With the July 30 trade deadline just days away, we could talk all the livelong day about which Major League Baseball stars could soon be on the move.
But lest anyone forget, the stars of tomorrow will also be involved in upcoming trades.
To ensure nobody forgets this, we compiled a list of seven top-tier prospects who could be dealt by their parent clubs between now and next Friday. Though they can be found on top-100 lists at MLB.com and elsewhere, they are nonetheless expendable to one degree or another.
Before we begin, a fair warning that our list consists entirely of position players. There are certainly talented pitchers in the minors, but it happens that many are in the hands of likely sellers. The ones in the hands of buyers seem to be untouchable.
Going in order from least likely to most likely to be traded, let's count 'em down.
3B/2B Nolan Gorman, St. Louis Cardinals
Levels: Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis
Key Stats: 59 G, 264 PA, 15 HR, 5 SB, .275 AVG, .341 OBP, .492 SLG
There isn't much question Nolan Gorman is the St. Louis Cardinals' most valuable trade chip among their prospects.
Just three years after the Cards drafted him 19th overall, Gorman is the club's No. 1 prospect and the No. 28 prospect in baseball for MLB.com. Despite some swing-and-miss issues, he is starting to live up to his lofty slugging potential while also expanding his defensive profile in the high minors.
With Nolan Arenado entrenched at third base and Tommy Edman holding it down at second base, Gorman would arguably serve St. Louis better as a trade chip than as a long-term building block. Especially if he could land the team a controllable starting pitcher, such as Jose Berrios or German Marquez.
Since the Cardinals are just 17-26 since May 30, however, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak is understandably on the fence about buying at the deadline. And even if he does buy, he might want to wait until after Arenado forgoes his post-2021 opt-out before swapping Gorman.
C Joey Bart, San Francisco Giants
Level: Triple-A Sacramento
Key Stats: 40 G, 170 PA, 9 HR, 0 SB, .323 AVG, .382 OBP, .555 SLG
In January, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic caused a minor stir when he reported rival clubs were "routinely" asking the San Francisco Giants about Joey Bart.
Bart was and still is one of baseball's best prospects—MLB.com lists him 17th overall—so the idea that the Giants would trade him was perhaps absurd. But then again, he wasn't drafted by current president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi, and he hadn't exactly impressed in the majors in 2020.
Fast-forward to now, and Bart has reclaimed some value by lighting things up at Triple-A. Yet aside from a two-game cameo with the big club, he has been stuck behind resurgent veteran Buster Posey as San Francisco has surprisingly risen to the top of MLB's ranks with a 59-35 record.
With fellow catcher Patrick Bailey struggling in the low minors, however, Bart has effectively resolidified his standing as the heir apparent to Posey. And while the Giants certainly have needs to fill, Zaidi sounds reluctant to part with any of the club's top prospects for the sake of filling them.