September 20, 2023

When is the MLB Trade Deadline? Date, trade candidates and more

When is the MLB Trade Deadline? Date, trade candidates and more originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The push for the post-season has begun.

With the 2023 MLB All-Star Game in the back view, the focus now shifts entirely to the 14 playoff berths up for grabs. And in the coming weeks, teams will prepare for the stretch run by adding to their roster before the trade deadline.

Last year’s trade deadline brought big fireworks, with Juan Soto, Josh Hader, Luis Castillo and Whit Merrifield headlining the players switching teams. We could also face another wild deadline in 2023.

From top trade candidates to potential buyers and sellers, here’s what you need to know as the trade deadline approaches.

When is the 2023 MLB Trade Deadline?

The trade deadline for 2023 is Tuesday, August 1.

What time is the 2023 MLB trade deadline?

The deadline is set at 6pm ET/3pm PT.

Can trades still take place after the MLB trade deadline?

Once the deadline has passed, teams will not be allowed to make any trades.

Who are the buyers and sellers at the 2023 MLB trade deadline?

So, who will the buyers and sellers be by the 2023 deadline? FanGraphs playoff odds could paint a pretty good picture.

According to FanGraphs, there are 14 teams coming out of the All-Star break with more than a 50% chance of making the postseason: Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros, Atlanta Braves, Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, and San Francisco Giants. These clubs should be motivated to add talent in the coming weeks.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are eight teams with less than a 10% chance of a playoff berth: Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Royals, Oakland Athletics, Washington Nationals, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Colorado Rockies. These clubs could try to cash in on win-now talent for prospects.

Finally, there are the teams in the middle that are generally much harder to figure out. Clubs like the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians could easily fall into the buyer category. But what about those in the midst of disappointing seasons with some potential to make a run, such as the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and San Diego Padres?

How some teams in this group perform leading up to the deadline may determine the direction their respective front offices ultimately take.

Who are the top trading targets at the 2023 MLB trade deadline?

Here’s a look at some of the top trade candidates as the deadline approaches (*=free agent this off-season, all stats as of the All-Star break):

Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox

A team acquiring Anderson would be betting on his overall body of work rather than his performance in 2023. The 2019 AL batting champion hit over .300 in each of the past four seasons, but has dropped all the way to .223 in 2023. Anderson, 30, has a $14 million club option for 2024.

Nolan Arenado, 3B, Cardinals (full no-trade clause)

The Cardinals are one of the more interesting teams to watch during this year’s deadline. St. Louis seems willing to be sellers, but does that mean a willingness to part with its two biggest stars? The 32-year-old Arenado has a four-year, $109 million contract after this season.

Cody Bellinger, OF/1B, Cubs

Bellinger has enjoyed a nice bounce-back campaign in his first season away from the Dodgers. The 2019 NL MVP, who has a $12 million mutual option for 2024, hits .298/.355/.491 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs.

David Bednar, RHP, Pirates

Bednar earned his second consecutive All-Star bid after posting a 1.27 ERA and 17 saves in 34 appearances. Given that the 28-year-old closer is under club control for three more seasons, it probably won’t be easy to pry him away from Pittsburgh.

Shane Bieber, RHP, Guardians

Despite being .500, Cleveland went into intermission atop a lackluster AL Central. Bieber, 28, will also not air for free until after the 2024 season. But it wouldn’t be surprising if the Guardians wanted to move him now if they’re not keen on giving him a long-term contract. The 2020 AL Cy Young winner has surrendered 113 hits in 117 at bats (19 starts) while posting a 3.77 ERA, which would be his highest mark since being a rookie in 2018.

Jeimer Candelario*, 1B/3B, National

There must be teams around MLB that wished they had just signed Candelario last off-season when he joined the Nationals on a one-year, $6 million deal. The 29-year-old has recovered from a tough 2022 season, batting .261/.337/.478 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs.

Elias Diaz, C, Rockies

As a catcher with nine home runs and a .763 OPS, Diaz, 32, could be in demand. The 2023 All-Star Game MVP is also under contract for just $6 million in 2024.

Adam Duvall*, VAN, Red Sox

Duvall turned it around after a poor season in 2022, hitting .257/.328/.522 in 32 games. The 34-year-old was sidelined for two months with a broken wrist.

Lucas Giolito*, RHP, White Sox

Giolito has recovered some of his old form in a contract year. After seeing his ERA rise to 4.90 in 2022, the soon-to-be 29-year-old racks up a 3.45 ERA over 112.1 innings and 19 starts.

Paul Goldschmidt, 1B, Cardinals

Goldschmidt is closer to free agency than Arenado, as the 2022 NL MVP’s deal expires after next season. Goldy, 35, must pay $26 million in 2024.

Josh Hader*, LHP, Padres

Could Hader, 29, be rescheduled for a second consecutive deadline? The three-time NL Reliever of the Year is having arguably the best season of his career with a nearly 1.00 ERA and 21 saves.

Andrew McCutchen*, OF, Pirates

McCutchen may not be the same player he was during his first stint in Pittsburgh, but the 2013 NL MVP shows he can still produce at 36 years old. His .268 batting average would be his best since 2017 and his .383 on-base percentage would be his highest since 2015.

Shohei Ohtani*, RHP/DH, Angels

The Angels are in an impossible situation: trade the best player in baseball who is having one of the best seasons in MLB history, or risk losing him in free agency this winter. Even with big market teams poised to attack free agency, it’s hard to imagine the Angels actually trading Ohtani other than an absolute Godfather bid.

Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Tigers (10-team no-trade clause)

E-Rod has a career year in the Motor City, with a 2.64 ERA over 71.2 innings and 12 starts. The 30-year-old southpaw has the option to waive the remaining three years and $49 million left on his contract after this season.

Brent Rooker, OR, Athletics

Rooker played in the 2023 All-Star Game less than a year after being designated for assignment by the Royals. In a breakaway season, the 28-year old hits .246/.341/.485 with 16 dingers and 44 RBI’s. The A’s may be able to get a big win for Rooker, who will be under contract with the club for another four seasons after 2023.

Max Scherzer, RHP, Mets (full no-trade clause)

Would Steve Cohen be willing to wave the white flag? If so, Scherzer, who is about to turn 39 and has a $43.3 million player option for 2024, makes sense to move away from Scherzer. Though that may not be easy given his age, salary, no-trade clause and performance in 2023. Cy Young’s three-time winner hasn’t posted an ERA over 3.74 since 2011, but he’s 4.31 over this season 87.2 turns and 16 starts.

Marcus Stroman, RHP, Cubs

Stroman, 32, is having a fantastic season in the Windy City, with an ERA of less than 3.00 over 112.2 innings
and 19 starts. If he continues to pitch like this, it would make sense for him to decline his $21 million player option for 2024 in search of a long-term deal.

Justin Turner, INF, Red Sox

Like McCutchen, Turner has continued to fend off Father Time. The 38-year old hits .288..362/.462 with 13 home runs and 52 RBI’s. Turner has a $13.4 million player option with a $6.7 million buyout for 2024.

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