There were Pablo Lopez trade rumors in 2022, and those rumors are likely to continue heading into 2023.

In fact, the Marlins seemed relatively close to pulling the trigger on a deal involving Lopez before the trade deadline. If a trade were to come to fruition this winter, where would Lopez land?

Pablo Lopez trade rumors 2022

Naturally, the same reasons why Miami nearly traded him last summer are the same reason why Pablo Lopez trade rumors are likely to persist during the offseason. Miami needs offense and Lopez could be one of the best players available via trade.

That means the Marlins can trade from a position of strength to improve one of their weaknesses. Building off of the Pablo Lopez trade rumors from 2022, let’s look at the most likely destinations for Lopez if he’s traded this winter.

Yankees

A Yankees trade for Lopez appeared to be in the works last summer with the Bronx Bombers eventually acquiring Frankie Montas. But the Pablo Lopez trade rumors from 2022 linking him to the Yankees aren’t going to cease during the winter.

 
 
 
 

With Jameson Taillon on the free-agent market, the Yankees have an opening in their rotation, especially if they aren’t overly confident about Luis Severino, Domingo German, or Clarke Schmidt.

After all, the Yankees will have championship aspirations in 2023, so they won’t be afraid to give their rotation a boost, even if they have internal options. The Yankees have a nice collection of young hitters like Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, and Estevan Florial who could interest the Marlins in a trade involving Lopez. Plus, it’s possible that the talks the two teams had last summer could serve as the foundation to get a deal done this winter.

Dodgers

Los Angeles has rarely been starved for pitching in recent years. But they could lose Tyler Anderson in free agency and probably won’t have Walker Buehler in 2023.

Even if they re-sign Clayton Kershaw, he’s had past health issues.

That could put the Dodgers in the market for a pitcher like Lopez, who showed some durability while making 32 starts in 2022. It’s also been common for the Dodgers to have coveted prospects in their farm system, so finding players the Marlins might want shouldn’t be an issue. The only catch is the Dodgers might prefer to acquire a frontline pitcher in free agency while viewing a pitcher like Lopez as a backup option so they only have to give up prospects if absolutely necessary.

Blue Jays

It looks like the Blue Jays are going to make their rotation a top priority this offseason. Depending on the health of Hyun Jin Ryu, Toronto’s rotation doesn’t have much depth beyond Alek Manoah and Kevin Gausman.

That means the Blue Jays are likely to acquire multiple starters this winter. The catch is Toronto’s young stars are going to need contract extensions soon if the Blue Jays want to keep them. That could prevent Toronto from shopping at the top of the free-agent market.

That’ll likely send them to the trade market in search of an impact starter like Lopez. The good news for the Jays is they have plenty of depth at the major-league level, so they might be able to offer the Marlins an MLB-ready player to help get a deal done for Lopez, making them an appealing trade partner from Miami’s perspective.

Cardinals 

At first glance, rotation help might not be a huge priority for St. Louis this winter. However, few organizations understand the importance of pitching depth more than the Cardinals, who always seem to have an abundance of it. If the Cards make a bold move for one of the top-flight shortstops on the free-agent market this winter, they may not have the funds to add to their pitching staff, leaving them to utilize the trade market.

The St. Louis roster is also filled with intriguing young position players who could be interesting to Miami. Someone like Nolan Gorman, Lars Nootbaar, Juan Yepez, or Brendan Donovan could end up being a key trade chip that allows the Cardinals to acquire a starting pitcher like Lopez.

Twins

Injuries made a mess of Minnesota’s rotation in 2022, forcing the Twins to use 14 different starters. While that gives them a lot of options for next season, Joe Ryan and Sonny Gray are going to need some help if they plan on leading a rotation that can make the postseason.

Obviously, the health of Chris Paddack, Kenta Maeda, and others will be huge for the Twins next season. But if Minnesota wants a more reliable rotation, trading for Lopez could give that to them. Lopez will still have a salary that’s not unreasonable for a small-market team, so he’s someone who would surely be on their radar.

Mets

A trade within the division probably isn’t ideal for Miami. But the Marlins can’t be too choosy if they want to make a trade that helps their offense.

The Mets could potentially lose Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, and possibly even Jacob deGrom from their rotation, so there should be a need for them to revamp their pitching staff. With a big contract already given to closer Edwin Diaz, the Mets might need to examine the trade market to fill out their rotation, leading them right to Lopez.

Orioles

Baltimore was clearly the biggest surprise in baseball in 2022. The Orioles are getting close to being a genuine playoff contender, so they’ll be looking to make a big splash this winter.

Despite getting good performances from young pitchers, the Orioles know they can get better.

Adding a young but already-established pitcher like Lopez who’s under team control for two more years would appear to be the ideal move for a team in Baltimore’s position. Who they give up in a deal like that is another issue, but the Orioles have to be viewed as at least a sleeper for Lopez if he’s traded.

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