Contenders and pretenders are starting to shape up in MLB.
However, a few surprises will surely take place prior to the trade deadline next month.
Here are some potentially shocking moves.
3. Adam Frazier To The Chicago White Sox
Several contenders are reportedly after the services of Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Adam Frazier.
The Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees make sense as potential trade partners.
However, Frazier to Chicago would make an already strong lineup a lot better.
He is hitting .322/.390/.460 with three home runs and four stolen bases.
More importantly, he has scored 42 runs for a lowly Pirates team that usually struggles to produce much offensively.
He offers a similar profile to that of second baseman Nick Madrigal, who suffered a long-term hamstring injury that is keeping him from helping the White Sox.
He is a good fielder, and he is also very versatile.
Over his MLB career, Frazier has played every position but pitcher, catcher, and first base.
The bulk of his experience is at second base, but he has defended all outfield positions, shortstop, and even some third base.
He is a useful piece that is playing a little over his head, but should remain useful and versatile.
2. Ketel Marte To The Boston Red Sox
Ketel Marte is one of the few star-level MLB players that could be available prior to the trade deadline.
It’s still not clear if the Arizona Diamondbacks will be open to deal him, since he is under cheap control for a few more seasons.
He still has the 2021 and 2022 seasons remaining in his contract, plus two affordable options for 2023 and 2024.
That makes him very, very costly to acquire in terms of prospects.
If Arizona decides to trade him and maximize his value – they should, since they are the worst team in baseball and likely won’t contend in 2022 either – there will be plenty of suitors.
The Yankees would love to have him, but it remains to be seen if general manager Brian Cashman will sacrifice the necessary prospects to nab him.
It could be their arch-rivals, the Boston Red Sox, as the ones who secure Marte’s services in a surprising turn of events.
A thought… would the Red Sox be a fit for a potential Ketel Marte trade?
They could use an impact bat in the outfield, and Hazen/Sawdaye know that organization better than most.
— Steve Zinsmeister (@Steve_Zins) June 19, 2021
His season was interrupted by a leg injury, but he is hitting .366/.415/.552 with four homers in 147 plate appearances so far.
He is, like Frazier, capable of playing second base and even center field, and is a piece that every contender should want.
1. Max Scherzer To The New York Mets
Nobody knows what the Washington Nationals will do around the deadline.
A recent surge has made them victorious in eight of their last 10 games, and they are now only four games behind the division-leading New York Mets.
The surprise element of this hypothetical trade is just that: how unlikely it would be that Washington trades their star pitcher to the leader of their own division.
But in the end, circumstances may force the Nats to choose that route.
They are unlikely to keep going toe to toe with the Mets, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Atlanta Braves.
And if they find themselves struggling around the deadline, they could flip Max Scherzer and his expiring deal to the Mets in a rental-like transaction.
"If they fall out of it? Yeah!"
— SNY (@SNYtv) June 23, 2021
The right-hander is having a phenomenal season, with a 2.19 ERA in 82.1 innings.