Players Likely to Be Traded in 2024

Eight players you can expect to be on the move this year.

Trades are one of the most exciting transactions in baseball. Players can switch teams and change circumstances long before they are expected to do so. In some cases, though, it’s easy to see the writing on the wall, allowing baseball fans to predict forthcoming deals.

It’s almost impossible to predict baseball, but with contract statuses, offseason rumors, and projected wins, we can get an idea of the top names expected to be on the move during the year.

Here are eight big names that are likely to switch teams by the end of the 2024 campaign.


Shane Bieber


The Guardians have proven they aren’t afraid to trade All-Star pitchers. I’d even go as far as to say that they’re inclined to do so. Dating back to 2014, the Guardians have made a habit of dealing starters in the middle of or just past their primes.

Justin Masterson led the rotation in fWAR from 2011-2013, but midway through the 2014 campaign, they traded him to the Cardinals. Corey Kluber did the same from 2014-2017 (finishing runner-up in 2018) and was traded to the Rangers before the 2020 season. Carlos Carrasco also fits the bill, having finished in the top three among Cleveland starters in fWAR from 2014-2018 and again in 2020 before being traded to the Mets alongside Francisco Lindor ahead of the 2021 campaign. Both Trevor Bauer (top three in rotation fWAR from 2016-2019) and Mike Clevinger (4+ fWAR in 2018 and 2019) suffered similar fates before being dealt to the Reds (mid-2019) and Padres (mid-2020) respectively.

At this point, it would be more surprising if the Guardians didn’t trade Bieber. They rarely doll out big dollars in free agency and the extensions they’ve signed in recent years amount to three (José Ramírez, Andrés Giménez, and Emmanuel Clase), so the likelihood of them paying the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner is minuscule without him providing the team a massive discount (as was the case with the previous extensions).

Bieber led the Guardians’ rotation in fWAR from 2019-2022 before injuries held him to just a second-place finish in 2023. The right-hander is now entering his final year of arbitration eligibility before he hits free agency next offseason. As things currently stand, the Guardians are projected for a sub-.500 finish, according to Fangraphs. Trade rumors have been swirling for a couple of years and continue to do so.

If he’s not dealt before Opening Day, it’s all but guaranteed that this confluence of factors will lead to Bieber being one of the most coveted trade targets at the 2024 deadline. The Guardians likely would’ve pulled the trigger sooner if not for his second-half injury issues. If Bieber showcases health and consistency on the mound in the first half, he’ll be donning new threads after the All-Star Break.


Brandon Drury


It’s a new era for the Angels as their franchise icon has declined and they watched the most exciting player to ever grace a baseball field exit for a team with which they share a city. The years of expecting the Angels to finally figure things out and make the playoffs with two of the best players the sport has ever had the privilege of watching are in the rearview mirror.

Heading into 2024, the team is projected for just 78 wins, according to Fangraphs. As we saw last August at the waiver deadline, the Angels gave up anyone who wasn’t locked into a contract. Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo López, Hunter Renfroe, Matt Moore, and Dominic Leone were all placed on waivers and subsequently claimed by other squads.

The franchise is now in an even more dire situation and shouldn’t be expected to be competitive in 2024. By the 2024 trade deadline, they’ll likely find themselves in a similar situationtrading anyone that is movable. The most enticing member of the roster with a reasonable shot at being traded is Drury. After a half-decade of jumping between teams, Drury hit his stride with a breakout 2022 campaign split between Cincinnati and San Diego (28 HR, 124 wRC+, 3.0 fWAR). He hit free agency that winter and signed with the Angels via a two-year, $17M deal and supported his breakout with one of the more consistent performances (26 HR, 114 wRC+, 2.5 fWAR) on a much-maligned roster.

Finding himself in the final guaranteed year of his contract, Drury is likely out the door by the trade deadline. Outside of their slim chances of making the playoffs (which would mean holding on to valuable members of the roster), there’s little reason for the Angels to hold onto him with Anthony Rendon, Kyren Paris, Zach Neto, Luis Rengifo, and Nolan Schanuel filling out the infield.

Drury will be a sought-after trade target due to his ability to play multiple positions (has played every position except for center field, catcher, and pitcher in his career) and the offensive consistency he’s displayed across the past two years. He would fit as a utility player with almost every playoff-bound team and those teams wouldn’t be beholden to him contractually with free agency on the horizon. There’s also the factor of his postseason experience, where a little is better than none. He’s made 37 trips to the plate across two postseason appearances (2017 w/ARI and 2022 w/SDP).

