The 2022 MLB season is the first season where 12 teams from each league will make the playoffs (instead of the 10.) This means more teams will look to buy and the lower-tier teams will look to sell. A lot of coveted players out there could change the outlook of a fringe postseason team into a force to reckon with. Other teams could make themselves stand out as "the team to beat." Which names our loudest at the whisper table? Let's find out. We'll start with the team most willing to have their garage sale, the Cincinnati Reds.
Luis Castillo, RHP Reds
It seems like Castillo's name has been the loudest at the trade deadline for the past three seasons. He missed time in April and came back with lowered velocity. He has since fixed the velocity problem and has thus far posted his best ERA and ERA+ in his career. His value is sky-high. The Cincinnati Reds front office has made it painfully and insultingly clear that they are selling off their goods, so a good package for Castillo will definitely be in order. The obvious suspects in the Dodgers, Mets, Yankees, and Red Sox, are all in line to make a good package for Castillo.
Tyler Mahle, RHP Reds
Tyler Mahle was in trade talks about Mahle during the winter, but a trade was never made. This may come back to bite the Reds, as Mahle's ERA has ballooned to 4.48. His peripheral stats are still pretty consistent in comparison to his previous years, but his value is probably not as high as it could have been. The Dodgers are known for taking struggling pitchers and re-tooling them into gems, so a team like the Dodgers could make a package for Mahle.
Other MLB Names Being Whispered About
Frankie Montas was the most obvious name being talked about after the Oakland A's had their fire sale before the season started. Montas has missed a few starts with injuries (my fantasy team misses him) but it doesn't appear that he will miss too much time. The A's are certainly going to want to showcase him a few more times so that teams will continue to show interest.
Sean Murphy of the Oakland A's could be shopped. Any catcher who can put an OPS+ over 110 in that garbage A's lineup would be a good piece for a team without a good-hitting catcher.
Wilson Contreras may not be the best defensive catcher in the majors, but the man can hit. The Cubs traded away their legacy pieces last season and they are not good this season, so Contreras could find himself a new team.
Other names we could see move: Ian Happ, (Cubs) Bryan Reynolds, (Pirates) Andrew Benintendi, (Royals), and yes: Noah Syndergaard of the Los Angeles Angels. These players all have one thing in common: they are talented players on teams who are not going to sniff the playoffs in 2022. Imagine putting a guy like Syndergaard into a rotation like the Mets (again lol) or the Dodgers? This MLB trade season is going to be a barn-burner.