MLB's top 20 position player trade candidates

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As the July 30 trade deadline nears, theScore's MLB editors rank the top 20 position players who could be on the move. View the top 20 pitchers here.

1. Byron Buxton, Twins

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
27 10 19 .369 1.176 2.7

Age: 27
Position: OF
Contract: 1 year, $5.125M (Arb 4, 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Buxton's time with the Twins might end before the deadline if he doesn't agree to a reported $70-million extension Minnesota recently offered him. The outfielder is one of the game's best athletes and capable of putting up MVP-type numbers - as he did in April with eight home runs, 14 RBIs, and a 1.363 OPS - if he's healthy. But that's a major if.

2. Joey Gallo, Rangers

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
93 24 52 .225 .874 3.2

Age: 27
Position: OF
Contract: 1 year, $6.2M (Arb 3, 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Gallo is one of baseball's elite power hitters, so it's no wonder several teams, including the Yankees and Padres, are interested in him. He's a Gold Glove defender and ranks second in isolated power and sixth in homers since 2017. He also has a good eye, leading MLB with 74 walks.

3. Kris Bryant, Cubs

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
89 16 48 .266 .848 2.4

Age: 29
Position: IF/OF
Contract: 1 year, $19.5M
Trade probability: ★★★★☆

Bryant missed a few games this week due to what the Cubs termed "hamstring fatigue." At this point, his hamstring might be the only thing in the way of a trade. The former MVP is enjoying a great comeback season and should have no shortage of suitors at the deadline.

4. Trevor Story, Rockies

GP HR SB AVG OPS WAR
84 12 17 .242 .740 1.6

Age: 28
Position: SS
Contract: 1 year, $18.5M
Trade probability: ★★★★★

Story has been one of the top players at his position since debuting in 2016, ranking first in isolated power and slugging percentage, second in homers, third in RBIs, fourth in steals, and sixth in fWAR among qualified shortstops during that span. Suitors, including the Yankees, are speaking to the Rockies about the two-time All-Star, who's eligible for free agency at season's end.

5. Whit Merrifield, Royals

GP HR SB AVG OPS WAR
96 8 25 .272 .720 2.0

Age: 32
Position: IF/OF
Contract: 2 year, $9.5M ($10.5M option in 2023)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Merrifield's name has surfaced in rumors for the last few years, but the rebuilding Royals have thus far refused to part with their All-Star. But if Kansas City really has changed its tune, Merrifield could be the prize of the deadline. He's a quietly consistent player who's led the majors in hits twice, currently leads in steals, and can play multiple positions defensively - and he's doing it all on a very reasonable contract.

6. Starling Marte, Marlins

GP HR SB AVG OPS WAR
61 7 19 .295 .842 3.1

Age: 32
Position: OF
Contract: 1 year, $12.5M
Trade probability: ★★★★☆

Failed extension talks have made it a near certainty that Marte will be in another uniform by July 30. He's enjoying a solid season for the Marlins and would give a contender both experience and Gold Glove-caliber outfield defense. Several teams, including the Giants and Yankees, are said to be chasing him.

7. Kyle Schwarber, Nationals

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
72 25 53 .253 .910 1.8

Age: 28
Position: OF
Contract: 1 year, $7M ($11.5M option in 2022)
Trade probability: ★★☆☆☆

The Nationals aren't known for throwing in the towel at the trade deadline, but Schwarber could be a solid trade piece if they go that direction. The powerful outfielder has 25 homers, a .910 OPS, and was arguably the best hitter in baseball for an 18-game stretch in June when he belted 16 homers. He's currently on the injured list with a significant hamstring strain, and there isn't a timetable for his return.

8. Adam Frazier, Pirates*

GP HR 2B AVG OPS WAR
97 4 28 .327 .844 2.9

Age: 29
Position: 2B/OF
Contract: 1 year, $4.3M (Arb 3, 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★★☆

*Traded to Padres on Sunday

A second baseman who can also play three outfield spots, Frazier is having a breakout season and currently leads the majors with 125 hits. The rebuilding Pirates should be able to cash in on his success at the deadline; the question is whether they'll do so. Frazier could help a team looking for a left-handed bat, and he's reportedly garnering interest from the Mets and White Sox.

9. Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
96 22 65 .250 .787 2.1

Age: 32
Position: 2B, 3B
Contract: 1 year, $7.6M
Trade probability: ★★★★★

Escobar's days in the desert are probably over. The All-Star and pending free agent leads the Diamondbacks in hits, runs, homers, RBIs, and slugging percentage, which means he's a commodity the last-place club doesn't need. Arizona already reportedly discussed an Escobar deal with the White Sox, and several other clubs are also targeting the 11-year veteran.

10. Jonathan Schoop, Tigers

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
96 17 60 .289 .801 1.4

Age: 29
Position: 1B/2B
Contract: 1 year, $4.5M
Trade probability: ★★★★★

The Tigers re-signed Schoop to a one-year deal in hopes of flipping him at the deadline, and his solid season should land them a decent return. In addition to leading Detroit in almost every offensive category, he's become a versatile infielder, playing both first and second base. He should appeal to many contenders.

