When is wishful thinking an appropriate perspective from which to hypothesize about potential Major League Baseball trades? Oh, basically never. Heck, definitely never.

But if nobody minds indulging us at least for a little while, we're going to do it anyway.

Ahead are eight trades that we just plain want to happen in 2023. This is not a list of predictions. It is blatantly a wish list based on what we think would be cool pairings of players and teams, though it was with some reluctance that we paused to ponder the likelihood of each deal we dreamed up.

All the same, we'll count down to the one we want to see the most.


8. Chris Sale to the Philadelphia Phillies

Why It Would Be Cool

Say what you will about the decision to sign him to a $145 million extension in March 2019, but the initial trade that Dave Dombrowski made to bring Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox in December 2016 sure worked out.

Could he do it again this summer, this time to bring the seven-time All-Star to the Philadelphia Phillies? We obviously can't say he will, but we don't mind saying he should.

As star-studded as the Phillies may be, there's some question about whether they have a proper No. 3 starter behind Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Numbers from last season make the newly signed Taijuan Walker look like a regression candidate, while Ranger Suárez (forearm) and superprospect Andrew Painter (elbow) both have wounded arms.

Granted, Sale has battled plenty of his own injuries in making just 11 starts for the Red Sox since 2020. But the 33-year-old is fully healthy going into 2023. And at the risk of saying something totally meaningless, he's sure looked like his old self in spring training.

But How Likely Is It?

It seems safe to put this one in the "Maybe" file. There was trade interest in Sale this winter, so one presumes it could pick up again in more aggressive fashion if he indeed bounces back while the Red Sox fall out of the American League playoff race this season. After the offseason they had, the latter doesn't exactly seem unlikely.


7. Javier Báez to the Miami Marlins

Why It Would Be Cool

So, recency bias. You might have heard of it. If not, here's a totally nonsanctioned definition: it's a sort of mentral trap that ensnares people who make decisions based solely on the appeal of a recent event.

Like, for example, us thinking that Javier Báez would go well on the Miami Marlins because of how well he performed in the five games he played for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, every one of which was played at loanDeport park.

But, really, can you blame us for gravitating toward any possible explanation for Javier Báez suddenly playing like Javier Báez again? He's arguably the most entertaining player in baseball when he's right, so watching him struggle in every which way during the first season of his six-year, $140 million contract with the Detroit Tigers in 2022 was the antithesis of fun.

Besides, there is a clear spot for him in Miami. The Marlins have a wide-open hole at shortstop after trading Miguel Rojas to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and they need another impact hitter to place alongside Jazz Chisholm Jr.

But How Likely Is It?

It's a reach. Báez still has a lot of value to rebuild before Scott Harris, the Tigers' new president of baseball operations, can even think about offloading his contract. And even then, the Marlins' history of cheapness makes them an unlikely absorber of it.