Originally, it appeared as though this year’s trade deadline was not going to be as eventful as last year’s. Prior to the trade deadline on July 30, 2021, marquee names such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Jose Berrios were all dealt to contenders in one of the more memorable trade frenzies that baseball has ever had. This year, Willson Contreras and Luis Castillo were the only players in that tier that appeared very likely to be traded, and the Houston Astros should have at least some surface-level interest in both.
In just a matter of weeks, though, things have changed. Washington’s Juan Soto reportedly rejected a historic contract extension offer, putting his name at the top of the market. In other news, the Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants, two teams that weren’t projected to be sellers, both sit outside the playoff picture in their respective leagues following recent slumps. If changes like that continue to unfold in the standings, the trade market is going to look vastly different than it did even a couple of weeks ago.
This is obviously great news for teams such as the Astros, who suddenly might have a far bigger field of players to work with when executing their plans at the deadline. The team has a surplus of starting pitchers, and could use some more production from the catcher, first base, and center-field positions. They don’t have a deep farm system, but they have the advantage of being good enough to use some of their young major leaguers in trades without making the team worse at that level.
If the wild card standings continue to shake up, there will be some clubs that change their approach from buyers to sellers at the deadline. Here are 3 potential realistic targets for them to pursue whose teams fit into that category (in no order; click the “next” button to begin the slideshow)