Year in and year out, non-contending MLB teams trade away their assets at the trade deadline.
With almost two months gone in the 2021 season, many teams have already separated themselves as buyers and sellers.
There are a few teams in particular we can expect to see trading expiring contracts away at the upcoming deadline.
1. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles are in no position to contend this season, and the AL East standings reflect that.
At 17-26, Baltimore is already buried in the division, and it looks like they’re destined to sell at the deadline.
The Orioles have an elite farm system—ranked fifth by MLB.com—and they’ll have a chance to make it even better by trading away some expiring contracts for prospects.
Freddy Galvis immediately comes to mind as a trade candidate.
Galvis, an infielder, is with Baltimore on a one-year deal, and has been extremely good by his standards.
He has a .258 average and a .778 OPS.
Some players making <$2M this season whose contracts expire at the end of the year on losing teams that are hitting above .200:
— Boy Howdy (@BoyHowdyESPN) May 21, 2021
He is arguably the most valuable trade chip the Orioles have this season.
It’s hard to imagine there will be much of a market for the 32-year-old Harvey, who has a 5.93 ERA this season, but a team looking to add some rotation depth could be interested.
Maikel Franco is the only other player on the roster who will enter free agency this winter.
He’s had a rough go this season, batting .192 with a .570 OPS and a -0.4 WAR, but slashed .278/.321/.778 last season.
2. Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins figure to unload plenty of expiring contracts before the deadline.
Cruz is having another great year.
He entered play Friday with a .292 batting average, an .878 OPS and 10 home runs in 41 games.
This is Cruz’s third season with the team, but he could find himself playing for a contender in a few months.
Nelson Cruz hit his 427th HR today.
362 of those after he turned 30, or 85% of his career homers.
— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) May 20, 2021
Michael Pineda is having one of the better years of his career, boasting a strong 2.70 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
He could serve as a solid rotation option wherever he lands.
Hansel Robles has rebounded from a disastrous 2020 season with a strong 2021 campaign, pitching to a 3.06 ERA, 3.36 FIP and 0.96 WHIP over 18 relief appearances.
The 32-year-old could fill a hole for one of the many teams that need bullpen help.
3. Pittsburgh Pirates
2021 is shaping up to be another long season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, so they might as well make the most of it.
Tyler Anderson might be the Pirates’ most valuable candidate for a trade.
The 31-year-old is having a career year, working on a 3.50 ERA, a 3.54 FIP and a 1.10 WHIP over eight starts.
Chasen Shreve has established himself as a pretty reliable left-handed relief option.
He has a 3.70 career ERA, and hasn’t allowed a run over limited innings this season (2.2 IP)
There are plenty of teams who need some left-handed relief help, so that should boost Shreve’s value.
The 2021 MLB trade deadline is July 31.