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With the deadline a few months away, it’s never too early for teams to start paying attention MLB trade rumors in order to be fully prepared to buy.
While the Major League Baseball season is still young, it’s never too early to begin speculating who could be on the move once the trade deadline season comes around.
With many big names set to hit free agency in the 2022-2023 offseason and some of them playing on underperforming teams, there are a handful of no-brainer players who will surely have a new home come August.
Let’s dive in and take a look at five sluggers that teams should already be thinking about buying.
*Note: all stats are current as of the morning of May 12th, 2022.
Catcher, Chicago Cubs
MLB Trade Rumors: Willson Contreras’ bat could serve a contender well
Willson Contreras, the longest-tenured position player on the Chicago Cubs, is also one of the last core players left from the World Series-winning season in 2016 (alongside Kyle Hendricks and Jason Heyward).
Last season, Contreras was the proverbial last man standing on the Cubbies roster when the team unloaded franchise icons Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, and Javier Baez. This season, he remains the Cubs’ biggest trade piece and will almost certainly be traded if the club continues its downward spiral in the NL Central standings.
Contreras, 30 tomorrow, is expected to hit free agency for the first time in his career at season’s end and will probably see himself flipped to a true contender once the August deadline rolls around and the Cubs decide to throw in the towel for the second consecutive season. He has already been worth 1.1 bWAR with four home runs, a .304 batting average and 10 RBI through his first 25 games this season.
There are a number of teams that could benefit from adding the two-time All-Star including the Yankees and Padres, two teams that were reportedly showing interest in his services once the lockout was lifted.
The Yankees with their defensive-minded backstop duo and the Padres with two aging and largely unproven catchers would welcome adding this slugging catcher to their everyday lineup.