It won’t require massive prospect capital to acquire him either, so Drury will be on deadline buyers’ wishlists across the board and the Angels will be more than happy to rid themselves of the dollars they owe him across the season’s final two months.


Jack Flaherty


Flaherty checks all the boxes for a player likely to be traded in 2024. One-year prove-it deal? Check. On a team projected for a losing season (80 wins)? Check. Traded last offseason? Check. Starting pitcher that could add depth in the rotation or bullpen? Check. The only things holding Flaherty back from a potential transaction would be the Tigers improving dramatically in the win department or Flaherty being unable to recapture his form, and thus, becoming unappealing to prospective interested parties.

The Tigers’ future plans should also play a factor in their desire to keep him around. If the team is failing, they’d only have reason to keep him around if they plan to re-sign or extend him. However, with a rotation already featuring Tarik Skubal, Matt Manning, and Reese Olson and pitchers in the minors like Casey Mize, Wilmer Flores, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Alex Faedo, Mason Englert, and more expected to contribute in 2024 and beyond, they have more than enough depth to survive Flaherty’s departure and little space to make room for his return.

The past four seasons haven’t been kind to Flaherty as he’s dealt with injury (averaged 75 IP/year from 2020-2023) or underperformance (and in some cases, both), leading to a demotion to the bullpen shortly following his trade to the Orioles at last year’s trade deadline. He will be an elite trade-chip if the Tigers can aid in a renaissance campaign. If he maintains 2023’s level of performance, there will be plenty of teams jumping at the opportunity to add him to their bullpens, especially considering the lack of contractual obligation inherent to a one-year deal. Those teams will be happy to get him at his sub-par self knowing they have the same shot the Tigers have of incorporating changes to his game to get him back on track to the levels he teased at the beginning of his career.

Detroit is a team I expect to improve in 2024, but because of the lack of consequential moves across their roster, I believe the team will take a small step forward rather than the massive leap they’ll need to be in postseason contention in July. In a weak AL Central, moving from 78 wins to somewhere above .500 could be enough to give them hope, but president of baseball operations Scott Harris should make the smart move and capitalize on the potential return a trade of Flaherty would net. Whether it be in the rotation or out of the bullpen, Flaherty will find himself in a new home ballpark by August.


Jonathan India


We all thought it would happen this Winter and then the team signed infielder Jeimer Candelario to a multi-year deal. Cincinnati already touted a glut of infielders, and with the addition of yet another infielder, it became almost guaranteed that at least one of them would be traded. India appeared to be the most likely candidate given his lack of ability and flexibility on the defensive end, his expiring contract (free agent after 2027), and declining offensive production.

The trade front has been silent for a couple of months now, but the rumors keep coming despite a two-year deal to avoid arbitration. The lack of a trade may be a preconceived strategy employed by the Reds front office. The thought is that you can never have too much depth and that India’s trade value was at a low point this offseason due to back-to-back sub-par seasons and the whole world expecting the Reds to make a deal.

Waiting until the deadline will allow the team to work things out with their current infield corps. Injuries may arise or other players may take steps back, making India an invaluable replacement in the lineup. It also affords India time to recoup his value on the trade market. If he can bounce back convincingly, he could prove his value as a key member of the ballclub moving forward.

On the other hand, if the rest of the young guns (plus Candelario) hold their own and leave the Reds with too many options to find playing time for India, they can trade him at the deadline. On a similar note, no matter how India performs, they can still deal him in July. If he performs well, they’ll get more in return. If he continues to struggle, they’ll still get a decent haul and will feel strong in their convictions to find him a new home. No matter how he or the team fares, they will have ample time and reasons to place him on the trade block.

A factor that has come into play for other trade candidates has been the team’s performance. The Reds are coming off an 82-win season but are projected for just 80 wins, according to Fangraphs. Whether the team is in the playoff race or far from it or if it has too many options and India is hitting at an above-league-average level, they could look to address other shortcomings on the roster, whether that be in the outfield, rotation, or bullpen. If the team finds itself out of the playoff race come the deadline, India will be one of the few trade candidates with contracts coming off the books within the next three years. Frankie Montas and Brent Suter are the only players outside of India who have accrued at least 4.0 fWAR in their careers and are set to be free agents within the next three years.

His status as one of the few impactful trade options on the club makes him a likely trade candidate, and unlike previous entries in this article, his extra years of control might play in the Reds’ favor. The additional years of contractual obligation could make India more appealing to potential buyers as they look to employ his services across the next two and a half years. At India’s current level of play, he may not be more enticing than a utility player if he were only under contract for half a year.

