Three players who MLB contenders should target on trade market
Jazz Chisholm Jr. Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Three players who MLB contenders should target on trade market

The Miami Marlins became the first sellers of the 2024 MLB season last week, trading two-time batting champion Luis Arraez to the San Diego Padres.

While it's unlikely we'll see another player as notable as Arraez get traded for some time since it's still early in the season, several trade candidates have started to emerge. With that in mind, here are three players who could be on the move this summer that contending teams should consider targeting.

CF/2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., Miami Marlins 

The Arraez trade is almost surely just the start of another fire sale in Miami. According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, a number of "baseball executives insist" Chisholm will be traded in the near future, and it's not all that difficult to understand why.

Despite being the cover athlete of "MLB The Show 23," Chisholm hasn't developed into a superstar or even the perennial All-Star some believed he was on his way to becoming. However, Chisholm is still only 26 years old, and his defensive versatility and base-running skills would be valuable for any contending team. Not to mention, he's under contract through the 2026 season, which would help the Marlins net a decent return in a potential deal.

Of course, there's no denying that Chisholm, who is slashing .242/.324/.394 with four home runs and 19 RBI this season, is an inconsistent hitter prone to injuries. Even so, he could thrive in a platoon role for a team with a deep lineup, considering he boasts a .801 career OPS against right-handed pitching compared to a lifetime .617 OPS when facing lefties.  

1B Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals 

The 36-year-old's age appears to have finally caught up with him, as Goldschmidt has posted a .203 batting average with two home runs and 11 RBI through his first 34 games this season. Additionally, the former National League MVP is striking out at a career-high 29.9 percent clip while walking in just 10.9 percent of his at-bats, his lowest walk rate since 2021. 

From the starting rotation to the offense, St. Louis' roster has plenty of flaws. And since the 15-20 Cardinals may miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, focusing on the long-term future makes sense. While Goldschmidt probably wouldn't fetch much in a deal, trading him is better than letting him walk for nothing or re-signing him to a regrettable extension. 

It's worth noting that Goldschmidt's contract includes a no-trade clause, but it's hard to imagine he would pass up the opportunity to play for a team with a more realistic chance of making the postseason. It'd make a lot of sense for a team like Minnesota or Seattle, both of which rank bottom six in combined WAR by first basemen this season, to pursue the future Hall of Famer.

3B Alex Bregman, Houston Astros 

Although Astros GM Dana Brown told reporters during the offseason that he had no intention of trading Bregman, he may be forced to do so in the coming months. There was already plenty of speculation that Bregman, an impending free agent, would be the next notable member of Houston’s championship core to leave in free agency. With the Astros (12-22) sitting in fourth place in the American League West standings, selling at the trade deadline would be wise, barring a miraculous turnaround.

Bregman should be one of the first players to go, even though Houston would be trading him when his value is at its lowest. It took Bregman 26 games to hit his first home run this season, though the lack of power isn't his only issue at the plate. The two-time All-Star is slashing an uncharacteristic .202/.284/.269 with one homer and 11 RBI while posting a 65 wRC+ (MLB average is 100), which is the 15th-worst among qualified batters. 

The Astros would be thrilled if Bregman's bat heats up, but even if it doesn't, trading him is likely the team's best course of action. After all, Houston placed 27th among teams in Keith Law of The Athletic's farm system rankings, so it desperately needs to add more prospects, no matter how talented they are.

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