Forget the two-month rental. These players will stick around with a new team through at least 2020.
Many of the players rumored to be on the move before the July 31 trade deadline are rentals—Madison Bumgarner, Zack Wheeler, Nicholas Castellanos—with expiring contracts perhaps limiting their trade value. Understandably, teams are hesitant to give up as much for players that may only stick around for two or three months.
But there are other players on the block this summer who are controllable through the rest of this season and at least 2020, too. Generally, the return for these non-rentals is greater.
Here are the five best of these non-rentals who are likely to be dealt by the end of July:
1. Trevor Bauer, SP, Indians
It seemed like a foregone conclusion a month ago that the Indians would trade righthander Bauer. They were well behind the Twins in the AL Central and, frankly, just didn’t look good. However, since the beginning of June, Cleveland’s gone 27-11 and entered Friday four games out of first place. Even so, Cleveland still might be better off dealing Bauer, who’s signed through the 2020 season and is likely to make between $18-$20 million in arbitration this offseason. With all the teams looking for starting pitching, a position of depth for the Indians, it could be smart to trade Bauer for an above-average outfielder and prospects who could help them win both this year and in the future. Possible destinations for Bauer include the Yankees, Astros and Braves, among others.
2. Marcus Stroman, SP, Blue Jays
Stroman is going to be traded this summer, and the Blue Jays should get a solid return for their ace righthander, who’s under control through the 2020 season. His 5-10 record is deceiving because of the team he plays for (Toronto enters Friday at 36-62), but his 3.25 ERA over 110 2/3 innings pitching in the AL East is impressive. The Yankees are among the front-runners for Stroman, a Long Island native, and his 57.9% groundball rate should play well in Yankee Stadium.
3. Kirby Yates, RP, Padres
There might not be a better relief pitcher on the block right now than Yates, and there’s a greater chance the Padres will deal him now that they’ve dropped into last place in the NL West and are four games back in the second wild-card. With San Diego’s sights set more toward 2020 and beyond, it probably makes sense to deal Yates (signed through 2020) and get a strong group of prospects and/or first- or second-year players in return.
4. Hunter Renfroe, OF, Padres
Probably the best bat in the trade market, and definitely the best power hitter available, Renfroe is signed through 2023 but could be more valuable for the Padres on another team. The 27-year-old outfielder is slashing .249/.311/.589 with 27 homers and 49 RBI and could be a great addition to a contender (or even a team caught in the middle of buying and selling) seeking a power bat both now and in the future. Possible destinations include the Rays, Indians, Pirates and Phillies.
5. Mike Minor, SP, Rangers
The Rangers were a pleasant surprise through the first half of the 2019 season, and they still remain in contention for the second wild-card, so they may not end up dealing Minor. However, they’ve lost four straight and could decide to better their chances for 2020 instead of trying to outlast a handful of other clubs for the last playoff spot. If they do sell, Minor would be an ideal candidate for a sizeable return considering all the teams in need of starting pitching. Just know that he doesn't want to leave Texas.