However, with his current control through 2026, teams may envision other avenues of improving his game or milking more WAR out of him if they have more time to work with him and get him on the field. In other words, the Reds will receive more prospects and the team acquiring him will get more India in return. It’s a win-win and a best-case scenario for the Reds who, if they hold onto him for another down season, may have trouble finding suitors as the luster of his 2020 NL Rookie of the Year Award wears off.

It’s as simple as this: India is the most obvious trade chip on a team with deficiencies in other areas of the roster and a glut of talent at his position. No matter how the season turns out for either party, this summer will be the best time to find a trade partner.


Dylan Cease


It’s about time for the White Sox to start selling. The team cratered to a 101-loss ball club in 2023 and is equipped with a roster headed for a 2024 season that might have worse results. On the bright side, they have plenty of talent that could net them massive returns. They’ve already begun shipping out players with the moves of Aaron Bummer and Gregory Santos, but the trades of bigger stars like Luis Robert Jr. and Cease loom large.

Cease is the most likely of that couplet to be traded this year. Robert is under a team-friendly deal through 2027 while Cease is set to hit the open market following the conclusion of the 2025 campaign. It’s high time they pounce on the potential franchise-altering haul they would receive in return for Cease’s services. A trade of Cease would not only jump-start their rebuild but would also set the stage for a handful of other moves at the deadline (John Brebbia) and into the next offseason.

This summer would be the best time to go for it, if only for the reason that we’re not far enough removed from his Cy Young-caliber 2022 campaign in which he produced a 2.20 ERA (184 IP) and 227 punchouts, for teams to forget how exceptional he can pitch at his peak. The baseball world witnessed his regression in 2023 as the right-hander saw his ERA jump to over 4.50 while the free pass still plagued him. Another full season of poor production could see Cease’s trade value plummet dramatically.

On top of that, an additional half year of control would only increase the quantity and quality of the prospect package they would acquire. It’s not as if the White Sox are going to be more competitive in 2025 than they’re expected to be in 2024. The team is projected for just 68 wins, according to Fangraphs, and with the direction in which they’re heading, that projection is likely to be even lower heading into 2025.

The White Sox expect Cease to be the Opening Day starter in 2024, but with rumors surfacing all offseason regarding a potential trade, I don’t expect that to be the case in 2025. He’s simply too good to be the ace of a losing ballclub that needs to move on and look towards the future, as they’ve already started to do. Every competitive team will be in on Cease this summer and although it will take a lot to pry him from the claws of the White Sox, teams will happily pay the price no matter how he performs in the first half of the year.


Tanner Scott


The Marlins lost goodwill after they subverted Kim Ng’s control of the roster by hiring above her, leading to her departure. They then made the franchise look even worse by spending the offseason doing a whole lot of nothing. They have thus far signed no free agents to Major League deals and have only made minor trades around the edges of the roster. Following their first playoff birth in 20 years (outside of the expanded 2020 field), they’re now projected for a sub-.500 finish, according to Fangraphs.

What does this mean for the 2024 season? They’ll likely remain conservative throughout the year and then look to capitalize on any productive players worth trading once the team is out of contention. Luis Arraez is a free agent after 2025 and Josh Bell will be a free agent after 2024. The former is likely to remain with the team all year following his batting title-winning season while the latter isn’t an impactful enough trade candidate to write up in this piece.

That leaves Scott, who is set to reach free agency next winter. He’s a perfect trade candidate for multiple reasons outside of the Marlins’ expected 2024 performance and his contract status. In his second year in Miami, the southpaw had a breakout campaign by nearly cutting his walk rate in half (career BB% before 2023: 14.2% | 2023 BB%: 7.8%), leading to a 2.31 ERA and a career-high 33.9% strikeout rate while gaining closer status by the season’s close.

Relief pitcher is the one position that teams can never stop improving. Fangraphs suggests the Phillies currently possess the strongest bullpen in baseball. Now imagine replacing one of the back-end arms, like Connor Brogdon or Dylan Covey, with a relief ace like Scott. Their bullpen would feature lockdown relievers José Alvarado, Jeff Hoffman, Gregory Soto, Seranthony Domínguez, and Orion Kerkering alongside Scott. There’s not a single postseason-bound team that wouldn’t benefit from just one more reliever, especially one of Scott’s caliber. That means almost every team will be a suitor for his services, making a deal of the left-hander incredibly simple and exponentially more likely.

