5 potential MLB blockbusters: Donaldson among best available bats


orioles-manny-machado-trade

Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline is still more than a month away, but teams have already started wheeling and dealing.

The Seattle Mariners got a head start on their American League rivals by acquiring reliever Alex Colome and veteran outfielder Denard Span from the Tampa Bay Rays. In the National League, the Arizona Diamondbacks added to their outfield by picking up Jon Jay from the Kansas City Royals.

Neither of those moves can be referred to as blockbusters, but there are plenty of upper-echelon players who could find new homes by the time August rolls around. With a number of teams already playing for the future, there is plenty of incentive for them to shop their stars in search of players who can help long-term.

Here are five big-name position players who could be moved this summer…

Manny Machado

One of the most coveted players league-wide, Machado is slugging along for the MLB-worst Baltimore Orioles. Due to hit the open market at season’s end, the 25-year-old shortstop is putting together the best campaign of his career at the perfect time. Before a team shells out hundreds of millions of dollars for his services, they’ll have a chance to rent his talent for a few months — for a hefty price.

A player with a .311/.380/.586 slash line isn’t available for trade all that often, so the Orioles have to make sure they maximize their return in any deal. With many suitors expected to be in the mix, a bidding war could fetch Baltimore a package it can use to fortify its franchise for the long run.

Machado will command a hefty contract this off-season. (Nick Wass/AP)

Josh Donaldson

The Toronto Blue Jays superstar has spent much of 2018 on the disabled list, which has only hampered his trade value. When he has been in the lineup, the production has been worse than what we’re used to seeing from the 2015 AL MVP. Donaldson has posted a .757 OPS with five home runs in 36 games but those numbers must be taken in context considering the nagging injury issues.

Plus, after a sub-par start to the 2017 season, Donaldson showed down the stretch how he can almost single-handedly carry a lineup with his performance. Over the final two months of the year, the Pensacola, Fla., native had an OPS north of 1.000 and blasted 22 of his 33 home runs.

Assuming he can get fully healthy, Donaldson would offer a massive boost to a team looking for an answer at third base. The fact he’s scheduled to hit free agency at the end of the year could limit what Toronto gets back in trade, but expect the asking price to be substantial nonetheless.

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Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling take fans inside the Blue Jays and around MLB with news, analysis and interviews.

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Source:: Sportsnet

      

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