Now that we're past the All-Star break and the halfway point of the MLB season, it's time to talk trades with the July 30 deadline closing in.
The Atlanta Braves have been more active than anyone, trading for outfielder Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt. General manager Alex Anthopoulos filled two big needs with those deals, especially after Ronald Acuna Jr.'s season-ending injury. The Braves are four games behind the New York Mets in the NL East, but Anthopoulos still believes this team can reach the postseason.
Who else could be on the move in the new two weeks? Here is a look at the 25 best candidates, ranked by fWAR (FanGraphs' calculation of wins above replacement), positional versatility, club control and salary.
25-21: Relief Depth and Infield Help
25. Detroit Tigers 1B/2B Jonathan Schoop
The problem with Schoop is that he doesn't walk a lot (career .300 OBP), though his walk rate has improved this season to 5.6 percent, 1 percent higher than his career average.
He's a free agent after this season and is owed what's left of a $4.5 million contract, so he's an affordable infield option who can play two positions. The Tigers' best trade chips are starting pitchers Michael Fulmer and Matthew Boyd, but their stocks plummeted when they went on the injured list.
24. Minnesota Twins SS Andrelton Simmons
The four-time Gold Glove winner isn't the heaviest-hitting shortstop, but he's long been one of the better defenders in baseball. He's saved 185 runs since he entered the league, and he would help shore up the defense for a team like the Cincinnati Reds, who have a need for an upgrade at the position.
23. Pittsburgh Pirates C Jacob Stallings
Now that Stephen Vogt is off the market, Stallings is the top catcher if the Pirates decide to make him available. He's controllable through arbitration through 2024, so the Bucs may decide not to trade their 31-year-old backstop. His bat is about average, but he has the highest WAR of catchers from rebuilding teams (1.8), so general manager Ben Cherington may field some calls on him.
22. Colorado Rockies SP Jon Gray
We knew the Rockies would be sellers even before the season began after trading face-of-the-franchise third baseman Nolan Arenado in February.
Gray might not have the most extensive arsenal (he mostly throws low-90s fastballs and sliders), but his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) has steadily declined over the last few years, as he's giving up fewer home runs and striking out more hitters.
He might even be better outside of the extremely hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. As a free agent after this season, he would be a rental, but he could help a rotation that is willing to pay the balance of his $6 million salary.
21. Miami Marlins RF/1B Garrett Cooper
The Marlins' annual fire sale is about to commence, and Cooper might be an under-the-radar candidate to be moved. The 30-year-old was never a top prospect with the New York Yankees, but he showed what he could do down the stretch with the Marlins last season when he hit .284 with four home runs and an .834 OPS in 28 games in September and October to help the Marlins reach the postseason.
He is producing similar numbers this season in a crowded outfield, and though Miami doesn't have to deal Cooper, the 40-53 Fish might find it worthwhile.