Despite a deadline deal netting the acquiring team just two months of his service, we’ve already witnessed what kind of players teams can acquire with a lockdown lefty. Just last offseason, we saw Aroldis Chapman dealt by the Royals to the Rangers. All they got in return is a top-15 starter in Cole Ragans. Scott would likely bring in an even better prospect due to his age, success in the closer role, and superior performance.

Of course, a lot rides on the performance of the ballclub. If the Marlins are once again in the playoff hunt, they won’t dare deal from strength, especially after trading one of their many lefty relievers, Steven Okert, to the Twins earlier this week. However, if the Marlins are on the bubble, the potential return for Scott, whether or not he replicates last season’s breakout, may be too enticing for a cost-conscious team to ignore.


Luis Severino


Every move the Mets have made this offseason has had an eye towards 2025. That makes sense given Max Scherzer revealed the front office’s desire to step back in 2024 before going for it all in 2025. Joey Wendle, Michael Tonkin, Jorge López, Adrian Houser, Harrison Bader, Sean Manaea, Jake Diekman, and Shintaro Fujinami were all acquired this offseason and are ideal candidates to be traded. The case isn’t different for Severino who signed a similar deal to the aforementioned Jack Flahertya one-year prove-it deal.

Following two years lost to injury, Severino made a successful return in 2022 only for everything to fall apart in 2023. His ERA skyrocketed over 6.50 while his strikeout rate plummeted to under 19% after being north of 27% in his career entering the season. If anyone needed a change of scenery (even without leaving the state in which he’s spent the entirety of his career), it was Severino.

With free agency on the horizon and the Mets prepared to maximize the returns they get at the deadline as they gear up for 2025, all Severino has to do is bounce back. That may be a tough task given how far he fell last year, but the combination of his track record and positive regression should place him back in the good graces of front offices looking to improve their teams for the stretch run. The right-hander would be an enormous boon to any rotation and teams can never have enough pitching.

The Mets are projected for just 80 wins, according to Fangraphs, so while they’re not going to be counted out to start the season, the numbers are not on their side. The New York rotation isn’t exceptionally deep, so a surprise playoff run and a return to form for the right-hander would likely result in his staying put, but if things aren’t looking bright by the deadline, Severino will find himself donning new threads in August.


Willy Adames


The Brewers aren’t a club that goes the route of prolonged rebuilds. We’ve witnessed in the past their ability to perform a successful abbreviated retooling. It looks like they’ve begun that journey anew after allowing Brandon Woodruff to hit free agency despite one more year of arbitration eligibility and trading former NL Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes to the Orioles. Next on the chopping block is their shortstop.

Even after they traded Burnes, rumors continue to surface suggesting a future trade of Adames. It makes sense given they’ll want to bring in as much Major League-ready talent as fast as possible to speed up their turnaround. It also doesn’t hurt that Adames is a valuable player who’s produced at least 3.0 fWAR in each of the past three seasons. More importantly, the right-handed hitter is set to become a free agent following the conclusion of the 2024 World Series. Furthermore, the Brew Crew is projected by Fangraphs for a sub-.500 campaign in 2024.

If a trade of Adames doesn’t occur before Opening Day, the chances of his departure will only increase. The team already acquired Joey Ortiz in the deal with the Oriolesthe heir to the shortstop throne in Milwaukeeso they’ll be perfectly positioned to replace Adames if and when he’s shipped out. If there are worries about a lack of suitors, there shouldn’t be. The Braves and Dodgers are superpowers with the prospect capital to afford a deal and with rosters that could use better production out of the shortstop position, while the Marlins and Giants are on the fringes but desperately need an upgrade at the six-hole. The Giants make a lot of sense given Adames would work as a stopgap until the team feels confident in top prospect Marco Luciano taking over the role full-time.

In a similar fashion to previous entries, a surprise playoff run could quiet trade rumors. However, given the direction the team has taken this offseason, that not only seems very unlikely, but the team might trade Adames anyway because of their desire to continue to retool while remaining on a tight budget. I wouldn’t be surprised if the shortstop is traded within the month, but I would be if he’s not traded at all this year.

Jake Crumpler

A Bay Area sports fan and lover of baseball, Jake is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in English Literature. He currently writes fantasy articles for Pitcher List, is the lead baseball writer at The Athletes Hub, and does playing time analysis at BaseballHQ. Some consider his knowledge of the sport to be encyclopedic.

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