The 2021 MLB trade deadline is on July 30th. Given that this article is being written in late-April, any MLB trade deadline 2021 predictions should be taken with a pinch of salt. This is very early to be pondering the trade market.
Still, though, wins and losses in April are equal with those in June and July. Teams off to a slow start are that much closer to being sellers. Teams who flew out the traps could be surprise contenders.
MLB trade deadline predictions
Looking at predicting this trade deadline, it’s important to remember the smaller postseason compared to 2020. The lack of the DH in the National League is important for roster construction, too. As ever, upcoming free agents are the most likely to be on the trade block, particularly with so many teams showing a reluctance to spend big in the offseason.
Here are five predictions for the 2021 MLB trade deadline, starting with the messy Rockies.
End of a chapter in Colorado
Trevor Story has entered the running for best bat flip of the year.
Here’s the Batcast™: pic.twitter.com/yZc87ShCeN
— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 26, 2021
Story is still an elite talent at shortstop. A slow start to the year shouldn’t distract from that, nor should the putrid performances of Colorado. Story could attract interest across the league, though teams like Brewers, Marlins and Twins are particularly good fits.
Amid the Arenado chaos, Jeff Bridich has now stepped down from the organization. This might suggest Story is more likely to stay, but many would argue the damage has already been done. Colorado is miles away from being a contender, and no one could blame Story for wanting out at the deadline.
Cleveland trades Ramirez
Jose Ramirez has two team options left on his deal. Cleveland has made the right noises about wanting to extend the All-Star third baseman, but we’ve seen how this plays out. It’s all seeming very similar to Francisco Lindor‘s situation, and perhaps Cleveland has learned its lesson and will trade Ramirez with two and a half years left.
It’s an incredibly team friendly contract. Finishing second in MVP voting in the shortened season, Ramirez has started the year well.
Cleveland is not off to a great start, and few tabbed them as a playoff team. It’s likely they are out of the playoff race by late-July, particularly if Kansas City keeps up their early-season standards.
Cubs flip stars
Moving Yu Darvish was just the start for the Chicago Cubs. While not as embarrassingly bad as the Rockies, the Cubs have not begun the year well. They are 27th in team ERA. That issue isn’t going to get fixed with win-now moves at the 2021 MLB trade deadline, so it might be time for a sell-off.
— Stadium (@Stadium) April 21, 2021
Bryant to the New York Mets is an easy link to make. Teams will be interested if Baez is on the market. Selling off all the veterans should be an option for the Cubs, and it might be the best way to go if they aren’t going to hand out extensions.
Yankees swing big
The Yankees are 20th in baseball in starting pitching ERA. Their starters are not going deep into games. Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon have struggled early on, forcing Brian Cashman to call up Deivi Garcia.
Corey Kluber with a filthy curve to get Swanson chasing 🤢 pic.twitter.com/SUis0UTGwL
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 21, 2021
Perhaps Kluber and Taillon are working through some rust. Maybe it all comes together. For now, though, the Yankees look like a team needing a real boost to their rotation once again.
Cashman has tended to be cautious on the trade market. If this continues, that trend will have to come to an end. Our 2021 trade deadline prediction is the Yankees make a big trade for a starter.
Angels search for ace
Providing Shohei Ohtani keeps up this historic pace, the Angels are going to be contending. Pitching is again a question mark, and just like the Yankees, they should be in the market for a big-time arm.
The aforementioned quartet could all help. If the Indians decide it’s time to embrace the tank, though, could the Angels take a look at revamped right-hander Aaron Civale? Civale has changed his mechanics and arsenal to devastating results thus far.
Neutrals across the baseball-following world want the Angels to make the right moves. Seeing Ohtani and Mike Trout in the playoffs is what we all want.
For the first time in a few years, the Angels could be in position to make some win-now moves at the deadline and have a real chance of playing deep into October.