Looking to trade for an impact bat this month? Options are limited, but here are 17 position players who are projected by Steamer to post a weighted on-base average of at least .321 (the American League non-pitcher average mark) from here on out.
First Basemen/Designated Hitters
Jose Abreu, White Sox (.351 projected wOBA) – As a player about to hit free agency on a non-contending team, you’d think Abreu would be a prime candidate to be traded by the White Sox. However, interest is mutual in keeping the 32-year-old in Chicago, and that seems the most likely outcome.
Brandon Belt, Giants (.347) – Though underpowered for his position, Belt gets on base and can still help an offense. The obstacle to a trade is his contract, which still has more than $37MM remaining through 2021. He also has a limited no-trade clause that allows him to block deals to ten teams.
Justin Smoak, Blue Jays (.347) – Smoak is best utilized in a platoon, since he doesn’t hit well against left-handed pitching. He’ll have less than $3MM left on his contract at the trade deadline and is a strong candidate to be traded.
Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (.345) – Cabrera’s power hasn’t shown up this season, and he’ll require a DH spot. But the real impediment is the $142MM owed to him through 2023, plus a full no-trade clause. It seems impossible the Tigers could find a way to unload that contract, even if an accomplished veteran hitter like Cabrera could help a contender.
Yasiel Puig, Reds (.348) – As rough as Puig’s year has been, from May 3rd onward he’s hitting .275/.335/.534 in 194 plate appearances. A case could be made that he’s the best hitter available this month, though with playoff odds of 6.9%, the Reds might hang around just enough to prevent a Puig trade. He’s a free agent after the season.
Michael Conforto, Mets (.347) – The Mets have similar playoff odds to the Reds, and may be reluctant to punt on their season unless that changes. Even then, trading the 26-year-old Conforto with two years of control remaining seems unlikely.
Nicholas Castellanos, Tigers (.344) – A free agent after the season, Castellanos is very likely to be traded this month. At the deadline he’ll have about $3.3MM left on his contract. Castellanos continues to struggle defensively, but he’s clearly an above-average hitter.
Trey Mancini, Orioles (.334) – Mancini, 27, is having what appears to be a breakout year and probably should have represented the Orioles at the All-Star Game. He’s controlled through 2022, so the Orioles should be in no rush to trade him if the offers aren’t impressive. But teams seeking a controllable corner outfielder/first baseman will certainly be calling on Mancini.