11. Trey Mancini, Orioles

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
94 17 58 .263 .803 1.5

Age: 29
Position: 1B/OF
Contract: 1 year, $4.75M (Arb 3, 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Mancini's comeback from cancer is one of baseball's brightest stories in 2021, and he may be the only trade chip that will bring the Orioles a solid return. He'd effectively serve as an alternative to Bryant, offering an added year of team control but less defensive versatility. But Baltimore could elect to keep Mancini, who's become a beloved figure on the roster. An eventual contract extension isn't out of the question, either.

12. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
88 11 35 .241 .761 0.7

Age: 31
Position: 1B
Contract: 1 year, $16.5M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Demand for slow-moving, slugging first basemen is limited - particularly among contenders - and Rizzo hasn't played anywhere close to his peak since the beginning of 2020. A change of scenery could do wonders, and he still supplements his cratered batting average with exceptional on-base skills. Rizzo seems tailor-made for the Red Sox - the team that originally drafted him. Boston seems reluctant to approach the luxury-tax threshold, though.

13. Javier Baez, Cubs

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
88 22 64 .245 .778 2.1

Age: 28
Position: SS
Contract: 1 year, $11.65M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Entering the season, it would have been unfathomable for Baez to be outside the top 10 on this list - even with his subpar stat line in 2020. The power is still there, but his OBP is sub-.300 again, he leads the majors in strikeouts, and his defense has shown holes. Nevertheless, Baez could be a solid depth add for a contender in need of versatility in the infield (Yankees), and he can still slug and run (13 stolen bases).

14. Carlos Santana, Royals

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
96 17 55 .241 .778 1.5

Age: 35
Position: 1B
Contract: 2 years, $17.5M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Santana has an almost supernatural ability to get on base. He walks more than he strikes out and still showcases enough pop to be a viable middle-of-the-order bat. A switch-hitter, his power plays more from the left side, but he's traditionally had better contact when swinging right-handed. With another year remaining on his deal, the Royals could keep him and see if the market improves during the winter or around next year's deadline.

15. Josh Donaldson, Twins

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
79 15 42 .251 .829 1.7

Age: 35
Position: 3B
Contract: 3 years, $65.25M ($16M option in 2024)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

A wonky calf and lofty contract make a Donaldson trade seem improbable at first blush, regardless of reported interest from the Mets. But the former AL MVP is still a fearsome bat when healthy, even if he's not at his peak. His likeliest path out of Minnesota is in a package with someone like right-hander Jose Berrios - unless a team is exceedingly desperate for an upgrade at the hot corner.

16. Adam Duvall, Marlins

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
87 22 68 .233 .766 1.2

Age: 32
Position: 1B/OF
Contract: 1 year, $2M ($7M mutual option in 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★★★

Duvall is a one-dimensional player but isn't without value. He doesn't get on base, but he has serious power and won't command a massive return. He's a fourth-outfielder type who could slot in at first base - or DH - if necessary.

17. Jesus Aguilar, Marlins

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
95 17 71 .264 .797 1.1

Age: 31
Position: 1B
Contract: 1 year, $4.3M (Arb 3, 2022)
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Aguilar only ranks this low because of his defensive limitations. The journeyman slugger has shown he can swing the bat, leading the senior circuit in RBIs. He's likely best-suited as a designated hitter for an American League team. He has another year of control, too.

18. Yan Gomes, Nationals

GP HR RBI AVG OPS WAR
61 8 33 .266 .760 1.0

Age: 34
Position: C
Contract: 1 year, $6M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

The veteran catcher market is thin this year, which could make Gomes a sought-after name. He's more valuable as a defensive backstop, but he can run into one now and then.

19. Robbie Grossman, Tigers

GP HR SB AVG OPS WAR
95 15 12 .226 .758 1.5

Age: 31
Position: OF
Contract: 2 years, $10M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

Grossman's low batting average is somewhat deceiving; he's got a knack for getting on base, as his .353 OBP attests. He's also added an element of speed to his game, notching a career-high 12 stolen bases already this season.

20. David Peralta, Diamondbacks

Age: 33
Position: OF
Contract: 2 years, $15M
Trade probability: ★★★☆☆

GP HR 2B AVG OPS WAR
93 4 20 .254 .723 0.2

The "Freight Train" is having a down season by his standards and hasn't lived up to his breakout 2018 campaign. Still, Peralta is a lefty outfielder with better on-base abilities than some other trade candidates, and he could be a nice consolation prize for teams that miss out on Marte or Gallo.

Honorable mentions: Aristides Aquino, Josh Bell, Cesar Hernandez, Eddie Rosario, Kole Calhoun, Gregory Polanco, Andrelton Simmons, Jorge Soler

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MLB's top 20 position player trade candidates
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