It's only been a couple of weeks since the lockout, yet it already feels like forever ago that Major League Baseball's free-agent market was roaring with signing after signing.

The trade market, on the other hand, was relatively inactive. So if there's anything to look forward to on the other side of the lockout, it's that part of the hot-stove market getting its own chance to heat up.

As for which trades could go down, we've highlighted specific trade chips that the league's contenders could potentially go after. This involved weighing their needs and available resources and trying to match them to hypothetically available players.

We'll go division by division, starting in the American League East and ending in the National League West.


American League East

Tampa Bay Rays: OF Aristides Aquino (Cincinnati Reds)

The Rays could use a right-handed slugger to fill the void left by the as-yet-unsigned Nelson Cruz, but it's unrealistic to expect them to break their prospect bank for a star. It would be more like them to make an upside play on a guy like Aquino. It was only two years ago that he slugged his way into the history books, but he's now out of options and also has no clear role on a Reds team that seems open for business.


New York Yankees: RHP Luis Castillo (Reds)

This isn't exactly an original suggestion, as Castillo was linked to the Yankees last winter and generally tends to get tied to them every time his name appears on the rumor mill. But that's because the fit is obviously a good one, and he's still needed in the Bronx as a co-ace for Gerrit Cole. Castillo had a 2.73 ERA after May, so don't be fooled by the 16 losses he sustained this season.


Boston Red Sox: LHP Josh Hader (Milwaukee Brewers)

Chaim Bloom, Boston's chief baseball officer, is open about wanting to add a right-handed hitter and bullpen help after the lockout. The free-agent market has options for both, but the trade market has the best possible option for the latter in Hader. As for why Milwaukee would trade arguably baseball's best closer, he's projected to make $10 million in 2022, with another raise due in 2023.


Toronto Blue Jays: 2B/CF Ketel Marte (Arizona Diamondbacks)

The Blue Jays could also be in the hunt for Hader, or they could target a hitter who could replace Marcus Semien and balance a lineup that leans to the right. Such things make them an ideal candidate to push for Marte, a switch-hitter who could take over at second base while sharing time with George Springer in center field.