The Trade Deadline is quickly approaching, and the buyers and sellers are starting to come into focus. However, a lot could still change between now and then.
With this in mind, we asked MLB.com’s beat reporters to identify players across the Majors who could directly impact what their teams do at the Deadline.
Whether it’s someone returning from an injury, a young player trying to prove himself or a potential trade chip improving his stock, here are the 30 players to watch -- one for each team -- before the Trade Deadline on July 30.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Cavan Biggio, 3B
Biggio has been better offensively since returning from the IL with a neck injury in June, but if there’s one position on the diamond where the Blue Jays could upgrade their already potent lineup, it’s likely third base. This isn’t necessarily a knock on Biggio, either. That would slide the versatile 26-year-old into more of a super-utility role with plenty of reps available, and that’s a role that could suit him well. Capable of playing third base, second base and the corner outfield spot, Biggio is also the club’s primary backup behind Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at first now that Rowdy Tellez is gone.
Orioles: Trey Mancini, OF
Already inspiring, Mancini’s comeback season from Stage 3 colon cancer reached new levels with his performance at the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. That narrative is part of his outsized importance to this current Orioles team, for whom he’s served as the face of the franchise’s current rebuild. Would they really trade him? Mike Elias will be faced at this year’s Deadline with that question, perhaps the most difficult of his tenure as Orioles GM to date. Mancini is healthy, productive (16 homers, 116 OPS+), still just 29 and under team control through 2023. Teams are sure to come calling for him, as well as ace John Means. The Orioles must decide if either (or both) fit into their projected window of contention, and if they can handle the massive PR hit that would come with dealing either for prospects.
Rays: Luis Patiño, RHP
The Rays are expected to add to their roster in some way before the Trade Deadline, and while they’ve already been linked to big bats like Nelson Cruz, their most glaring need at the moment is probably a dependable starter who will shore up a rotation that hasn’t been quite the same since ace Tyler Glasnow’s injury. The right-hander hopes to be back at some point before the postseason, and Chris Archer will get healthy in the coming weeks. But it’s notable that Patiño is coming up from Triple-A Durham to join the rotation on Thursday night in Cleveland. The 21-year-old righty has a high ceiling, and if he proves that he can pitch up to his potential, he and fellow rookie Shane McClanahan could lessen the Rays’ short-term need for a starter. And that, in turn, could free up Tampa Bay’s front office to focus its attention on pursuing bigger, more creative trades with an eye on a return trip to the World Series.
Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 1B
The Red Sox continue to get too much swing-and-miss from Dalbec and not enough production. Unless Dalbec can perk up within the next week, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom is likely going to be looking for a productive bat to add to the first-base equation. Danny Santana, currently on the Major League roster, and Franchy Cordero (on the Triple-A Worcester roster) are two internal options. One rumor that won’t go away is that the Red Sox could trade for Cubs veteran slugger Anthony Rizzo. This would be a compelling storyline when you consider Rizzo was drafted by the Red Sox and spent his first four pro seasons in their farm system before getting traded to the Padres in the deal for Adrian Gonzalez. If Dalbec can finally find his stroke, Bloom could explore other ways to upgrade the club.
Yankees: Gleyber Torres, SS
After reaching the All-Star break with just three homers in 279 at-bats, Torres slammed long balls in back-to-back games against the Red Sox this week, then added a double in a victory over the Phillies. It was a glimpse of the 2019-era Torres, who led the club with 38 home runs while notching his second All-Star selection in as many years. When Torres is right, he can carry an offense, and that is a presence that the Yankees have been lacking over the past two seasons. Torres, manager Aaron Boone and hitting coach Marcus Thames have said that the shortstop is focusing on his lower-half mechanics, work that appears to be yielding results.