly can BECOME attractive, despite the price tag, if he has a good start to the season and if salary is eaten.

Nick Ahmed’s defense is incredible, so that’s always good to have, though he’s coming off of shoulder surgery. Gurriel has typically hit well enough, but he’s a poor fielding corner OF type. I guess his value depends if he’s more of the guy he was from 2021-2022 (~110 wRC+) or 2019-2020 (~130 wRC+).

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami