The 2021 MLB trade deadline is rapidly approaching, and it’s only a matter of time until the dominoes will start to fall.
Every year, most of the players on the move are rentals.
A rental is a player who is only under contract for the remainder of the current season, thus making him an attractive option for a non-contending team to trade away.
These players usually land with teams that have title aspirations, and this year, there are tons of exciting rental players on the trade block.
Today, we are going to rank the three best rental options in 2021.
Let’s get started.
3. Max Scherzer
Max Scherzer is still dealing in 2021, and the only reason he isn’t higher on this list is because there are no guarantees that he gets dealt.
There have been reports of teams calling about the righty, but the Washington Nationals aren’t dead yet in 2021.
Moreover, the Nationals could be reluctant to trade Scherzer away if they have intentions of re-signing him for next season.
He would surely garner a nice return on the trade market, though.
This year, he has a 2.83 ERA, 3.49 FIP, 0.87 WHIP, and 142 strikeouts in 105 innings.
He was named to his eighth All-Star Game this season and still looks like one of the best pitchers in baseball.
Max Scherzer doing Max Scherzer things. 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/7MgZzGR5xZ
— MLB (@MLB) July 18, 2021
If he does get moved, he could change the landscape of a division race.
2. Kris Bryant
The Chicago Cubs are going into sell mode this year, and homegrown superstar Kris Bryant will likely be one of the players on the move.
Aside from the abbreviated 2020 season, Bryant has been great at every turn of his MLB career.
He is a lifetime .279 hitter with an OPS of .883.
He won an MVP award back in 2016 and has been named an All-Star four times in seven years.
The 29-year-old will likely attract some major contract offers in the offseason, but we’re not there yet.
He still has a few months remaining on his current deal, and he will likely be spending them with a new team.
This season, Bryant is slashing .264/.346/.489 with 16 home runs, 19 doubles, and an OPS+ of 126.
He will make a contending team very happy.
1. Craig Kimbrel
Before this season, it seemed impossible that we could be talking about Craig Kimbrel as one of the most desirable relief options on the trade market.
The righty’s downfall was massive in 2019 and 2020, as he posted a 6.00 ERA, 6.29 FIP, and 1.53 WHIP over 41 appearances over the two-year span.
But this year, he has looked like his vintage self.
The 33-year-old has an absurd 0.52 ERA, 1.04 FIP, and 0.64 WHIP across 36 outings, and he has struck out 60 batters in 34.2 innings.
Craig Kimbrel adds another dominant inning to his 2021 resume. 22 of 24 in saves with a 0.52 ERA this season.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) July 21, 2021
As mentioned, the Cubs have already announced that they intend to blow everything up at the trade deadline, so it would be shocking to see Kimbrel in a Cubs uniform beyond July 30.
One thing to keep in mind is that he has a club option for the 2022 season, so while he is technically a rental, he could be retained for next year, too.
The market for him should be insane.